Examining the amendments on Aug. 5 ballot

There are several amendments that voters will be asked to consider on the Aug. 5 primary ballot. This is not to be construed as an endorsement by The Pathway or by the Missouri Baptist Convention. Following is how I personally will vote on each amendment and why. Feel free to disagree. The important thing is to vote Aug. 5.
    “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 General Assembly placed this on the ballot by passing Missouri House Joint Resolution 11. It passed the House of Representatives 132-25 and in the Senate, 27-7.To be honest, this amendment is more symbolic than anything. Farming is important to our state’s economy. It is also an individual liberty issue as well. Farmers should be able to farm their land as they feel necessary and within current state laws, which are not impacted by this amendment.

    I will vote “yes” on Amendment 1.

    “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?”The amendment was passed by the General Assembly in Senate Joint Resolution 36. It gained passage in the House, 122-31, and in the Senate, 23-8.Amendment 5 is essentially the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It seems largely symbolic, but I believe the law gives Americans the right to bear arms.

    I will vote “yes” on Amendment 5 because I believe Missourians have the right to bear arms.

    “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?” It is expected to produce about $530 million annually, with about 90 percent going to the state and 10 percent going to local governments. It will prohibit increases in the gas tax and the revenue will be used for transportation purposes only.This was put on the ballot through House Joint Resolution 68. The House passed it 105-43, while it passed the Senate, 22-10.Missouri roads need attention. The question is this: is a state sales tax the best way to fund roads? I think not because this will hurt Missouri families, especially the least among us.

    I will vote “no” on Amendment 7.

    “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 General Assembly voted to place this issue on the ballot through House Joint Resolution 48. It passed the Senate, 27-4, and it passed the House, 132-10.I oppose any expansion of gambling and the lottery is gambling. The impact if it passes is expected to be minimal. Quite frankly there are better ways to help our veterans. There are plenty of charities and special programs to which people may make donations. In addition, there is no guarantee with a lottery as the state just learned. Recently Gov. Jay Nixon ordered a review of the Missouri Lottery after the 2014 budget year produced $1.16 billion in sales, with only $267 million making it to education, well below expectations.

    I will vote “no” on Amendment 8.

    “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?”This amendment was put on the ballot through Senate Joint Resolution 27. It passed the Senate, 31-1, while passing the House, 114-28.There are doubts this amendment will do much, but any attempt to protect the privacy and freedom of Americans is good thing.

    I will vote “yes” on Amendment 9.