Staff Editorial: Our votes for midterm measures
If you’re voting here in Missouri this Tuesday, you’ll find several amendments and propositions on the ballot—including three measures relating to medical marijuana. Although much of the attention leading up to the election has been on the very close senatorial race for Claire McCaskill’s seat, we, the Student Life Editorial Board, urge you to enter the voter booth informed about these issues, too (check out our ballot explainer and voting guide!). Here, we’ll let you know how we’ll be voting next week, and hope you decide to do the same.
In our view, Amendment 1 is a great initiative to improve the transparency of the Missouri state government. There was nothing not to like about this measure. It seeks to reduce the impact of money on politics—in effect, leveling the playing field for candidates. It increases accountability of politicians by redrawing district lines. And it has strong endorsements from Planned Parenthood, Senator Claire McCaskill, the NAACP and more. We were in unanimous agreement on this one.
As for those three medical marijuana initiatives (Amendment 2, Amendment 3 and Proposition C), we’ll be voting “yes” on two of them: Amendment 2 and Proposition C. Of the three, we unanimously prefer Amendment 2. It raises revenue for underfunded healthcare programs, has a reasonable tax rate and, of the three, is the only one that does not allow for local bans. Vote for Prop C, too. Although, unlike Amendment 2, it can be changed by the legislature, it is better than nothing. On Amendment 3, vote no. It grants too much power to the man who proposed it, personal injury attorney and doctor Brad Bradshaw, and has an absurdly high tax rate that puts the burden on patients.
Admittedly, Amendment 4 is about a somewhat trivial topic: bingo. But by allowing bingo games to be advertised, the amendment could lead to increased revenue for the many charitable organizations that use bingo as a fundraising opportunity. The restrictions on advertising were already ruled to be unconstitutional by a judge, this amendment just makes that official, so why not vote yes?
On Proposition B—which would raise the minimum wage in Missouri from $7.65 to $12—we again reached unanimous agreement: vote “yes”. While $12 is less than the $15 many were hoping for, it’s certainly a step in the right direction for one of the poorest states in the nation.
The ballot measure we were most divided on was Prop D, but we ultimately decided not to endorse this proposition, which was described by a member of our Editorial Board as an effective “Trojan Horse.” The main point of this proposition is to increase the gas tax and to allocate money toward improving infrastructure—which we fully support. However, Prop D is a classic example of a pork barrel initiative: Lumped into this measure is a provision that would exempt Olympic prize money from taxation.
Regardless of your party affiliation, or lack thereof, make sure to cast a ballot come election day. It’s not only your right—it’s your civic duty.