Our elected officials are trying to pull a fast one on us. Amendment 3 seeks to overturn Clean Missouri passed by 62 percent of Missourians in 2018 but it is so much more than that.
The last sentence of Amendment 3's ballot language says, "Individual local governmental entities expect significant decreased revenues of a total unknown amount." You should be asking why city and county governments expect significantly lower revenues. Embedded in the 3,000-word amendment is a provision that districts "shall be drawn on the basis of one person, one vote." Missouri is a test case for this and would be the only state in the nation to eliminate children in the count, resulting in the most extreme undercount of citizens in the nation. That could reduce city and county support for schools and hospitals through Medicaid and the state school formula by 25 percent.
The devil is in the details.
The first question on the Amendment 3 ballot asks if you want to reduce the lobby gifts to zero. They don't tell you it is currently just $5. It next asks if you want to reduce campaign contributions to $2,400. They are currently $2,500. They hope a voter's first reaction would be to vote "yes" to these innocent changes. They hope voters are not aware of how insignificant these provisions are. The intent is pure trickery.
The third question asks if you want to return the redrawing of districts to a governor-appointed commission from the current non-political demographer. The maps drawn after the 2010 Census gave us octopus, golf club and snake-shaped districts. We saw the percentage of our state legislators go from 60 percent Republican before 2010 to 72 percent after the redistricting in 2010. Missouri is roughly only 55 percent republican. With 72 percent of our current legislators now Republican, we don't have a state government that reflects the make-up of the population. Not even close.
The fine wording of Amendment 3 would likely increase the "coefficient gap" from the current 9 to as much as 15, making Missouri district maps even more lopsided.
Amendment 3 is about much more than redrawing the district maps. It's impacts on local schools, hospitals and public health will be devastating. Who exactly is our Missouri Legislature trying to serve? Not Missourians, that's for sure. Vote no heck no! on Amendment 3.