The suit names four Missouri governmental Defendants: the Missouri Joint Commission on Administrative Rules and its members (“JCAR”), Secretary of State Jason Kander, the Missouri Public Service Commission (“PSC”), and Governor Jay Nixon. Plaintiffs are the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, Missouri Solar Applications, and Thomas J. Sager.

The suit contends that the Secretary of State should have published the full rules sent to it by the Public Service Commission, and should not have left out two key paragraphs that JCAR voted to disapprove in 2010. Plaintiffs contend that JCAR lacked the authority to interfere with the publication of the Public Service Commission’s rules. “JCAR’s action was not only unconstitutional, it was also an infringement on a state agency’s ability to have its own rules published, as well as an infringement on the people’s right to enact legislation by initiative petition,” said Heather Navarro of Missouri Coalition for the Environment. Her organization was a plaintiff in a similar suit that culminated with a 1997 Missouri Supreme Court ruling holding that JCAR can’t block the publication of state agency rules.

            “JCAR violated the Missouri Constitution when it removed these provisions,” said Henry Robertson, a Great Rivers attorney representing the plaintiffs. “The Secretary of State and Public Service Commission signed off on JCAR’s unconstitutional action. The missing provisions must be reinserted into the law according to the will of the people.”

            In their lawsuit, plaintiffs ask the court to declare JCAR’s removal of the provisions illegal and restore the law as written and passed by Missouri voters.

Great Rivers is a nonprofit public interest environmental law firm in St. Louis that provides free and reduced-fee legal services to those working to protect the environment and public health. Its web address is: www.greatriverslaw.org.

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