Missouri voters will decide on whether to give state National Guard its own department

An amendment to give the Missouri National Guard its own department will be on the ballot this November for Missouri voters.

On Thursday, the Missouri Senate gave final approval to the amendment, making it eligible to appear on the ballot. Earlier this year, on April 6, the Missouri House of Representatives voted 126-2 to approve the measure.

The amendment will give the Missouri National Guard its own department within Missouri’s state government. Currently, the Missouri National Guard is part of the Missouri Department of Public Safety. According to the Associated Press, supporters of this amendment say that giving the Missouri National Guard its own department will elevate its status and allow the leader to become a member of the governor’s cabinet.

This is the third ballot measure designated to appear on Missouri’s ballot in November this year.

To put an amendment on the ballot in Missouri, three different paths can be taken:

  • Members of the state Legislature can propose a constitutional amendment. If the majority of both chambers approve an amendment by a simple majority vote, the measure goes to voters.
  • Citizens can file an initiative to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot. The proponents of the amendment must gather a certain amount of signatures for the measure to be certified for the ballot.
  • Lastly, constitutional changes can be made at a constitutional convention. A question on whether to hold a constitutional convention appears to Missouri voters every 20 years. A constitutional convention question will appear on the ballot for Missouri voters this November.

In Missouri, a total of 85 measures have appeared on the statewide ballot for Missouri voters between 1996 to 2020. Fifty-four of these measures were approved by Missouri voters, while 31 were defeated.

In November, voters will decide at least three ballot measures in Missouri – this amendment regarding the Missouri National Guard; a constitutional amendment to allow the state treasurer to invest state funds in highly rated municipal securities; and a ballot question calling for a constitutional convention.

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