Thursday, December 13, 2012

Missouri legislators respect the voters. Unless they don't. Read more here:

Missouri legislators respect the voters. Unless they don't.

Barb Shelly
Barb Shelly
In the eyes of Missouri Republicans, the voters are always right.
Except when they’re wrong.
Republicans have been leaning on Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster to get Missouri involved in the lawsuit contesting the mandatory insurance provision of the Affordable Care Act. The voters demand it, they say. And, indeed, Missouri voters affirmed a resolution last summer saying they didn’t want to participate in that aspect of health care reform.
But the voters also said in November that they approved of humane regulations to be followed by dog breeders. Things like not forcing dogs to breed too frequently, requiring adequate food and exercise and clean water, and preventing breeders from stacking cages to the wastes of one dog don’t filter down to the one below.
According to Republican lawmakers, voters were duped by the Humane Society of the United States and other far-out animal rights groups and they, the all-knowing legislators, must undo the damage. Bills to drastically amend Proposition B have passed out of House and Senate committees.
Hypocracy? Not at all, the legislators will say. After all, 71 percent of the voters approved the “Heathcare Freedom Act” last summer, while the puppy mill protections garnered only 52 percent of the vote.
But wait! Republicans also want to drastically altar a 2006 initiative that raised Missouri’s minimum wage and ordered annual adjustments based on the cost of living. That became law after passage by — wait for this — 76 percent of the voters. More than the health care resolution.
And lest we forget (though it’s not likely) lawmakers of both parties ended up making Missouri a concealed carry state, even though the majority of voters had rejected a ballot initiative to legalize concealed handguns.
The best way to sum this up is that voters are right as long as the majority of lawmakers agree with them. If they disagree, that means voters were misinformed, or something. Which kind of makes me wonder if the legislators aren’t somewhat misinformed about their role in the whole scheme of things.

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