The Missouri House may vote THIS WEEK to give the Speaker of the House unprecedented power to decide the fate of all bills. HR11, unless modified, would take away the power you give your legislator to represent you.
What is HR 11?
House Resolution 11 (HR 11) is a bill that outlines the rules by which the Missouri House of Representatives will operate. Every two years, the Missouri Reps agree on the rules that determine the flow of legislation through this branch of Missouri government.
Though House Rules have changed over the years, the modifications this session are extreme in that they would further give one person, the Speaker of the House, unprecedented authority to dictate the agenda of the entire House at the expense of the other 162 Reps and the voters who elected them.
What Does HR 11 Do?
If passed, this resolution would, in part:
– Give the Speaker sole power to appoint a subcommittee, taking that
power away from the committee chairman.
– Designate which rules committee would hear a bill after it is voted out of
– Reduce the number of bills that can be filed by each member without
the Speaker’s permission to 20.
The Missouri House should be a place where many ideas are discussed and many bills are heard. The outcome should not be predetermined before session begins by one person, who could easily be influenced by special interests.
Why is Giving the Speaker More Power a Problem?
As Ron Calzone from Missouri First (mofirst.org) explains, “Political power should NOT be concentrated in a few hands, but should be distributed evenly among the originators and representatives of that power. (e.g. “one man, one vote”). Elected officials are supposed to be stewards of the power the people loaned them and have no right to cede that power to anyone else, but that’s what happens every two years when senators and representatives at both the state and federal level vote on a new set of rules for their respective chambers.”
These new House Rules would make Missouri Representatives “vassals of the people in leadership positions.”
What Does the MO Constitution Say?
The Missouri Constitution affirms the natural rights of Missourians. All laws passed in the legislature must be in keeping with the Constitution. What does it say about your power?
“In order to assert our rights, acknowledge our duties, and proclaim the principles on which our government is founded, we declare: That all political power is vested in and derived from the people; that all government of right originates from the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole.” — MO Constitution, Article 1, Section 1
Representatives Should Be Stewards of the Power You Give Them
Mr. Calzone, in his recent article also writes, “The primary function of leaders, from the Speaker to committee chairmen, is to make sure voters have a say. In fact, that’s the way it used to be in our great state. The rules that govern the House of Representatives must NOT be changed in such a way that give a few, choice members in leadership MORE power, but in ways that divest that power back into the hands of each and every member.”
What Can YOU Do?
Call or email your Missouri Representative TODAY. This vote may take place tomorrow, Wed. Jan. 11th.
Tell them that unless substantial changes are made in the points enumerated above, that they need to vote “NO” on HR 11 when it comes to the House floor this week.
Concessions are being made, but there is still work to be done. Let your Rep know that you expect him/her to guard the power you gave them, just like the brave Representatives in Washington DC did last week. Our great state is depending on this pivotal action.
Please call, email and pray that these legislators will do the right thing.
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