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Missouri treasurer sues secretary of state over amendment

Scott Fitzpatrick
Posted at 3:32 PM, Jul 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-20 16:32:51-04

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri treasurer on Monday sued the secretary of state over a proposed constitutional amendment dealing with expanded powers for the treasurer's office.

Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick sued fellow Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Fitzpatrick sued over a proposed constitutional amendment that would change how his office invests taxpayer money.

Fitzpatrick said enacting the change will allow his office to earn higher interest on investments.

In the lawsuit, Fitzpatrick's office accuses Ashcroft's of writing a misleading description of the proposed change, which is provided to voters at the polls. Fitzpatrick said the ballot language could push people to vote against it.

For example, Fitzpatrick said the ballot language written by Ashcroft's office implies lawmakers would have the sole authority to determine investment avenues for the treasurer. Fitzpatrick's office argued the Missouri Constitution sets investment guidelines and gives the treasurer full discretion within those limits.

The summary Ashcroft's office wrote in part says the amendment would give lawmakers "authority to invest state funds and also expand the state treasurer's investment options."

Ashcroft told the newspaper that he stands by the language. He said the ballot language is "fair, unbiased and clear."