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ON YOUR SIDE: What to know about Missouri Amendment 1 and Amendment 3

(KY3)
Published: Oct. 11, 2020 at 1:44 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 11, 2020 at 8:20 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - We’re less than a month away from the general election. Missourians will have a chance to vote on several ballot issues, in addition to political candidates.

Two of the most prominent ballot issues in Missouri include Amendment 1 and Amendment 3.

AMENDMENT 1

Missouri Amendment 1 would limit the lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state auditor, and attorney general to two terms of office in a lifetime. This means the elected officials would be required to leave office after eight years.

Right now, the governor and treasurer are the only two elected office officials in Missouri who are limited to two four-year terms in office.

“All of those positions right now are exempt from the eight-year term limits that apply to both members of the general assembly, the Governor and the state treasurer," Missouri Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer (R-Parkville), who sponsors the amendment, tells KY3. “What Amendment 1 does is it really brings consistency to the term limits that we have in Missouri.”

Luetkemeyer and other supporters say expanding term limits to all statewide offices would bring consistency across the offices, thus preventing career politicians.

Opponents argue the amendment would cause significant turnover and could deprive statewide offices of experienced administrators.

Rep. Peter Merideth (D-St. Louis) spoke in opposition of term limits, according to a KY3 report from February 2018.

“Essentially, term limits deny voters the right to vote for the person who they think is best for the job,” Merideth said. “If voters have somebody who’s been a Missouri rep for eight years and they think is doing a really fantastic job, I think it’s a problem for us to take away their right to continue to have that person represent them.”

The amendment does not affect lawmakers, but is aimed at statewide executives who are generally more experienced and don’t write legislation.

Previous term limit proposals have passed overwhelmingly in Missouri. In 1965, more than 72% of Missourians approved term limits for the governor, while term limits for state legislators passed by an even greater margin in 1992.

On sample ballots, Amendment 1 reads as:

“Do you want to amend the Missouri Constitution to extend the two term restriction that currently applies to the Governor and Treasurer to the Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor and the Attorney General? State and local governmental entities estimate no costs or savings from this proposal.”

AMENDMENT 3

Missouri Amendment 3 would change the state’s redistricting process, repealing parts of a measure approved just two years ago.

In 2018, Missouri voters approved the Clean Missouri Initiative. This allows a nonpartisan demographer to redraw legislative districts, rather than a governor-appointed bipartisan commission.

If approved, the amendment would eliminate the nonpartisan state demographer and use a bipartisan commission. It would also alter the criteria used to draw district maps, ban all lobbyist gifts, a $5 dollar reduction from current law, and limit state senate campaign contributions by $100, from $2,500 to $2,400.

Opponents say the new amendment is misleading, drawing criticism from politicians of multiple parties.

“The dangerous part of Amendment 3 is that the politicians are trying to trick our voters into voting for a plan that only benefits incumbent legislators,” said former Missouri Rep. Nate Walker (R-District 3).

“Amendment 3 is really a plan by politicians to protect themselves and protect their incumbent status. It’s not really in response to what the people need,” said former Missouri Rep. Rebecca McClananan (D-District 2).

If denied, the state would continue using a nonpartisan state demographer for legislative redistricting while maintaining criteria to draw legislative districts, and campaign finance and lobbying limits.

On sample ballots, Amendment 3 reads as:

"Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:

  • Ban gifts from paid lobbyists to legislators and their employees;
  • Reduce legislative campaign contribution limits;
  • Change the redistricting process voters approved in 2018 by: (i) transferring responsibility for drawing state legislative districts from the Nonpartisan State Demographer to Governor-appointed bipartisan commissions; (ii) modifying and reordering the redistricting criteria.

State governmental entities expect no cost or savings. Individual local governmental entities expect significant decreased revenues of a total unknown amount."

The general election is set for Tuesday, Nov. 3. To check on sample ballots in your area, CLICK HERE.

Copyright 2020 KY3. All rights reserved.

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