Midterm Election Roundup: Here’s What Happened in Missouri and St. LouisNovember 2018
November 6, 2018 was a big day for politics as midterm elections were held all across the country. Here in St. Louis, Missouri, the ballot included state and local amendments and propositions, including Proposition D and various medical marijuana initiatives. Voter turnout was approximately 55%, an increase from Missouri’s last midterm election, which had a voter turnout of 35%. Below is a summary of how the measures on the ballot fared.
Constitutional Amendment 1
Amendment 1 passed with 62% of the vote. Amendment 1 addressed a variety of issues related to the state legislature, including changes to the redistricting system, campaign finance contribution amounts, and lobbying. Under Amendment 1 redistricting will be handled by a non-partisan state demographer, rather than by the current commission comprised of equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans. The amendment also establishes campaign contribution limits for candidates and committees and makes it illegal for anyone to donate in a way that conceals their identity. It also prohibits the state legislature to pass a law allowing unlimited campaign contributions. Amendment 1 requires state legislators and their employees to wait two years after their service ends before becoming paid lobbyists and prohibits such legislators and employees from accepting gifts from lobbyists in excess of five dollars. Last, Amendment 1 explicitly makes legislative records subject to Missouri’s Sunshine Law.
Constitutional Amendment 4
Amendment 4 (the Bingo Amendment) passed with 52% of the vote. Amendment 4 eliminates the prohibition on advertising bingo games and allows members of a bingo organization to run the games after six months in the organization, instead of the previous two year requirement.
Medical Marijuana Initiatives
There were three medical marijuana initiatives on the ballot: Constitutional Amendment 2, Constitutional Amendment 3, and Proposition C. Amendment 2 was the only one to pass, with 66% of the vote. Amendment 2 legalizes growing, manufacturing, selling and consuming marijuana and marijuana products for medicinal use in Missouri. It taxes marijuana sales at four percent (4%), with the proceeds going to state operating costs and veterans’ health care programs. Amendment 2 also allows for growing marijuana in a residence. It’s estimated to generate $18 million annually and cost Missouri $7 million in annual operating costs. Additionally, Amendment 2 is projected to generate $6 million per year in revenues for local governments. Under Amendment 2, regulatory authority for licensing the cultivation, testing and sale of marijuana is delegated to the Department of Health and Senior Services.
Proposition B – Minimum Wage
Proposition B calls for a raise in the state minimum wage. It was passed with 62% of the vote. Missouri’s minimum wage is currently $7.85/hour. Proposition B raises the minimum wage to $8.60/hour for 2019 and then incrementally increases it by 83-cents per year, up to a maximum of $12.00/hour in 2023.
Proposition D was not passed. Proposition D included a 10-cent increase to Missouri’s existing 17-cents-per gallon gas tax. The money generated from the tax would have gone towards the highway patrol budget and to local municipalities to use for road maintenance.
St. Louis County Amendments and Propositions
In St. Louis County, there were six charter amendments and two propositions on the ballot. Most notably, Proposition Z proposed a tax increase to provide funds for the St. Louis Zoo. St. Louis County passed Proposition Z with 61% of the vote. Recently, the St. Louis Zoo Association purchased land in North County. Proposition Z implements a 1/8 of one percent sales tax increase in order to, among other things, provide the zoo with money to operate and develop a conservation facility and public attraction on the North County land.
All of the St. Louis County charter amendments passed. The amendments covered various topics including campaign finance contributions, county park transactions, county inter-department fund transfers, publication of certain county financial documents and smoking in casinos. St. Louis County Proposition D, which creates a Charter Commission to revise and amend the county charter, also passed.
Lewis Rice Government Solutions & Administrative law attorneys work with a wide range of elected and appointed decision makers as they navigate major policy issues. We regularly represent clients' interests before executive departments, legislative committees, administrative agencies, and local government bodies. If you have specific questions on the election results, please contact David Sweeney or Sonette Magnus.