TARGET 8 fact checks ad attacking Amendment 3

1 year 10 months 2 weeks ago Sunday, November 06 2016 Nov 6, 2016 Sunday, November 06, 2016 3:39:00 PM CST November 06, 2016 in Target 8
By: Hli Yang, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA — It stacks up as one of the most confusing decisions Missourians will have to make on election day. Amendment 3 would increase the taxes on cigarette packs to 60 cents by 2020 and impose an additional fee on tobacco wholesalers at an initial rate of 67 cents per pack. The proceeds of the tax would go to an early childhood trust fund.

KOMU 8’s Target 8 investigative team analyzed claims made by We Deserve Better, an advocacy group opposing Amendment 3, in one of its campaign ads.

"There’s language that discourages medical research": TRUE

In the initiative petition, Section 54(b) 2 states, “No funds from the early childhood health and education trust fund shall be used for human cloning or research, clinical trials, or therapies or cures using human embryonic stem cells, as defined in Article III, section 38(d).”

Missouri School Board Associations Executive Director Melissa Randol said the specific language prohibiting monies to medical research comes from previous attempts to raise the tobacco tax.

“We have had three prior initiatives on the ballot, in the past, to attempt to raise tobacco tax,” Randol said. “In the past, no language was included about how the money would be used in terms of health care. The attempt was just to spend on early childhood, but there were no restrictions on that, so they killed it because they claimed the money would be used for other purposes. So, we specifically included, this time, language of who gets the money and who doesn’t.”

Missouri Cures Executive Director Dena Ladd said her organization opposes the amendment.

“We do not understand why they would mention stem cell research in a ballot initiative that deals with raising tax on tobacco products and early childhood education,” Ladd said. “It has nothing to do with stem cell research. They kind of dragged us into this fight.”

Ladd said medical research groups fear Amendment 3 will negatively stigmatize stem cell research and hurt the work they put into passing a 2006 measure known as Amendment 2, which protects stem cell research.

Ladd said at that time, there was legislation that would have banned stem cell research in Missouri.

“That was a really hard-fought battle and over the last two years, we continue to fight to keep those protections in place,” Ladd said.

A retired Missouri Court of Appeals judge, James Dowd, published a legal opinion stating that Amendment 3 wouldn’t affect any of the constitutional protections for stem-cell research.

However, Ladd said Missouri Cures' attorney did a legal analysis as well and they disagreed.

“This is something you should be concerned about," she said.

"Adds 135 words defining abortion": TRUE

Section 54(b) 2 includes a section with exactly 135 words prohibiting funds to be used towards abortion services in Missouri:

“None of the funds collected, distributed or allocated from the early childhood health and education trust fund shall be expended, paid, or granted to or on behalf of existing or proposed activities, programs, or initiatives that involve abortion services including performing, inducing, or assisting with abortions, as defined in law, or encouraging patients to have abortions, referring patients for abortions not necessary to save the life of the mother, or development of drugs, chemicals, or devices intended to be used to induce an abortion. None of the funds collected, distributed, or allocated from the early childhood health and education trust fund shall be expended, paid or granted to or on behalf of any abortion clinic, abortion clinic operator, or outpatient health care facility that provides abortion services unless such services are limited to medical emergencies.”

According to an Amendment 3 analysis, Missouri Alliance Freedom, a group that opposes abortion, is fighting the measure.

The group states, "We are more cautious and, at the very least, cannot support an amendment inserting language into the constitution that arguably legitimizes abortion in our state."

Another group against abortion, Concerned Women for America, opposes the amendment because, if passed, the term "abortion services" will be in Missouri's Constitution for the first time.

Abortion rights supporter NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri is also in opposition to the amendment. It stated in a press release, "The proposed cigarette tax plan could steer public funds to anti-choice groups as well as further impeding abortion access in the state." 

"Prohibits law enforcement from enforcing tougher anti-tobacco laws": INCOMPLETE

Section 54(c) 3, states, “One percent of the funds deposited in the fund shall be used by the Director of Public Safety and the Director of Revenue to employ personnel for the sole purpose of criminal tobacco enforcement of existing state laws regarding tobacco products.”

The statute states the money will go towards enforcing “existing state laws,” whereas the claim states police cannot enforce “tougher” anti-tobacco laws.

"And undermines Missouri’s ban on sending public money to private schools": TRUE

Section 54(a) states the funds deposited would be "available for distribution to public and private entities." Section 54 (b) 2 also states:

"Distributions of funds under this amendment shall not be limited or prohibited by the provisions of Article 9, Section 8."

Article 9, Section 8 is "Prohibition of public aid for religious purposes and institutions."

Missouri School Board Associations Executive Director Melissa Randol said Missouri has to work with private providers to adequately serve and provide quality education to the Missouri pre-K population. She said tax dollars are currently going to public and private childhood education providers already.

“Our public schools do not have facilities to accommodate all 3, 4 year olds who would be eligible for public pre-K,” Randol said. “That’s exactly why this was drafted the way it is. To allow funding to continue the way it is right now in Missouri with Missouri Preschool Project Funds, Head Start – all those kinds of fund. We partner with private providers.”

Ladd said she supports early childhood education, but doesn’t think Amendment 3 is the right way to do it.

“This is a very flawed ballot initiative,” Ladd said. “It’s funded by R.J.R and should not change our constitution.”

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company is a supporter of Missouri's Amendment 3. The company has spent more than $12 million on ads backing the measure. The company said in a statement that it's the first time the company has ever supported a tax increase on tobacco.

"We believe Amendment 3 is both fair to our consumers and clearly in the best interests of the people in Missouri."

 

 

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - After cross examination Tuesday, the defense in the Missouri Voter ID trial presented their first witness in... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 7:08:00 PM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Hundreds of students registered to vote on the University of Missouri campus Tuesday. The Associated Students of... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 6:13:00 PM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
CANTON, MA (CNN) - Starting in January, Dunkin' Donuts will drop the "Donuts" from ads, packages and signage at new... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 5:39:00 PM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A police officer hurt his leg while trying to stop a man he caught breaking into a... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 5:31:00 PM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Screenshots of text messages show former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' staff used a message-deleting app on... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 4:33:00 PM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Taxes on Chinese imported goods could make home building and renovating more expensive. According to CNBC ,... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 3:44:00 PM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
MILLER COUNTY - A tri-state drug deal operation led to a murder in Miller County in June, according to the... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 3:09:00 PM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A historic building in Jefferson City continues to collapse, with another piece breaking off Monday morning. ... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 2:42:00 PM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The plaintiff in the Missouri voter ID case presented a witness and expert Tuesday who said the... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 2:25:00 PM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A teenager pleaded guilty in connection with a 2016 homicide on Claudell Lane, but prosecutors dropped a murder... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 11:52:00 AM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
CHILICOTHE - A Holts Summit woman convicted of murdering her husband died in prison, according to an obituary published by... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 11:36:00 AM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- President Donald Trump stepped up to the iconic dais at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday on... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 11:17:14 AM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson says state tax credits for low-income housing won't be issued until... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 10:36:00 AM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Matthias Katsch says he was 13 years old when a priest at his Jesuit school in Berlin first... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 10:29:43 AM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
MARIES COUNTY - A K-9 unit found a large amount of drugs in a truck caught speeding in Vichy, the... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 9:35:00 AM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - 'Welcome Home' and 'Cars4Heroes' gave a new car to an Army veteran who now makes a living out... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 8:03:00 AM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - In the past the the Roots N Blues N BBQ festival has consisted of three days of music,... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 7:32:00 AM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - JEFFTRAN will host an open house Tuesday to discuss proposed changes to the city’s existing bus routes. ... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 2:03:00 AM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 72°
10pm 63°
11pm 61°
12am 60°
1am 58°