Missourians will vote on two statewide ballot issues on Nov. 3, after approving one statewide issue at the polls on Aug. 4.
The two ballot measures to be decided Nov. 3 include the topics of state legislative redistricting and statewide officeholder term limits. Both issues were placed on the ballot by the General Assembly.
One proposal (Amendment 3 on the ballot), passed by legislators in May 2020, is a constitutional amendment that would regulate the General Assembly and change redistricting methods by making modifications to Article III of the state’s constitution (also known as “Clean Missouri” which was approved by voters statewide in November 2018).
Included among Amendment 3’s proposals, if approved by voters: A total ban (currently $5) on gifts from lobbyists or lobbyist principals to a member, staff member or employee of the General Assembly. A campaign contribution limit to any State Senate candidate or committee of $2,400 or less (currently $2,500 or less). Removal of the post of “nonpartisan state demographer,” and giving all redistricting responsibility to existing commissions, renamed as the House Independent Bipartisan Citizens Commission and the Senate Independent Bipartisan Citizens Commission. Redistricting criteria would include that districts shall be as nearly equal as practicable in population and as compact as they can be; communities must be preserved; and districts must be drawn to achieve partisan fairness and competitiveness. Timelines for filing tentative redistricting plans and proposed maps with the Secretary of State would be set. Actions challenging redistricting plans must be filed in the Cole County Circuit Court in Jefferson City, according to the amendment.
The other constitutional amendment on the Nov. 3 ballot (known as Amendment 1) would extend the two-term restriction that currently only applies to the Missouri Governor and to the State Treasurer. Amendment 1, if approved by voters, would prohibit any person from being elected more than twice to the office of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State Auditor, State Treasurer, or Attorney General. Any person who holds such an office for more than two years of a term for which another person was elected shall not be elected more than once to that office. Service in the offices of Governor and State Treasurer resulting from an election or appointment prior to December 3, 2020, shall count towards the term limitations. The term limit proposal for the statewide ballot was passed by the General Assembly in 2019.
RECAP: Missouri voters in August okayed Medicaid Expansion by a vote of 53 percent to 47 percent as 1.26 million voters cast ballots on the issue.
The Medicaid Expansion initiative, on the ballot as Amendment 2, amends the Missouri Constitution to adopt Medicaid Expansion for a person 19 to 64 years old with an income level at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level, as set forth in the Affordable Care Act. Currently, Medicaid eligibility is covered in state law, but this amendment adds Medicaid Expansion to the state’s constitution.
Implementing Medicaid Expansion in Missouri most likely will result in an appropriations issue for the General Assembly in the coming months. How much and where the state funds will come from is a puzzle at this point. Federal law requires states to fund a portion of the program (state match) to receive federal funding. The amendment does not provide new state funding or specify existing funding sources for the required state match, so appropriations will need to be found in the state’s annual budget.
The ballot proposal’s fiscal impact said state government entities are estimated to have one-time costs of about $6.4 million and an unknown annual net fiscal impact by 2026 ranging from increased costs of at least $200 million each year to savings of $1 billion. Local governments expect costs to decrease by an unknown amount.
The amendment prohibits placing greater or additional burdens on eligibility or enrollment standards, methodologies or practices on persons covered under Medicaid Expansion than on any other persons eligible for Medicaid. The amendment requires state agencies to take all actions necessary to maximize federal financial participation in funding medical assistance under Medicaid Expansion.