Now that you know the candidates and who to vote for, it is time to look at the issues on the ballot. Unlike a politician “representing” you in Congress, these state and local measures can affect you directly and YOU PERSONALLY can dictate the fate.
Politicians will fuck you over, no matter who you vote for. Republicans and Democrats both are batting for the same team at the end of the day. This is your chance to have a vote that matters. DO IT!
Constitutional Amendment No. 1
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to ensure that the right of Missouri citizens to engage in agricultural production and ranching practices shall not be infringed?
The potential costs or savings to governmental entities are unknown, but likely limited unless the resolution leads to increased litigation costs and/or the loss of federal funding.
Also known as the “Right To Farm” bill, the name of the bill makes it difficult to vote against it. I mean, who’s against the small farmer? Like most bills, this one has sexy wording because the actual text is less appealing. Essentially, passing this measure will add Section 35 to Article 1 of the Missouri Constitution:
Section 35. That agriculture which provides food, energy, health benefits, and security is the foundation and stabilizing force of Missouri’s economy. To protect this vital sector of Missouri’s economy, the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed in this state, subject to duly authorized powers, if any, conferred by article VI of the Constitution of Missouri.
Opponents say the extremely vague language will allow farmers, including giant corporate farms, to be exempt from health related regulations in the future. Additionally, some claim that this helps the large corporate farms while putting small, family farmers at a disadvantage. Supporters claim that current state laws put farmers in Missouri at a disadvantage when considering interstate commerce and restrictive practices.
Analysis: vote NO. Way too much room in this amendment for lawmakers to fuck with.
Constitutional Amendment No. 5
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to include a declaration that the right to keep and bear arms is a unalienable right and that the state government is obligated to uphold that right?
State and local governmental entities should have no direct costs or savings from this proposal. However, the proposal’s passage will likely lead to increased litigation and criminal justice related costs. The total potential costs are unknown, but could be significant.
This is a standard gun control vote, for the most part. People who are against gun control will vote YES no matter what and the other way around. For those on the fence, Section 23 of Article will be amended as followed if the vote passes:
Section 23. That the right of every citizen to keep and bear arms, ammunition, and accessories typical to the normal function of such arms, in defense of his home, person, family and property, or when lawfully summoned in aid of the civil power, shall not be questioned The rights guaranteed by this section shall be unalienable. Any restriction on these rights shall be subject to strict scrutiny and the state of Missouri shall be obligated to uphold these rights and shall under no circumstances decline to protect against their infringement. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the general assembly from enacting general laws which limit the rights of convicted violent felons or those duly adjudged mentally infirm by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Opponents claim that the vague language will make it nearly impossible to regulate gun ownership in any way, shape or form in the future if it is needed. Supporters are just your standard anti-gun control crowd.
Analysis: Are you for or against guns? It’s that simple. If you are against them, vote NO.
Constitutional Amendment No. 7
Should the Missouri Constitution be changed to enact a temporary sales tax of three-quarters of one percent to be used solely to fund state and local highways, roads, bridges and transportation projects for ten years, with priority given to repairing unsafe roads and bridges?
This change is expected to produce $480 million annually to the state’s Transportation Safety and Job Creation Fund and $54 million for local governments. Increases in the gas tax will be prohibited. This revenue shall only be used for transportation purposes and cannot be diverted for other uses.
This is a sales tax that will be used solely for transportation, e.g. roads, bridges, projects, etc. The 0.75% sales tax increase will be used for this purpose in lieu of gas price hikes, toll roads and toll bridges. Really, this a matter of pay more sales tax for 10 years for transportation projects or pay for possible gas hikes and tolls, which are subject to price fluctuation?
Analysis: Vote however you feel about tax increases and the roads. There really is no right or wrong here.
Constitutional Amendment No. 8
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to create a “Veterans Lottery Ticket” and to use the revenue from the sale of these tickets for projects and services related to veterans?
The annual cost or savings to state and local governmental entities is unknown, but likely minimal. If sales of a veterans lottery ticket game decrease existing lottery ticket sales, the profits of which fund education, there could be a small annual shift in funding from education to veterans’ programs.
If passed, a Missouri Lottery game will be created specifically to fund veterans’ nursing homes and cemeteries. Currently, all lottery games (e.g. Powerball, MegaMillions) go towards education (although, many claim that the money doesn’t always go where it’s supposed to). Gambling is illegal…unless the state runs it and profits off it.
Analysis: Lotteries are the worst way to fund anything. It takes money generally from people who don’t have a lot and who are chasing a pipe dream. Furthermore, as long as a game of skill like poker remains illegal outside of a casino (who donate thousands of dollars to campaigns locally), there should be no reason to support state-ran lotteries. Essentially, the veterans will be funded by the poor. That’s not what they want. Vote NO.
Constitutional Amendment No. 9
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended so that the people shall be secure in their electronic communications and data from unreasonable searches and seizures as they are now likewise secure in their persons, homes, papers and effects?
State and local governmental entities expect no significant costs or savings.
Disables law enforcement from searching your cellphone or other mobile devices without a warrant. At the magazine I work at, we have been coming across the piece of legislation a lot with other states. They always pass. Nowadays, almost anything personal can be found on our phones. Who the hell wants the police to look at that without probably cause and a warrant?
Analysis: Unless you don’t mind a police officer looking at your wife’s nudes during a routine traffic stop, vote YES.
SPECIFIC TO KANSAS CITY
Question 1: Shall the City of Kansas City renew the imposition of its sales tax of ¼% for the purpose of providing revenues for the operation of the Kansas City Fire Department as authorized by Section 321.242 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri for a period of 20 years, which will extend the current existing ¼% sales tax providing revenues to operate the Fire Department that was authorized by the voters on August 8, 2001?
Analysis: Wow, look at that! ANOTHER local sales tax for Kansas City residents. Local taxes in KC are absurd! I’d rather have that tax money go to the shitty police than the fire department. I recommend voting NO. KC local taxes are bad enough.
Question A: tl;dr
Analysis: Basically gauging interest in the long-talked-about rail streetcar/light rail system. Voting YES or NO simply lets the city know whether or not to go through with it and expand the project. If it passes, future decisions will be left to a separate vote, so you’re not committing to anything. Vote how you feel about the project. Supporters like the idea of a more “modern” city. Opponents hate the idea of the local tax raping that is likely to ensue.