Tagmissouri

Stories about Missouri

Summary of Missouri’s 2022 legislative session

After 128 days in session, the Missouri General Assembly adjourned the 2022 legislative session on May 13. There were a total of 2,104 bills introduced and two bills passed passed both chambers of the legislature and were signed by Gov. Mike Parson (R).

Both bills that passed are appropriation bills. House Bill 3014 was signed by Parson on Feb. 24, and House Bill 3015 was signed on May 13.

According to data from BillTrack50, the average number of bills introduced annually between 2017 and 2022 was 2,019 bills. The fewest bills were introduced in 2019 (1,826), while the most bills were introduced in 2020 (2,170).

The Missouri state legislature has passed 1,123 bills since 2011, an average rate of 94 bills per year. The most bills were passed in the 2015 session (154). Excluding 2022, the fewest bills were passed in 2020 (37).

The 2022 legislative session convened on Jan. 5 and adjourned on May 13. There are 20 state legislatures currently in session, 28 have adjourned, one is in special session, and one has yet to convene.

The Missouri General Assembly is the state legislature of Missouri. It is a bicameral legislature composed of a 34-member Senate and a 163-member House of Representatives. Senators are term limited to two terms and representatives are limited to four. The Missouri General Assembly is a part-time legislature. Legislative sessions are held between January and May. 

Missouri is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas in the U.S. The Republican Party controls the office of governor and both chambers of the General Assembly. There is a 24-10 Republican majority in the Senate and a 108-49 majority in the House. The Republicans have a veto-proof supermajority in both chambers. In the event of a veto issued by Gov. Parson, the Republican majority is large enough to override the veto without any votes from members of the Democratic party. 

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Missouri General Assembly passes one election-related bill in 2022 session

The 2022 session of the Missouri General Assembly adjourned on May 13. Ballotpedia tracked 21 election-related bills in this year’s session, 20 of which appear to have died (i.e., these bills failed to clear both chambers of the legislature by the time of its adjournment). One bill – House Bill 1878 – did clear both chambers of the legislature by the time of its adjournment. The bill would modify Missouri’s voter identification requirements as follows: 

  • Voters casting absentee ballots in person would be required to present photo identification. 
  • A voter without the required photo identification would be permitted to vote by provisional ballot upon completing an affidavit. If the voter subsequently submits a valid form of identification, or an election official verifies the voter’s identity by matching the signature on the provisional ballot envelope against the signature on file, the ballot would be counted. 

The final vote in the state Senate was 23-11, with 23 Republicans voting in favor and 10 Democrats and one Republican in opposition. The final vote in the state House was 97-47, with 96 Republicans and one Democrat voting in favor and 47 Democrats in opposition. It awaits action from Gov. Mike Parson (R).

The Missouri General Assembly is a bicameral legislature composed of a 34-member Senate and a 163-member House of Representatives. The 2022 session convened on Jan. 5. 

Missouri is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas in the U.S. The Republican Party controls the office of governor and both chambers of the General Assembly. There is a 24-10 Republican majority in the Senate and a 108-49 majority in the House. 



Seven Missourian candidates complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey since May 1

Below are a selection of responses from the candaidates who filled out Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey since May 1. To read each candidate’s full responses, click their name at the bottom of the article.

Christopher Davis is running for Missouri House of Representatives District 143 and the Republican primary is on Aug. 2. Here’s how Davis responded to the question “What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?”

“As a single father I am extremely passionate about reforming child custody laws. The most common denominator in poverty, prisons, drug abuse, high school drop out rates, and just about every other negative metric is a Fatherless household. For far to long the state has played a very large role in the absence of fathers by alienating them and in many case removing any meaningful contact whatsoever. I will work hard to pass a 50/50 Shared Custody Presumption law that will ensure that the family court systems opinion is that equal time with the Father and Mother is in the best interest of the child.”

Click here to read the rest of Davis’ answers.

Joshua Shipp is running for U.S. Senate and the Democratic primary is on Aug. 2. Here’s how Shipp responded to the question “What qualities does the U.S. Senate possess that makes it unique as an institution?”

“It helps represent the voices of the population as an equal spectrum of billing, and provides a safety net of checks and balances to ensure tyranny, oppression, or any other abuses of power isn’t established against citizens.”

Click here to read the rest of Shipp’s answers.

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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Two bills passed during Missouri’s 2022 legislative session

The Missouri General Assembly adjourned on May 13 having passed two bills during the 2022 legislative session. Both House Bill 3014 and House Bill 3015 are appropriation bills. There were a total of 11 resolutions adopted between the two chambers.

In 2021, Missouri state legislature passed a total 58 bills. That is 97% decrease in passed bills from last year’s legislative session to this year’s session. Alaska passed the fewest amount of bills last year with a total of 48 bills. 

After the Missouri legislature adjourns, there will be 20 state legislatures in session, 28 adjourned, one in special session, and one yet to convene.

The Missouri General Assembly is the state legislature of Missouri. It is a bicameral legislature composed of a 34-member Senate and a 163-member House of Representatives. Senators are term limited to two terms and representatives are limited to four. The Missouri General Assembly is a part-time legislature. Legislative sessions are held between January and May. 

Missouri is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas in the U.S. The Republican Party controls the office of governor and both chambers of the General Assembly. There is a 24-10 Republican majority in the Senate and a 108-49 majority in the House. The Republicans have a veto-proof supermajority in both chambers. In the event of a veto issued by Gov. Parson, the Republican majority is large enough to override the veto without any votes from members of the Democratic party. 

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Missouri Legislature passes constitutional amendment allowing increase in funding to Kansas City police

A constitutional amendment that would allow the state Legislature to increase the minimum required funding for Kansas City’s police department passed Missouri’s state Legislature on Friday. The measure passed in Missouri’s House of Representatives before they ended the legislative session, with 103 votes supporting the measure and 44 votes opposing the measure. 

Because the amendment was already passed in the Missouri State Senate in March, the measure will appear on the ballot before voters in November.

The measure, as written, would allow the Missouri General Assembly to increase minimum required funding for a police force established by a state board of police commissioners. Kansas City is the only city that does not have local jurisdiction over its department, and therefore the only city that this measure would currently impact. 

This amendment was passed along with another bill that would increase the minimum funding requirement for Kansas City’s police department. Currently, Missouri law mandates that Kansas City devote 20% of its general revenue to the police department. That bill would increase that funding to 25%. 

On KCUR, Celisa Calacal and Brian Ellison reported that some Democratic legislators argued that the bill was unconstitutional because it violates the Hancock Amendment of Missouri’s state constitution that prohibits unfunded state mandates on local actions. However, if voters approve of the constitutional amendment on the ballot this November, Missouri’s constitution will be amended to make an exception.

The support and opposition for the measure was mostly drawn between party lines. On Friday’s vote in Missouri’s House of Representatives, 100 Republicans supported the measure while 3 Democrats supported it. Forty-one Democrats opposed the measure while 3 Republicans opposed it. In the March Senate vote, 22 Republicans and 1 Democrat supported the measure, while 9 Democrats and 1 Republican opposed it.

This is the fourth ballot measure certified to appear on Missouri’s ballot this November. The other measures include:

  • A constitutional amendment that authorizes the state treasurer to invest in highly rated municipal securities.
  • A constitutional amendment that gives the Missouri National Guard its own department within the state government.
  • A constitutional convention question, which automatically appears on Missouri’s ballot every ten years, asking voters whether or not they agree with holding a constitutional convention.

A total of 85 measures have appeared on Missouri’s statewide ballots between 1996 and 2020. Out of those 85, 54 were approved by voters, while 31 were defeated.

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Missouri Supreme Court issues 10 decisions

The Missouri Supreme Court issued 10 decisions on April 26, 2022. This is the most decisions issued on a single day by the Missouri Supreme Court in 2022. 

Car Credit, Inc vs. Cathy L. Pitts was argued on March 22, 2022, and the circuit court’s decision was unanimously affirmed. 

State of Missouri vs. Eric G. Hollowell was argued on Feb. 7, 2022, and the circuit court’s decision was unanimously vacated and remanded.

John Doe vs. Kurt Frisz, Chief Law Enforcement Officer, St. Charles County, Missouri was argued on Feb. 23, 2022, and the circuit court’s decision was unanimously affirmed. 

City of St. Louis; St. Louis County; and Jackson County vs. State of Missouri; and Eric Schmitt, Attorney General of Missouri was argued on Feb. 7, 2022, and the circuit court’s decison was reversed and remanded with one justice dissenting. 

Christopher Klecka vs. Treasurer of Missouri as Custodian of the Second Injury Fund was ​​argued on Feb. 23, 2022, and the circuit court’s decision was affirmed with one justice dissenting. 

Clifton Jameson vs. Alexis Still was argued on Feb. 1, 2022, and the circuit court’s decision was unanimously vacated and remanded.

State of Missouri vs. Andrea Shaunte Straughter was argued on Dec. 14, 2021, and the circuit court’s decision was vacated and remanded with one justice dissenting.

State of Missouri vs. Timothy A. Shepherd was argued on Dec. 14, 2021, and the circuit court’s decision was vacated and remanded with two justices dissenting. 

City of Normandy, et al. vs. Michael L. Parson in his Official Capacity as Governor of Missouri, et al. was argued on Oct. 6, 2021, and the circuit court’s decision was unanimously vacated and remanded. 

Jefferson County 9-1-1 Dispatch vs. Joseph G. Plaggenberg, Acting Director of the Missouri Department of Revenue was argued on Sept. 15, 2021, and the appeal was dismissed with two justices dissenting. 

The Missouri Supreme Court has heard arguments in 25 cases in 2022 and issued 25 decisions. The Court has eight cases on the docket for May. Hearings will be held on May 11 and May 24. 

Founded in 1820, the Missouri Supreme Court is the state’s court of last resort and has seven justices. Justices are are appointed to 12-year terms by the governor from a list provided by the Missouri Appellete Judicial Comission. As of Sept. 2021, 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.



Marijuana legalization campaign submits signatures for Missouri ballot initiative

A marijuana legalization campaign submitted signatures for a Missouri ballot initiative on Sunday. Legal Missouri 2022, the PAC supporting the initiative, stated that it submitted more than 385,000 petition signatures. If enough signatures are verified, the initiative will appear on the ballot this November.

If implemented, the measure would legalize marijuana possession and use for anyone over 21 years of age. It would also legalize the purchase, delivery, manufacturing, and sale of marijuana and enact a 6% tax on marijauna sales. The proposal would allow those who have been convicted of non-violent marijuana crimes to petition for their release from prison or expungement of their records.

The measure received support from the ACLU of Missouri, NAACP St. Louis City, as well as MoCannTrade, an association of marijuana business owners. “Cannabis reform is about more than establishing a safe and legal market. It is about righting the many wrongs prohibition has caused to our communities, especially communities of color,” said Jamie Kacz, executive director of NORML KC.

Some marijuana legalization advocates have made arguments critical of the ballot measure, saying that the measure’s licensing provisions exclude entrepreneurs and favor existing businesses with medical licenses. “There is no reason why Missouri entrepreneurs, and particularly in minority communities, shouldn’t have full access to commercial licensing opportunities,” said Tim Gilio of the Missouri Marijuana Legalization Movement.

Representative Ron Hicks, a Republican, introduced a bill to legalize marijuana in Missouri, saying, “It’s coming. Whether we file legislation or not, it’s coming.” He argued that the legislature, not an initiated constitutional amendment, should legalize marijuana. “If it comes through the legislature, it can be fixed immediately. You don’t have to go gathering signatures or anything like that. I would like to see this as a law and not an initiative petition,” said Rep. Hicks.

If enough signatures are verified, it will make the ballot this November in Missouri. The minimum requirement of verified signatures needed to appear on the ballot in Missouri is calculated by 8% of the votes cast for governor in the previous gubernatorial election in six of the eight state congressional districts. The smallest possible requirement is 171,592. Often, campaigns collect beyond the signature requirement in case there are errors with some of the signatures submitted. Once these signatures are filed, they are sent to county election authorities to be verified.

In Missouri, 31 initiatives have appeared on the ballot from 1996 to 2020. Out of these 31 measures, 19 (59.4%) were approved and 13 (40.6%) were defeated.

Currently, there are three measures on the November 2022 ballot in Missouri, which are:

  • Amendment 1, which would authorize the state treasurer to invest in highly rated municipal securities
  • A Department of the National Guard Amendment, which would give the Missouri National Guard its own department
  • A constitutional convention question, which asks voters whether to hold a state constitutional convention.

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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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Signature deadline for Missouri ballot initiatives is May 8

The deadline to file signatures for citizen-initiated measures in Missouri is May 8 at 5 p.m. Campaigns could file signatures for at least two ballot initiatives – one to legalize marijuana and one to adopt top-four primaries and ranked-choice voting (RCV).

Both of the proposals are initiated constitutional amendments. The number of signatures required for initiated constitutional amendments is equal to 8% of the votes cast for governor in the previous gubernatorial election in six of the state’s eight congressional districts. The smallest possible number of valid signatures required is 171,592; however, the actual requirement depends on which districts enough signatures were collected from.

The Better Elections PAC is leading the campaign behind the top-four RCV ballot initiative. The proposal would establish top-four open primaries for statewide offices, the Missouri General Assembly, and Congress. The top four vote recipients for each office would advance to the general election, where RCV would be used.

Better Elections received $4.30 million through March 31. Over 98% of the PAC’s funding came from Article IV, a nonprofit organization based in Virginia. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Article IV is associated with John and Laura Arnold, whose organization Action Now Initiative contributed to RCV-related ballot initiatives in previous years. 

The campaign Legal Missouri is backing the marijuana legalization ballot measure. The ballot initiative would legalize the possession, consumption, and sale of marijuana for personal use. The ballot initiative would also enact a 6% tax on marijuana sales and allow individuals convicted of non-violent marijuana-related offenses to petition for release from incarceration and/or have their records expunged. Legal Missouri received $2.56 million through March 31. The largest contributors were the New Approach Advocacy Fund ($300,000), BD Health Ventures LLC ($250,000), and Good Day Farm Missouri LLC ($250,000). 

Individuals filed 91 citizen-initiated ballot measure petitions for 2022. Since 2016, the average number of initiatives filed in Missouri per election cycle is 248, and the average number of certified ballot initiatives is four. Between 1985 and 2020, voters approved 24 (60%) initiatives and rejected 16 (40%).



Missouri Senate Education Committee passes “Parent’s Bill of Rights”

The Missouri Senate Education Committee passed a bill outlining parental rights with regard to the education of minors by state-funded schools on April 26 by a 5-4 vote. House Bill 1858, also known as the “Parent’s Bill of Rights,” passed the House by an 85-59 vote on April 19. Before HB 1858 goes to the Senate floor, it will go to the Senate Committee on Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight. 

In his opening statement on the House floor, HB 1858 sponsor Rep. Ben Baker (R-160) said, “This bill is for every parent who might have been ignored at a school board meeting, and not listened to, and purposefully relegated to sit in silence as business was done. This is about those who have concerns about the content of the classroom and classroom materials, what is being put in front of their child in the classroom.” Proponents of HB 1858 believe it will allow for more parent involvement in education and discourage indoctrination in classrooms. 

Opponents of HB 1858 argue that to the bill may prevent teachers from covering important topics and vague language could cause logistical issues in schools. Representative Mike Stephens (R-128) said in response to the bill, “This language [in the bill] can wreak havoc in the classroom. Even though we want schools to be more open and we want the institutions of the public schools to be more open, we still have to have a system that is functional and that is not hamstrung by overkill and overzealous regulations.”

FutureEd has identified 80 bills in 26 states that address parental rights in the education of minors and content taught in classrooms that were pre-filed or introduced in 2022. 

For the House vote on HB 1858, 144 representatives voted. There were 11 absent and one abstained. Eighty-five Republicans voted in favor of the bill. Fifteen Republicans and all 44 Democrats voted against. In the Senate Education Committee, five Republicans voted in favor, one voted against, and all three Democrats voted against.

Missouri is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas in the U.S. The Republican Party controls the office of governor and both chambers of the General Assembly. There is a 24-10 Republican majority in the Senate and a 108-49 majority in the House. The Republicans have a veto-proof supermajority in both chambers. In the event of a veto issued by Gov. Parson, the Republican majority is large enough to override the veto without any votes from members of the Democratic party. 

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