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Hill v. State

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Special Division

June 27, 2017

MARY HILL, ET AL., Appellant-Respondents,
v.
JOHN R. ASHCROFT, SECRETARY OF STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent, MIKE LOUIS, Respondent-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cole County, Missouri The Honorable Jon E. Beetem, Judge

          Before Mark D. Pfeiffer, Chief Judge, Presiding, Karen King Mitchell, Judge and Gary D. Witt, Judge

          OPINION

          GARY D. WITT, JUDGE

         This appeal raised issues regarding the summary statements of ten ballot initiative petitions filed with the Missouri Secretary of State ("Secretary of State"). The initiatives all seek to amend the Missouri Constitution to modify the collective bargaining rights between employees and employers. Mary Hill, Michael J. Briggs, and Roger Bruce Stickler (collectively, the "Hill Plaintiffs"), along with John Paul Evans ("Plaintiff Evans") (collectively, "Plaintiffs") brought suit in the Circuit Court of Cole County, Missouri, claiming that the ten ballot summaries drafted for the initiatives were unfair or inadequate pursuant to section 116.190.[1] The court agreed and certified new ballot summaries for each initiative petition. Plaintiffs appeal collectively challenging the circuit court's finding that the proposed ballot summaries were sufficient and fair at the time they were drafted. Additionally, Plaintiff Evans raises two points on appeal challenging the procedure by which the Secretary of State collected public comments regarding the proposed ballot summaries. Mike Louis ("Louis"), the proponent of the ten initiative petitions, cross-appeals from the same judgments raising three points on appeal alleging the trial court erred in redrafting the proposed ballot summaries which were originally drafted by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State responds to the Plaintiffs' appeal but does not join in Louis's cross-appeal. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and we certify the original summary statements as drafted by the Secretary of State (collectively, the "Summary Statements"), with the exception of two Summary Statements that shall be certified as amended by this opinion.

         Factual Background

         On December 9, 2016, Louis submitted eight initiative petition sample sheets[2]--a proposed initiative petition in the form it will be circulated to collect signatures before being placed on the ballot--to the Secretary of State.[3] Three days later, Louis submitted two additional initiative petition sample sheets[4] (collectively, the "Initiative Petitions"). While the ten Initiative Petitions differ in minor ways, there are five sets of two nearly identical Initiative Petitions[5] and all would amend Article I of the Missouri Constitution to, in effect, prohibit the enactment of laws limiting employee unions and employers from collective bargaining over the conditions of employment. The language of each Initiative Petition is set out in its entirety and discussed below.

         On December 22, 2016, then Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster ("Attorney General Koster") approved the form of Initiative Petitions 2018-092 through 2018-099, and on December 23, 2016, Attorney General Koster approved the form of Initiative Petitions 2018-101 and 2018-102.

         On December 28, 2016, Secretary Kander transmitted Summary Statements for each of the Initiative Petitions to Attorney General Koster. Attorney General Koster approved each Summary Statement, pursuant to section 116.160. On the morning of January 9, 2017, just prior to leaving office, Secretary Kander approved the official ballot title[6] for each Initiative Petition.

         On January 19, 2017, Plaintiffs brought eleven separate lawsuits relating to the Initiative Petitions. The Hill Plaintiffs alleged that each of the Summary Statements was unfair and insufficient under section 116.190. Plaintiff Evans raised the same challenges but, in addition, claimed that Secretary Kander had failed to comply with the public comment procedure established by section 116.334.1, and that, as a result, the Summary Statements were invalid (collectively, the "Lawsuits"). Plaintiff Evans sought declarations that the Summary Statements were unfair or insufficient and sought declaratory relief to reopen the public comment period. The Lawsuits were consolidated before the trial court for hearing.

         While the underlying Lawsuits were pending, the Missouri General Assembly passed Senate Bill 19 ("SB19"). SB19 was passed by the Legislature on February 2, 2017, signed by Missouri Governor Eric Greitens ("Governor Greitens") on February 6, 2017, and will become effective August 28, 2017.[7] With certain exceptions, SB19 generally bars any requirement that employees, as a condition of employment, become, remain, or refrain from becoming a member of a labor union or pay dues or other charges to a labor union.

         The parties filed cross-motions for judgment on the pleadings. The circuit court conducted a hearing and argument on the Lawsuits on March 2, 2017. The circuit court entered two judgments on March 23, 2017. As to the Lawsuits brought by the Hill Plaintiffs, the circuit court found in favor of the Hill Plaintiffs on all counts ("Hill Judgment"). Specifically, the court found that although the Summary Statements may have been fair and sufficient at the time they were drafted, the subsequent passage of SB19 rendered them unfair and insufficient. The trial court redrafted the Summary Statements and certified new language (collectively, "Amended Summary Statements"). As to Plaintiff Evans's Lawsuit, the circuit court similarly held the Summary Statements unfair or insufficient and ordered the Amended Summary Statements to be entered. But, as to Evans's other two counts alleging failure of the Secretary of State to comply with section 116.334.1 in regard to the public comment period, the court found in favor of the Secretary of State and Louis ("Evans Judgment").

         Standard of Review

         "De novo review of the trial court's legal conclusions about the propriety of the secretary of state's summary statement . . . is the appropriate standard of review when there is no underlying factual dispute that would require deference to the trial court's factual findings." Brown v. Carnahan, 370 S.W.3d 637, 653 (Mo. banc 2012); Billington v. Carnahan, 380 S.W.3d 586, 591 (Mo. App. W.D. 2012) (de novo review where parties filed stipulated facts).

         "To avoid encroachment on the people's constitutional authority, courts will not sit in judgment on the wisdom or folly of the initiative proposal presented [. . . . ]" Brown, 370 S.W.3d at 645. "When courts are called upon to intervene in the initiative process, they must act with restraint, trepidation and a healthy suspicion of the partisan who would use the judiciary to prevent the initiative process from taking its course." Missourians to Protect the Initiative Process v. Blunt, 799 S.W.2d 824, 827 (Mo. banc 1990).

         The parties entered into stipulated facts which are not in dispute.

         Analysis

         The Secretary of State is responsible for drafting the official summary statements for constitutional amendments proposed by initiative petitions. Section 116.190.1. Missouri citizens are authorized to seek judicial review of the official ballot title if the citizen believes the summary statement portion of the ballot title is "insufficient or unfair." Section 116.190.3.

         General Principles Regarding Summary Statements

         The summary materials provided in the ballot title are intended to provide voters with enough information that they are made aware of the subject and purpose of the initiative and allow the voter to make an informed decision as to whether to investigate the initiative further. See Protect Consumers' Access to Quality Home Care Coal., LLC v. Kander, 488 S.W.3d 665, 671 (Mo. App. W.D. 2015). "It is incumbent upon the Secretary in the initiative process to promote an informed decision of the probable effect of the proposed amendment." Cures Without Cloning v. Pund, 259 S.W.3d 76, 82 (Mo. App. W.D. 2008). A summary statement is not intended to, nor often can it, give voters detailed information about the proposed measure. Mo. Mun. League v. Carnahan, 364 S.W.3d 548, 553 (Mo. App. W.D. 2011) ("[a]ll that is required is that the language fairly summarizes the proposal in a way that is impartial and does not deceive or mislead voters."). It is the responsibility of each voter to educate himself or herself about the proposed measure, and it is the role of those supporting or opposing the measure to articulate their views of its impact through the political process. Precedent indicates that the use of broad, over-inclusive language is acceptable and does not run contrary to the requirements that the summary be "a concise statement . . . using language neither intentionally argumentative nor likely to create prejudice either for or against the proposed measure." Section 116.334.1. Such precedent is not surprising since the Secretary of State is often tasked with drafting summary statements for measures that include multiple and/or complex provisions. A summary statement that is broad enough to put voters on notice of the important aspects of such a measure may be broad so as to encompass matters not included in the measure so long as it is not deceptive, misleading, or argumentative. The question presented by this case is whether a broad summary statement is insufficient or unfair when the actual measure is more limited in its breadth that the summary statement and could have been summarized using more narrowly tailored language.

         The party challenging the language of the summary statement bears the burden to show that the language is insufficient or unfair. Archey v. Carnahan, 373 S.W.3d 528, 532 (Mo. App. W.D. 2012) (internal quotation omitted). "Insufficient means 'inadequate; especially lacking adequate power, capacity, or competence.' The word 'unfair' means to be 'marked by injustice, partiality, or deception.' Thus, the words insufficient and unfair . . . means to inadequately and with bias, prejudice, deception and/or favoritism state the [consequence of the initiative]." State ex rel. Humane Soc'y of Mo. v. Beetem, 317 S.W.3d 669, 673 (Mo. App. W.D. 2010) (quoting Hancock v. Sec'y of State, 885 S.W.2d 42, 49 (Mo. App. W.D. 1994)).

         I. Procedural Claims (Evans Points I and II)

         While the Hill Plaintiffs challenge only the language of the Summary Statements themselves, Plaintiff Evans also raises two procedural issues regarding alleged violations of the public comment period, which, if found to have merit, would effectively moot the substantive issues presented by this case. Thus, we begin with Points Relied On I and II of Plaintiff Evans's appeal.

         A. Public Comment Period Section 116.334

         Plaintiff Evans alleges that the circuit court erred in holding that the Secretary of State complied with the public comment process for initiative petitions as established in section 116.334.1.

         Plaintiff Evans's Lawsuit sought injunctive relief under section 536.150, arguing that the Secretary of State failed to properly fulfill his duties under section 116.334. Section 536.150 "provides that a party may seek review of administrative action taken without a hearing and for which no other means of review is provided if the person alleges the action was unconstitutional, unlawful, unreasonable, arbitrary, or capacious." Conseco Fin. Servicing Corp. v. Mo. Dept. of Rev., 195 S.W.3d 410, 419 (Mo. banc 2006); Section 536.150.

         Section 116.334.1 states that "[f]or a period of fifteen days after the petition is approved as to form, the secretary of state shall accept public comments regarding the proposed measure and provide copies of such comments upon request." This section further requires the Secretary of State to prepare the summary statement and send it to the attorney general within twenty-three days after approval of the form of the petition. Section 116.334.1. First, Plaintiff Evans argues that the Secretary of State failed to comply with this statute because it drafted the Summary Statements and sent them to the Attorney General before the expiration of the fifteen-day public comment period.

         "When engaging in statutory construction, the primary purpose is to ascertain the legislature's intent from the language used and to give effect to that intent if possible." Frye v. Levy, 440 S.W.3d 405, 420 (Mo. banc 2014). We do not apply a "hyper-technical" reading but instead try to apply a logical and reasonable meaning to the words of the statute. Id. "When interpreting statutes, courts do not presume that the legislature has enacted a meaningless provision." Edwards v. Gerstein, 237 S.W.3d 580, 581 (Mo. banc 2007). It is this mandate to presume some function to statutes that Plaintiff Evans argues mandates that the Secretary of State must allow public comments for a minimum of fifteen days prior to drafting and sending a summary statement to the Attorney General. We disagree.

         There is nothing in the language of section 116.334 that states that the Secretary of State must wait fifteen days before sending a summary statement to the Attorney General. To reach this conclusion, we would have to read such language into the statute based on the legislature's supposed intent. However, courts "do not engraft language onto a statute that the legislature did not provide." Page v. Scavuzzo, 412 S.W.3d 263, 267 (Mo. App. W.D. 2013). Plaintiff Evans argues that we should read into the statute such an intent because otherwise the statute is meaningless. We again disagree. The statute mandates that public comments be collected but it does not provide that the Secretary of State is required to consider them or otherwise incorporate them into the summary statements. The purpose of the statute, as it is written, is to give an opportunity for the public to voice concerns and for those concerns to be collected and publicly available in one location. This serves an important function in and of itself. If members of the public choose to challenge the fairness or sufficiency of a summary statement under section 116.190, the public comments collected by the Secretary of State may be obtained and used to bolster a party's claim and voters may view and consider those public comments in deciding whether to support or oppose a measure.

         Plaintiff Evans argues that this interpretation "disjoins the public comment process from the summary statement process." However, there is nothing about section 116.334 that requires the public comments to be incorporated into the drafting of summary statements. The Secretary of State is free to give as much or as little attention and weight to the comments as he or she so chooses. This includes drafting a summary statement while still accepting public comments. Though it may not be a wise decision and may cause additional litigation that could have been avoided if the Secretary of State had fully considered all public comments prior to drafting the Summary Statement, the legislature gives the Secretary of State the discretion to make that choice. Based on the language of section 116.334, we are unpersuaded by this argument of Plaintiff Evans.

         The Secretary of State approved the Initiative Petitions as to form on December 22, 2016 and December 23, 2016. The fifteen-day public comment period ran from those dates to January 6, 2017 and January 7, 2016, respectively, and the Secretary of State accepted public comments during those time periods. The Summary Statements were then finalized on the morning of January 9, 2017, more than fifteen days after the Initiative Petitions were approved as to form. We find that the Secretary of State fully complied with the requirements of the provisions of section 116.334.

         Plaintiff Evans further notes that while public comments might have been accepted for fifteen days, the Secretary of State originally published that it would accept public comments for a thirty-day period. Plaintiff Evans argues that the Secretary of State denied him his right to submit a public comment because he submitted his comment after the fifteen-day period expired but before the thirty-day period expired. Although we might agree that the Secretary of State misrepresented[8] to the public the period during which it would accept public comment, Plaintiff Evans is unable to point to a legal right or obligation that was violated by the Secretary of State. The public notice stating a thirty-day comment period was not legally binding. It did not confer upon the public some legal right which Plaintiff Evans may now enforce. Plaintiff Evans had the legal right to submit comments for fifteen days under section 116.334. He is not entitled to injunctive relief to require the Secretary of State to keep the public comment period open beyond that required timeframe. Further, as previously noted, the Secretary of State is not obligated to consider the public comments in drafting the summary statement, but the Secretary's only obligation is to allow for public comment, retain those comments, and make them available upon request. If the Secretary of State wished to keep the comment period open for longer period than fifteen days, he/she may do so as long as he/she retains those comments made during the entire period, makes them available upon request, and he/she complies with the statutory obligation to prepare the summary statement and send it to the attorney general within twenty-three days after approval of the form of the petition. Section 116.334.

         This finding is true even under an argument that the Secretary of State's actions were "unreasonable, arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion." Plaintiff Evans argues that "[t]o meet basic standards of due process and to avoid being arbitrary, unreasonable, or capricious, an agency's decision must be made using some kind of objective data rather than mere surmise, guesswork, or 'gut feeling.'" Mo. Nat. Educ. Ass'n v. Mo. State Bd. Of Educ., 34 S.W.3d 266, 281 (Mo. App. W.D. 2000). First, as noted above, section 116.334 provides clear and unquestionable guidelines for a fifteen-day comment period. The Secretary of State was free to hold open comments for thirty days, but we disagree that it was "unreasonable, arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion" to otherwise end the comment period before the expiration of that thirty-day period. Secretary of State Kander's term of office ended prior to the expiration of the thirty-day comment period. It is reasonable and within reasonable expectations that the Secretary of State may not bind his successor to accept public comments past the change in administration, so long as he complied with the fifteen-day period mandated by the statute. The public notice did not afford a legal right to a thirty-day comment period, and the Secretary of State's decision to terminate the comment period early was reasonable under the circumstances. In addition, even though the Secretary of State may keep the comment period open longer than the required fifteen days, he must still comply with the statutory mandate that he draft and submit the summary statements to the Attorney General within twenty-three days. See Section 116.334.1. Thus, even granting a thirty-day comment period, the Secretary of State would have been legally required to send the summary statements to the Attorney General prior to the expiration of the comment period.

         Further, Plaintiff Evans argues that the Secretary of State violated section 116.334.1 by failing to properly notify the public as to the dates the public comment period began or ended. Similarly, this argument attempts to impose a duty upon the Secretary of State that is not required by the statute. Had the legislature intended to require the Secretary of State to notify the public when the fifteen-day comment period for an initiative petition begins or ends, it could have easily done so within the text of section 116.334. Instead, Plaintiff Evans argues that we should impose such a requirement because surely that was the legislature's intent. "If the intent of the legislature is clear and unambiguous, by giving the language used in the statute its plain and ordinary meaning, then we are bound by that intent and cannot resort to any statutory construction in interpreting the statute." Goerlitz v. City of Maryville, 333 S.W.3d 450, 455 (Mo. banc 2011).

         Plaintiff Evans argues in his reply brief that he does not ask for publication of the dates but merely for the "sample petition to be available on the secretary of state's website" as required under section 116.332.2. Plaintiff Evans claims that this never happened with the Initiative Petitions. The Stipulated Facts, however, state that the Initiative Petitions were posted on the Secretary of State's website on December 13, 2016, and the website specifically provided that the public comment period was currently open. Although the statement erroneously declared that public comments would be open for thirty days, the requirement of section 116.332.1, that the sample petitions be available on the Secretary of State's website, was fulfilled. The joint stipulation that the "Secretary of State's website did not state the dates that the Secretary of State approved the form of the Initiative Petitions" is immaterial because section 116.332.1 does not require the publication of any dates in order for the sample petition to be available. (emphasis added). To the extent a party is concerned about being able to comment on a proposed petition, it should not delay. Certainly nothing prohibits the Secretary of State from providing additional information regarding the dates and time periods, even though not required by the statute.

         We do not agree that the stipulated facts demonstrate that a violation of the comment period occurred. Nor do we agree that this creates an entitlement to a declaration that the Official Ballot Titles for the Initiative Petitions are invalid and that Plaintiff Evans is entitled to a mandatory injunction. As Plaintiff Evans notes, a declaratory judgment generally requires:

(1) a justiciable controversy that presents a real, substantial, presently existing controversy admitting of specific relief, as distinguished from an advisory decree upon a purely hypothetical situation; (2) a plaintiff with a legally protectable interest at stake, "consisting of a pecuniary or personal interest directly at issue and subject to immediate or prospective consequential relief;" (3) a controversy ripe for judicial determination; and (4) an inadequate remedy at law.

Mo. Soybean Ass'n v. Mo. Clean Water Comm'n, 102 S.W.3d 10, 25 (Mo. banc 2003) (quoting Northgate Apartments, L.P. v. City of N. Kansas City, 45 S.W.3d 475, 479 (Mo. App. W.D. 2001)). Plaintiff Evans has failed to show that he has a "legally protectable interest." He and the rest of the general public had a legal right to a fifteen-day public comment period. The thirty-day comment period was not legally required and conferred no rights to Plaintiff Evans to bring a claim for declaratory judgment. Further, we disagree that he will suffer "irreparable harm" should this Court not grant a permanent injunction. He offers no reason why he could not and did not submit his comments during the fifteen-day time period legally recognized and provided under section 116.334. In addition, Plaintiff Evans's comments merely suggest alternative language that he believed to be more fair and sufficient. The Secretary of State was not required to take these comments into account prior to drafting the Summary Statements nor accept his alternative statements. Plaintiff Evans fails to show that he was prejudiced or suffered a truly irreparable harm.

         The language of section 116.334.1 is clear and unambiguous. It calls for the Secretary of State to make sample petitions available on its website, accept public comments regarding initiative petitions for fifteen days, make those comments available upon request, and submit the summary statements to the attorney general within twenty-three days. Although additional requirements regarding the time frame for publication and public comment may be preferable, we will not read into the statute additional requirements that are not present and are not necessary for the statute to have effect. "[T]he legislative branch of the government has determined the policy of the state . . . . Our function is to interpret the law; it is not to disregard the law as written by the General Assembly." Boland v. Saint Luke's Health Sys., 471 S.W.3d 703, 713 (Mo. banc 2015). We find that the circuit court did not err in denying Plaintiff Evans's request for injunctive relief based upon his belief that the Secretary of State failed to comply with section 116.334.1.

         B. Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

         Additionally, in Point Relied On II, Plaintiff Evans raises a challenge to the circuit court's refusal to grant his request for declaratory and injunctive relief. Specifically, he alleges that the court erred in finding that the Secretary of State could not be compelled under section 536.150 to hold the public comment period open for more than fifteen days. Plaintiff Evans's arguments, however, are all premised on a finding that the Secretary of State violated section 116.334 in drafting the Summary Statements prior to the expiration of the fifteen-day public comment period or for otherwise failing to comply with its press release stating public comments would be open for thirty days. As fully discussed above, we find that the Secretary of State was not in violation of any of its statutory duties or requirements regarding the public comment period. Thus, there is nothing upon which to compel further action.

         We find that the circuit court did not err in denying Counts I and II of Plaintiff Evans's Lawsuit. Plaintiff Evans's Points One and Two on Appeal are denied.

         II. Summary Statements

         The majority of the claims in this appeal surround the circuit court's finding that the Summary Statements, as drafted by the Secretary of State, were not fair and sufficient and the trial court's decision to certify its own Amended Ballot Summaries. There are two findings of the circuit court that are at issue: (1) that the Summary Statements may have been fair and sufficient at the time they were drafted and (2) that the Summary Statements were unfair and insufficient at the time they were reviewed by the circuit court. The genesis of the circuit court's findings was that SB19, enacted after the Secretary's Summary Statements were written, necessitated amendment to the Summary Statements by the court. As a preliminary matter, we are asked to decide whether the court properly considered the passage of SB19 in reviewing the fairness and sufficiency of the Summary Statements.[9]

         A. Senate Bill 19

         The circuit court found that the passage of SB19 rendered the Summary Statements unfair or insufficient and, thus, the circuit court drafted the Amended Summary Statements. We must decide first whether the court erred in so doing to determine which set of statements this Court should review.

         "[T]he process for reviewing initiative measures is found in the statutes and the state constitution." United Gamefowl Breeders Ass'n of Mo. v. Nixon, 19 S.W.3d 137, 139 (Mo. banc 2000). Article III, section 49 of the Missouri Constitution reserves to the people the power to propose amendments to the Constitution by initiative petition. The procedures for such initiative petitions are set out in Article III, section 50. The legislature has further established the procedures for such initiative petitions in chapter 116 of the revised statutes. The Secretary of State is charged with drafting summaries of each proposed ballot initiative, and the judiciary is charged with reviewing those summaries. Sections 116.334 and 116.190. Under section 116.190.4, "the court shall consider the petition, hear arguments, and in its decision certify the summary statement of the official ballot title to the secretary of state."

         Plaintiffs and the Secretary of State argue that the proper point at which to determine the sufficiency of the Summary Statements is at the point of review by the circuit court. They contend that the circuit court should be able to review and incorporate all information available, even if that information was unknowable by the Secretary of State when he drafted his summary. We need not resolve this question, however, as we find that SB19, whether passed before or after the Summary Statements were drafted, was not required to be referenced in the Summary Statements to render them fair and sufficient.

         The initiative process is "a powerful tool of direct democracy." Brown, 370 S.W.3d at 673. "Nothing in our constitution so closely models participatory democracy in its pure form. Through the initiative process, those who have no access to or influence with elected representatives may take their cause directly to the people." Missourians to Protect the Initiative Process, 799 S.W.2d at 827.

         Generally, there are three sources of information for voters to consider in making a decision on a proposed ballot initiative. First is, of course, the full language of the initiative petition itself. The initiative petition is publicly available and published for review. See Section 116.260. The ballot title also contains a brief summary statement of the proposed initiative petition and a fiscal note summary assessing the measure's financial impact. See Sections 116.334 and 116.175. The summary materials provided in the ballot title are intended to provide voters with enough information that they are made aware of the subject and purpose of the initiative and allow a voter to make an informed decision as to whether to investigate the initiative further. See Protect Consumers' Access to Quality Home Care Coal., LLC v. Kander, 488 S.W.3d 665, 671 (Mo. App. W.D. 2015). "It is incumbent upon the Secretary in the initiative process to promote an informed decision of the probable effect of the proposed amendment." Cures Without Cloning, 259 S.W.3d at 82. The summary statement should include the "consequences of the initiative." Brown, 370 S.W.3d at 654. "Sometimes it is necessary for the secretary of state's summary statement to provide a context reference that will enable voters to understand the effect of the proposed change." Id.

         Missouri has never before been faced with how to address a situation where the legislature enacts a statute addressing the same subject matter after the Secretary of State has drafted the summary statement but before the courts have reviewed the summary statement. While we agree with the statement in Brown that "[s]ometimes it is necessary for . . . the summary statement to provide a context reference" for the initiative petition, we do not find that failure to do so, where the consequences are potentially ever changing due to the political landscape, will always render the summary insufficient. See Brown, 370 S.W.3d at 654. We find that the effect that the Initiative Petitions may eventually have on the provisions of SB19 does not require the court to step in and redraft the summaries in order for them to be fair and sufficient. It is commonly understood that constitutional amendments will supersede statutes that are in contravention with the amended constitutional provision. Labrayere v. Bohr Farms, LLC, 458 S.W.3d 319, 327 (Mo. banc 2015) (holding that a statute is unconstitutional if it clearly contravenes a constitutional provision); State v. Kinder, 89 S.W.3d 454, 459 (Mo. banc ...


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