Missouri Senate Republicans filibuster in hopes of making it harder for voters to amend the Constitution


Jefferson City, MO. (AP) – a group of missouri The Senate ended a nearly 16-hour filibuster on Tuesday aimed at pressuring fellow Republicans to quickly pass legislation that would make it harder for voters to amend the state Constitution.

The pressure from the Freedom Caucus comes as abortion-rights advocates try to get a measure on the November ballot Guarantee the right to abortion In the state constitution.

Missouri Republicans have been trying to make it harder to amend the Constitution for years. But when the campaign to restore abortion rights started, the pressure increased Plans announced The issue will be put to a public vote this November.

state senator bill igelA member of the Freedom Caucus said Hope Republican Governor Mike Parson is scheduled to place a measure on voter-referred constitutional amendments on the August primary ballot. Then, the higher approval threshold may come into effect before the general election.

“The abortion question is the immediate threat before us. Without question,” Egel said. “But I think it’s been a few years in the making.”

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Efforts to keep measures protecting abortion access off the ballot in Missouri are similar to those in some other Republican-led states. Target ballot initiative processA form of direct democracy that is available only to voters half the states,

Ohio Republicans called Special election in August In an effort to raise the threshold for passing future constitutional amendments from a simple majority to 60%. But that effort lost at the polls and was widely seen as aiming to weaken the abortion amendment.

missouri freedom caucus Members spoke for hours Monday and Tuesday, with what appears to be a paradoxical end: delaying unrelated business to pressure state Senate leaders to act more quickly. Top GOP Priority,

The impasse ended Tuesday morning, when members of the Freedom Caucus allowed confirmation votes on several gubernatorial appointments they had been blocking.

Egel, in turn, said a state Senate committee minutes later voted down a Freedom Caucus-backed measure that would raise the bar for voters to approve constitutional amendments.

Currently, Missouri voters can enact constitutional amendments by majority vote. In addition to that requirement, State Senator Mary Elizabeth Coleman’s proposal would require approval of votes cast in most of the state’s 163 state House districts, which also includes more conservative rural districts.

If passed by the Legislature, Coleman’s measure would still require voter approval.

Senate leaders said the Freedom Caucus disruptions have only delayed action on policies those members support.

Senate President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden tweeted Tuesday that “nothing has changed in any way” relative to the voter-referred constitutional amendments. But he said that because of the infighting, “other top priorities like education reform, tort reform and cracking down on illegal immigration in Missouri are now behind schedule.”

“It should be noted that we are in the exact same place we would be if certain members of the Senate had not elected to hijack business for the last two weeks,” Rowden said.

Speaking to hundreds of colleagues who gathered in the Capitol halls to show their support, members of the Freedom Caucus hailed the end of the filibuster as a victory.

Meanwhile, those who want to maintain the current system rallied one floor below in the Capitol Rotunda.

“Our initiative petition process has been a sacred constitutional right for Missourians across all political spectrums for more than a century,” Dennis Lieberman, director of the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition, told the crowd of more than 100. ,

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