Taking action to secure our elections

By State Sen. Ben Brown, Missouri's 26th District
Posted 4/10/24

One of the best phrases a senator can hear on the floor is about their sponsored legislation is “The bill is declared perfected and ordered printed.”

At this stage, the language has …

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Taking action to secure our elections


One of the best phrases a senator can hear on the floor is about their sponsored legislation is “The bill is declared perfected and ordered printed.”

At this stage, the language has been finalized, and the proposal is one roll call vote away from passage and moving into the other chamber. On April 2, I had the privilege of hearing this sought after phrase as Senate Joint Resolution 78 was perfected.

I introduced SJR 78 to improve confidence in our electoral system, restore and preserve faith in this fundamental pillar of democracy and ensure every Missourian’s voice is heard and counted. In the spirit of transparency and integrity, SJR 78 proposes an outright ban of ranked choice voting (RCV) in the state

While RCV may seem like a modern solution for electoral dilemmas, I believe the complexity overshadows clarity and the promise of inclusivity is marred by the disenfranchisement of voters. Multiple rounds of calculation, confusing language and the exclusion, discounting or removal of ballots should alarm everyone. I am optimistic this resolution will pass and give voters a chance to prohibit RCV in Missouri, uphold a tried-and-true system of one person — one vote and fortify the basic requirements to register to vote in Missouri.

The second provision of this bill pertains to non-citizen voting. It would amend our state constitution to only allow U.S. citizens to vote in our elections. This issue was the subject of much debate earlier in the year before unfortunately being stripped off of the initiative petition reform bill that passed the senate. I was proud to finally get this provision through the Senate and I believe this is a great step towards strengthening the integrity of our elections going forward.

The Senate Economic Development and Tax Policy Committee I chair advanced several House proposals this week I was happy to endorse. Since House Bill 1511 is similar in scope to a bill I filed, I look forward to handling it in the Senate. The measure will require political subdivisions that adopt an ordinance requiring the installation of electric vehicle charging stations to cover the costs associated with installing, operating and maintaining the stations themselves rather than placing that burden upon the business owner.

The other proposal the committee passed will establish the “Regulatory Sandbox Act” and create the Regulatory Relief Office within the Department of Economic Development. The purpose of the Sandbox program and new office are to identify state regulations that could be waived or suspended to allow prospective businesses a two-year period to develop innovative products for consumers. This would grant the department some flexibility and oversight, while giving participating business owners the opportunity to try, test and develop new products with less risk. This is similar to language included in Senate Bill 894, which was passed by the Senate on April 4 and sent to the House.

As always, it’s a tremendous honor to serve those who call the 26th Senatorial District home. If you need assistance with navigating state government or the legislative process, please reach out by calling 573-751-3678 or emailing Ben.Brown@senate.mo.gov.