Ahead of this week's midterm elections, the Missouri Bishops issued two statements, onein support of the intent of Proposition B and one in opposition to Amendment 3.Missourians voted to pass Proposition B, while Amendment 3 did not pass.
Proposition B increases the Missouri minimum wage from $7.85 to $8.60 in 2019. Thereafter, the minimum wage will increase by $0.85 per hour until it reaches $12.00 per hour in 2023. After 2023, the minimum wage would be adjusted yearly based on the changes in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.
In their statement, the Bishops emphasized that they have seen the effect that unemployment, underemployment, and low wages have on their parishioners and on society at large. While the Bishops recognized that people of good will may disagree as to what minimum wage is appropriate for Missouri, they "support...the intent of this proposal, which seeks to raise the living standard of the working poor..."
Amendment 3, which would have amended the Missouri constitution to legalize medical marijuana and create a tax-funded stream of revenue for potentially unethical biomedical research, did not pass.
Amendment 3 would have legalized medical marijuana for patients who have one of 10 qualifying conditions (or others with a doctor's approval). The initiative imposed a 15 percent sales tax, which would have been used to fund a newly-created biomedical research institute tasked with developing cures for cancer and other diseases. There was no limitation on the types of research that could have been funded through the institute.
While the Bishops stated they were "sympathetic to those who seek relief from debilitating illness and express no position on the propriety of medical marijuana as a means of relieving suffering", they opposed the initiative because the funding stream created by the initiative would not have been subject to legislative appropriation or review, and could have been used for research involving the destruction and use of embryonic stem cells or aborted fetal remains.
Amendment 2, another medical marijuana measure, did pass. The bishops took no position on this amendment.