Missourians spoke loudly on Tuesday in favor of campaign contribution limits and curbs on gerrymandering abuses that often result in politicians choosing their voters when drawing up legislative districts.
State voters passed Amendment 1, a democracy reform measure also known as Clean Missouri. The amendment bans expensive lobbyist gifts, limits big money in politics, opens legislative records to the public, and ensures neither party has an unfair advantage when new legislative maps are drawn.
State voters also overwhelmingly passed Proposition B, raising Missouri’s minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2023. The measure will hike the state minimum wage to $8.60 per hour with an 85 cents per hour increase each year until 2023 when the minimum wage would be $12 per hour.
Missouri voters nixed two proposals for legalization of medical marijuana, but gave the okay to Proposition C, which allows personal use of marijuana with a written certification by a physician for qualifying medical conditions.
Tax Hikes On Ballot
State voters said “no” to Prop D, which would have hiked gasoline taxes to pay for law enforcement efforts and road improvements. It would have increased the motor fuel tax in the state by two and one half cents per gallon annually for four years to generate funds for the State Road Fund and law enforcement.
County voters said yes to a sales tax hike for the St. Louis Zoo. The funds generated will provide for the management and care of animals, and a Conservation and Animal Science Center in North County, which would include a public safari and outdoor family adventures area.
Also on the St. Louis County ballot were several proposals to rein in the power of the county executive in such areas as budget transfers and transparency of financial operations. These all passed.
Supporters of county parks were pleased with the overwhelming passage of Proposition 2, which requires that certain land transactions involving St. Louis County Parks must be submitted for approval by county voters.
Incumbents Fare Well
In state legislative races decided on Tuesday, incumbents in the area fared well. Voters gave them the okay for another two-year term in their posts in Jefferson City.
In the Missouri House, State Rep. Deb Lavender ran unopposed in a district that covers the Kirkwood area. The District 90 Democrat was only challenged by a few write-in votes.
Sarah Unsicker, D-Webster Groves, bested Jennifer Bird, R-Kirkwood, and James Scariot, L-Webster Groves, in the 91st District race.