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Missouri votes no on constitutional convention, yes on new National Guard department

By Luke Nozicka – The Kansas City Star

As they have for decades, Missourians on Tuesday again voted not to hold a constitutional convention, which would have triggered a gathering of delegates to propose changes to the state’s most significant document.

The question of whether to meet to make amendments to the state constitution is put before voters every 20 years, meaning it will be on the ballot again in 2042.

The last time voters called for a constitutional convention was in 1942, when changes were needed to “guide the state into the post-World War II future,” as the Secretary of State’s Office once put it.

Had voters wanted a convention, Gov. Mike Parson would have selected a date in the coming months for it to begin in Jefferson City. There, dozens of selected delegates would have made suggested changes to the constitution, which then would have required approval from voters during a special election.

Voters, however, decided Tuesday they wanted other changes that included requiring Kansas City to increase it police spending as well as making recreational marijuana legal statewide for adults 21 and older.

Missourians also voted to split the state’s National Guard off into its own department. It is currently part of the state’s Department of Public Safety, but will soon operate as its own department, increasing its budget by about $132,000 a year.

Supporters say the move will give the Missouri-based military force more of a direct line to state leadership, considering its head will serve as a member of the governor’s cabinet. It will now be called the Missouri Department of the National Guard.

Voters additionally said no Tuesday to an amendment that would have given more power to Missouri’s treasurer to invest the state’s money in additional kinds of securities.

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© 2022 The Kansas City Star

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Source: American Military News

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