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HOUSE PASSES BAD "IP REFORM" BILL
IT IS UP TO THE SENATE NOW

The final version of the ONLY IP / Ratification bill House and Senate leadership would allow to be considered is awful.

Tell your state senator to kill HJR 43 and
commit to doing it right next January.

Look up your senator here.

Missouri First Home

May 10, 2023

The differences between the House and Senate version of the “IP Reform” bill have been hammered out in a Conference Committee substitute, and the House has already passed that version. If the Senate also votes to approve it, the measure will go to the ballot for the people to vote up or down.

Here are the "features" in the final version of HJR 43 that matter most and what’s wrong with them:

  1. The ratification change ONLY applies to amendments proposed by petition, not the legislature or constitutional convention.

    1. Failing to raise the bar on all three ways the Constitution can be amended is foolish. Voters will perceive it as an arrogant move to make it harder for the people to amend their Constitution than it is for the politicians to amend the Constitution. Well, it is arrogant! I think this, alone, dooms it to failure at the polls, and we get no reform.

    2. HJR 43 fails to protect the Constitution from the legislature. Concerns about big money interests using the petition process to subvert the Constitution are well-founded, but even MORE big money affects the legislative process every day. Any truly objective observer has to admit that plenty of legislation escapes a real deliberative vetting. If it's a good idea to make sure there is a true consensus among Missourians before allowing a petition proposed amendment to change the fundamental law of the land, the same must be said of amendments that come from a less than perfect, money dominated, legislative process.

    3. A change to the ratification standard has long term effects - perhaps hundreds of years. One must consider the eventuality of Constitutional Conventions -- Missouri has had five in her 202 year history. It is simply foolish to continue to allow the entire Constitution to be replaced with simple statewide majority vote brought about by the highly politicized convention process.

  2. The new ratification threshold would be a simple 57% statewide affirmative vote. The threshold for amendments proposed by the legislature or constitutional convention will remain at a simple majority (50% + 1).

    1. If voters do adopt HJR 43, it is terrible policy. Although it is true that the extra 7% requirement for a petition proposed amendment will potentially involve more rural Missourians to ratify, it actually also gives the urban areas more power to defeat measures -- the urban areas need only muster a 43% "no" vote to kill a measure.

  3. Although it would only take a simple majority for voters to adopt an amendment proposed by the legislature, it will take a 57% vote of legislators to place it on the ballot to begin with.

    1. Because of the special interest lobbies, is already incredibly difficult to pass bills to place truly conservative amendments on the ballot -- like stopping private use eminent domain. The 57% percent legislative vote requirement will make it even harder to put populist ideas to a vote of the people.

  4. If there is a statute change made by an initiative petition, the legislature can only change it within the first three years by majority vote, or with a 57% vote or by putting the question back on the ballot.

    1. Tying the hands of the legislature to fix problems in statutory petitions is short-sighted. Like a constitutional amendment, a statute can easily rob the people of Missouri of their liberty, and the legislature should have the power to address it promptly.


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Virtually every law in American is made by Concurrent Majority, other than ratifying amendments to state constitution.

The U.S. Constitution is not ratified by a popular vote -- it is ratified by a concurrent majority consensus of the states. Every legislature is made up of representatives of citizens from districts from a broad geographic area and it takes a consensus of those areas to pass a bill.

Even the president is selected by concurrent majority – that's what the Electoral College is.

SJR 28 and SJR 33, would require a concurrent majority to amend the Missouri Constitution.

It requires two conditions be met for ratification: 1) A statewide majority popular vote, just as we have now, and 2) A majority popular vote in more than half the state House districts.

This requirement applies to initiative, legislative, and convention proposed amendments (or entire constitution in the case of a convention).

SJR 28 -- Senator Jill Carter

SJR 33 -- Senator Mike Moon

"That all political power is vested in and derived from the people; that all government of right originates from the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole."

"That the people of this state have the inherent, sole and exclusive right to regulate the internal government and police thereof, and to alter and abolish their constitution and form of government whenever they may deem it necessary to their safety and happiness, provided such change be not repugnant to the Constitution of the United States.."

"The people reserve power to propose and enact or reject laws and amendments to the constitution by the initiative, independent of the general assembly, and also reserve power to approve or reject by referendum any act of the general assembly, except as hereinafter provided."

 

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