On November 8, 2016, more than two-thirds of the citizens of Missouri approved passage of the Missouri Campaign Contribution Reform Initiative, also known as Constitutional Amendment 2, which adopts new campaign finance limits for the state. Missouri's previous contributions limits, which were imposed via proposition in 1994, were repealed by the legislature in 2008.
Amendment 2 was initiated by Returning Government to the People, an organization founded and entirely funded by Conservative Activist Fred Sauer. Mr. Sauer spent over $1.55 million on the effort, which received bipartisan public support from Senator Claire McCaskill who argued that Missouri previously had "the worst campaign finance and ethics laws in the country."
With the approval of Amendment 2, Missouri has now adopted the following inflation-adjusted limits, which apply on a per-election basis:
- To candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state. State treasurer, state auditor, attorney general. office of state senator, office of state representative or any other state or judicial office - $2,600
- To any State Political Party - $25,000
In addition to these limits, Amendment 2 now prohibits corporations and labor unions from making direct contributions to candidates or committees. Previously, Missouri permitted unlimited corporate contributions to candidates for state office so long as the corporation's board of directors authorized such contributions or expenditures.
A corporation or labor organization may still establish a continuing committee to accept contributions or dues from members, officers, directors, employees or security holders, but doing so will require ongoing registration and disclosure obligations, and be subject to the new limits described above. In addition, federal PACs are now required to register as state committee's in order to contribute to state candidates in Missouri.
Missouri's new campaign finance limits will go into effect on December 8, 2016.