Court Rewrites Amendment 3

Two courts recently ruled that the ballot language proposed by legislators in SJR38 was intended to mislead voters. The court’s new language for Amendment 3 asks voters to amend the Constitution to 1) Ban gifts from paid lobbyists to legislators and their employees; 2) Reduce legislative campaign contribution limits; and 3) Change the redistricting process voters approved in 2018.

League members preferred language drafted by Cole County Circuit Court Judge Joyce that made clear that Clean Missouri capped lobbyists gifts at $5. Amendment 3 only limits campaign contributions for Senate candidates and by just $100.

Voters in every state senate district approved Clean Missouri in 2018. The measure changed the redistricting process to have a non-partisan demographer use mapping software to propose legislative district maps that would be more fair and competitive. Clean Missouri also added strong language to protect minority communities from vote dilution.

Experts say Amendment 3 would not just overturn the changes voters approved two years ago, it would allow twice the level of gerrymandering typically described as “severe.” 

Hidden in Amendment 3 is language that could make Missouri the only state not using the total population count when drawing legislative districts. Instead, maps could be based on the number of eligible voters. That would leave out 1.5 million Missouri children, as well as immigrants and international students. Click here for a study by the Brennan Center for Justice that says it would be a serious obstacle to communities of color receiving fair representation.

The fiscal note for Amendment 3 says “Individual local governmental entities expect significant decreased revenues of a total unknown amount.” Click here to read the fine print. For more information, go to cleanmissouri.org.

About lwvcbc

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy. We never support or oppose any political party or candidate. Any person of voting age may become a League member. The LWV of Columbia-Boone County is the League's local organization. We hold forums for local elections and advocate for local issues.

Posted on August 19, 2020, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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