Mallory Herrmann

A ballot initiative to promote transparency in the state legislature and to change how voting districts are drawn in the state of Missouri got some attention in Lee’s Summit this week.

Former State Senator Bob Johnson joined Cheryl Barnes from the League of Women Voters of Missouri to show support for the measure on the steps of city hall. The event took place on the afternoon of August 28, drawing a few supporters and members of the press.

The “Clean Missouri” initiative, known as amendment 1 on this November’s ballot, would amend the state’s constitution to establish a state demographer position to draw state legislative districts. It would also prohibit state legislators (and their employees) from becoming paid lobbyists for two years after serving in office and limit the value of gifts that state legislators (and their employees) can accept from paid lobbyists to $5.

Missouri is one of four states that will consider amendments related to voting districts this fall. Colorado, Michigan and Utah will vote on whether to create an independent commission to redraw state and congressional districts.

If passed, amendment 1 would also require additional public transparency into legislative records and proceedings and change the limits on campaign contributions to $2,500 for state senators and $2,000 for state representatives.

Johnson, who also served in the Missouri House of Representatives, said that as a former member of both chambers he has “seen the system fail Missourians firsthand.” He currently serves on the city council of Lee’s Summit.

Supporters of the amendment echo the Clean Missouri website, saying that it will “increase ethics, integrity, transparency and accountability in state government.”