Missouri representative working to add steps to citizens getting bills on the ballot

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — One state Republican wants to make it harder for citizens to file petitions that change the Missouri Constitution.

Right now, if a citizen wants to change something in Missouri law, they can gather enough signatures to put it on the ballot. However, Representative Jay Eggleston believes this process leaves out a lot of important steps usually needed to pass a bill.

“It would require getting signatures from all eight congressional districts,” said Eggleston. “So no corner of the state can be omitted in the signature-gathering process. That makes sure there’s some love throughout the state for the idea.”

Eggleston provided an example with the recently passed medical marijuana bill.

“Once someone gets a medical marijuana card, they could legally go buy drugs from a street corner drug dealer,” said Eggleston.

Other examples include Missouri’s Medicaid expansion or the Clean Missouri measure.

In 2018, two-thirds of Missouri voters approved the “Clean Missouri” measure, but Congress sent it back to voters.

Republicans claimed people didn’t understand what was in the petition.

Sections of Clean Missouri were changed after amendment three was passed last November, which is a problem the Democrats take issue with.

“The scrutiny that we would have here,” said Eggleston. “I think that takes care of a lot of the issues of outside influence.”

The bill needs to get through several steps, including committees, the House and the Senate, before it goes on the ballot for voters to decide.

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