Procedural Limitations on Legislative Process In Missouri
Attacking constitutional validity of a statute:
In analyzing H.B. 343, the use of procedural limitations to attack the validity of statutes is not favored, and a statute maintains a presumption of constitutionality. C.C. Dillon Co., 12 S.W.3d at 327 ".
Procedural limitations" are interpreted liberally, and the constitutionality of a statute will be upheld unless it "clearly and undoubtedly" violates the constitutional limitation. Hammerschmidt, 877 S.W.2d at 102. the burden of establishing the unconstitutionality of a statute rests upon the party questioning it. C.C. Dillon Co., 12 S.W.3d at 327.
Article III, sections 21 and 23, of the Missouri Constitution places procedural limitations on the legislative process.
Article III, section 21 provides, "no bill shall be so amended in its passage through either house as to change its original purpose." Article III, section 23 provides, "no bill shall contain more than one subject which shall be clearly expressed in its title...."
These limitations serve "to facilitate orderly procedure, avoid surprise, and prevent 'logrolling,' in which several matters that would not individually command a majority vote are rounded up into a single bill to ensure passage." Stroh Brewery Co. v. State, 954 S.W.2d 323, 326 (Mo. banc 1997).
The application of these provisions has been addressed at length in a number of recent decisions. See C.C. Dillon Co. v. City of Eureka, 12 S.W.3d 322 (Mo. banc 2000); Carmack v. Director, Missouri Department of Agriculture, 945 S.W.2d 956 (Mo. banc 1997); Fust v. Attorney General, 947 S.W.2d 424 (Mo. banc 1997); Stroh Brewery Co. v. State, 954 S.W.2d 323 (Mo. banc 1997); and Hammerschmidt v. Boone County, 877 S.W.2d 98 (Mo. banc 1994).
There is no need to reiterate the background provided in these decisions except to note that among their other purposes, sections 21 and 23 serve to keep individual members of the legislature and the public fairly apprised of the subject matter of pending laws. Stroh, 954 S.W.2d at 325-26.