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This Week's Stouffer Report: The Election Comes to an End

This Week's Stouffer Report: The Election Comes to an End

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Published by Bill Stouffer
This Week's Stouffer Report
This Week's Stouffer Report

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Published by: Bill Stouffer on Nov 13, 2012
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08/12/2013

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November 13, 2012
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The Election Comes to an End
After weeks of campaign ads, polling data and
expert analysis on “what happens next,” the
election season has come to a close. In Missouri,we saw voters decide the fate of four ballotissues, each with huge implications for our state.Amendment 3 was designed to change the way judges are picked in Missouri. The measurewould have actually given the governor morepower to pick members of the commission thatchoosesMissouri Supreme Court and appellate court judges. The goal was to have more non-lawyers on the commission, but awarding moreauthority to the governor did not prove to be apopular aspect of this proposal. There is a betterway to execute theMissouri Plan,and I have faith that someone will find it in the near future.Proposition A was designed to return control of the St. Louis Police Department to the city, after150 years under state rule. Missouri voters sidedwith common sense and made this move areality. Lawmakers have been fighting for localcontrol for decades, and after years of littlemovement, the matter finally went to a vote of the people. I think folks in St. Louis will benefit
 
from controlling their own police force.Proposition B would have raised taxes oncigarettes in Missouri by 760 percent. It is rarewhen raising taxes ever solves anything, but thisidea was proposed at a bad time and would domore harm than good. I am all in favor of spending on education, but this plan had toomany holes in it. To put together yet anothergoverning body, with no oversight, and expect adifferent outcome than what has been done
before is ridiculous. I am glad voters said “no” to
this initiative.Proposition E was drawn up in the MissouriSenate, and will keep the governor frominstituting a health insurance exchange on hisown. He already tried this once, but got caught,and was stopped by numerous lawmakers. Justbecause the federal government says it is a goodidea, and promises to throw billions of dollars atstates to start these exchanges, does not mean itshould be done.Over the last decade, the number of initiativepetitions has grown. While it is good to see folksinvolved in what happens in the state, I have tocaution them to fully understand the measureson the ballot. We have seen examples of initiative petitions that seemed good at the time,and then were discovered to be ineffective. Thedog breeder measure from 2010 comes to mind.Fortunately, the Legislature stepped in to tie upsome loose ends, and that is part of its role.Some of the measures on the Nov. 6 ballot camefrom lawmakers and were debated publiclynumerous times, which allows everyone to be apart of the process. My hope, however, is thatpeople fully educate themselves about the ballotmeasures before making their way to the polls.I am glad we saw a high turnout on Election Day.This means folks are paying attention, and I amsure they will for a long time to come.

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