JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Before the 2018 general election results were finalized, Missourians were already looking ahead to 2020 and what measures they could put on the ballot.
On November 13, 2018 — just after the midterm elections — the Secretary of State’s Office received two initiative petitions amending the Revised Statutes of Missouri. That marked the beginning of the 2020 initiative petition cycle.
Both initiative petitions were filed by Gerald Peterson.
Petition 2020-001 would amend Chapter 147 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, which deals with the Missouri Road Fund and an annual franchise tax. Petition 2020-002 would create a new section in Chapter 208 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, expanding MO HealthNet services.
Before circulating petitions for signatures, state law requires that groups must first have the form of their petition approved by the Secretary of State’s Office. The office then has 23 days after the form of the petition is approved to draft ballot summary language.
Comments will be taken pursuant to Section 116.334, RSMo. This provision allows Missourians to offer their observations on the submitted proposal online, by mail or phone. Missourians can provide their comments online. The secretary of state’s office will review all comments submitted.
The office received 371 petitions in the 2018 cycle, which began the day after the November 2016 election. Of those, one referendum appeared on the August 7 ballot and five ballot measures appeared on the November 6 ballot. Only three initiative petitions in total passed — ethics overhaul, minimum wage hike, and one medical marijuana measure.
During the 2020 cycle, the Secretary of State’s Office said that it will provide a weekly summary of petitions filed and approved for circulation during the past week.
This article is part of a periodic update on the initiative petition process. Other stories in the series can be found here.
Alisha Shurr was a reporter for The Missouri Times and The Missouri Times Magazine. She joined The Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University.