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Thursday, April 10, 2008


With the bare minimum number of votes required, the House of Representatives on April 3 voted 82-68 in favor of a proposed constitutional amendment that would limit the authority of state courts. Majority House Republicans shut down debate to force the vote after more than an hour of discussion.

HJR 41 sponsored by state Rep. Jane Cunningham, R-Chesterfield, would prohibit state judges from ruling in cases involving taxation. Supporters say it would prevent judges from imposing tax increases, something a Missouri judges have never done as they are already prohibited from doing so by the state constitution. Opponents say it will prevent Missourians from seeking redress in state courts in legitimate disputes involving taxation.

The measure now goes to the Senate, which hasn’t acted on previous attempts by the House to strip state courts of authority. If the proposal does clear the Senate, it would go on the statewide ballot in November.

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