The Speaker Pro-tem of the Missouri House, Shane Schoeller (R, Willard), says he’s going to sponsor a package of election-related bills during next year’s legislative session.
It will include a bill requiring that voter-approved laws cannot be overturned by a simple majority vote by lawmakers.
Take, for example, the state minimum wage hike, which 76 percent of Missouri voters approved five years ago. Schoeller says under his bill, that law could only be overturned if more than 76 percent of House and Senate members voted to do so.
“Within the rules of the House and Senate, especially the Senate, that would be a very hard obstacle to overcome," Schoeller said. "That’s probably good because the voters spoke very clearly on that issue."
Schoeller says at the same time, it would not create an undue burden for opponents of ballot questions that were narrowly defeated, namely, last year’s dog breeding initiative.
Another proposal by Schoeller would create new commissions to oversee the language used in ballot initiatives, which is currently the sole responsibility of the Secretary of State. He would not directly say if the measure was directed at Democratic Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, whose office has been sued by a number of right-leaning groups over what they said at the time was misleading ballot language.
“We don’t need to be slowing down our court systems with these lawsuits," Schoeller said. "We don’t need to have people losing faith in the integrity of the office of Secretary of State, and I think this is one way to allow citizens to have a voice in what they’re gonna be voting on.”
The same bill would also create new commissions for legislative redistricting.
Schoeller is also proposing yet another bill to require photo identification at the polls. A similar bill was vetoed this year by Governor Jay Nixon (D). The 2012 regular session begins January 4th.