Vote “yes” on M, B and C; “no” on A and 1

 

On Tuesday’s ballot, Washington University students will need to make several choices besides who to elect into the office of the President and other state and local offices.  Though students live in different districts and will have different initiatives on their ballots, there are some important initiatives large numbers of students will need to vote on. We have considered a few of these initiatives that are important to both the state of Missouri and students. Student Life recommends that students vote the following way:

 

Yes on Proposition M: Proposition M asks if the County of St. Louis should impose an additional sales tax of one-half of one percent for the purpose of providing funds for transportation. Student Life recommends that students vote to accept this small increase in sales tax because the Metro Link needs more money to continue to operate at its current levels. Without increased funding, the Metro Link will have to cut back on its hours and bus lines. Not only is the Metro Link important to Washington University students and employees who heavily rely on it for transportation, but public transportation is important for any city wishing to progress. Public transportation works to cut oil consumption and pollution by offering an alternative to driving and it also provides transportation to people who cannot afford to drive.

 

No on Proposition A: Proposition A will amend Missouri law to repeal maximum loss-limits for gambling and prohibit placing loss limits in the future, require identification only to determine and individual’s age (and not whether they are on a dissociated person’s list), restrict the number of casinos to those already in existence and create a new education fund from gambling tax proceeds. While the increased funding may actually lead to a 1% increase in overall funding for education, the Missouri general assembly has final discretion over how money will be allotted; the casinos do not. All three Missouri educators associations, which generally endorse ballot measures relating to education have chosen to remain neutral on this ballot issue because they believe it is not about education, but about expanding the power of casinos. Education is a priority, but it is questionable how Proposition A will affect education. And even if A could increase funding for education, Missouri should work to fund education in ways other than tying it to increasing the power of an industry based on addiction and greed. As Missouri educators have said, this is not about funding education, it’s about casinos.

 

Proposition B: YES Proposition B looks to establish the Missouri Quality Homecare Council and would ensure greater funding for the recruiting, training and stabilizing of the home health care workforce for the elderly and disabled. While the immediate impact of Proposition B on most students is limited, its potential to improve the quality of health care for the elderly while reducing the overall strain on the health care system will have far-reaching effects. Voting “yes” on proposition B represents a significant step toward rethinking health care for the elderly and ensuring the viability of Missouri’s health care system.

Yes on Proposition C: Proposition C asks whether Missouri law should require investor-owned electric utilities to generate or purchase electricity from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, biomass and hydropower such that those sources account for at least 2% of retail sales increasing incrementally to 15% by 2021. While this proposition does not do enough to address the country’s energy problems, it does take a small step forward. This proposal will encourage development and production of renewable resources and help move the state toward renewable resources.

 No on Amendment 1: Amendment one would add a statement to the Missouri constitution that denotes English is the official language of all government meetings. Given that government meetings currently occur in English this amendment seems to have no benefits other than a symbolic affirmation of English. The amendment could alienate non-English speaking immigrants, making Missouri a less attractive home.

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