Missouri voters will have plenty of choices to make in the voting booth Nov. 6, where in some cases there are more referendums on the ballots than political candidates.
Four constitutional amendments are featured ranging from reworking legislative districts and practices to legalizing medical marijuana to changing the rules and regulations involving bingo games.
The following information is supplied by the Missouri Secretary of State’s office.
If passed the Missouri Constitution would be amended to:
• Change process and criteria for redrawing state Legislative districts during reapportionment;
• Change limits on campaign contributions that candidates for state Legislature can accept from individuals or entities;
• Establish a limit on gifts that state legislators, and their employees, can accept from paid lobbyists;
• Prohibit state legislators, and their employees, from serving as paid lobbyists for a period of time;
• Prohibit political fundraising by candidates for or members of the state legislature on state property; and
• Require legislative records and proceedings to be open to the public.
State governmental entities estimate annual operating costs may increase by $189,000. Local governmental entities expect no fiscal impact.
Ballot language for Amendment 2 asks:
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:
• Allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes, and create regulations and licensing/certification procedures for marijuana and marijuana facilities;
• Impose a 4 percent tax on the retail sale of marijuana; and
• Use funds from these taxes for health and care services for military veterans by the Missouri Veterans Commission and to administer the program to license/certify and regulate marijuana and marijuana facilities?
This proposal is estimated to generate annual taxes and fees of $18 million for state operating costs and veterans programs, and $6 million for local governments.
Annual state operating costs are estimated to be $7 million.
Although the ballot language is different, Amendment 3 also involves medical marijuana, and asks shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:
• Allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes, and create regulations and licensing procedures for marijuana and marijuana facilities;
• Impose a 15 percent tax on the retail sale of marijuana, and a tax on the wholesale sale of marijuana flowers and leaves per dry-weight ounce to licensed facilities; and
• Use funds from these taxes to establish and fund a state research institute to conduct research with the purpose of developing cures and treatments for cancer and other incurable diseases or medical conditions?
This proposal is estimated to generate annual taxes and fees of $66 million.
State governmental entities estimate initial implementation costs of $186,000 and increased annual operating costs of $500,000.
Amendment 4 is asking voters:
Do you want to amend the Missouri Constitution to:
• Remove language limiting bingo game advertising that a court ruled unenforceable; and
• Allow a member of a licensed organization conducting bingo games to participate in the management of bingo games after being a member of the organization for six months instead of the current two years?
State and local governmental entities estimate no costs or savings from this proposal.
All four proposed amendments were placed on the ballots after successful initiatives that obtained signatures of Missouri voters who support the measures and want a chance to vote on it.
Signatures were collected in all eight Missouri congressional districts.
According to the secretary of state, all of the amendments required 224,424 signatures to be placed on the ballots.
Petitions proposing statutory changes must be signed by 5 percent of legal voters in any six of the eight congressional districts.