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Two Initiative Petitions Approved for Circulation for 2012 Ballot

JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri Secretary of State’s office today announced that two initiative petitions met state standards for circulation.

The ballot title for the petition relating to teachers and certificated staff reads:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:

• deny any state or local funds for school districts that enter into contracts with teachers or certificated staff for longer than three years, or that use years of employment to retain, remove, promote, or demote teachers;

• require local school districts to develop new salary and performance standards for teachers; and

• require all teachers and certificated staff to serve as “at will” employees who may be dismissed or demoted without cause unless they enter into a contract that meets the above provisions or are covered by an existing contract with the school district?

Estimated costs for state and local governmental entities are unknown, but the initial and annual costs could be significant (millions of dollars) depending on decisions made at the state and local level to comply with required provisions in this proposal.

The petition, which would amend Article IX of the Constitution of the State of Missouri, was submitted by Mr. Marc H. Ellinger of 308 E. High St., Ste. 301, Jefferson City MO 65101.

The ballot title for the petition relating to limiting stem cell research reads:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to change the current ban on human cloning or attempted cloning to limit Missouri patients’ access to stem cell research, therapies and cures approved by voters in November 2006 by redefining the ban on human cloning to criminalize and impose civil penalties for some existing research, therapies and cures?

This proposal could have a significant negative fiscal impact on state and local governmental entities by prohibiting certain research activities currently occurring in the state. The total costs to state and local governmental entities are unknown.

The petition, which would amend Article III of the Constitution of the State of Missouri, was submitted by Mr. Todd S. Jones, Missouri Roundtable for Life, 231 S. Bemiston. Ave., Ste. 800, St. Louis MO 63105.

Before any constitutional changes can be brought before Missouri voters in the November 2012 election, signatures must be obtained from registered voters equal to eight (8) percent of the total votes cast in the 2008 governor’s election from six of the state’s nine congressional districts.

Signatures on behalf of all initiative petitions for the 2012 ballot are due to the Secretary of State’s office by no later than 5 p.m. on May 6, 2012.

Before circulating petitions, state law requires that groups must first have the form of their petition approved by the Secretary of State and Attorney General. The Secretary of State then prepares a summary statement of no more than 100 words and the State Auditor prepares a fiscal impact statement, both of which are subject to the approval of the Attorney General. When both statements are approved, they become the official ballot title.

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