August primary elections

Lee's Summit JournalJuly 23, 2014 

On Aug. 5, voters statewide will go to the polls for the primary election to nominate party candidates for the November general election. Every seat in the Missouri House of Representatives is up, although not all races will have primary candidates or opposition. Missouri Senate seats that are for even-numbered districts are also up for election. The only statewide race on the ballot is for State Auditor. Jackson County positions are up as well, and some have primary elections. Both the Fifth and Sixth U.S. Congressional elections are on the ballot.

In addition to those elections for public office, there are five ballot issues, all constitutional amendments, on the August ballot. As I have in the past, I am including the Official Ballot Title and Fair Ballot language for each issue.

I encourage every eligible resident of the 8th District to go to the polls on Aug. 5 and vote.

Constitutional Amendment 1

Official Ballot Title:

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.

Fair Ballot Language:

A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to guarantee the rights of Missourians to engage in farming and ranching practices, subject to any power given to local government under Article VI of the Missouri Constitution.

A “no” vote will not amend the Missouri Constitution regarding farming and ranching.

If passed, this measure will have no impact on taxes.

Constitutional Amendment 5

Official Ballot Title:

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.

Fair Ballot Language:

A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to expand the right to keep and bear arms to include ammunition and related accessories for such arms. This amendment also removes the language that states the right to keep and bear arms does not justify the wearing of concealed weapons. This amendment does not prevent the legislature from limiting the rights of certain felons and certain individuals adjudicated as having a mental disorder.

A “no”; vote will not amend the Missouri Constitution regarding arms, ammunition, and accessories for such arms.

If passed, this measure will have no impact on taxes.

Constitutional Amendment 7

Official Ballot Title:

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.

Fair Ballot Language:

A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to increase funding for state, county, and municipal street, road, bridge, highway, and public transportation initiatives by increasing the state sales/use tax by three-quarters of one percent for 10 years. This amendment further prohibits a change in gasoline taxes and prohibits toll roads or bridges. This amendment also requires these measures to be re-approved by voters every 10 years.

A “no” vote will not amend the Missouri Constitution to increase funding for state, county, and municipal street, road, bridge, highway, and public transportation initiatives.

If passed, this measure will increase the state sales/use tax.

Constitutional Amendment 8

Official Ballot Title:

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.

Fair Ballot Language:

A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to create a “Veterans Lottery Ticket.” This amendment further provides that the revenue from the sale of these tickets will be used for projects and services related to veterans.

A “no” vote will not amend the Missouri Constitution to create a “Veterans Lottery Ticket.”

If passed, this measure will have no impact on taxes

Constitutional Amendment 9

Official Ballot Title:

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.

Fair Ballot Language:

A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to specify that electronic data and communications have the same protections from unreasonable searches and seizures as persons, papers, homes, and effects.

A “no” vote will not amend the Missouri Constitution regarding protections for electronic communications and data.

If passed, this measure will have no impact on taxes.

 

State Senator Will Kraus-R serves District Eight and is a resident of Lee’s Summit.

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