As political battles continue to rage over the Supreme Court, control over Congress and President Donald Trump’s tweet du jour, a major ballot issue has been quietly gaining momentum. In November, Missouri voters will not only be deciding whether to give Sen. Claire McCaskill a third six-year term; they also will have an opportunity to increase road and bridge funding for the first time since 1996.
Twenty-two years ago, the world was a different place. That year, Fox News first went on the air, Michael Jordan won his fourth of six championships, Tickle Me Elmo was introduced and Mizzou still played in the Big 8 Conference. AOL was the primary gateway to the information superhighway, charging $40 a month for 19 hours of dial-up access. People who weren’t even born yet in 1996 can now legally purchase alcohol. And in 1996, the gas tax was set at a fixed 17 cents per gallon with no adjustment for inflation.
This lack of inflation adjustment has been helpful in some ways – it keeps taxes from rising on autopilot and potentially running away from true costs. But it also means Missourians need to periodically review it to ensure the number still matches the reality of how much it costs to keep up what we have, as well as build for the future. The purchasing power of that 17-cent tax is now less than half of what it was in 1996, because inflation has eaten it alive.
The new proposal, Proposition D, would slowly increase the gas tax by 2.5 cents per year over a four-year period. This would amount to about $1.28 per month for the average driver in the first year, or about $5.10 per month at the end of the four-year phase-in. The first year’s increase would cost an average driver four pennies per day – less than most of us lose in our couch cushions.
An outstanding feature of how Prop D is structured is that 30 percent of the funds would bypass state government and be given directly to counties and cities to spend on only roads and bridges. Each county and municipality in the state would receive a boost proportional to their size.
The remaining 70 percent of the money would fund the Highway Patrol’s budget. The money that had been funding their budget is already constitutionally mandated to only be spent on the Highway Patrol, road and bridge funding or the cost of collecting the gas tax. Politicians cannot dip into the barrel to pay for pet projects or rob Peter to pay Paul – doing so would require approval by Missouri voters, which frankly would never happen.
The Missouri Farm Bureau is supporting Prop D due to the local control rural governments will have over the funds and the dire need to bring our funding up to date. The constitutional protections give peace of mind that the money won’t be wasted on turtle tunnels and shrimp treadmills.
It will get Missouri’s infrastructure back to where it needs to be.
Eric Bohl is director of public affairs for the Missouri Farm Bureau in Columbia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fueled by her own story of recovery, new NAMI leader Stephanie Appleby is challenging the community to talk about mental illness.
Ömer Önder, owner of Springfield Diner, struggles with the process of renaming his restaurant. The process led by Dustin Myers and Jeremy Wells, owners of the branding agency Longitude LLC. Ömer expresses all of the emotions he is going through as they work together to revise his seating, menu, hours, and a name to reflect those changes.
It is projected that 10,000 people in the United States will turn 65 years old everyday for 19 years, and non profits are going to be competing over the coming years in a fierce labor market. Give Five was developed as a civic matchmaking program to help connect capable retirees with charitable organizations that need help. Greg Burris outlines the problems the program addresses, opportunities for individuals and organizations, as well as how United Way of the Ozarks is licensing to the program to share with other communities.
Jamie Kinkeade noticed most of the women in her fitness classes at The Studio were wearing Lululemon. She knew her clients were driving to Kansas City to purchase the brand, so she approached the athletic apparel company to stock their merchandise in her store, The Movement. They said "no" at first because they were not looking to expand into the Springfield market, but her persistence paid off.
With more job openings than people to fill them, it is time for your company to evaluate how you are motivating and engaging your team to help you retain and attract the best talent. Sherry Coker, Executive Director at the OTC Center for Workforce Development, walks you through tangible and intangible incentives that encourage employee engagement, performance enhancement, and higher job satisfaction.
"When we first started we thought we could pretty much do this on our own," discloses Vera Gibbons with Baby Foot®. "We thought we knew what would be great...that's not really what happened." Gibbons recommends partnering with a strong marketing partner early and give them a budget.
With four generations in the workplace, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of how each approaches brainstorming can make all the difference in arriving at the best idea. Boomer Kay Logsdon, Director of Applications at CultureWaves, and self-described fossil Millennial Locke Hilderbrand share what their trends research at CultureWaves tells us about generational differences and tips on how to bridge the gaps. Generations in the Workplace is an ongoing multi-episode series tackling the issues of generational conflict.
One year into opening Ellecor, Haden Long gave birth to her second daughter. The first five months of her life, she was with her constantly at work. "They're why we do this," Long explains.
Brandy Hickman with 2B well & Living Light with Brandy Lane advises to be responsive and authentic with your clients. If you don't, the business will go elsewhere.
Kevin Wyas, founder of ECRI, knows he can't always do things as well as somebody else, but he knows if he's done it before successfully he knows he can do it again adapted for the new situation. If you don't believe in yourself nobody else will.
Brandy Hickman with 2B Well & Living Light with Brandy Lane, give you useful tips to help you identify what is causing you stress so you can better engage and enjoy life.