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Breaking down the ballot: what you need to know for the midterm elections

Here’s what’s on the ballot and what you need to know to vote in Missouri. (Photo: KRCG file)

Here's a brief summary of major issues some voters will find on their ballots November 6.

Candidates

Senate - Candidates Claire McCaskill and Josh Hawley have dominated the headlines in what figures to be a tightly-contested race. Meanwhile, other Senate candidates have said change exists outside the two major political parties.

Auditor - The state auditor's office is the only statewide elected office whose occupant is chosen during midterm elections, and five candidates are in the running for that position in Jefferson City.

"Clean Missouri"- Amendment 1:

The Clean Missouri initiative mainly focused on ethics reforms in Jefferson City. This initiative would ban all lobbyist gifts of more than $5, put a limit on campaign contributions legislators can accept and require legislators to be subject to Missouri’s open records law. The initiative would also require a waiting period before legislators and statehouse staffers can become lobbyists and lower campaign donation limits.

A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to change the process and criteria for redrawing state legislative district boundaries during reapportionment (redistricting).

A “no” vote will not amend the Missouri Constitution regarding redistricting, campaign contributions, lobbyist gifts, limits on lobbying after political service, fundraising locations, and legislative records and proceedings.

If passed, this measure will have no impact on taxes.

Medical Marijuana- Amendment 2, 3, and Proposition C:

Three proposals on the ballot would legalize medical marijuana. Missouri voters will face two amendments and one proposition regarding medical marijuana this year. Even though all three would expand the use of medical marijuana in the state of Missouri, the biggest difference is the sales tax percentage associated with each.

Amendment 2 would legalize medical marijuana for 10 medical conditions by altering the state constitution. It would impose a 4 percent tax on retail marijuana sales and use the funds for health and care services for military veterans.

  • A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes under state laws.
  • A “no” vote will not amend the Missouri Constitution as to the use of marijuana.
  • If passed, this measure will impose a 4 percent retail sales tax on marijuana for medical purposes.

Amendment 3 would legalize medical marijuana taxed at 15 percent. Those funds would be used to conduct research at a new state institute chaired, at least initially, by Springfield attorney Brad Bradshaw.

  • A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes under state laws.
  • A “no” vote will not amend the Missouri Constitution as to the use of marijuana.
  • If passed, this measure will impose an 15 percent retail sales tax on marijuana for medical uses and a wholesale sales tax on marijuana sold by medical marijuana cultivation facilities.

Proposition C would allow for medical marijuana and tax it at 2 percent. Funds would be spent on veterans’ services, drug treatment, early childhood education and public safety.

  • A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes under state laws.
  • A “no” vote will not amend the Missouri Constitution as to the use of marijuana.
  • If passed, this measure will impose a 2% retail sales tax on marijuana for medical purposes.

If both amendments were to pass, the one with more votes will be enacted. Either of the amendments would supersede Proposition C if they passed.

Amendment 4- "Bingo":

Amendment 4 will remove language limiting bingo game advertising and change the amount of a member of a licensed organization conducting bingo games has to wait to participate in the management of bingo games.

A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to remove language limiting bingo game advertising that a court ruled was unconstitutional and not enforceable. This amendment would also 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. Currently, the constitution requires two years of membership.

A “no” vote will not amend the Missouri Constitution regarding bingo games.

If passed, this measure will have no impact on taxes.

Proposition B- "Minimum wage":

Voters will decide whether to increase the state's minimum wage from $7.85 to $12 by the year 2023. If passed, the minimum wage will increase by 85 cents per year.

According to the Missouri State Secretary of State Office, state and local governments estimate no direct costs or savings from the proposal, but operating costs could increase by an unknown annual amount that could be significant. State and local government tax revenue could change by an unknown annual amount ranging from a $2.9 million decrease to a $214 million increase depending on business decisions.

A “yes” vote will amend Missouri statutes to increase the state minimum wage rate as follows:

  • $8.60 per hour beginning January 1, 2019
  • $9.45 per hour beginning January 1, 2020
  • $10.30 per hour beginning January 1, 2021
  • $11.15 per hour beginning January 1, 2022
  • $12 per hour beginning January 1, 2023

The amendment will exempt government employers from the above increases, and will increase the penalty for paying employees less than the minimum wage.

A “no” vote will not amend Missouri law to make these changes to the state minimum wage law.

Proposition D- "Gas tax":

Voters on Tuesday will decide whether to raise the state's fuel tax by 2.5 cents a year from 2019 to 2022, for a total increase of 10 cents per gallon. Known as Proposition D, it will be the second time this decade Missouri voters have been asked for more highway funding.

It would phase in a 10-cent-per-gallon fuel tax increase over four years (2.5 cents per year), generating more than $400 million per year.

The ballot language splits the tax revenue between the Highway Patrol and local transportation projects. The way it will appear on the ballot says the new tax money would go to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, freeing up the existing 17-cent fuel tax for road and bridge work.

A “yes” vote will amend Missouri statutes to fund the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s enforcement and administration of motor vehicle laws and traffic regulations. The source of the funding will be revenue from an increased state tax on motor fuel.

The current state motor fuel tax rate is seventeen (17) 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.

A “yes” vote will amend Missouri statutes to fund the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s enforcement and administration of motor vehicle laws and traffic regulations.

A “no” vote will not amend Missouri statutes to increase the motor fuel tax, exempt certain prizes from state taxes or establish the Emergency State Freight Bottleneck Fund.

If passed, this measure will increase taxes on motor fuel.

Check your registration:

To find polling places and sample ballots and other information, visit the Missouri Secretary of State’s website: https://s1.sos.mo.gov/elections/voterlookup/

Enter your name, address and birthday to make sure you’re registered.

From there, you can find your polling location, sample ballots and contact information for your local voting authority.

Poll hours:

Polls are open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Election Day. If you’re in line by the time the polls close at 7 p.m., you still have the right to cast your vote. You don’t have to be done voting by the time the polls close.




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