Missouri senators back changes to vacancy appointments

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 | 9:13 a.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — A Missouri Senate panel has endorsed a proposed referendum that would change the way vacancies in statewide offices are filled.

The measure would curtail the governor's ability to appoint people to openings in offices such as attorney general or secretary of state.

If a vacancy occurs early in someone's term, the governor would appoint a temporary replacement to serve until a special election. The appointee would not be allowed to run in the special election.

If a vacancy occurs near the end of someone's term, the governor's appointee would serve until the term expires.

The House approved the legislation in February, and a Senate committee endorsed it Monday. Passage by the full Senate would put the proposal on the statewide ballot in November.

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