TagMissouri news

Gov. Mike Parson calls an extraordinary session

Governor Mike Parson (R) announced an extraordinary session on August 22, 2022 which will focus on an income tax cut and agricultural tax incentives proposal. This extraordinary session is set to begin on September 6 and the annual veto session begins on September 14.

During the regular 2022 session, Parson vetoed a tax cut and tax credit bill (House Bill 2090). The proposal Parson is presenting to the legislature for the extraordinary session would lower the state’s top income tax rate and eliminate the bottom income tax bracket. If passed, the income tax cuts will total about $700 million.

Senator Lincoln Hough (R) spoke in support of the plan saying, “I welcome Gov. Parson’s call for a special session — and I plan to file a bill on the first day to cut taxes for every family in Missouri. Allowing Missourians to make more income before they actually have to file taxes is continuing to remove burdensome government from the lives of everyday Missourians.”

Representative Crystal Quade (D) disagreed with Gov. Parson’s plan. She said, “A cardinal rule of responsible budgeting is don’t use temporary revenue to take on permanent expenses. Yet the governor’s plan uses a temporary budget surplus as cover for a permanent loss of revenue that will put Missouri government back into the financial hole it just climbed out of.”

The Missouri General Assembly adjourned the regular 2022 legislative session on May 13. There were a total of 2,104 bills introduced and two bills passed.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly used the term “special session” to refer the the extraordinary session that was called on August 22, 2022.



On Missourian candidate completes Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

Below are a selection of responses from the candidate who filled out Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey on August 27. To read Catherine Dreher’s full responses, click her name at the bottom of the article.

Dreher is running for the Missouri State Senate to represent District 10. She advanced from the Libertarian Party primary on August 2. The primary is on November 8. Here’s how Dreher responded to the question “What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?”

“I’m passionate about limiting the size of government, criminal justice reform, school choice that also protects homeschoolers, repealing the gas tax, and reducing the amount of federal tax dollars our state takes.”

If you’re a Missouri candidate or incumbent, click here to take the survey. The survey contains over 30 questions, and you can choose the ones you feel will best represent your views to voters. If you complete the survey, a box with your answers will display on your Ballotpedia profile. Your responses will also populate the information that appears in our mobile app, My Vote Ballotpedia.

If you’re not running for office but you would like to know more about candidates in Missouri, share the link and urge them to take the survey!

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Previewing the Missouri Supreme Court’s September docket

The Missouri Supreme Court has 11 cases on the docket for the month of September. This is the fewest number of cases argued in front of the Supreme Court in the month of September since 2017. 

The following cases will be heard on three separate days at the end of September. 

September 20 

  • Cedar County Commission, et al. v. Governor Michael Parson, et al
  • Christopher Zang v. City of St. Charles, Missouri, Kyle G. Petersen v. State of Missouri
  • In re: Lorenzo Antoine Hester

September 21

  • Saddle and Sirloin Club of Kansas City v. Director of Revenue
  • Charter Communications Entertainment I LLC v. Director of Revenue
  • Alvin Brockington, Individually and on Behalf of All Similarly Situated v. New Horizons Enterprises LLC
  • In re: Kimberly D. Tyler

September 28

  • Gary M. Weibrecht v. Treasurer of Missouri as Custodian of Second Injury Fund
  • James W. Swafford v. Treasurer of Missouri as Custodian of Second Injury Fund
  • Thomas Dubuc v. Treasurer of the State of Missouri Custodian of the Second Injury Fund
  • In re: Amy A. McGowan

The Missouri Supreme Court has heard arguments in 25 cases in 2022 and issued 28 decisions.

Founded in 1820, the Missouri Supreme Court is the state’s court of last resort and has seven justices. Justices are appointed to 12-year terms by the governor from a list provided by the Missouri Appellate Judicial Commission. As of Sept. 2022, three judges were appointed by a Democratic governor and four by a Republican governor. 

The jurisdiction of the Missouri Supreme Court includes appeals concerning the validity of federal statutes and treaties in addition to state statues, state revenue laws, the right of a state elected official to hold office, and the imposition of the death penalty. The Missouri Supreme Court also has the discretion to hear appeals on questions of general interest and if a lower court’s decision is in conflict with a previous appellate decision.  



Missouri’s average gas price falls to $3.49

As of August 24, Missouri’s average gas price according to AAA was $3.49 for regular gas, which was below the national average of $3.88. Gas prices fell from the previous week’s average of $3.52 and were below the July average of $4.04. On August 24, 2021, the state’s average price was $2.84.

Joplin was the metro area in the state with the lowest average price at $3.32. Jefferson City was the metro area in the state with the highest average price at $3.65.

Missouri has a gas tax of $0.1742 cents per gallon, making it the fourth-lowest in the United States. The lowest is Alaska ($0.0895) and the highest is Pennsylvania ($0.586). The average across the country is $0.2885.

The price of gasoline is affected by several factors. Gas prices are primarily driven by crude oil prices, which are in turn affected by supply and demand, financial markets, international politics, environmental regulation, taxes, weather, and other factors. When the supply of oil increases due to increased production, the price will likely decrease. When demand increases—either from individual consumers or oil-dependent industries—the price will likely increase. Production may increase or decrease depending on advances in technology, changes in industry regulation, policy changes, political forces, and more.



John Wood (I) drops out of race for U.S. Senate in Missouri

John Wood (I), a former senior investigator for the January 6th Select Committee, announced that he was suspending his campaign for U.S. Senate in Missouri. Wood qualified for the ballot on August 1, one day before the state’s Republican primary. On August 23, Wood said that he saw no path to victory in the general election following Eric Greitens’ loss to Eric Schmitt in the Republican primary.

In a statement, Wood said, “I made the decision to run for the United States Senate when Eric Greitens was the favorite for the Republican nomination. That would have been unacceptable, embarrassing, and dangerous for my party, my state, and my country.”

Former U.S. Sen. John Danforth (R) endorsed Wood, while Danforth’s Missouri Stands United PAC spent more than $3 million supporting Wood’s campaign. Wood said he filed to run “as an independent to offer Missourians who are fed up and exhausted by the status quo something better. A common sense campaign that unites our state instead of dividing us,” and that he would serve as an independent who caucuses with the Republican Party.

Trudy Busch Valentine (D), Eric Schmitt (R), and five other candidates are running in the general election for one of Missouri’s U.S. Senate seats on November 8, 2022. Sen. Roy Blunt (R), who first took office in 2011, announced on March 8, 2021, that he would not seek re-election.

As of August 2022, three independent election forecasters rated the general election as Solid Republican or Safe Republican. Donald Trump (R) won the state in the 2020 presidential election by a 15.4 percentage point margin. The last time a Democratic candidate won a statewide election in Missouri was in 2012, when U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) and Gov. Jay Nixon (D) both won re-election. Missouri’s other U.S. Senator, Josh Hawley (R), won the 2018 election by a 5.8 percentage point margin.



Missouri’s average gas price falls to $3.52

As of August 17, Missouri’s average gas price according to AAA was $3.52 for regular gas, which was below the national average of $3.94. Gas prices fell from the previous week’s average of $3.62 and were below the July average of $4.27. On August 17, 2021, the state’s average price was $2.87.

Joplin was the metro area in the state with the lowest average price at $3.32. Jefferson City was the metro area in the state with the highest average price at $3.71.

Missouri has a gas tax of $0.1742 cents per gallon, making it the fourth-lowest in the United States. The lowest is Alaska ($0.0895) and the highest is Pennsylvania ($0.586). The average across the country is $0.2885.

The price of gasoline is affected by several factors. Gas prices are primarily driven by crude oil prices, which are in turn affected by supply and demand, financial markets, international politics, environmental regulation, taxes, weather, and other factors. When the supply of oil increases due to increased production, the price will likely decrease. When demand increases—either from individual consumers or oil-dependent industries—the price will likely increase. Production may increase or decrease depending on advances in technology, changes in industry regulation, policy changes, political forces, and more.



Both candidates for Misssouri’s vacant 140th house district submit Candidate Connection surveys

Both candidates running in the November 8, 2022, general election for the 140th district in the Missouri House of Representatives —Amy Freeland (D) and Jamie Ray Gragg (R)—completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. 

The 140th district was left vacant when former state Rep. Tricia Derges (R) resigned on July 1, 2022. Here are excerpts from candidates’ responses to the question: “Please list below 3 key messages of your campaign. What are the main points you want voters to remember about your goals for your time in office?”

Freeland:

“I’m a working-class professional and community leader who has called Southwest Missouri my home for more than a decade. I graduated summa cum laude with Honors from Drury University. I work as a quality assurance analyst for a Springfield-based company, where I frequently lead projects and help train colleagues.

Christian County is where I have felt the greatest sense of belonging, among neighbors who truly support each other. However, I have noticed a strong disconnect between what residents want and what we get from our elected officials. Our lawmakers tend to ignore their constituents and pass policies that hurt us. I realized someone needed to step up and advocate for us, and I decided to be that someone.

I have worked for years to improve outcomes for people in the Ozarks, engaging with voters about the issues that affect them. My volunteer efforts in the past two election cycles helped to pass community-focused policies, including expanded healthcare access and a higher minimum wage. Still, we have not seen the progress we deserve. I’m passionate about ensuring that my district is and continues to be a great place for kids, seniors, and working families.”

Gragg: 

  • “Our public schools are critical in developing the future leaders of Christian County and beyond. Improving our public schools is something we all support. Better schools start with local control of education. I believe decisions in education should be made by parents, teachers, principals, and local school boards, not politicians.
  • I will stand for and fight for all life. To protect and defend the most fundamental right of humankind, the right to life of every innocent human being from the beginning of life to natural death. I will be a representative of all living person, inside and outside the womb. I will work to protect and defend the right for life of every citizen.
  • The right of Americans to keep and bear arms is as relevant now as it was when our founding fathers wrote it in our Bill of Rights. Our Second Amendment rights are guaranteed in the Constitution for a reason, and that right must not be infringed upon by any level of government.”

To read each candidate’s full responses, click their name at the bottom of the article.

If you’re a Missouri candidate or incumbent, click here to take the survey. The survey contains over 30 questions, and you can choose the ones you feel will best represent your views to voters. If you complete the survey, a box with your answers will display on your Ballotpedia profile. Your responses will also populate the information that appears in our mobile app, My Vote Ballotpedia.

If you’re not running for office but would like to know more about candidates in Missouri, share the link and urge them to take the survey.

Additional reading:



Missouri’s average gas price falls to $3.62

As of August 10, Missouri’s average gas price according to AAA was $3.62 for regular gas, which was below the national average of $4.01. Gas prices fell from the previous week’s average of $3.79 and were below the July average of $4.41. On August 10, 2021, the state’s average price was $2.87.

Joplin was the metro area in the state with the lowest average price at $3.37. Jefferson City was the metro area in the state with the highest average price at $3.81.

Missouri has a gas tax of $0.1742 cents per gallon, making it the fourth-lowest in the United States. The lowest is Alaska ($0.0895) and the highest is Pennsylvania ($0.586). The average across the country is $0.2885.

The price of gasoline is affected by several factors. Gas prices are primarily driven by crude oil prices, which are in turn affected by supply and demand, financial markets, international politics, environmental regulation, taxes, weather, and other factors. When the supply of oil increases due to increased production, the price will likely decrease. When demand increases—either from individual consumers or oil-dependent industries—the price will likely increase. Production may increase or decrease depending on advances in technology, changes in industry regulation, policy changes, political forces, and more.



Missouri state legislative incumbents lost in primaries at an increased rate

Seven state legislative incumbents—four Democrats and three Republicans—lost to primary challengers on August 2. 

This represents 5.3% of incumbents who filed for re-election, the largest number and highest rate of incumbent primary defeats in the state in five election cycles.

A list of incumbents defeated, all of whom were first elected to office within the past four years, is included below:

Of these seven defeats, one was guaranteed before a single ballot was cast. This is because two incumbents—Reps. Mike Person and Raychel Proudie—were drawn into the same district following redistricting, meaning one or the other had to lose.

This year, Democratic incumbents lost at a higher rate than Republicans. Among Democrats, the four defeats represent 8.7% of the 46 incumbents who ran for re-election. For Republicans, the three defeats represent 3.5% of the 86 incumbents in that party who ran.

Learn more about incumbents defeated in Missouri and across other states by clicking “Learn More” below.



Ranked-choice voting initiative will not appear on the ballot in Missouri

On August 9, Secretary of State John Ashcroft (R) announced that a top-four ranked-choice voting initiative will not make the Missouri general election ballot due to an insufficient number of valid signatures submitted.

The campaign behind the citizen initiative, Better Elections, needed to submit at least 171,592 valid signatures in order to qualify the initiative for the ballot. To receive a Certificate of Sufficiency, a minimum number of valid signatures must be obtained in six of the eight congressional districts in Missouri. Missouri is one of sixteen states with a signature distribution requirement for citizen-initiated measures, and of those sixteen, Missouri is one of five states where the distribution requirement is based on congressional districts.

In the tabulated results put out by Secretary Ashcroft’s office, the initiative did not meet the valid signature requirement in any of Missouri’s eight congressional districts.

Another citizen initiative, a measure that would legalize marijuana in Missouri, did pass the verification process and will appear on the ballot in November.

Scott Charton, a spokesman for the Better Elections campaign, said the campaign will “remain committed to our core mission: giving voters better and more choices in elections, empowering them to hold politicians accountable when they lose their way, and ensuring integrity in elections.”

The initiative would have changed the electoral system in Missouri for electing state executive, state legislative, and congressional officials. It would have replaced partisan primaries with open top-four primaries, and would have established ranked-choice voting for general elections, in which voters could rank the four candidates that succeeded from the primaries. The system would have been similar to Alaska’s, where voters approved an initiative in 2020. In addition to Alaska, Maine also allows ranked-choice voting in federal elections and certain statewide primaries, and Hawaii has also enacted that ranked-choice voting for federal special elections would take place starting in 2023.

Ranked-choice voting will also appear on the ballot in another state this year–Nevada has put a top-five ranked choice voting initiative on the ballot.

Currently, there are five measures on the ballot in Missouri: three legislatively referred constitutional amendments, one citizen-initiated constitutional amendment, and one constitutional convention question.

Additional reading: