Making amendments

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Proposals to increase the majority needed to amend the Missouri Constitution have been introduced in the legislature. One would increase the current simple-majority vote needed to a 60 percent majority. Two others would raise the threshold to a two-thirds majority vote.

All of these bills are aimed at constraining a process that has changed the Missouri Constitution 108 times since 1945. Only 55 of those changes would have occurred if a 60 percent requirement had been in place.

State Rep. J.C. Keussner of Eminence, Mo., a Democrat, is sponsoring the 60 percent requirement. He also is sponsoring a bill that would double the number of signatures required to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot through the initiative process. Republicans are sponsoring the two two-thirds majority bills.

Ironically, if any of these measures is put before the voters, only a simple majority will be required for passage.

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