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Capitol Perspectives: Initiative and Referenda: Does Missouri’s system still empower voters?

by Mark D. Hughes

Missouri is one of 24 states that permits initiative petition — placing statutory or constitutional changes directly before voters for their approval. This concept was born of the progressive movement that swept America at the turn of the 20th century.

In 1904, the Missouri Direct Legislation League, led by St. Louis attorney Silas L. Moser, lobbied the Legislature to place an initiative petition and referendum amendment

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