MO Senate Democrats Defeat Republican Attack On Direct Citizen Action

Government and Politics

May 17, 2024

The Missouri Democratic Party sincerely thanks our Senate Democrats for standing strong for over 50 hours to successfully block the Missouri GOP’s attempt to make it harder for voters to bypass a dysfunctional legislature and take direct action. Extremist Republicans in the Missouri State Senate spent the entirety of this legislative session fighting to make it harder for voters to hold their elected officials accountable at the ballot box by changing the rules for citizen-driven initiative petitions. Because of the Senate Democrats’ hard fight against this attack on our Democracy, the resolution was ultimately defeated.

Missouri’s initiative petition process has allowed Missourians frustrated by the lack of progress on key issues by a dysfunctional Republican supermajority to take their own action and make change in their communities. This failed attack on our right to take citizen action by the GOP was driven by the hundreds of thousands of Missourians who have decided to stand against their extreme and cruel abortion ban and send a message that their constant attacks on our reproductive freedom have gone too far.

“We have watched Missourians band together and successfully work to expand Medicaid coverage and reject the so-called ‘right-to-work’ initiative that would have shifted more power from workers to employers, among other successful initiatives, and that is why the Republican supermajority wants to take our right to take citizen action away from us. Instead of allowing Missourians to make their voices heard and protect their right to make their personal family planning decisions in private, Republicans in the state legislature simply tried to take our voice away,” said Missouri Democratic Party Chair Russ Carnahan.

“Because Democrats in the state senate fought for over 50 hours, the GOP’s brazen attack on our Democracy failed. Instead of fighting to solve critical issues, including access to affordable and quality healthcare, public education, and improving the safety of our roads and bridges, this Republican supermajority spent the entire legislative session pushing their extreme agenda and how they could further strip us of our hard-earned rights and freedoms. They pushed so hard, that they ultimately couldn’t get their own priority across the finish line. Missourians will send a strong message to these politicians in November to stop these attacks and get to work for our communities.”


(WATCH) NBC News: Record-Breaking Filibuster By Missouri Lawmakers

Kansas City Star: Missouri Senate Democrats Force Negotiations On Plan To Weaken Direct Democracy

Missouri Independent: 50-Hour Filibuster Forces More Negotiations On GOP-Backed Initiative Petition Changes

(LISTEN) The Downballot: Missouri Dems Filibuster GOP Into Submission

Springfield News-Leader:

“Missouri was the first state to trigger a near-total abortion ban in 2022 when Roe v. Wade was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. Abortions are only allowed in extreme cases to save the life of the mother, but doctors are still hesitant to perform abortions due to the strict legal liability associated with doing so in the state.”

“Following the launch of the campaign to restore abortion rights with the least restrictions, members of the Freedom Caucus engaged in a filibuster to force Senate leaders to bring the initiative petition legislation to a floor debate, citing the abortion measure as a cause for immediate action.”

Kansas City Star:

“Missouri Republicans have for years attacked the state’s initiative petition process, which has been utilized by voters of both parties to bypass the General Assembly and put measures to a statewide vote. The criticism comes as voters have in recent years passed several progressive policies, including marijuana legalization and Medicaid expansion. Republicans argue that the current process has allowed outside interest groups to influence elections. But this year, as a coalition of abortion rights groups embark on a campaign to put abortion rights on the ballot through an initiative petition, Republicans have doubled down on the effort.”

Missouri Independent: Democrat Filibuster Forces Removal Of ‘Ballot Candy’ From Senate Initiative Petition Bill