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Zeroing in on Missouri’s constitution

(AP) — Missouri lawmakers returned to work Wednesday for a session that Republican leaders have said will focus on issues including making it harder to amend the state Constitution.

GOP lawmakers have been trying for years to crack down on ballot initiatives, which have been used to enact policies that the Republican-led Legislature either avoided dealing with or opposed. Most recently, voters legalized recreational marijuana use for adults.

Ballot campaigns have tended to push for such policies to be enacted through constitutional amendments, which are harder for lawmakers to undo. But enshrining policy in the Constitution also makes it more difficult to address unintended consequences.

Republican Senate President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden told colleagues during a Wednesday speech that Missouri’s Constitution has become cluttered with lengthy provisions better suited for state statutes, such as recreational marijuana and a voter-approved measure regulating bingo.

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