This week in House floor action, I am happy to report that we saw the quick passage of a bill that supports and affirms good government procedure and protocol. HB 110, sponsored by Rep. Jason Smith (R-Salem) makes Missouri law clear that the voice of the people will be heard when filling a vacancy for a statewide office such as; governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, state auditor, and state treasurer. The measure passed with a vote of 115-45.
HB 110 is legislation that will ensure the power, to select statewide office holders, remains in the possession of the people. The current system—based on precedent, not law—excludes the people from the process. In the past, the governor has been allowed to select an individual to fill a vacancy in the office of lt. governor. HB 110 simply clarifies our law to say that the governor can fill a vacant office on a temporary basis only. That appointee would then serve as the formal placeholder until the time of the next general election, at which time the people would elect the new individual to fill that particular statewide seat.
Furthermore, this legislation stipulates that the governor must call for the special election to coincide with a scheduled general election. This is an important change that would give the people a say in the process without creating an additional financial burden for Missouri taxpayers.
Now we wait for action on HB 110 by the senate so that it can go before the governor for his approval. Upon the governor’s signature, it would immediately become law because it contains an emergency clause. This measure is an example of the common sense government the people deserve. The voters should have the ultimate authority to decide who represents them in the halls of government.
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