If Missouri Republican Representative Mike Henderson (HD 117) from Bonne Terre has his way, it will become harder for Missourians to amend the state constitution.
HJR 20 would require an amendment to the state constitution to achieve a two thirds supermajority vote for passage, rather than a simple majority. In addition, it would require petition signatures to place a measure on the ballot as a constitutional amendment to be collected in each congressional district using a percentage requirement of 10%. This is a significant increase of what’s currently required.
The bill is moving quickly this legislative session. On March 11, the House of Representatives voted 111-46 to pass HJR 20 and advance it to the Senate. Here in Franklin County, all four of our state representatives (Bailey, Griesheimer, Simmons, Tate) voted in favor of the bill.
Missouri voters have ratified 133 constitutional amendments since our current state constitution was adopted back in 1945. Of that number, only about 34% of them reached the proposed two-thirds threshold that’s being proposed under HJR 20. That tells us that our Republican supermajority wants to make it harder for Missourians to change the state constitution.
If the bill is approved by the Senate HJR 20 will be placed on the November 2022 ballot. Only a simple majority of voters would be needed for ratification, which is far less than what Republicans want to require in the future.