Clean Missouri could come before voters again
JEFFERSON CITY - A Missouri House committee heard testimony Wednesday on a trio of proposals that would change or completely repeal Constitutional Amendment 1--the Clean Missouri amendment--which voters passed in November.
Opponents say lawmakers are trying to undo the will of the people while supporters say voters might not have fully understand what they approved.
“I actually pose before the people that they would consider some of the unintended consequences of their actions when it came to the Clean Missouri,” said Rep. Jeff Pogue, R-Salem, the sponsor of the full repeal.
Amendment 1, which 62 percent of voters approved, bars most lobbyist gifts to lawmakers, requires legislators to wait two years after leaving the General Assembly before becoming lobbyists, requires legislative records to be public, lowers campaign contribution limits to state legislative candidates and changes how legislative districts are drawn.
Pogue’s proposal would eliminate Clean Missouri in its entirety. The other proposals heard by the committee Wednesday would prohibit all lobbyist gifts to lawmakers and change Amendment 1’s redistricting provisions. All three proposals would require voter approval before taking effect.
Nimrod Chapel, president of the Missouri State Conference of the NAACP, said lawmakers shouldn’t “undo the will of the people.”
“The people read it. Okay? They picked what they wanted, and they voted for it,” he said.
But Pogue said Amendment 1 empowers “the unelected bureaucracy and it also, we are losing the privacy and the confidence of our constituents.”
Martha Brownlee-Duffeck, a member of Missouri Faith Voices, attended Wednesday’s hearing. She said she knocked on doors and encouraged people to vote for Amendment 1.
“Give Clean Missouri a chance the way it was written and the way it was voted for by 62 percent of the population,” she said of her message to lawmakers.
The proposals heard in committee Wednesday are just some of the changes to Clean Missouri lawmakers are discussing.
One proposal, for example, would restrict access to public records.
The legislation heard Wednesday requires a committee vote before advancing.