VOTER EDUCATION: Governor Withholds, Constitutional Amendment 10

Subject: 2014 Ballot Measures in Missouri
Gate Way Group Contact: David M. Jackson
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Ballot Title: “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?”

Fair Ballot Language: A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution regarding the requirements placed on the governor for proposing a state budget and for withholding money appropriated in the budget passed by the legislature. This amendment prohibits the governor from reducing funding passed by the general assembly without receiving legislative consent, and provides certain other restrictions on the governor’s ability to increase or decrease line items in the budget. This amendment further prohibits the governor from proposing a budget that relies on revenue from legislation that has not yet passed in the general assembly.

A “no” vote will not amend the Missouri Constitution regarding the requirements placed on the governor for proposing a state budget and for withholding money appropriated in the budget passed by the legislature.

If passed, this measure will have no impact on taxes.

Issue Summary: Upon voter approval, this constitutional amendment prohibits the Governor from determining estimated available state revenues when making budget recommendations to the General Assembly using any projection of new revenues to be created from proposed legislation that has not been passed into law by the General Assembly. The Governor may include estimates of any unspent fund balances that will constitute a surplus during the immediately preceding fiscal year or years for which the Governor is recommending a budget. New revenues cannot include existing provisions of law subject to expiration during the ensuing appropriation period.

The amendment prohibits the Governor from reducing any appropriation for the payment of public debt and requires him or her to notify the General Assembly by proclamation whenever the rate of expenditure for any appropriation is not expended in equal quarterly allotments or when the Governor reduces one or more items or a portion of an item of appropriation of money because actual revenues are less than the revenue estimates upon which the appropriations were based. The appropriation can be reconsidered in the same manner as a bill is reconsidered anytime the General Assembly is in session or when the next General Assembly convenes.

Source: Missouri Secretary of State