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MISSOURI CONSTITUTION NOTES UPDATED JANUARY OF 2011.

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1 MISSOURI CONSTITUTION NOTES UPDATED JANUARY OF 2011

2 INDIANS – Mound Builders – Missouri – Osage – Fox – Sauk FRENCH INVOLVEMENT – First white people to explore Missouri – Marquette, Joliet, and Lasalle were trappers who explored and claimed the area for France

3 – Napolean sold the Louisiana Territory to the United States in 1803 (President Jefferson) to fund his war in Europe – The Louisiana Purchase doubled the size of the United States. MISSOURI TERRITORY – Organized in 1812 with 20,000 people – Received bloody attacks from Native Americans MISSOURI STATEHOOD

4 – Applied for admission to the United State’s Congress in 1818 – Controversy arose as to whether Missouri would be accepted as a slave or free state. – It takes a majority of the House and a majority of the Senate plus the signature of the President to pass a bill and make it a law. Since each state gets two senators, regardless of population, this could have upset the fragile balance in Congress and caused war. – In 1821 the Missouri Compromise established Maine as a free state and Missouri as a slave state preserving the balance

5 – Missouri became the 24 th state in the Union MISSOURI’S FIRST CAPITALS – St. Louis (first) – St. Charles (1821) – Jefferson City (1826 to present) INDEPENDENCE, MISSOURI – Head of the Santa Fe Trail to the Southwest – Also head of the Oregon Trail to the Northwest

6 PRE-CIVIL WAR TENSIONS IN MISSOURI – Convention was held in 1861 (first year of war) – Voted to stay in the Union even though Missouri was a slave state. – Many in the divided state supported the South – Violence and guerilla warfare broke out MISSOURI CONSTITUTIONS – First adopted in 1820 – Later in 1865, 1875, and 1945 it was rewritten

7 – Similar to the United States Constitution (has to be or Congress would not accept it) – Has a Bill of Rights just like US Constitution – Has 3 branches of government just like the Federal government does THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH – Its purpose is to make laws – Consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives

8 – Both houses grouped together as one body is called the General Assembly or the Legislature. – Meets every year on the first Wednesday after the first Monday in January. – Regular session Until May 15 th in even numbered years Until June 30 th in odd numbered years – Special session Can only be called by the Governor Limited to 60 days

9 – Requirements to become a senator 30 years old or older Qualified voter for 3 years Resident of their district for at least one year Elected by the people in their district only – Requirements to become a representative 24 years old or older Qualified voter for 2 years Resident of their district for at least one year Elected by the people in their district only

10 – General Assembly details Quorum required (majority of members) Each house determines their own rules May punish members for disorderly behavior May expel members by a 2/3 majority vote Each house is divided into committees All members come from single member districts District boundaries can be changed to reflect population movements Changing a district’s size and shape is known as reapportionment

11 – Senate details 34 senators for 34 districts (we’re in the 33 rd ) 4 year terms/can be reelected once Elections held in even numbered years ½ elected every 2 years (staggered terms) Lieutenant Governor presides (leads) over the Senate but only votes in the case of a tie President Pro Tempore takes over if Lt. Governor cannot serve or is absent Serves as a jury in impeachment cases

12 – House of Representatives details 163 members from 163 districts (we’re in the 151 st ) 2 year terms/ can be reelected 3 times Elections held in even numbered years The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer May start impeachment proceedings All members are either elected or reelected every 2 years.

13 LAWMAKING PROCESS – Patterned after the federal Congress – To become a law all bills must pass by a simple majority (that’s one over ½ present) – Be signed or vetoed (rejected) by the Governor – To become a law after the Governor has vetoed the bill, the House and the Senate must override the veto by a 2/3 majority in each chamber – Less than ¼ of all bills become a law which means all bills have a high death rate. – Lobbies or a lobby are persons or groups of persons who inform and influence law makers to vote in their favor

14 – Six step simplified process for a bill to become a law Bill is introduced in the House or Senate Bill is read and discussed in committee Bill is discussed and passed by the house that introduced it/must pass by a simple majority Same process occurs in the other house Bill goes to a joint committee (made up of a few members from each house) to work out a compromise bill if the two house pass different versions of the same bill/the compromise bill goes to both houses for vote Governor either signs or vetoes the bill

15 EXECUTIVE BRANCH – Enforces and administers (carries out) laws – The Governor is the highest ranking officer – Qualifications for Governor Citizen of the United States for at least 15 years Qualified voter of the state Live in Missouri 10 years prior to election At least 30 years old or older – Governor approves (by signing) or vetoes bills passed by the Legislature

16 – Other duties of the Governor Appoint members to state government ( some require Senate approval) Remove appointed officials for not doing their job Grant pardons (excuse or forgive without penalty) Grant reprieves (temporary suspension of sentence) Grant commutations (reduced sentence) Approve spending of federal aid money, state purchases of land, and approve construction of highways and airports. Represent the state in interstate meetings

17 Explain the goals of the administration to the citizens (usually does this in the State of the State Address) Construct and submit the state budget Call special sessions of the General Assembly Commander in Chief of the State Militia – Veto procedures Reject the entire bill Line Item Veto where the Governor can reject parts of appropriation (money) bills

18 – Other members of the executive branch Lieutenant Governor – Presides over the state Senate – Votes only to break a tie – Becomes governor if the governor can no longer serve – Serves on committees and acts as the Governor’s representative Secretary of State – Records, files, and certifies public documents – Titles and licenses for automobiles – Central election officer – Keeper of the Seal (official stamp for official papers)

19 – Attorney General Chief law enforcement officer Provides legal and criminal investigation for the state Provides state legal representation Advises state offices on legal rights and responsibilities Provides Governor or Legislature with legal opinions – State Treasurer 4 year term/reelected once Manages state’s funds Invests state monies Pays out state’s funds as directed

20 – State Auditor Examines accounts of all state agencies Determines the following: – Are the agencies operating within the law? – Are they operating with top efficiency? – Are they operating with the least cost possible? – 14 other major departments in the executive branch (appointed by the Governor and approved by the Senate Agriculture Conservation

21 Corrections and Human Services Economic development Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Highways and Transportation Labor and Industrial Relations Mental Health Natural Resources Public Safety Revenue (Taxes) Social Services

22 JUDICIAL BRANCH – System of state courts – Meets the needs of justice (what’s deserved) – Municipal Courts Exists in Missouri counties Probate Court – Jurisdiction(authority over) wills, estates, juveniles, incompetent individuals – Judges have 4 year terms Magistrate Court – Hears minor criminal cases – These are called misdemeanors

23 – Circuit Courts and Associate Circuit Courts 5 judicial circuits (circles) Principal (main) trial courts Broad jurisdiction over civil and criminal matters Judges are elected to 6 year terms 133 circuit judges 170 associate circuit judges

24 – Courts of Appeal (hear for second time) Next step in appealing case from lower court) Three districts in St. Louis, Kansas City, and Springfield Governor appoints judges to a 12 year term, but each must be approved by the General Assembly to stay – Supreme Court Final authority on the state constitution No testimony (live witness) only a review of briefs Most cases come from lower courts Seven justices (judges)/ one is chief Appointed to 12 year terms

25 – Qualifications for all judges United States and Missouri citizen Resident of district where elected or appointed Licensed attorney Devote full time to court/no side practice All courts under the supervision of the Supreme Court

26 MISSOURI VOTING – Not a duty (something you have to do) – Responsibility (something you should do) – Freedom (you are allowed to) – Privilege (something many in the world can’t) – Voter qualifications 18 years or older by election day Live in precinct (specified place you vote) 30 days prior to the election and properly registered United States Citizen

27 – General elections (actual person for job chosen) Held every 2 years Elects all representatives and ½ of the senators County and state officials elected Every 4 years coincides with the Presidential election, other years are known as “off year” Held on Tuesday after the first Monday in November of even numbered years

28 – Primary elections Elects one candidate from each party to run for each available position Held first Tuesday in August Partisan means usually Republican or Democrat but could refer to any party Non-partisan means does not belong to or does not reflect any party membership – Referendum Usually by petition of signed citizens a new law or change is proposed Voters decide directly on the issue/not through officials

29 – Absentee ballot Allows one to vote before election day Several reasons might be considered by the County Clerk in allowing absentee ballot – Going to be away on election day – Physically unable to get to the polls (voting place) – In the military on active duty – Other reasonable excuses

30 – Disqualified from voting because Convicted of a felony (serious crime) Officially deemed incompetent (not able to mentally make decisions like these) Note: one cannot vote while serving a jail sentence but can return to voting once they are out

31 LOCAL GOVERNMENT – County government We live in Howell County There are 114 counties in Missouri – County functions » Enforce laws (mainly the Sheriff’s Dept.) » Prosecuting offenders » Build and maintain roads and bridges » Keep records at the local level » Conduct elections (County Clerk) » Assess property value for tax purposes » Collect taxes » There are other jobs

32 – Townships Counties are divided into townships Several officials are elected such as – Supervisor – Clerk – Assessor – Auditor Note: if you live in the county seat (sort of like the capital of the county) you don’t need the above officials because the county officials are already there.

33 – Special purpose districts exist in every county and include library, park, or school districts just to mention a few – Home Rule is a Missouri law that states that citizens have the freedom to choose what ever local government they see fit

34 MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT – Municipality City Village Town – Created at the request of the citizens – Provides immediately needed local services – Largest is Kansas City – Smallest as few as 100 people

35 – Mayor-Council form Oldest form of city government in the United States Came originally from England/used in the colonies Size of council depends on population City is divided into wards with 1-3 alderpersons (representatives) in each one Council is the legislative (lawmaking) body Mayor may veto legislation Council can override the mayor with a 2/3 majority Mayor is elected by whole city Most popular form of city government in Missouri

36 – Council-Manager form Manager is hired by elected council to run city Mayor is elected/just another council member 34 Missouri cities use this form – Commission form Elected group of commissioners, usually 5 Have legislative and executive power Each commissioner runs their own department – Trustee Village Elected board of trustees/from 5-9 Legislative and executive May appoint officials and experts to handle problems

37 MISSOURI CITIES – St. Louis 2 nd largest in state Highly industrialized Meeting place of Missouri and Mississippi rivers Became a city in 1822 – Kansas City Largest in state Meeting place of Kansas and Missouri rivers Warehouse and distribution center/center of USA Became a city in 1850

38 – Springfield Third largest city in Missouri Became a city in 1847 Lumber, mining, and farming center Four colleges and many health care facilities – Independence Head of both Oregon and Santa Fe trails Hometown of President Harry S. Truman Became a city in 1849 Fourth largest city

39 TAXATION AND FINANCE – Citizens demand services from government – Services have to be paid for/hence—taxes – Largest amount of taxes goes to the federal government – Income tax (tax paid as a percentage of a salary or wages) is progressive which means the more you make in income the higher the percentage rate you will be charged

40 – Missouri taxation Most money comes from the federal government Missouri’s yearly budget is well over 10 billion dollars Lottery contributes a part Governor must present a budget (spending plan) within 30 days after the General Assembly begins its session The Legislature must approve any spending

41 POLITICAL PARTIES – Not mentioned in the Constitution – First two parties were the federalist and the antifederalist – Functions of political parties Nominate candidates for voters Inform voters on important issues Select qualified/reputable people Party out of power (minority) serve as a “watch dog” over the party in power (majority) Conducts business of government along party lines (plans) – Main two parties are Democratic and Republican

42 MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION – Article-each section of the constitution – County Clerk supervises local elections – Capital city is Jefferson City – County Commission takes care of County roads – Only the people can change our constitution – State Song: The Missouri Waltz – State bird: bluebird – State flower: hawthorn

43 – State tree: Dogwood – State nickname: “The Show Me State” – State Motto: “Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law” – Governor: Jay Nixon – States that border Missouri IowaTennessee Kentucky Illinois Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Arkansas

44 – Mississippi forms our eastern boundary TERMS TO KNOW – Double jeopardy: a person cannot be tried for the same single crime twice if found innocent the first time no matter what evidence is found later – Ex Post Facto: a person cannot be arrested for something they did before that act became illegal – Right to Bear Arms: You have the right to own and use firearms (2 nd Amendment/US Constitution)

45 – Habeus Corpus: a person shall not be held in jail for more than 20 hours without being brought before a judge and told what they are charged with – Eminent Domain: The state can force you to sell your land if it is judged to be in the best interest of the public (roads for example) – Preamble: introduction to the constitution


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