Statewide Ballot Measures
On Nov. 6, the citizens of Missouri will have several legislative/constitutional issues to decide. As election day approaches, I will continue to recap the several statewide ballot measures approved to appear on the ballot this November. This week, the topic is Proposition B.
Proposition B Official Ballot Title:
Do you want to amend Missouri law to:
• increase the state minimum wage to $8.60 per hour with 85 cents per hour increase each year until 2023, when the state minimum wage would be $12.00 per hour (Thereafter, the minimum wage would increase or decrease each year based on changes in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers);
• exempt government employers from the above increase; and
• increase the penalty for paying employees less than the minimum wage (full amount of the wage rate plus an additional amount equal to twice the unpaid wages)?
State and local governments estimate no direct costs or savings from the proposal, but operating costs could increase by an unknown annual amount that could be significant. State and local government tax revenue could change by an unknown annual amount ranging from a $2.9 million decrease to a $214 million increase depending on business decisions.
A “yes” vote will amend Missouri statutes to increase the state minimum wage rate as follows: $8.60 per hour beginning Jan. 1, 2019;
$9.45 per hour beginning Jan. 1, 2020;
$10.30 per hour beginning Jan. 1, 2021;
$11.15 per hour beginning Jan. 1, 2022; and
$12.00 per hour beginning Jan. 1, 2023.
The amendment will exempt government employers from the above increases, and will increase the penalty for paying employees less than the minimum wage.
A “no” vote will not amend Missouri law to make these changes to the state minimum wage law.
Missouri Officials to Appeal Ruling on Missouri Voter ID Law
A Missouri judge recently affirmed the constitutionality of the Missouri’s voter ID law while also striking down a provision requiring a voter lacking a photo ID to sign a sworn affidavit. The decision led both the Secretary of State and the Attorney General to announce they will appeal the ruling in an attempt to overturn it.
It was in 2016 that the Missouri General Assembly approved two measures designed to require a valid form of photo identification in order to vote. One was a proposed constitutional amendment that went on the November ballot and was then approved by more than 63 percent of Missouri voters, and the other was a statutory change that was signed into law by the governor. The two measures put the voter ID requirement into effect on June 1, 2017.
The judge ruled the voter ID law was within the General Assembly’s constitutional prerogative under the Missouri Constitution, but determined the section requiring a sworn affidavit for individuals who don’t have the proper photo ID was contradictory and misleading. The judge also ruled that the state cannot advertise that a photo ID is required to vote.
In response to the ruling, the Missouri Secretary of State announced he will seek to have the ruling put on hold while he appeals to a higher court. In a statement, he said, “Although our office does not agree with all of the judge’s findings, we’re pleased the court found that the voter ID law is constitutional, and the judge did not find anyone was prevented from voting. We plan to seek a stay and appeal the decision to a higher court, which we believe will overturn the judge’s errors.”
It is an honor to serve the 51st District in the Missouri House of Representatives. Each week I will issue a capitol report to keep you informed of activities in Jefferson City. Any concerns or issues you might have are of great interest to me. I look forward to your input and thoughts, so please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions, concerns, or ideas to improve our state government and the quality of life for all Missourians. My telephone number is 573-751-2204 or you may contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for working with me to make Missouri a great place to live.