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Letter: Missouri lawmakers must not violate their sworn oaths

Letter: Missouri lawmakers must not violate their sworn oaths

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Last day of the Missouri Legislature’s 2021 regular session

Missouri House lawmakers applaud Speaker Rob Vescovo on the House floor on Friday, May 14, 2021, on the final day of the current legislative session at the capitol building in Jefferson City. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com

Regarding “With key tax held hostage by Republicans, Missouri Medicaid chief warns of ‘crippling’ cuts” (May 26): Our elected lawmakers have sworn this oath, from the Missouri Constitution: “I do solemnly swear, or affirm, that I will support the Constitution of the United States and of the state of Missouri, and faithfully perform the duties of my office, and that I will not knowingly receive, directly or indirectly, any money or other valuable thing for the performance or nonperformance of any act or duty pertaining to my office, other than the compensation allowed by law.”

Given that our lawmakers have shown poor regard for ballot initiatives, like Medicaid expansion, they are obviously flouting their oaths. They have also attempted to make initiative petitions more difficult to create.

So I propose we add an oath violation amendment to the Missouri Constitution. It would read: Any elected senator or state representative who votes for legislation or ballot initiatives later determined to be unconstitutional by state or federal courts, as well as any governor or authorized executive who signs such legislation into law, will be immediately removed from office and banned from holding office in this state for life.

In addition, if they violate their oaths, these lawmakers would receive no pension or health insurance, and all salaries and expenses paid by the state during their total terms in any state office would have to be refunded to the state. Further, they shall be banned from any employment as a lobbyist.

Fred Tilinski • St. Peters

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