Bob Priddy contributed to this story
Voters watched tens of millions of dollars get spent in the races for governor and U.S. Senator this year and 70% of those who voted want an end to that system. They’ve approved campaign donation limits. But critics say the vote will just force big spenders to funnel money through so-called dark-money groups.
The measure caps donations for individual candidates to $2,600 and to $25,000 for political parties. The restrictions begin next year. A similar measure, sponsored by Senator David Pearce (R-Warrensburg), was offered this year in the Missouri legislature. It didn’t make it out of committee.
Missourians have strongly rejected two tobacco tax increases put on the ballot by special interest groups – one trying to make the proposal attractive by earmarking the money for early childhood education; the other earmarking it for roads and bridges.
A group called Raise Your Hand for Kids led the effort to increase Missouri’s tobacco tax to help raise money for early childhood education. The measure required an increase of 15 cents per pack each year for four years by major brand name cigarettes and 1.27 per pack increase each year for cheaper brands.
The other was led by The Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association. MPCA wanted to increase the tobacco tax by 23 cents per pack to help pay for Missouri’s growing infrastructure needs.
Voters do want the one-tenth-of-one-percent sales tax extension for soil conservation and parks to continue for another decade. The tax, which generates about $90 million annually, helps improve things like cattle water, pasture ground and terraces. Missouri is the only state in the nation with such a sales tax.
Two thirds of those voting in the general election say Missourians in 2018 will have to present a photo-ID to vote. A driver’s license and supporting documentation, like a birth certificate would be paid for by the state. Those without photo ID could still vote if they sign a waiver and show a utility bill or paycheck.
Almost 60% have voted to keep the Missouri legislature from passing laws taxing services – legal advice, deliveries of goods, plumbing repairs and the like. The secretary of state’s office says the cost of banning such taxes is unknown, but would have significant impact on state and local governments.