Sen. Bill White’s Capitol Report for Nov. 3, 2022

Senator Bill White’s Capitol Report for Nov. 3, 2022

Next Tuesday, Nov. 8, voters will head to the polls to decide who will represent their communities at the local, state and federal levels, and whether or not to amend our state’s constitution through four proposed ballot measures. Please read the entire list of amendments and familiarize yourself with the local initiatives on the ballot so you are prepared to make informed decisions on Election Day. I’ve included summaries of the proposed measures below.

Constitutional Amendment One: Modifies the State Treasurer’s Investment Powers

The treasurer is required to invest certain moneys in Missouri banking institutions preselected by his or her office and approved by the governor, as well as obligations of the United States government or any agency thereof which mature and become payable up to seven years from the date of purchase. If approved, the treasurer will also be authorized to invest in highly-rated, long and short-term municipal securities and other reasonable, prudent financial instruments and securities. Preliminary figures estimate Missouri stands to gain $2 million annually from broader investments, with no cost to our bottom line. I will be a “yes” vote on this.

Constitutional Amendment Three: Legalizes Cannabis Use for Adults over 21

This proposal creates a legal framework for non-medical cannabis use throughout Missouri. If approved, adults over 21 will be able to purchase and use marijuana recreationally. The amendment also establishes a process for those who have committed past, nonviolent marijuana-related offenses to have their records expunged. Non-medical marijuana sales will be subject to a 6% sales tax which will help finance the regulatory program, offset the costs associated with proceedings to expunge marijuana records and provide additional funding for veterans programs, drug rehabilitation centers and the state’s public defender system. I adamantly oppose this measure.

Constitutional Amendment Four: Increases Minimum Funding for the Kansas City Police Department

If approved by voters, this amendment grants the General Assembly the power to raise the minimum funding of the Kansas City Police Department (KCPD) from 20% of its municipal budget to 25%. The KCPD is the only law enforcement agency that is run a by state board of police commissioners, as opposed to being locally controlled. I support this measure.

Constitutional Amendment Five: Creates the Missouri Department of the National Guard

Stemming from legislation I passed in 2021, this amendment creates the Missouri Department of the National Guard, transferring the guard from the Department of Public Safety and placing its leadership under the adjutant general. If approved by voters, the new Department of the National Guard will administer the militia, uphold the state and national constitutions and provide other defense and security mechanisms. I definitely hope this one passes.

Question about Convening a Constitutional Convention

Every 20 years, voters must decide whether or not to convene a constitutional convention to revise or amend the Missouri Constitution. Our current constitution was adopted in 1945, the fourth version in Missouri’s 201 years of statehood.   

Our community offers a variety of activities and opportunities to honor veterans and show them our appreciation and admiration. To all of my fellow veterans who answered the call to duty, served our country and sacrificed to defend freedom, I say “thank you.”