House OKs higher hurdle for limits on hunting, fishing

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The House of Representatives on Tuesday gave preliminary approval to a proposed constitutional amendment that would insulate conservation issues from citizen-prompted ballot measures.

The amendment, sponsored by state Rep. Mike Dethrow, R-Alton, would require any proposal related to fish, wildlife and forestry management placed on the statewide ballot via initiative petition to win a minimum two-thirds majority of the vote to become law.

The measure is prompted by ballot proposals brought by animal rights activists in other states that sought to encroach on hunting and fishing rights. However, Dethrow said no such initiative efforts have ever been pursued in Missouri.

Conservation matters placed on the ballot by the legislature would continue to require just a simple majority for ratification.

The House granted first-round passage of the proposal on a voice vote. A second vote is needed to send it to the Senate. If it clears the legislature, it would go on the Nov. 2 ballot with a simple majority needed for ratification.

The measure is HJR 35.

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