Unlike the U.S. Constitution, the Missouri Constitution imposes many explicit limitations on how the government is permitted to make laws. For example:
- Article III, section 21, states that “no bill shall be so amended in its passage through either house [of the General Assembly] as to change its original purpose.”
- Article III, section 23, requires that bills considered by the General Assembly have no more than “one subject which shall be clearly expressed in its title.”
- Article III, section 38(a), denies the General Assembly power “to grant public money or property, or lend or authorize the lending of public credit, to any private person, association or corporation[.]“
- Article III, section 40, forbids the General Assembly to enact “local” or “special laws” that target only very limited, defined group of local governments or citizens.
The people of Missouri had good reasons for imposing these restrictions on the lawmaking process – but the legislature routinely ignores them and its actions are almost never challenged. The Freedom Center will work to make sure that these constitutional limitations are both understood and respected.