Maria Chappelle-Nadal’s Senate Joint Resolution 3 is anti-voter, anti-consolidation, anti-home rule, and a full employment act for lawyers to handle decades of lawsuits.
“That at the next general election to be held in the state of Missouri, on Tuesday next following the first Monday in November, 2016, or at a special election to be called by the governor for that purpose, there is hereby submitted to the qualified voters of this state, for adoption or rejection, the following amendment to article VI of the Constitution of the state of Missouri:”
“Section A. Sections 30(a), 30(b), 31, 32(a), 32(b), 32(c), and 33, article VI, Constitution of Missouri, are repealed and one new section adopted in lieu 3 thereof, to be known as section 30, to read as follows:”
“Section 30. The city of St. Louis shall become a part of St. Louis County and thereafter exist as a city within the county in the same manner as any other city in the county of St. Louis.”
And just like that, magically, the voters of Missouri at the next presidential election could force the City of St. Louis to become a municipality in St. Louis County.
This proposal seeks to disenfranchise the voters of St. Louis City and St. Louis County from making this decision on their own. It’s forced annexation. The Missouri Constitution presently gives the voters of St. Louis City and St. Louis County the right to reorganize their governments in concert.
- Reentry: St. Louis City Gives Up Being A County. St. Louis City and St. Louis County can negotiate a plan for the City to relinquish its county status and revenue to become a municipality only within the County.
- Consolidation: One Big St. Louis City. St. Louis City and St. Louis County can negotiate a plan to consolidate the County into the City.
- St. Louis City Annexes Part of County. St. Louis City and St. Louis County can negotiate a plan for the City to annex territory within County, expand its borders.
- Merge/Consolidate One or More Services. St. Louis City and St. Louis County can negotiate a plan to combine services by establishing a district to provide said services.
- Most Any Other Structure of Government We Want. St. Louis City and St. Louis County can negotiate a plan to create one giant county with no municipalities, create a borough system, whatever we think would be best.
We get this authority from current Missouri Constitution Article VI,
“Section 30(a). The people of the city of St. Louis and the 2 people of the county of St. Louis shall have power (1) to consolidate the territories and governments of the city and county into one political subdivision under the municipal government of the city of St. Louis; or, (2) to extend the territorial boundaries of the county so as to embrace the territory within the city and to reorganize and consolidate the county governments of the city and county, and adjust their relations as thus united, and thereafter the city may extend its limits in the manner provided by law for other cities; or, (3) to enlarge the present or future limits of the city by annexing thereto part of the territory of the county, and to confer upon the city exclusive jurisdiction of the territory so annexed to the city; or, (4) to establish a metropolitan district or districts for the functional administration of services common to the area included therein; or, (5) to formulate and adopt any other plan for the partial or complete government of all or any part of the city and the county.”
Senate Joint Resolution 3 proposes to delete the aforementioned section of the Missouri Constitution and remove the possibility of consolidating St. Louis City and St. Louis County into one large municipality or one large county without any municipalities. It also removes the possibility of consolidating services. The City will continue to provides its services or it may contract with the County for services. It may chose to become a dependent but never again will be a partner.
Senate Joint Resolution 3 also eliminates St. Louis City’s Home Rule Charter by getting rid of all of Missouri Constitution Article VI, Section 31:
“… As a city it shall continue for city purposes with its present charter, subject to changes and amendments provided by the constitution or by law, and with the powers, organization, rights and privileges permitted by this constitution or by law…”
That’s the all important Rex Sinquefield Provision. By removing that section from the Constitution, St. Louis is a municipality without a charter, possibly even disincorporated. Without a charter it is no longer a charter city, which is required for the earnings tax. The earnings tax is roughly 1/3 the City’s Budget. It nearly covers the St. Louis Police Department Budget. But then, we will be dependent on the County for everything, so what does it really matter.
Now you’re saying, that’s nuts, that can’t be. Consider, however, that each time the Missouri Constitution has been amended or there’s been an attempt to amend it, with specific regard to the City’s powers -other than proposals such as Chappelle-Nadal’s- that sentence regarding the City’s charter has always been included.
And you’ll notice this constitutional amendment offers no timeline, no reorganization plan, no process whatsoever for how any of this is supposed to work. It’s now the back-up plan in the event the whole getting rid of the earnings tax with a regional police department funded by a sales tax doesn’t work out.