When thinking about how to vote on Amendment 3 this November 8, consider this: the rate of Missouri’s high schoolers smoking is higher than the national average, one in six pregnant Missouri moms smokes, and more than 90 percent of adult smokers report having started smoking before the age of 18. Clearly, there is work to be done. We can all agree on that. Amendment 3 is a concrete, common-sense, pragmatic approach.
Amendment 3, the Early Childhood Health and Education Amendment, is the right, and appropriate, way to address several pressing issues at once. By increasing our lowest in the nation cigarette tax by 60 cents, phased in over four years, it will generate an expected $300 million annually for early childhood education, health care and smoking cessation programs for pregnant moms and youth. That’s significant new funding for children and families, provided in a measured manner. Most importantly, to a whole lot of us, this new funding will be out of the grasp of politicians in Jefferson City. Because this is constitutional amendment, they can’t touch the money. It will go exactly where it is promised to go: that’s the law. And that’s critically important.
Amendment 3 will provide a windfall of new funding, raised responsibly, that will go to providing Pre-K access to thousands of Missouri children, an area in which Missouri lags behind our neighboring states and most of the nation; and health care and smoking cessation programs for both our young people and pregnant women. Amendment 3 is a plan for the future of Missouri, developed by Missourians, and we look forward to its passage in November. This is a great example of Missourians coming together to find solutions to the shared challenges we face.
Vote Yes on 3 for Kids