KOMU 8 News viewers weigh in on marijuana, wages, taxes, roads and more

9 months 1 week 3 hours ago March 02, 2016 Mar 2, 2016 Wednesday, March 02 2016 Wednesday, March 02, 2016 4:12:00 PM CST in Smart Decision
By: Rose Schmidt, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

COLUMBIA - KOMU 8 News asked you to tell us your thoughts on key local and state election issues, as well as what questions you would like to ask the gubernatorial candidates. 

We've also hosted Facebook Live conversations where you've shared more opinions with us. We've collected the results and comments.

Legalization of marijuana for medical and personal use

Almost 60 percent of survey responders agreed in some capacity that marijuana should be legalized for personal use, with sales being taxed. The number was slightly higher for medical use, at about 68 percent, with taxes specifically going toward care of military veterans.

Quite a few Facebook commenters advocated for the legalization of marijuana.

"Missourians deserve a choice on how to legalize cannabis in 2016. The MCRPA 2016-013 is common sense, evidence-based policy that will bring healing to millions of people and an industrial revolution thru hemp to our economy," Laura Harrison commented, referring to the Missouri Cannabis Restoration and Protection Act.

The results show about 26 percent disagree with marijuana legalization for personal use, but only 15 percent disagree with legalization for medical use.

Twelve people told us they wanted candidates to address the legalization of marijuana during the election cycle.

Facebook user Mike N Opal Wilson said he would ask the candidates, "Why is alcohol and packing firearms legal ..when recreational marijuana is not legal?"

Minimum wage increase

Of those surveyed, 47 percent believed the minimum wage should go up to $9 now and $15 by 2023.

"I also agree minimum wage should be more, i payed $475 for a very tiny 2 bedroom house and we never had enough for other expenses," Facebook user Sarah Jane Schudel said.

Forty-two percent of the survey respondents disagreed in some capcity with raising the minimum wage.

Facebook user Benjamin Thomas said minimum wage should not be raised because it would lead to other prices rising. 

"What needs to be focused on is making our dollar worth something again. It's the result of inflation, the reason why everything is so expensive is because our dollar isn't worth as much as it once was. There isn't enough gold backing it, and way too many bills in circulation," Thomas commented.

When asked what questions viewers would like to ask candidates, one man who works full time and identifies as a Democrat said, "Why are you all so corrupted by money and why do you work so little, yet make more than many, yet wont raise the minimum wage , yet you raise your own pay?"

Voter ID

Nearly a quarter of our survey respondents listed Voter ID as their number one concern. 57 percent said they think a voter should have to show a government-approved photo ID to vote in an election.

About 29 percent disagreed with the statement.

One man who identified as 60 or older said he wanted to see voter ID brought up in the election cycle, and a woman in her 50s said she wanted local and statewide candidates to focus on "the protection of rights of voters."

Cigarette tax for road repairs

The viewer survey asked whether people agreed or disagreed with the statement "Cigarette smokers should pay more state tax to fund road repairs."

Forty-seven percent disagreed, while 38 percent agreed.

More than 20 survey respondents wanted candidates to address road or bridge repair, or infrastructure of some kind. Some specifically mentioned infrastructure on Interstate 70.

If given the chance to ask candidates questions, one woman who identifies as Republican said she would ask, "What adjustments would you suggest be made to the budget to ensure the inspection and safety modifications to Missouri's infrastructure?"
 
A Democratic woman said she would ask, "Why, when it is so obvious that we need funding for education and infrastructure are legislatures continuing to cut taxes?"

Campaign contributions
 
Thirty percent of survey takers listed campaign contrubutions as their top priority, more than any other issue. About 83 percent said they agreed in some capacity that campaign contributions should be limited.

Seven percent disagreed.

One employed woman in her 50s who identifies as an Independent said, given the opportunity, she would ask the candidates, "Who has given you the most in campaign contributions and why do you think they gave you that much?"

Another survey respondent would want to ask gubernatorial candidates, "How do you justify all that's spent on political campaigns that could go directly to helping the poor?"

Other issues

Another hot-button issue for survey respondents was refugees or illegal immigrants in the state.

A woman in her 50s who identifies as a Republican said she would like to ask the gubernatorial candidates, "How are you going to keep Syrian refugees out of the US? They don't want to assimilate to obey our laws."

Education was an issue twelve respondents said they wanted candidates to address during the 2016 election: particularly regarding increased funding for education.
 
Facebook user Judy Cain said she'd like to see lawmakers address bullying. 
 
"We are just not protecting our kids enough. The schools are just not doing enough or some don't care.," Cain commented.
 
A survey respondent in her 40s who works full time and identifies as an Independent would like to ask candidates, "How are you going to make college (and tech schools, or basically any post-high school programs) more affordable for people?"
 
A man 60 or older wanted to know, "How are tax dollars spent in public school systems?"
 
Other issues that received notable attention from respondents were problems with the University of Missouri, health care, funding for Planned Parenthood, women's rights and gender issues, the environment, public safety, gun laws, veterans' care, welfare, and ethics reform.
 
 

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