Missouri Latest State To Thwart Voter-Approved Policies

May 3, 2021

Credit KSMU - Ozarks Public Radio

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Legislature is the latest statehouse fighting to undo voter-backed ballot measures. Missouri's GOP-led Senate this past week voted against paying for voter-approved Medicaid expansion. The battle between Missouri lawmakers and voters is just one example of pushback to direct democracy. The purpose of ballot initiatives is to let voters address issues that lawmakers don't act on.

Direct democracy expert Craig Burnett says by definition, voter-driven policies clash with what lawmakers want to do. Legislatures in response often try to claw power back and overturn ballot initiatives. South Dakota, Utah, Montana, Arizona and Florida are all states where lawmakers recently sought to undermine voter-approved measures.