In just a few weeks we will again head to the election booth to make our voices heard on the candidates and issues we support or oppose. Your vote does matter, and the decision you make in the voting booth will have an impact on our state. In addition to the candidates you will choose to support in November, you also will consider a number of statewide initiatives that have the potentially to make significant changes to the way our state operates. Below are brief descriptions of each of the ballot measures that will appear on the November ballot.
Constitutional Amendment 2 – Approved by the General Assembly as HJR 16, the proposed constitutional amendment will give Missouri voters the opportunity to strengthen the state constitution to better protect child victims of sexual abuse. The proposed constitutional amendment would allow prosecutors to introduce evidence of past wrongdoing, also known as propensity evidence, by an alleged sex offender in cases of child sexual abuse. If approved by voters, the change would bring Missouri law in line with the standard for child sexual abuse cases used by the federal government and many other states.
Constitutional Amendment 3 – Placed on the ballot by initiative petition, Constitutional Amendment 3 would make several changes to the Missouri’s system of education. If approved by voters, it would limit teacher contracts to no more than three years. It also would require that teacher’s pay and retention be based primarily on student performance data. In addition, it would prohibit teachers from negotiating any classroom evaluation system.
Constitutional Amendment 6 – Approved by the legislature as HJR 90, the proposed constitutional amendment will allow voters to decide if Missouri should establish an early voting period. The early voting period would take place for a period of six days leading up to the Wednesday before the election. The period would not include Saturday or Sunday. The amendment would allow no-excuse absentee voting during that period of time, and in-person early voting would take place during the regular business hours of the local election authority. It would not impose any costs on the state, assuming there is no special election required by the Governor, and would not impose any additional costs on local election authorities.
Constitutional Amendment 10 – Approved by the General Assembly as HJR 72, the proposed constitutional amendment would provide the legislature with oversight of the governor’s decisions to withhold or restrict funding. If approved by voters, it will allow the legislature to override decisions made by the governor to restrict funding. The authority would work in much the same way as the ability the legislature has to override a gubernatorial veto. It would require a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate in order for the funding restrictions to be overturned. The measure also would require the governor to pay the public debt and prevent the governor from proposing a state budget based on legislation that has yet to pass.