Lawsuit filed in November ballot issue after fuel tax added to bill

1 year 11 months 1 day ago Tuesday, July 03 2018 Jul 3, 2018 Tuesday, July 03, 2018 1:22:00 PM CDT July 03, 2018 in News
By: Stephanie Sandoval, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - A November ballot issue is under attack after the house bill attached to it was changed to include a fuel tax.

Citizen activist Ron Calzone and Rep. Mike Moon, R-Lawrence, filed a lawsuit Monday in Cole County Circuit Court about House Bill 1460. Calzone believes the bill was changed “dramatically” just before the end of the legislative session. 

“Through the Missouri Constitution, the people have told the legislature that a bill can include only one subject and they cannot change its original purpose, but with just one full day of the legislative session left, the purpose of House Bill 1460 was dramatically changed in a substantive way,” Calzone said.

In its initial form, the bill authorized a tax deduction for any prize or award won by an Olympic medalist. The bill was later changed to include a referendum that increases the Missouri motor fuel tax.

The issue is scheduled to be on the November 2018 ballot. If passed, proposition D would increase the motor fuel tax by 2.5 cents per gallon every year for the next four years starting on July 1, 2019. By July 1, 2022, the fuel tax will have reached 27 cents per gallon. 

According to the Secretary of State’s office, “This measure will generate at least $288 million annually to the State Road Fund to provide for the funding of Missouri state law enforcement and $123 million annually to local governments for road construction and maintenance.”

Calzone and Moon said the changes violate the Missouri Constitution.

“The Constitution provides clear steps upon which a bill must follow in order to be deemed constitutional. House Bill 1460, in my understanding of the Constitution, stumbles on those clearly marked steps," Moon said.

He said he filed a constitutional objection letter in May when the bill was signed.

Calzone said he won a similar challenge during a 2016 ruling by the same judge assigned to this lawsuit. 

"It's not really so much about the specific provisions of the bill," Calzone said. "The issue is whether or not the people are really in control." 

In the lawsuit, there’s a request for an injunction and, if it’s granted by the judge, the secretary of state would have to refrain from putting the issue on the ballot. 

Calzone argues the bill has multiple subjects and that its purpose changed from when it first started. 

"If you amend the bill and that amendment changes the content of the bill enough that you also have to change the title, then we're suggesting that that makes at least highly suspect that there's been a change in the purpose of the bill," he said.   

Chuck Hatfield, an attorney at Stinson Leonard Street LLP, believes the bill is "perfectly constitutional" and the challenge is "pretty weak." 

"You change the title to more accurately describe what it's doing, but the law is very clear that the fact that you change the title doesn't automatically invalidate the bill," Hatfield said. "If it did, most of the bills that the legislature pass would be illegal."  

Hatfield said the bill does follow the one subject rule as stated in the Missouri constitution. 

More News

Grid
List
ST. LOUIS — St. Louis County Executive Sam Page on Wednesday asked protesters who didn't wear masks or socially distance... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, June 03 2020 Jun 3, 2020 Wednesday, June 03, 2020 9:53:18 PM CDT June 03, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Over the past week, the Columbia community has created lists of local black-owned businesses to support all over... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, June 03 2020 Jun 3, 2020 Wednesday, June 03, 2020 6:02:00 PM CDT June 03, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The oncology clinic at the MU Women and Children's Hospital will be closing on July 31. Families of... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, June 03 2020 Jun 3, 2020 Wednesday, June 03, 2020 2:25:00 PM CDT June 03, 2020 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA -- Pat Fowler was elected to the First Ward City Council seat on Tuesday night. She enters the seat... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, June 03 2020 Jun 3, 2020 Wednesday, June 03, 2020 2:21:00 PM CDT June 03, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — As state and commercial testing is more available for the Missourians, the number of confirmed cases is rising.... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, June 03 2020 Jun 3, 2020 Wednesday, June 03, 2020 2:00:00 PM CDT June 03, 2020 in News
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors are charging a Minneapolis police officer accused of pressing his knee against George Floyd’s neck with... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, June 03 2020 Jun 3, 2020 Wednesday, June 03, 2020 1:44:00 PM CDT June 03, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A retired police captain who died during a night of violent protests was trying to protect... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, June 03 2020 Jun 3, 2020 Wednesday, June 03, 2020 12:38:00 PM CDT June 03, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS - According to a tweet posted Tuesday night on the Missouri State Highway Patrol's Twitter, a bullet pierced... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, June 03 2020 Jun 3, 2020 Wednesday, June 03, 2020 9:09:00 AM CDT June 03, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 spreads, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts on the community. You can find... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, June 03 2020 Jun 3, 2020 Wednesday, June 03, 2020 7:48:00 AM CDT June 03, 2020 in Top Stories
COLE COUNTY - The Cole County Crisis Negotiation Team and SWAT took one subject into custody after a barricade in... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, June 03 2020 Jun 3, 2020 Wednesday, June 03, 2020 6:10:00 AM CDT June 03, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Tuesday was the rescheduled municipal election from April. The election was initially postponed due to Coronavirus concerns. ... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 10:25:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) — The Missouri Supreme Court has overturned the conviction of a man imprisoned in a... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 10:18:01 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A 20-year-old Jefferson City man was arrested on suspicion of two different sodomy charges. The Fulton... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 10:05:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A 25-year-old woman is sharing her story after she was hit by a car Monday during a protest... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 9:44:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Protests continued along Broadway in downtown Columbia Tuesday night. During the protest, Columbia police officers took a... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 9:34:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri judge has dismissed two lawsuits against a ballot proposal to expand Medicaid health care... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 8:51:39 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A coronavirus outbreak at a Kansas City paper plant has infected more than 200 people. ... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 8:45:51 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
FORT LEONARD WOOD - A Department of Army civilian died at Fort Leonard Wood following a crane incident around 2... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 7:30:02 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 67°
5am 67°
6am 68°
7am 70°
8am 71°