Candidates for the Missouri House of Representatives seat for District 123, representing parts of Camden and Laclede counties, have varying positions on the ballot issues.
As voters prepare to go to the polls on Nov. 6 to cast a ballot, seven amendments and propositions are garnering considerable statewide attention. Among the issues on the ballot are proposals to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, increasing the state’s gas tax, a measure being promoted as a way to clean up politics and raising the state’s minimum wage. Candidates for the Missouri House of Representatives seat for District 123, representing parts of Camden and Laclede counties, have varying positions on the ballot issues. The seat is up for grabs as current State Rep. Diane Franklin (R) is out due to term limits. The Lake Sun asked each candidate, Suzie Pollock (R) and Joe Register (D), to provide their positions on the issues that will be on the statewide ballot.
Suzie Pollock (R)
Constitutional Amendment 1 (campaign finance, redistricting, etc.) I am strongly opposed to this amendment. It is very misleading. The Amendment claims to be transparent but is not. Legislative districts would no longer be drawn on proximity and shared interests to the voters but by competitiveness. Elected officials will truly no longer be able to represent the common views of a district. If passed, this amendment to the Constitution would create a mess. Why has Sierra Club spent so much money on this issue that changes dramatically the Missouri Constitution?
Constitutional Amendments 2, 3 and Proposition C (medical marijuana) I oppose. Think Eminent Domain issues, increased drug enforcement issues and drug related problems. Colorado's homeless population has grown nearly 5%. Drug and Narcotic violations have risen since the 2013 total of 13,800 to 21,200 cases. Protecting marijuana in the Missouri Constitution is not a direction I support.
Constitutional Amendment 4 (bingo) Oppose. My vote will be no, as I feel that Missouri has enough gaming opportunities currently.
Proposition B (minimum wage) I do not support. This Proposition did not pass through the Legislative process for vetting thoroughly. One question is why exempt the government employees? If it is good enough for small business owners then why not government? This would jeopardize job creation and job stability for those seeking to enter the job market.
Proposition D (gas tax) I oppose. The Reason Foundation ranks Missouri pretty well in their latest report and most motorists would agree. Add in that Modot will have current bond obligations paid off in a handful of years, clearing up 200 plus million dollars for new projects and maintenance. Additionally, there is no sunset for this tax. At a minimum, voters should be given the opportunity to decide if they have received their money's worth.
Joe Register (D)
Constitutional Amendment 1 (campaign finance, redistricting, etc.) Amendment 1 is going to do what our legislature always says is needed, but they never follow through. By capping lobbyist gifts to $5, lowering campaign contribution limits, making legislative records subject to Sunshine Law, putting an independent non-partisan state demographer in charge of drawing districts, and closing the revolving door legislators use to become lobbyist, this amendment makes Missouri government responsive to the people once again.
Constitutional Amendment 2 (medical marijuana) Medicinal cannabis has proven quite effective at treating chronic pain that plagues millions of Americans. It is clearly safer than opioids and can replace NSAID’s for those with kidney, ulcer, and GERD problems. The 4% tax would go to healthcare services, job training, housing assistance, and other services for veterans. If we are going to make medicinal cannabis legal, this is the amendment to that should do it.
Constitutional Amendment 3 (medical marijuana) This amendment has higher taxes (15%), creates the Bradshaw Board to regulate, and its qualifying conditions are very limited. I am not in favor of creating a new board with Dr. Bradshaw as the de-facto czar of this industry when DHSS can handle this task.
Constitutional Amendment 4 (bingo) Our small non-profits that use bingo fundraisers to raise money will benefit from this law that cleans up an old 1980 law that prohibited advertising and was deemed unconstitutional. Lowering the requirement from two year to six month memberships in order to help with the bingo games will help these organizations manage the games better. I’m in favor of Amendment 4.
Proposition B (minimum wage) Incrementally raising the minimum wage in Missouri will affect more than 670,000 Missourians by 2023 and the result will be increased consumer spending in our local communities, stimulating demand and resulting in job growth, a positive effect for our communities and our state.
Proposition C (medical marijuana) Proposition C is very similar to Amendment 2 and because the tax revenue gained would go to veteran’s services, drug treatment, law enforcement, and education, I am also in favor of Proposition C.
Proposition D (gas tax) I am initially in favor of increased funding for road and bridge and highway patrol. I am concerned however, that low income working families, farmers, and businesses will be affected negatively as their fuel costs rise.