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

1 year 3 months 2 weeks 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 (AP) — Children in St. Louis have been the victim of homicides at 10 times the national rate... More >>
1 hour ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 9:34:54 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he is reversing his plan to hold the next Group of Seven world... More >>
2 hours ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 9:19:49 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Police were seen searching the area near the scene of a crash Saturday afternoon. Police responded to... More >>
2 hours ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 8:31:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Community members came together Saturday for a Walk and Roll-A-Thon in recognition of Disability Employment Awareness Month. ... More >>
6 hours ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 5:11:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Demonstrators rallied at Speakers Circle on Saturday for the first ever National Period Day. Organizers said they... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 3:47:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Community members got the chance to challenge Columbia police officers in their favorite video games during the department's... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 3:41:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Grassroots organizations are working across Missouri to persuade gun-related business owners to join efforts to limit... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 3:37:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
SALINE COUNTY — Three Saline County children abducted in 2017 were found in Arlington, Texas on Thursday, according to the... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 2:15:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - One Lincoln man is dead following a crash between a motorcycle and a tractor-trailer Friday night on... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 1:19:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Water and Light department said it believes all power has been restored in Columbia. About... More >>
13 hours ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 10:05:00 AM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
MARSHALL - The suspect in a pair of shootings in early October has been caught out of state, police announced... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 9:10:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
CALIFORNIA - A man heard his sentence on Friday after killing a 20-year-old three years ago for drunk driving. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 6:31:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Below are scores from football games around mid-Missouri. Final scores are in bold. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 6:06:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in Friday Night Fever
COLUMBIA —The University of Missouri issued a statement Friday that the MU Department of Theatre was "in error" when it... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 5:52:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Friday Night Fever’s Week 8 Game of the Week features a dominant Helias (6-1) visited by a surging... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 5:44:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in Friday Night Fever
COLUMBIA — The True False Film Festival and Ragtag Cinema are dissolving their relationship with Columbia church The Crossing. Cinema... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 5:33:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Springfield Mayor Ken McClure hosted a group for a strategy session that included Governor Mike Parson in October.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 4:18:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY - The extent of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes' leg injury sustained during the team's Thursday night... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 3:07:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in Sports
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 54°
12am 51°
1am 50°
2am 50°
3am 49°