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BULLET St. Louis City Charter Article V INITIATIVE*

St. Louis City Charter has been converted to electronic format by the staff of the St. Louis Public Library. This electronic version has been done for the interest and convenience of the user. These are unofficial versions and should be used as unofficial copies.

Official printed copies of St. Louis Missouri City Charter may be obtained from the Register's Office at the St. Louis City Hall.


Article V
INITIATIVE*

* Cases:

The people retain the right to legislate through the initiative procedure. Pitman v. Drabelle, 183 S.W. 1055. 267 Mo. 78 (1916); State v. Miller, 285 S.W. 504, 315 Mo. 41 (1926).

The people's power to amend the charter does not preclude amendments by the board of aldermen. State v. City of St. Louis, 5 S.W. 2d 1080, 319 Mo. 497 (1928).

The restriction that the board of public service must recommend a public improvement applies to proposals under the initiative as well as ordinances proposed by the board of aldermen. Baum v. City of St. Louis, 123 S.W. 2d 48, 343 Mo. 738 (1938).

The restriction that the board of public service must recommend a public improvement applies to proposals under the initiative as well as ordinances proposed by the board of aldermen. Baum v. City of St. Louis, 123 S.W. 2d 48, 343 Mo. 738 (1938).

When initiative proposal for charter amendment had signatures representing 10% but less than 15% of the registered voters at the last mayoralty election, the board of aldermen were required to place it on the ballot at the next general election even though no general election was scheduled between 30 and 90 days after certification of rejection by the board of aldermen. State ex rel. Blackwell v. Travers, 600 S.W. 2d 110 (1980).

Section 1 Use authorized.

The people shall have power, at their option to propose ordinances, including ordinances proposing amendments to this charter, and to adopt the same at the polls, with the same effect as if adopted by the board of aldermen and approved by the mayor, such power being known as the initiative. It shall be exercised as hereinafter provided, subject to the provisions of this charter.

City Counselor Ops.: 7865, 10027

Cases:

The people retain the right to initiate and adopt ordinances. State v. Miller, 285 S.W. 504, 315 Mo. 41 (1926).

The people's power to amend the charter does not preclude amendments by the board of aldermen. State v. City of St. Louis, 5 S.W. 2d 1080, 319 Mo. 497 (1928).

Initiative and referendum are essentially different. Initiative is the proposal of legislation by the public. It has no need for time limits and warrants a lesser initial support to justify submission to the voters. Referendum is the overturning of legislation enacted by the representatives of the people. It requires strict time limits so is not to unduly delay the effectiveness of duly enacted legislation and warrants a greater showing of initial support. The two are not, by their very nature, interchangeable. State ex rel. St. Louis Regional Health Care Corp. v. Wamser, 735 S.W. 2d 741 (1987).

McQuillin:

16.48--16.70 Initiative and Referendum

Section 2 Petition required.

Such an ordinance shall be proposed by petition signed by registered voters equal in number to five percent or, in case the proposed ordinance is for the submission of an amendment to the charter, ten percent of all the registered voters of the city at the time of the last preceding regular mayoralty election. Each of the papers comprising the petition shall contain the proposed ordinance in full and designate by names and addresses five persons as the committee of the petitioners.

City Counselor Ops.: 10027, 10507

Section 3 Procedure employed in recall to be followed.

Each such petition and the papers comprising same shall be governed by, and proceedings shall be had thereon in accordance with, the provisions of section 3 and 5 of article III concerning the recall, but construing said sections with reference to the petition and the sufficiency thereof required by this article.

City Counselor Ops.: 10027

Section 4 Certification of petition; submission of proposed ordinance to voters.

If the board of election commissioners find that the petition, with supplements, if any, is sufficient, it shall forthwith certify that fact, together with a copy of the petition, omitting signatures, to the board of aldermen. Unless the proposed ordinance is, without amendment, adopted and approved by the mayor, or adopted, without amendment, over his veto, within sixty days after the regular meeting of the board of aldermen next after said certification, or unless four members of the committee of the petitioners shall, within fifteen days after the expiration of said sixty days, state in writing to the clerk of the board of aldermen that there is no necessity for submitting the proposed ordinance to the voters, said clerk shall forthwith certify the failure to adopt same to the board of election commissioners. Said board of election commissioners shall thereupon provide for submitting said proposed ordinance, in its original form, to the voters at the first election at which such submission may lawfully be had, not less than thirty days after such certification to it by said clerk, and if there is no such election within ninety days after such certification, and the petition shall be signed by registered voters equal in number to seven per cent, or in case the proposed ordinance is for the submission of an amendment to the charter, fifteen per cent, of all the registered voters of the city at the time of the last preceding regular mayoralty election, then such submission shall be at a special election to be held within such ninety days if legally possible, otherwise at the earliest day on which such submission may be had at either a general or special election.

Cases:

This provision permits action earlier than the deadlines. State v. Miller, 285 S.W. 504, 315 Mo. 41 (1926).

Section 5 Form of ballot; adoption of ordinance; publication.

The ballots shall state the nature of the proposed ordinance, and to the right thereof in bold type the words "Yes" and "No" one above the other. To vote for such ordinance the voter shall strike out the word "No" and to vote against it, the word "Yes." If a majority voting on the proposed ordinance vote in favor thereof, it shall be an ordinance of the city, in effect ten days thereafter, and the board of election commissioners shall certify a copy thereof and the fact of its adoption to the register who shall number said ordinance and file and preserve said copy and certificate in his office. Such ordinance shall be published and printed copies thereof made for distribution as provided for other ordinances.

Section 6 Amendment or repeal of initiated ordinance.

No ordinance adopted at the polls under the initiative shall be amended or repealed by the board of aldermen except by vote of two-thirds of all the members, nor within one year after its adoption.

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