JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP)- The authority of the Missouri auditor to write financial estimates for ballot initiatives is under scrutiny by the state Supreme Court.

The high court heard arguments Monday on whether a law directing the auditor to prepare the financial estimates exceeds the limits of the auditor’s authority spelled out in the Missouri Constitution.

The seven-member court made no immediate ruling. The outcome could affect three initiatives targeted for the November ballot that would ask voters whether to raise the minimum wage, increase tobacco taxes and limit interest rates on payday loans.

Supporters of the measures already have submitted petition signatures to the secretary of state’s office. Election officials have until Aug. 7 to determine whether they have enough valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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