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SJR 38 - Amends Provisions Regulating the Legislature to Limit the Influence of Partisan Interests - Missouri Key Vote

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Title: Amends Provisions Regulating the Legislature to Limit the Influence of Partisan Interests

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a joint resolution that amends the criteria used to draft district maps, eliminates the nonpartisan state demographer, prohibits financial donations from lobbyists, and lowers the contribution limit for state senate campaigns.

Highlights:

 

  • Requires the house independent bipartisan citizens commission to redistrict the house of representatives using the following methods, listed in order of priority (Sec. 3):

    • Districts will be as nearly equal as practicable in population and should be drawn on the basis of one person, one vote; 

    • Districts will be established in a manner so as to comply with all requirements of the US Constitution and applicable federal laws, including the Voting Rights Act, but the following principles must take precedence over any other part of this constitution: 

      • No district will be drawn in a manner which results in a denial or abridgment of the right of any citizen to vote on account of race or color; and

      • No district will be drawn such that members of any community of citizens protected by the preceding clause have less opportunity than other members of the electorate to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice; 

    • Subject to the requirements of the above sub-highlights, districts must be composed of contiguous territory as compact as may be and should be square, rectangular, or hexagonal in shape. 

    • To the extent consistent with the above sub-highlights, district boundaries will coincide with the boundaries of political subdivisions of the state to preserve community boundaries; and

    • Districts will be drawn in a manner that achieves both partisan fairness and, secondarily, competitiveness.

  • Defines “partisan fairness” as that parties must be able to translate their popular support into legislative representation with approximately equal efficiency (Sec. 3).

  • Defines “competitiveness” as that parties’ legislative representation will be substantially and similarly responsive to shifts in the electorate’s preferences (Sec. 3).

  • Repeals sections 2, 3, and 7 of Article III of the Constitution of Missouri (Sec. A).

  • Amends the Missouri Constitution to (Sec. B):

    • Ban all lobbyist gifts to legislators and their employees; 

    • Reduce legislative campaign contribution limits; and

    • Create citizen-led independent bipartisan commissions to draw state legislative districts based on one person, one vote, minority voter protection, compactness, competitiveness, fairness, and other criteria. 

  • Prohibits the general assembly from making a law authorizing unlimited campaign contributions to a candidate for the general assembly, or any law that circumvents the contribution limits contained in the Missouri Constitution (Sec. 2).

  • Prohibits the number of contributions made to or accepted by any candidate or candidate committee from a person, other than the candidate, in any one election towards the office of state representative or state senate from exceeding the following (Sec. 2):

    • To elect an individual to the office of state senator, $2,400; 

    • To elect an individual to the office of state representative, $2,000.

  • Specifies that the contribution limits and other restrictions established in this act will also apply to any person exploring a candidacy for the office of state representative or state senator (Sec. 2).

See How Your Politicians Voted

Title: Amends Provisions Regulating the Legislature to Limit the Influence of Partisan Interests

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a joint resolution that amends the criteria used to draft district maps, eliminates the nonpartisan state demographer, prohibits financial donations from lobbyists, and lowers the contribution limit for state senate campaigns.

Highlights:

 

  • Requires the house independent bipartisan citizens commission to redistrict the house of representatives using the following methods, listed in order of priority (Sec. 3):

    • Districts will be as nearly equal as practicable in population and should be drawn on the basis of one person, one vote; 

    • Districts will be established in a manner so as to comply with all requirements of the US Constitution and applicable federal laws, including the Voting Rights Act, but the following principles must take precedence over any other part of this constitution: 

      • No district will be drawn in a manner which results in a denial or abridgment of the right of any citizen to vote on account of race or color; and

      • No district will be drawn such that members of any community of citizens protected by the preceding clause have less opportunity than other members of the electorate to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice; 

    • Subject to the requirements of the above sub-highlights, districts must be composed of contiguous territory as compact as may be and should be square, rectangular, or hexagonal in shape. 

    • To the extent consistent with the above sub-highlights, district boundaries will coincide with the boundaries of political subdivisions of the state to preserve community boundaries; and

    • Districts will be drawn in a manner that achieves both partisan fairness and, secondarily, competitiveness.

  • Defines “partisan fairness” as that parties must be able to translate their popular support into legislative representation with approximately equal efficiency (Sec. 3).

  • Defines “competitiveness” as that parties’ legislative representation will be substantially and similarly responsive to shifts in the electorate’s preferences (Sec. 3).

  • Repeals sections 2, 3, and 7 of Article III of the Constitution of Missouri (Sec. A).

  • Amends the Missouri Constitution to (Sec. B):

    • Ban all lobbyist gifts to legislators and their employees; 

    • Reduce legislative campaign contribution limits; and

    • Create citizen-led independent bipartisan commissions to draw state legislative districts based on one person, one vote, minority voter protection, compactness, competitiveness, fairness, and other criteria. 

  • Prohibits the general assembly from making a law authorizing unlimited campaign contributions to a candidate for the general assembly, or any law that circumvents the contribution limits contained in the Missouri Constitution (Sec. 2).

  • Prohibits the number of contributions made to or accepted by any candidate or candidate committee from a person, other than the candidate, in any one election towards the office of state representative or state senate from exceeding the following (Sec. 2):

    • To elect an individual to the office of state senator, $2,400; 

    • To elect an individual to the office of state representative, $2,000.

  • Specifies that the contribution limits and other restrictions established in this act will also apply to any person exploring a candidacy for the office of state representative or state senator (Sec. 2).

NOTE: AN AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION REQUIRES APPROVAL BY A SIMPLE MAJORITY IN THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE, AND THEN APPROVAL BY A SIMPLE MAJORITY OF VOTERS DURING AN ELECTION.

Title: Amends Provisions Regulating the Legislature to Limit the Influence of Partisan Interests

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