Tagmissouri

Stories about Missouri

Bush defeats incumbent Clay in Democratic primary rematch in Missouri’s 1st Congressional District

Cori Bush defeated incumbent William Lacy Clay and Katherine Bruckner in Missouri’s 1st Congressional District Democratic primary. Bush received 49% of the vote to Clay’s 46%. Clay is one of seven incumbent representatives who have lost in primaries in 2020.

Bush challenged Clay in the district’s 2018 primary, which Clay won with 57% of the vote to Bush’s 37%. Clay was first elected in 2000. U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch endorsed his re-election bid.

Bush received endorsements from U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Jamaal Bowman, a candidate for New York’s 16th District who defeated 16-term incumbent Rep. Eliot Engel in the district’s June 23 Democratic primary.

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Voters in Platte County approved two sales tax measures, and voters in Hickman Mills C-1 School District approved a bond issue

Voters in Platte County, Missouri, approved two sales tax renewal questions on Tuesday. The final unofficial election report by the county showed Question 1 receiving 75.82% of the vote, and Question 2 receiving 60.81% of the vote. Question 1 authorizes the county to renew for 10 years a 0.25% sales tax to fund parks and stormwater control. Question 2 authorizes the county to renew for 10 years a 0.25% sales tax to fund law enforcement.

Voters in the Hickman Mills C-1 School District within Jackson County approved a $30 million bond issue by 82% to 18% according to unofficial election results. The bond issue will not increase the district’s debt service property tax levy. It will be maintained at the existing rate of $1,100 per $100,000 of assessed property value.

Missouri voters also approved a statewide initiative, Amendment 2, that expands Medicaid to adults between the ages of 19 and 65 whose income is at or below 138% of the federal poverty level under the Affordable Care Act. Amendment 2 was approved with 53% of the vote.

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Missouri voters approve Amendment 2 to expand Medicaid

Missouri voters approved Amendment 2 in a vote of 53% to 47% on Tuesday.

Amendment 2 was a citizen initiative to expand Medicaid eligibility in Missouri to adults that are between the ages of 19 and 65 whose income is 138% of the federal poverty level or below. In 2020, this amounted to an annual income of $17,608 for an individual and $36,156 for a household of four. The amendment prohibited any additional restrictions or requirements for the expanded population to qualify for Medicaid coverage than for other populations that qualify for Medicaid coverage.

Medicaid is a government program that provides medical insurance to groups of low-income people and individuals with disabilities. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, provided for the expansion of Medicaid to cover all individuals earning incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in NFIB v. Sebelius that the federal government could not withhold funds from states that refused to expand Medicaid. The ruling had the practical effect of making Medicaid expansion optional for states. For 2020 and subsequent years, the federal government was set to cover 90% of the costs. As of 2020, a total of 37 states and Washington, D.C., had expanded or voted to expand Medicaid, while 13 states had not.

Yes on 2: Healthcare for Missouri led the campaign in support of Amendment 2. As of July 27, 2020, the committees registered in support of the amendment—Healthcare for Missouri and Missourians for Healthcare—had raised $10.1 million.

The support campaign argued that the coronavirus pandemic has shown the need for Medicaid expansion. Jack Cardetti, a spokesperson for the Yes on 2 campaign, said, “Now more than ever, Missourians need to be able to access care in their own communities and protect thousands of local frontline healthcare jobs. … Amendment 2 will help keep rural hospitals and urban clinics open by bringing $1 billion of our own tax dollars back from Washington, instead of going to the 37 other states that have expanded Medicaid.”

No on 2 in August led the campaign in opposition to Amendment 2. Opponents argued that expanding Medicaid would not be economically prudent. State Senator Bob Onder (R-2) said, “The money needed to expand Medicaid is going to come from somewhere. It either has to come from education, from roads or from massive tax increases. … I do think that Missourians, particularly in these challenging economic times, will realize that a massive expansion of the Medicaid program isn’t something that we can afford.”

Missouri was the sixth state to expand Medicaid through a ballot initiative.

In 2017, voters in Maine approved a ballot measure to expand Medicaid. The measure was the first citizen initiative to implement an optional provision of Obamacare.

In November 2018, voters in Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, and Utah decided ballot initiatives concerning Medicaid expansion and the funding of expanded Medicaid coverage. They were approved in Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah.

Oklahoma was the most recent state to approve Medicaid expansion in June 2020. Oklahoma State Question 802 passed with 50.49% of the vote.


Previewing Missouri’s 1st Congressional District Democratic primary

Incumbent William Lacy Clay, Katherine Bruckner, and Cori Bush are running in the Aug. 4 Democratic Party primary in Missouri’s 1st Congressional District. Bush challenged Clay in the district’s 2018 Democratic primary, which Clay won, receiving 57% of the vote to Bush’s 37%.

Clay was first elected in 2000, replacing his father, former Rep. William Lacy Clay, Sr. (D). Clay Jr. served in the Missouri State Legislature from 1983 to 2001. He received endorsements from U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In their endorsement, the Post-Dispatch’s editorial board wrote, “[Clay] has been a steady, predictable representative and a reliable vote for mainstream Democratic priorities — including the fight against poverty and for social justice.”

Bush is a nurse and civil rights organizer who was involved with demonstrations in Ferguson after the shooting death of Michael Brown by police. She received endorsements from U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Jamaal Bowman (D), a candidate in New York’s 16th District who defeated 16-term incumbent Rep. Eliot Engel (D) in the district’s June 23 primary. In his endorsement, Bowman said, “Bush understands the struggles facing her communities, because she’s lived them herself … She will fight to confront racist and reckless policing … and I’m proud to support her grassroots campaign.”

Pre-primary reports show Clay raising $744,000 and Bush with $569,000. At this same point in the 2018 primary, Clay had raised $407,000 compared to Bush’s $139,000.

Clay and his father have represented the 1st District since 1969. Three race-tracking outlets rate the district as Solid/Safe Democratic. The winner of the primary will face Libertarian Alex Furman and the winner of the Republican primary, either Winnie Heartstrong or Anthony Rogers, in the general election.



Missouri voters will decide on Medicaid expansion August 4

Missouri voters will vote on Amendment 2, the Medicaid Expansion Initiative, on August 4. Amendment 2 would expand Medicaid eligibility in Missouri to adults that are between the ages of 19 and 65 whose incomes are at or below 138% of the federal poverty level. The amendment would also prohibit any additional restrictions or requirements for the expanded population to qualify for Medicaid coverage than for other populations that qualify for Medicaid coverage. It would also require the Missouri Department of Social Services and the Missouri HealthNet Division to submit state Medicaid plan amendments by March 1, 2021, to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to implement Medicaid expansion.

The following populations are currently eligible for Medicaid in Missouri:

• Over 65 years of age,
• Blind or disabled,
• Adults with dependent children with a household income at or below 22% of the federal poverty level,
• Infants under the age of one in a household with an income at or below 196% of the federal poverty level,
• Children between the ages of one and 18 in a household with an income at or below 150% of the federal poverty level, and

• Pregnant women with a household income at or below 196% of the federal poverty level.

Amendment 2 was sponsored by Yes on 2: Healthcare for Missouri. The campaign submitted 341,440 signatures to the Missouri Secretary of State on May 1, 2020, to qualify the measure for the ballot. In Missouri, the number of signatures required to qualify an initiated constitutional amendment for the ballot is equal to 8% of the votes cast for governor in the previous gubernatorial election in six of the eight state congressional districts. The initiative qualified in districts 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7. A total of 172,015 valid signatures were required, and a projected total of 258,686 signatures submitted by the campaign were valid in those districts.

There are two political action committees, Healthcare for Missouri and Missourians for Healthcare, registered to support Amendment 2. As of July 27, 2020, the committees had raised a total of $10.1 million, with Missourians for Healthcare receiving the bulk of the contributions. The top five donors to the campaign included the Missouri Hospital Association, the North Fund, the Health Care Issues Committee of the Missouri Hospital Association, the Health Forward Foundation, and the Washington University.

The support campaign argued that the coronavirus pandemic has shown the need for Medicaid expansion. Jack Cardetti, a spokesperson for the Yes on 2 campaign, said, “Now more than ever, Missourians need to be able to access care in their own communities and protect thousands of local frontline healthcare jobs. … Amendment 2 will help keep rural hospitals and urban clinics open by bringing $1 billion of our own tax dollars back from Washington, instead of going to the 37 other states that have expanded Medicaid.”

No on 2 in August is leading the campaign in opposition to Amendment 2. The committee organized in early June and has reported $112,000 in contributions. Opponents have argued that expanding Medicaid is not economically prudent. State Senator Bob Onder (R-2) said, “The money needed to expand Medicaid is going to come from somewhere. It either has to come from education, from roads or from massive tax increases. … I do think that Missourians, particularly in these challenging economic times, will realize that a massive expansion of the Medicaid program isn’t something that we can afford.” Missouri Governor Mike Parson (R) also came out in opposition to expanding Medicaid. He argued, “I don’t think it’s the time to be expanding anything in the state of Missouri right now. There’s absolutely not going to be any extra money whatsoever.”

In 2017, Maine was the first state to vote on a ballot initiative to expand Medicaid. It was approved. In 2018, ballot initiatives to expand Medicaid in Utah, Nebraska, and Idaho were approved. A 2018 initiative in Montana that would have renewed Medicaid expansion and increased tobacco taxes was defeated. On June 30, 2020, Oklahoma approved an initiative to expand Medicaid. It was approved 50.5% to 49.5%. Maine, Utah, and Oklahoma expanded Medicaid with opposition from Republican governors. Idaho expanded it with support from its Republican governor. Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts (R) did not take a side on the question.

In Missouri, all polling places are open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Central Time. Missouri voters may vote by mail with notarization of the ballot envelope. If a voter is in an at-risk category for contracting COVID-19, the voter may vote via absentee ballot without notarization. The deadline to request a mail-in ballot was July 22. Absentee ballots may be requested in-person until August 3. All ballots must be received by 7:00 p.m. on election day.

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Kansas City, MO, voters approve a ballot measure to increase the sales tax for fire department operations

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Kansas City Question 1 was approved on June 2. The measure received 55 percent of the vote. Question 1 was designed to increase the sales tax by 0.25 percentage points, bringing the total city-levied sales tax to 3.25 percent (in addition to county and state sales taxes). Under Question 1, revenue from the sales tax increase will be used for Kansas City Fire Department operations.

Question 1 was put on the ballot through a 10-2 vote of the Kansas City Council on January 23, 2020.


Missouri Medicaid Expansion Initiative certified for the ballot

On May 22, 2020, the Missouri Secretary of State issued a statement certifying the Missouri Medicaid Expansion Initiative for the ballot. This qualified the initiative for the November ballot unless the governor called for it to go on the August ballot by the May 26 deadline. On May 26, Governor Mike Parson (R) announced that the amendment will appear on the August 4 primary election ballot.

The initiative would amend the state constitution to do the following:

  • expand Medicaid eligibility in Missouri to adults who are between the ages of 19 and 65 and whose income is at or below 133% of the federal poverty level, which would effectively expand Medicaid to those with incomes at or below 138% of the federal poverty level under the Affordable Care Act;
  • prohibit any additional restrictions or requirements for the expanded population to qualify for Medicaid coverage than for other populations that qualify for Medicaid coverage; and
  • require the state to seek maximum federal funding of Medicaid expansion.

In Missouri, the number of signatures required to qualify an initiated constitutional amendment for the ballot is equal to 8% of the votes cast for governor in the previous gubernatorial election in six of the eight state congressional districts. Healthcare for Missouri submitted 341,440 signatures to the Missouri Secretary of State on May 1, 2020. The secretary of state used a random sample method, which projected enough valid signatures in congressional districts 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7, to qualify the measure for the ballot. In those six districts, a total of 172,015 valid signatures were required; 258,686 signatures were projected to be valid.

Medicaid is a government program that provides medical insurance to groups of people with income below certain levels and individuals with disabilities. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, provided for the expansion of Medicaid to cover all individuals earning incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in NFIB v. Sebelius that the federal government could not withhold funds from states that refused to expand Medicaid. The ruling had the practical effect of making Medicaid expansion optional for states. In 2018, the federal government financed 94% of the costs of state Medicaid expansion. For 2020 and subsequent years, the federal government was set to cover 90% of the costs.

Voters in Oklahoma will also decide a Medicaid expansion initiative in November.

As of 2019, a total of 36 states and Washington, D.C., had expanded or voted to expand Medicaid, while 14 states had not.

In 2017, voters in Maine approved a ballot initiative to expand Medicaid. The measure was the first time a citizen initiative to expand Medicaid appeared on any statewide ballot.

In November 2018, voters in Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, and Utah decided ballot initiatives concerning Medicaid expansion and the funding of expanded Medicaid coverage. The Idaho and Utah measures were approved by voters and later altered by the states’ legislatures. The measure in Nebraska was approved, and the measure in Montana was defeated. In January 2018, voters in Oregon approved Measure 101, thereby upholding 2017 legislation to provide funding for the state’s portion of costs for expanded Medicaid coverage through a tax on healthcare insurance and the revenue of certain hospitals.


Missouri legislature sends redistricting, campaign finance, and lobbying measure to voters with changes to 2018 citizen initiative

On Wednesday, the Missouri House approved Senate Joint Resolution 38 that would amend Article III of the Missouri Constitution to change or repeal certain provisions of Missouri Amendment 1 passed in 2018. The House approved the amendment in a vote of 98-56. The Senate approved the amendment in a vote of 22-9 on February 10. The amendment will go be for Missouri voters in November.

The amendment would enact the following changes:
• eliminate the nonpartisan state demographer and instead use a bipartisan redistricting commission appointed by the governor again;
• alter the criteria used to draft district maps;
• change the threshold of lobbyist gifts from $5 to $0; and
• lower the contribution limit for state senate campaigns from $2,500 to $2,400.

Missouri Amendment 1 (2018) was a citizen initiative approved with 62 percent of the vote. Amendment 1 created a position called the non-partisan state demographer, which was tasked with drawing state legislative districts. Amendment 1 required the state demographer and commissions to consider specific criteria, including what the initiative calls partisan fairness and competitiveness, contiguousness, compactness, and the boundaries of political subdivisions. SJR 38 would require that population size, adherence to voting rights laws, compactness, and county unity have a higher priority than partisan fairness and competitiveness in the criteria used for redistricting.

Amendment 1 also prohibited the Missouri State Legislature from passing laws allowing for unlimited campaign contributions to candidates for the state legislature. Amendment 1 established campaign contribution limits for legislative candidates and their committees for a single election cycle to $2,500 per person to a state Senate candidate and $2,000 per person to a state House candidate.

The 2018 initiated constitutional amendment was sponsored by Clean Missouri. The coalition of committees in support of the amendment raised $5.63 million, including $1.01 million from the Action Now Initiative and $1.00 million from the National Education Association. The Missourians First and Advance Missouri PACs, which registered to oppose Amendment 1, raised $343,201.

In Missouri, the state legislature can refer state statutes and constitutional amendments to the ballot for voter consideration. Both amendments and statutes require a simple majority vote of legislators to be placed on the ballot.

Between 1996 and 2018, about 63 percent (52 of 82) of the total number of measures that appeared on statewide ballots were approved, and about 37 percent (30 of 82) were defeated.

Between 2006 and 2019, 73.33 percent of the 30 constitutional amendments on Missouri ballots were approved.

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Missouri Medicaid Expansion Initiative was lone citizen initiative for which signatures were submitted by May 3 deadline

Healthcare for Missouri, the sponsor of the Missouri Medicaid Expansion Initiative, was the only campaign targeting the Missouri 2020 ballot to submit signatures by the May 3 deadline. The campaign reported submitting over 350,000 signatures to the Missouri Secretary of State. A total of 160,199 valid signatures are required to make the ballot.

The Medicaid Expansion Initiative would amend the Missouri Constitution to require the state government to provide Medicaid for persons whose income is 133 percent of the federal poverty level or below and who are not eligible for other state insurance coverage, which would effectively increase the coverage level to 138 percent under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

Medicaid is a government program that provides medical insurance to groups of low-income people and individuals with disabilities. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, provided for the expansion of Medicaid to cover all individuals earning incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in NFIB v. Sebelius that the federal government could not withhold funds from states that refused to expand Medicaid. The ruling had the practical effect of making Medicaid expansion optional for states. As of January 2020, a total of 36 states and Washington, D.C., had expanded or voted to expand Medicaid, while 14 states had not.

In Missouri, the signature requirement totals for initiatives are based on the number of votes cast for governor in the state’s most recent gubernatorial election. In two-thirds of Missouri’s congressional districts, proponents must collect signatures equal to 5 percent of the gubernatorial vote for initiated state statutes and veto referendums and 8 percent of the gubernatorial vote for initiated constitutional amendments. Therefore, the total number of signatures required is less than 5 percent or 8 percent of the total votes cast for governor. For 2020, petitioners needed to collect at least 160,199 valid signatures for initiated constitutional amendments and at least 100,126 valid signatures for initiated state statutes and veto referendums.

There is one legislatively referred constitutional amendment certified for the November ballot in Missouri. The State Executive Term Limits Amendment would limit the lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state auditor, and attorney general, along with the governor and state treasurer, to two terms of office. In Missouri, the state legislature can refer state statutes and constitutional amendments to the ballot for voter consideration during its legislative session. The 2020 legislative session was scheduled to convene on January 8, 2020, and adjourn on May 15, 2020.

A total of 82 measures appeared on statewide ballots in Missouri from 1996 to 2018. About 63 percent (52 of 82) of the total number of measures that appeared on Missouri ballots were approved, and about 37 percent (30 of 82) were defeated. Between 1996 and 2018, an average of seven measures appeared on the ballot in Missouri during even-numbered election years.

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