Jefferson City, MO — Missouri state legislators on Friday advanced a proposal to make it significantly more difficult for citizens to pass laws through ballot measures — a tool that has allowed voters to expand Medicaid, legalize cannabis, and raise the minimum wage in recent years.
HJR 43 would require future citizen-initiated constitutional amendments to be approved by a supermajority of voters, raising the threshold for passage from a simple majority to 60%. The bill was passed in the Missouri House 108-50 along party lines and now sits with the Senate.
In response to this development, Fairness Project Executive Director Kelly Hall released the following statement:
“Over the last few election cycles, voters in red and purple states have made significant progress on issues like raising wages, increasing access to health care, defending reproductive rights, and more, while legislators have stalled. Missouri has been no exception, and now we’re seeing a backlash to voters exercising their power through direct democracy. Bills like HJR 43 are transparent attempts to destroy majority rule and block progress on behalf of working people, and we’re prepared to stand with voters and do everything we can to protect the ballot measure process from reactionary politicians.”
Since 2021, the Fairness Project has organized $5.6 million to fight attacks on the ballot measure process through its Ballot Measure Rescue Campaign. Last year, the Fairness Project worked to help defeat similar supermajority proposals in South Dakota and Arkansas alongside state coalitions and is closely monitoring efforts to clamp down on voters’ rights in Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Arizona and more states. Read more about the Ballot Measure Rescue Campaign here.