Five questions on August ballot
Secretary of State Jason Kander announced that five questions will appear before voters statewide at the primary election on August 5, 2014. The measures, all constitutional amendments referred to the ballot by the General Assembly, will take effect if a majority of voters approve.
The official ballot title for Constitutional Amendment 1 (HJRs 11 & 7) reads:
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.
Many of the state’s agricultural organizations support this amendment saying it will protect the rights of Missouri farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices. Proponents say this will encourage out-of-state interest groups from working to pass unnecessary restrictions on segments of Missouri agriculture. Opponents say the amendment is an effort to shield factory farms and concentrated feeding operations from regulations to protect livestock, consumers and the environment.
The official ballot title for Constitutional Amendment 5 (SJR 36) reads:
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.
The official ballot title for Constitutional Amendment 7 (HJR 68) reads:
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.
Opponents call the sales tax ‘regressive’ and would place the major burden on lower income families and not on the main users. Proponents feel the extra revenue is needed as former sources of funds have evaporated.
The official ballot title for Constitutional Amendment 8 (HJR 48) reads:
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.
The official ballot title for Constitutional Amendment 9 (SJR 27) reads:
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.