The successful passage of Proposition A in August proved taking an issue directly to the voters of the state of Missouri may be the best way to handle controversial measure that has languished in the General Assembly for years.
At that time, voters shot down the Right to Work movement by a substantial margin and overturend legislation passed by the General Assembly the year before.
That legislation would have allowed workers at union companies to be employed and not join the union.
To put the power into the peoples’ hands even further, the initiative was placed on the ballot after a signature drive across the state.
On Nov. 6, Missouri voters will again get a direct say on three similar signature-backed propositions are on the ballots.
The first and most publicized with 30 days left before Election Day is Proposition D, which would impose a new gas tax on fuel sales to fund law enforcement and Missouri road projects.
If passed, the measure is estimated to generate at least $288 million annually to the State Road Fund to provide for the funding of Missouri state law enforcement and $123 million annually to local governments for road construction and maintenance.
The ballot language for Proposition D is as follows:
“Shall Missouri law be amended to fund Missouri state law enforcement by increasing the motor fuel tax by 2 1/2 cents per gallon annually for four years beginning July 1, 2019, exempt Special Olympic, Paralympic, and Olympic prizes from state taxes, and to establish the Emergency State Freight Bottleneck Fund?”
The new tax would be placed on gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, and blended fuels and be added on a graduated scale.
The amendment will increase the rate to 27 cents per unit equivalent to a gallon of gasoline or diesel beginning Jan. 1, 2026.
The current state motor fuel tax rate is seventeen cents per gallon. The amendment will increase the rate as follows:
• Nineteen and one-half (19.5) cents per gallon beginning July 1, 2019;
• Twenty-two (22) cents per gallon beginning July 1, 2020;
• Twenty-four and one-half (24.5) cents per gallon beginning July 1, 2021;
• Twenty-seven (27) cents per gallon beginning July 1, 2022.
The amendment also will increase the tax on alternative fuels used for motor vehicles (including compressed natural gas, liquid natural gas, and propane gas).
The amendment will require the state auditor to audit the state’s use of the revenue generated by these taxes every two years.
The issue of raising the minimum wage has been on the forefront nationwide for many years, in most cases to $15 per hour.
Proposition B is asking Missouri voters to approve raising the statewide minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2023, also in graduated increases.
That ballot language asks:
“Do you want to amend Missouri law to increase the state minimum wage to $8.60 per hour with 85 cents per hour increase each year until 2023, when the state minimum wage would be $12 per hour;
• “Exempt government employers from the above increase; and
• “Increase the penalty for paying employees less than the minimum wage?”
A “yes” vote will amend Missouri statutes to increase the state minimum wage rate as follows:
• $8.60 per hour beginning Jan. 1, 2019;
• $9.45 per hour beginning Jan. 1, 2020;
• $10.30 per hour beginning Jan. 1, 2021;
• $11.15 per hour beginning Jan. 1, 2022; and
• $12 per hour beginning Jan. 1, 2023.
In addition to voters being asked about two medical marijuana constitutional amendments, Proposition C would amend Missouri statutes to allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes under state laws.
The official ballot language asks voters if they want to amend Missouri law to:
• Remove state prohibitions on personal use and possession of medical cannabis (marijuana) with a written certification by a physician who treats a patient diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition;
• Remove state prohibitions on growth, possession, production, and sale of medical marijuana by licensed and regulated facilities, and a facility’s licensed owners and employees;
• Impose a 2 percent tax on the retail sale of medical marijuana; and
• Use funds from this tax for veterans’ services, drug treatment, early childhood education, and for public safety in cities with a medical marijuana facility?
State government entities estimate initial and one-time costs of $2.6 million, annual costs of $10 million, and annual revenues of at least $10 million. Local government entities estimate no annual costs and are expected to have at least $152,000 in annual revenues.