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2014 will see nine proposed constitutional amendments sent to the voters. In August, voters approved three amendments to the state constitution, while turning down two. Most notably, Missourians passed the controversial "Right to Farm" amendment, and rejected a ten year increase in sales tax to fund transportation projects. This Tuesday voters will decide upon amendments 2, 3, 6 and 10. Amendment 2: This amendment would allow a defendant's "evidence of prior criminal acts" to be admissible in court if the case involved "crimes of a sexual nature" against a victim under the age of eighteen. Read more here Amendment 3: If approved this amendment would dramatically alter how public school teachers are paid, evaluated, and promoted. It would tie pay to student performance evaluations, and restrict contracts to a maximum of three years, among other changes. Read more here Amendment 6: This amendment would create Missouri's first early voting procedure. If approved, Missouri would establish a six-day early voting window for mail-in and in-person ballots. Voters would not be able to cast ballots on weekends, and outside of the hours poling facilities normally operate. Read more here Amendment 10: If passed, this would place greater fiscal restrictions on the governor. In particular, it would disallow the withholding of revenue based on a projected shortfall, and require public debts be paid. Read more here

Voters defeat Columbia Proposition 1, deny tax for public safety staff

Tom Barclay
Columbia City Hall

Mayor Bob McDavid was in a solemn mood Tuesday evening after learning Columbia residents voted against a proposition that would have funded extra staff positions at the local police and fire departments.

60 percent of voters were against Proposition 1. The act would have increased property taxes by 30 cents for every $100 assessed to allow the city to hire more public safety officers. 

The mayor says he will continue to monitor city funding to ensure that public safety remains effective, but says the city will need to offset sales tax shortfalls from rising internet shopping sales.

"If e-commerce continues to accelerate and if Columbia continues to rely on its current funding mechanism of public safety, the math indicates that we will have a smaller police department and fire department in the future,” said Mayor McDavid.

The mayor says the popularity of internet shopping has reduced sales tax revenues in Columbia per capita by as much as twenty percent. 

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