House Bill Targets Initiative Petitioners
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House Bill Targets Initiative Petitioners

Date: April 7, 2008
By: Stephanie Levy
State Capitol Bureau

Intro: The Missouri Senate Finance Committee unanimously passed a bill that would place tougher restrictions on ballot initiatives.

Stephanie Levy (Lee-vee) has more from Jefferson City.

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OutCue: SOC

The bill, sponsored by Republican Representative Mike Parson, would require all petitioners for ballot initiatives to be Missouri citizens. The bill would also prohibit petitioners from being paid for each signature they collect.

Republican Senator Kevin Engler introduced a similar bill in the Senate.

 

Actuality:  ENGLER2.WAV
Run Time: 00:06
Description: We used to have, very rarely, we had a Constitutional vote. But now, we have three or four every general election.


Engler says he's relying on the momentum of the House version of the bill to get the measure passed.

Reporting from the State Captiol, I'm Stephanie Levy.


Intro: The Missouri Senate Finance Committee unanimously passed a House bill that would tighten the rules for ballot initiatives.

Stephanie Levy has more from Jefferson City.

RunTime:0:54
OutCue: SOC

The bill would prohibit petition gatherers from being paid per signature collected. Petitioners would also have to be Missouri citizens and could only promote one issue at a time.

Interest groups like the Missouri Restaurants Association and the National Rifle Association have come out in support of the bill.

Republican Senator Kevin Engler, who sponsored a a similar bill in the Senate, says these groups want to keep out-of-state companies from getting initiatives on the Missouri ballot.

Actuality:  ENGLER1.WAV
Run Time: 00:16
Description: It sounds good but in reality it would limit hunting or, in the restaurant case, raise wages because everybody wants their wages raised. So if you get some company willing to pay for the petition, well, who's going to vote against a pay raise?

Engler says the number of ballot initiatives in Missouri has more than tripled over the past four years.

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Stephanie Levy.