JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – To guarantee the people of St. Louis City and St. Louis County are empowered to determine how they are governed at the local level, state Rep. LaKeySha Bosley, D-St. Louis, has filed a proposed constitutional amendment limiting votes on proposed city-county consolidation to voters in those two jurisdictions.
“The people of St. Louis city and county must choose their own destiny and not have one imposed on them by the rest of the state,” Bosley said. “Empowering local citizens to decide how their local government is structured is the very essence of local control. That is just as true for the St. Louis area as it is for Greene County, Jackson County, Cape Girardeau County and every other region of Missouri.”
Bosley’s legislation, House Joint Resolution 37, is in response to an initiative petition drive being funded by billionaire financier Rex Sinquefield that, if approved by a majority of Missouri voters, would impose a consolidation plan on St. Louis city and county – even if voters in one or both jurisdictions reject it.
Under existing constitutional provisions ratified by Missouri voters in 1966, local leaders have the authority to develop a St. Louis consolidation plan and submit it to city and county voters for their approval. Under HJR 37, this would be exclusive mechanism for St. Louis city-county consolidation.
Although the local government structure in St. Louis has a unique history and constitutional status, there is little in state law to prohibit forced consolidations from being imposed on local governments in other parts of the state.
To protect other areas of the state from being subjected to a consolidation plan similar to what is being proposed in St. Louis, Bosley is teaming with state Rep. Bill Falkner, R-St. Joseph, to sponsor House Bill 878, which would allow only residents of political subdivisions that are subject to a proposed merger to decide whether it should be approved.