Bills making it harder to amend state constitution proceed in Missouri House

Legislation sponsored by Republican state Rep. John Black to make it more difficult to amend the state constitution through the initiative petition process was approved by the Missouri House on Wednesday (Tim Bommel/Missouri House Communications).

Two bills seeking to make it more difficult to amend the state constitution through the initiative petition process advanced through the Missouri House this week.

On Wednesday, legislation sponsored by Republican state Rep. John Black of Marshfield was approved on a 106-49 vote. The only Republican to vote against the measure was House Majority Leader Jon Patterson of Lee’s Summit.

Earlier in the week, a House committee approved a different version of the bill sponsored by state Sen. Mary Elizabeth Coleman that the Senate passed last month.

If either version is approved by both chambers, the question would go on the statewide ballot in either August or November.

Citizen-led initiative petitions currently require signatures from 8% of voters in five of the state’s eight congressional districts. To pass once on the ballot, a statewide vote of 50% plus one is required — a simple majority vote.

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