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Proposal Would Make Amending the Missouri Constitution More Difficult

David Shane
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is proposing to use money from consumer fraud cases to renovate the Broadway State Office Building.

Missouri lawmaker is proposing legislation to make it harder to pass amendments to the state constitution. Republican Representative Elijah Haahr pre filed House Joint Resolution Four on Tuesday to raise the current fifty percent plus one standard to sixty percent to approve constitutional amendments.

The Missouri state constitution has over seventy amendments and is over one hundred pages long. Over the last decade, there has been a rise in the number of changes to the state constitution based on ballot measures. Haahr believes that raising the majority threshold in order to change the constitution is important in order to preserve the sacredness of the constitution.

"We want to protect our constitution and what we want is a document that doesn't change on the winds of people. That, that when we decide to change it, it is a very serious decision and it's something that the overwhelming will of the people want," Haahr said.

University of Missouri Professor of Political Science Marvin Overby agreed with the idea because fundamental law should not be subject to change by a small majority like in many Missouri elections. He also said that it should be difficult to change the constitution and involve many people to engage in "great thought."

"In an election like this past one where you had what statewide turnout of about thirty percent. So you get really small numbers of people who can pass changes to your constitutional order and that's not what you want out of a constitution," Overby said.

If the bill is approved by the General Assembly, it will go to public vote in the next statewide election.

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