Constitution Party Positions on Ballot Amendments

Posted: November 2, 2014 in Elections, Legislative Issues
Tags: , ,

The Constitution Party has put together a good list of the amendments on the upcoming ballot. Please research these before you vote so that you don’t go in blind and only consider the snippet of information given to you on the actual ballot.

Notably, the judges up for re-election are all recommended as “yes” votes by the Judge’s Association. Not very surprising. Also, it doesn’t appear to be very wise. Please find out whether the judges are supportive of individual rights or increasing coffers for foolish penalties.

Here is the CP stand on the upcoming amendments:

 

Amendments

See how the Constitution Party stands on Missouri’s constitutional amendments on the August primary election ballot.

Constitutional Amendment #10

This amendment is more about partisan wrangling over who will control the purse strings. It contains a mix of good and bad together. If you mix a good idea with the right amount of bad ideas, everyone has a reason to vote for it or against it. You will not feel the effects of this either way.

This is the ballot language that pertains to the budget:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to require the governor to pay the public debt, to prohibit the governor from relying on revenue from legislation not yet passed when proposing a budget, and to provide a legislative check on the governor’s decisions to restrict funding for education and other state services?

If this amendment passes, it will guarantee that the Governor could never withhold any money we owe on our debts. It’s always honorable to pay our debts. Missouri should always pay its debts before it spends one dime anywhere else in the budget. That is the measurement of our integrity and demonstrates our sense of responsibility.

However, we do not need a new Constitutional Amendment to force the Governor to pay our debts.

Anytime we don’t spend money, it is a good thing! How can you not be happy about that?

Currently the Governor can withhold funds from other line items. This new amendment will make it harder for him to do that.

However, a governor’s withholding money usually results in less spending which is always a win for the taxpayers. In the intervening time when the funds are being withheld, the governmental entity lives with less. Even after the Governor releases the money later, the department may not have enough time to spend it all before the year is over, so the year may end with a savings.

The Constitution Party recommends voting “NO” on Amendment #10

Constitutional Amendment # 6

(HJR 90 from 2014)

This is the ballot language:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to permit voting in person or by mail for a period of six business days prior to and including the Wednesday before the election day in general elections, but only if the legislature and the governor appropriate and disburse funds to pay for the increased costs of such voting?

State governmental entities estimated startup costs of about $2 million and costs to reimburse local election authorities of at least $100,000 per election. Local election authorities estimated higher reimbursable costs per election. Those costs will depend on the compensation, staffing, and, planning decisions of election authorities with the total costs being unknown.

From now on in a normal 4-year election cycle, there is one March Presidential Primary, four April, two August and two November elections. There might also be other elections in some counties or possibly a statewide “Special” election.

This amendment would allow early voting in ONLY the November elections. All other elections are not included. Additionally, this will allow very limited early voting to happen only if the legislature appropriates the money.

Early voting only in November will confuse voters and, with the process being subject to appropriation, might not even happen consistently.

This is bad legislation and should not pass.

The Constitution Party recommends voting “NO” on Amendment #6

Please click here to learn more about the Constitutional viewpoint on “Election Reform”:   http://cpmo.us/2014/06/platform/#Election%20Reform

For a more in-depth examination on the Early Voting ballot language, please click here:
http://cpmo.us/2014/10/early-voting/

 

Constitutional Amendment #2

(HJR 16 from 2013)

This Amendment pertains to sexual predators.  Everyone despises sexual predators. When children are the victims, it is even more despicable.

On first glance, we all should have strong feelings about how horrible it is for anyone to hurt anybody, especially a child.  This might pass because people think we can do something more than what we are already doing.  However, we already have laws to punish sexual predators.

We are supposed to be considered innocent until proven guilty.  Our justice system is designed so that it protects both the innocent and the victims alike and punishes the guilty.  That is justice.

Passage of this amendment is a distortion of how we achieve justice in our court system.  It would allow “prior criminal acts, whether charged or uncharged”, to be used in a prosecution.

Fact #1: if a person is never charged, there is no prior criminal act. So what “relevant evidence” could there possibly be of an “uncharged” act.

Fact #2: “The court may exclude relevant evidence of prior criminal acts, etc.” So, if the evidence relates to an “uncharged act”, the court may not exclude it. Remember an uncharged act is not a criminal act. An uncharged act is one which legally does not exist.

Fact #3:  Words have meaning. Words are important. The way the wording was written, it says that “the court can exclude evidence of prior criminal acts…”, but the language doesn’t allow for the court to exclude evidence of “an uncharged act”.  The end result is that a criminal charge can be excluded if it prejudices a jury, but if it were for an uncharged crime, it cannot be excluded.

Here is the actual language that will be changed if this passes:

Section 18(c). Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 17 and 18(a) of this article to the contrary, in prosecutions for crimes of a sexual nature involving a victim under eighteen years of age, relevant evidence of prior criminal acts,whether charged or uncharged, is admissible for the purpose of corroborating the victim’s testimony or demonstrating the defendant’s propensity to commit the crime with which he or she is presently charged. The court may exclude relevant evidence of prior criminal acts if the probative value of the evidence is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice.[4]

The Constitution Party recommends voting “NO” on Amendment #2

For a more in-depth examination, please click here:
http://cpmo.us/2014/09/ballot-questions/

Constitutional Amendment #3

 

(by petition initiative)

Article IX of the Missouri Constitution establishes the framework for education in Missouri. Section 161 establishes the Department of elementary and secondary education which oversees and supervises public education in the state.

When you cut through all the legal language, this amendment deals with hiring, firing, promoting and disciplining of teachers.

These are not issues that should be placed into the Constitution of the state.

Each local school board should pass its own laws on how they want to run the district as there are no legal obstacles preventing any district from passing these reforms at the school board level right now.

Amendment #3 says this:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:

  1. Require teachers to be evaluated by a standards based performance evaluation system for which each local school district must receive state approval to continue receiving state and local funding;
  2. Require teachers to be dismissed, retained, demoted, promoted and paid primarily using quantifiable student performance data as part of the evaluation system;
  3. Require teachers to enter into contracts of three years or fewer with public schooldistricts; and prohibit teachers from organizing or collectively bargaining regarding the design and implementation of the teacher evaluation system?

The Constitution Party recommends voting “NO” on Amendment #3

Please click here to understand the Constitutional viewpoint on “Education”:   http://cpmo.us/2014/06/platform/#Education

For a more in-depth examination on the ballot language, please click here:
http://cpmo.us/2014/09/education-2/

 

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