Amendment 7's wording called blatantly misleading
November 05, 2006
COLUMBIA, MO - Tim Gibbons, communications director of the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, is adamant about voting down Amendment 7 that appears on the November 7, 2006 ballot in Missouri. He's labeled the amendment's wording a "trick," a "blatant attempt to mislead voters."

While, he says that the "discipline section" pertaining to the "compensation and discipline of public officials" appears on the ballot, the "salary process for elected officials" will not. He says that this will be on the ballot:

Beginning January 1, 2007, this proposed constitutional amendment prohibits, upon voter approval, public officials from receiving any state pension if they are convicted of felonies while serving in office, removed from office for misconduct, or impeached.

This will not be on the ballot, but will become effective if the amendment is passed:

The amendment requires a two-thirds majority vote by the General Assembly in order to veto the compensation schedule recommended by the Missouri Citizens' Commission on Compensation for Elected Officials. The requirement that the compensation schedule be subject to appropriations by the General Assembly is repealed. No compensation schedule approved by the commission will apply to members of the General Assembly until January 1, 2009.

Under current law, he says, a citizen's commission proposed pay raises for judges, lawmakers and statewide officials. But lawmakers have to appropriate money for the raises. Under Amendment 7, the commission's salary recommendations automatically would go into effect unless lawmakers reject them by a two thirds vote rather than the current simple majority necessary, he adds. He calls this change a "very, very unlikely" scenario.

What this means is that the governor-appointed 22-member citizen's commission almost would have the final say on pay raises. In the past lawmakers blocked salary increases for judges. This amendment is said to ensure an increase for judges who have gone six years without one. Currently, supreme court judges are paid $123,000, appellate court judges get $115,000, circuit court judges $108,000, and associate circuit judges $96,000.

Four members of the 12 recently appointed by Gov. Matt Blunt to the commission subject to Senate confirmation, for a term ending February 1, 2008, are:

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 ThreadAuthorViewsRepliesLast Post Date

Voting no on Amendment 7rbuckle118302006-11-05 21:03:16