The Buzz

June 4, 2014

BuzzChatter Thursday: 'Right to farm' proposal sparks disagreement

And ... St. Louis faces even higher sales taxes than NYC if transportation tax passes

The Buzz

The facts, faces and hum of local politics with Steve Kraske and Dave Helling

Farm politics to start the day.

“Our food supply is the most ample, safest, and cheapest in the world. Unless we do what it takes to protect that, not only will that be endangered, but our way of life, the farmer's way of life, will be in danger.” — Missouri Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer, a Republican, touting a proposed constitutional amendment to limit regulations on farmers in Missouri. (link courtesy of johncombest.com).

“This initiative isn't about protecting Missouri's family farmers; (it's) about protecting large agricultural interests. They want constitutional protection like no other company has in the state of Missouri or in this country.” — Joe Maxwell, a Democrat and vice president of outreach and engagement for the Humane Society of the United States, opposing it.

The campaign is underway on this proposed “right to farm” amendment that voters will decide in August. GOP members of Congress from Missouri are making appearances on its behalf. The early guess here is that that pro-amendment side has the wind at its back.

“The city's sales tax would rise to among the highest in the nation if voters approve a statewide transportation initiative on the Aug. 5 ballot.” — the lead to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch story on the three-quarters-of-a-cent sales tax issue on the August ballot.

The proposal, which now faces iffy prospects at best, would make base sales taxes in St. Louis even higher than those in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago, the story concludes.

“The Veterans Choice Act makes certain veterans no longer struggle with unacceptable wait times at VA facilities by giving them the option of being treated by their local physician or being admitted to their local hospital.” — Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran, a Republican, on a bill he’s sponsoring with Arizona Sen. John McCain and others.

In a statement, Moran said the private-doctor approach has worked with Project ARCH (Access Received Closer to Home), which enables rural veterans who live more than an hour from a VA facility the ability to receive care from their local health-care provider.

“This measure will help avoid the uncertainty and disruption seen in 2012 and ensure more Missourians have a voice in the nomination process.” — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, in a written statement Wednesday announcing he had signed the bill, which moves the 2016 Missouri presidential primary date to March 15 from early February.

“Uncertainty” and “disruption” don’t go far enough to describe the chaos of 2012. That year, the state’s February primary date violated GOP rules. The result was the state’s primary was changed to a non-binding election that eventual Republican nominee Mitt Romney ignored. Few votes even bothered to turn up at the polls. Give the General Assembly credit. Lawmakers dealt with the issue early, ending any confusion about 2016.

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