RONALD J. CALZONE, Appellant,
INTERIM COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION ROGER DORSON, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY, et al., Respondents. and RONALD J. CALZONE, Appellant,
DIRECTOR OF THE MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE CHRIS CHINN, IN HER OFFICIAL CAPACITY, et al., Respondents.
Appeals From the Circuit Court of Cole County The Honorable
Jon E. Beetem, Judge.
W. Draper III, Chief Justice.
J. Calzone (hereinafter, "Calzone") appeals the
circuit court's judgment affirming the constitutional
validity of Senate Bill No. 638 (2016) (hereinafter, "SB
638") and Senate Bill No. 665 (2016) (hereinafter,
"SB 665"). Calzone argues these bills are
unconstitutional because they violate article III, section 21
of the Missouri Constitution, which prohibits the legislature
from changing the original purpose of a bill during passage,
and article III, section 23 of the Missouri Constitution, the
single subject requirement. Calzone further argues
substantive changes to the bills' titles during the
legislative process violate both constitutional provisions.
This Court holds: (1) the bills maintained their original
purpose throughout the legislative process; (2) the bills did
not violate the single subject requirement; and (3) Calzone
failed to state a claim for relief regarding his substantive
title change claim. The circuit court's judgments are
and Procedural History
January 6, 2016, SB 638 was introduced. SB 638's original
title was "An act to repeal section 170.011, RSMo, and
to enact in lieu thereof two new sections relating to civics
education." During the legislative process, each chamber
of the General Assembly adopted or introduced amendments to
SB 638, resulting in a conference committee drafting a
compromise bill. The compromise bill contained the original
legislation to repeal section 170.011 and to enact two new
sections related to civics education. The compromise bill
also included additional provisions concerning new curriculum
offerings; programs to assist students, including those with
dyslexia; reports about educational quality assurance;
charter school certification and funding; school board
governance; statutory bonding requirements for school
district officers; and expansion of the A Schools Program to
include nonpublic schools and provide nonpublic school
students monetary benefits for postsecondary education. SB
638's final title, as enacted, is "An act to repeal
[twenty] sections … and to enact in lieu thereof
twenty-nine new sections relating to elementary and secondary
education, with an effective date for a certain
section." SB 638 will result in the expenditure of state
January 6, 2016, SB 665 was introduced. SB 665's original
title was "An act to repeal section 261.235, RSMo, and
to enact in lieu thereof one new section relating to the
establishment of a fee structure for sellers electing to use
the AgriMissouri trademark associated with Missouri
agricultural products." SB 665 underwent amendments
during the legislative process, including the repeal of
section 261.235 and enactment of a new section regarding the
fee structure to use the AgriMissouri trademark. The
amendments also contained provisions concerning certain
agricultural tax credits and incentives, provisions related
to the AgriMissouri and Farm-to-Table programs, and
amendments to the statute regulating the petroleum inspection
fee used to fund oversight activities by the department of
agriculture. SB 665's final title, as enacted, is
"An act to repeal [nine] sections … and to enact
in lieu thereof ten new sections relating to
agriculture." SB 665 will result in the expenditure of
is a Missouri citizen and taxpayer. In May 2017, Calzone,
acting pro se, filed two separate, but nearly
identical, declaratory judgment actions challenging the
constitutional validity of the bills and raising
substantially the same counts in each petition. In count I,
Calzone alleged the original purpose of the bills were
changed by amendments such that, as enacted, the bills
violated article III, section 21. In count II, Calzone
alleged the final bills violated the single subject
requirement of article III, section 23. In count III, Calzone
claimed the substantive changes to the bills' titles
during the legislative process violated article III, sections
21 and 23 because allowing substantive amendments to the
bills' titles defeated the purpose of these
filed motions to dismiss Calzone's petitions for lack of
standing or, alternatively, to obtain judgment on the
pleadings on all counts. Calzone filed motions for summary
judgment. The circuit court determined Calzone had standing
to sue as a Missouri taxpayer impacted by the expenditure of
state funds. The circuit court sustained Defendants'
motions for judgment on the pleadings on counts I and II,
finding the bills as enacted did not violate the
constitution's original purpose or single subject
requirements. The circuit court sustained Defendants'
motions to dismiss count III for failure to state a claim.
The circuit court overruled Calzone's summary judgment
motions. Calzone appeals both judgments.
analyzing challenges to the constitutional validity of
statutes, this Court is guided by well-established standards.
"Constitutional challenges to a statute are reviewed
de novo." St. Louis Cty. v. Prestige
Travel, Inc., 344 S.W.3d 708, 712 (Mo. banc 2011)
(quoting Rentschler v. Nixon, 311 S.W.3d 783, 786
(Mo. banc 2010)). Constitutional attacks based upon the
procedural limitations contained in article III, sections 21
and 23 are not favored. Stroh Brewery Co. v. State,
954 S.W.2d 323, 326 (Mo. banc 1997). "A statute is
presumed valid and will not be held unconstitutional unless
it clearly contravenes a constitutional provision."
Coop. Home Care, Inc. v. City of St. Louis, 514
S.W.3d 571, 578 (Mo. banc 2017) (quoting Rentschler,
311 S.W.3d at 786). Calzone bears the burden of establishing
the bills are unconstitutional. C.C. Dillon Co. v. City
of Eureka, 12 S.W.3d 322, 327 (Mo. banc 2000).
implores this Court to clarify the differences between the
constitutional limitations contained in article III, sections
21 and 23. Article III, section 21 provides, "[N]o bill
shall be so amended in its passage through either house as to
change its original purpose." Article III, section 23
provides, "No bill shall contain more than one subject
which shall be clearly expressed in its title …."
Calzone maintains "purpose" and "subject"
as used in these article III provisions are "virtually
interchangeable" and require the same analysis.
confusion is understandable, given that both sections have
been recognized as ways of preventing the legislature from
employing tactics that mislead fellow legislators or the
public regarding the purpose, subject, or effect of the
proposed legislation. See State v. Ludwig, 322
S.W.2d 841, 847 (Mo. banc 1959) (explaining the original
purpose and single subject requirements were designed to
prevent enactment of legislation that may deceive legislators
or the public regarding its effect); Fust v. Attorney
Gen. for the State of Mo., 947 S.W.2d 424, 429 (Mo. banc
1997) (stating, "The 'clear title' provision,
like the 'single subject' restriction, was designed
to prevent fraudulent, misleading, and improper legislation
…."); St. Louis Health Care Network v.
State, 968 S.W.2d 145, 147 (Mo. banc 1998) (stating the
purpose of the clear title requirement "is to keep
individual members of the legislature and the public fairly
apprised of the subject matter of pending laws").
Calzone's confusion is the sometimes interchangeable
terminology and intertwined legal analysis concerning
original purpose, single subject, and clear title in prior
cases. See Hammerschmidt v. Boone Cty., 877 S.W.2d
98, 101 n.2 (Mo. banc 1994) (stating, "In considering
challenges under section 23, this Court has sometimes
combined the two limitations for analytical purposes,"
and citing examples); St. Louis Health Care Network,
968 S.W.2d at 148-49 (applying a single subject analysis to
determine a violation of the clear title requirement);
Home Builders Ass'n of Greater St. Louis v.
State, 75 S.W.3d 267, 270 n.1 (Mo. banc 2002)
(analogizing single subject cases with a clear title
challenge and recognizing this Court's discussion of the
single subject requirement was "helpful" in
analyzing a clear title violation, despite their
distinctions); Trout v. State, 231 S.W.3d 140, 146
(Mo. banc 2007) (finding "single subject analysis is
similar to original purpose analysis"); and Coop.
Home Care, 514 S.W.3d at 580 (recognizing a single
subject challenge must determine a bill's "general
core purpose," but then repeatedly discussing how the
bill's original purpose was connected to,
related to, or germane to the bill as passed).
interchangeable language, these two constitutional provisions
contain three distinct requirements. See
Hammerschmidt, 877 S.W.2d at 101 n.2 (explaining
"[article III, ] section 23 contains two, separate
procedural limitations on the legislature"-single
subject and clear title); Drury v. City of Cape
Girardeau, 66 S.W.3d 733, 738 (Mo. banc 2002)
(recognizing article III, section 23's two provisions
serve a similar purpose but focus on different elements);
Am. Eagle Waste Indus., LLC v. St. Louis Cty., 379
S.W.3d 813, 825 (Mo. banc 2012) (stating article III, section
23 "limits the legislature in two distinct but related
ways"). Moreover, "[t]he mere fact that two
subjects in a bill can be reconciled as part of a broader
subject, and thus satisfy original purpose or single subject
challenges, does not, in itself, mean that the broader
subject has been clearly expressed in the title of a
bill." Nat'l Solid Waste Mgmt. Ass'n v. Dir.
of Dep't of Nat. Res., 964 S.W.2d 818, 821 (Mo. banc
1988). This opinion endeavors to provide clearer delineations
among these constitutional limitations.
III, Section 21 - Original Purpose
argues both bills violate article III, section 21, which
prevents a bill from being so amended during the legislative
process that it changes the bill's original purpose. The
framers of the 1875 Constitution stated the policy behind
enacting the first original purpose provision found in
article IV, section 25 was "[t]o afford security against
hasty legislation and guard against the possibility of bills
becoming laws, which have not been fairly and considerately
passed upon, wholesome restrictions are thrown around the law
makers and greater particularity required in the enactment of
laws than heretofore." Allied Mut. Ins. Co. v.
Bell, 185 S.W.2d 4, 8 (Mo. 1945) (quoting Address to
Accompany the Constitution, Vol. II, Journal Missouri
Constitutional Convention of 1875, 878 (Loeb-Shoemaker
1920)). Article III, section 21 "is designed to prevent
'the enactment of amendatory statutes in terms so blind
that legislators … [would be] deceived in regard to
their effects, and the public, from difficulty in making the
necessary examination and comparison, [would fail] to become
apprised of the changes made in the law.'"
Ludwig, 322 S.W.2d at 847 (quoting 1 Thomas M.
Cooley, Constitutional Limitations 314 (1927)).
III, section 21 "was not designed to inhibit the normal
legislative processes in which bills are combined and
additions necessary to comply with the legislative intent are
made." Blue Cross Hosp. Serv. Inc. of Mo. v.
Frappier, 681 S.W.2d 925, 929 (Mo. banc 1984) (vacated
on other grounds by Blue Cross Hosp. Serv. Inc. of Mo. v.
Frappier, 472 U.S. 1041 (1985)); Stroh Brewery,
954 S.W.2d at 326. "Were this otherwise … the
process of legislation would be seriously hampered and
embarrassed by every amendment which might be offered,
however germane it might be to the idea as formulated in the
first draft of the bill." State ex rel. McCaffery v.
Mason, 55 S.W. 636, 640 (Mo. banc 1900). "This
Court liberally interprets the procedural limitation of
original purpose." Mo. State Med. Ass'n v. Mo.
Dep't of Health, 39 S.W.3d 837, 840 (Mo. banc 2001).
"[T]his Court has consistently rejected 'original
purpose' challenges during the … history of this
constitutional prohibition" in cases in which the
content of the introduced bill remained substantially intact
throughout the legislative process as germane amendments were
added. Id. ...