ST. LOUIS NEWS TODAY -
St. Louis Winner In Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge to Promote Sustainable Future
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ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), November 3, 2018 - Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced St. Louis as a winning city in the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge, a national initiative to tackle climate change and promote a sustainable future for citizens.
As a winning city, St. Louis joins a two-year program where Bloomberg Philanthropies will provide in-person technical assistance and support for the following actions by 2020:
Leverage the energy usage information and data reporting associated with the City's Energy Benchmarking program, [www.stlbenchmarking.com] and the financing tools available through the City's Set The PACE St. Louis program, [www.setthepacestlouis.com] so that they translate to significant energy efficiency building improvements in the private sector
Develop and execute a comprehensive solar action strategy for the city
Conduct electric vehicle analysis and outreach to accelerate availability of electric vehicle infrastructure and use of electric vehicles.
Bloomberg reports St. Louis was selected as a winning city because of its innovative climate action plans to reduce air pollution and citywide emissions.
The City has outlined specific projects aimed at improvements in the transit and buildings sectors, areas which are typically responsible for 80 percent of all citywide emissions. Bloomberg Philanthropies also recognizes St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson for her commitment to ambitious climate action and securing a cleaner, safer, and healthier environment for residents.
"We know that 97 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions community-wide come from the building and transportation sectors,"Krewson said. "The resources associated with this climate challenge grant are a game-changer.
Thanks to Bloomberg Philanthropies, St. Louis will be positioned to accelerate our work on our Climate Protection Initiative."
The Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge is a $70 million dollar program that will accelerate 20 cities' efforts to tackle climate change and promote a sustainable future for residents. Through the Climate Challenge - which is part of Bloomberg's American Cities Initiative - cities will have access to a suite of more than $200 million in investments to strengthen city halls and advance critical policies.
"With Washington asleep at the wheel, cities are more important than ever in the fight against climate change. And they are driving America forward," said Mike Bloomberg, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action.
"In response to our Climate Challenge, cities all across the country - red and blue, big and small - put forward thoughtful and innovative proposals. But Minneapolis, St. Paul, Chicago, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Columbus broke out from the pack. Congratulations to them all! And I look forward to seeing them put their ideas into action."
"The Paris climate agreement is a promise we made to our children - and we're going to keep it," said Rhea Suh, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council. "The American Cities Climate Challenge gives cities the tools they need to lead the way. With cities generating the majority of the fossil fuel pollution driving climate change, and bearing the brunt of its impacts, fighting climate change begins in City Hall. These mayors are committed to delivering a brighter, more hopeful tomorrow for future generations."
As Climate Challenge winners, the 20 winning cities will be accepted into a two-year acceleration program with powerful new resources and access to cutting-edge support, led by experts at the Natural Resources Defense Council, Delivery Associates and others, to help them meet - or beat - their near-term carbon reduction goals, from creating high-impact policies to putting them into action.
These resources include a philanthropy-funded team member to facilitate the development and passage of high impact policies, training for senior leadership to assist with implementation of their proposed climate plans, and citizen engagement support to maximize community buy-in.
Missouri State Wide Ballots for Election Day 2018
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), November 3, 2018 - The League of Women Voters of Missouri has released a comprehensive list of statewide ballot issues voters will decide, Tuesday, November 6, 2018. The League's position is included in italics.
AMENDMENT 1: Clean up Missouri Politics
CLEAN Missouri's initiative increases fairness, accountability, integrity and transparency in Missouri politics. Amendment
1 would do the following:
- Lower campaign contribution limits to $2,500 for state Senate candidates and $2,000 for state House candidates
- Eliminate almost all lobbyist gifts to members of the General Assembly
- Require that all legislative records be open to the public, including committee reports, correspondence and
electronic communication, and allow taping of all meetings open to the public
- Require politicians to wait two years after leaving office before becoming paid lobbyists
- Ensure that neither political party is given an unfair advantage when new legislative district maps are drawn after
each census. An independent demographer would draw maps that would then be reviewed by a citizen commission that must hold public hearings. Currently, politicians draw the maps to protect incumbents and their parties.
Districts must be drawn using the following criteria, in order of priority:
- make districts as equal in population as practicable;
- comply with U.S. Constitution, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, other federal laws;
- promote partisan fairness and competitiveness
- be composed of contiguous territory, coincide with the boundaries of political subdivisions and be compact in form.
The League has been advocating for redistricting reform for decades and supports Amendment 1.
AMENDMENT 2: MEDICAL MARIJUANA - Care of Veterans
Amends the Missouri Constitution to allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes with a 4% tax on its retail sale at
dispensaries. Funds estimated at $18 million would go toward veterans' health programs, including Veterans' Homes,
state operating costs and $6 million to local governments for their costs if they have a retail marijuana facility or a
marijuana growing facility. The Missouri Department of Revenue would oversee the taxation and revenue regulations.
Local governments may not refuse to allow a facility within their jurisdiction. The Department of Health and Senior
Services would license and regulate marijuana and marijuana facilities. It creates the Missouri Veterans Health
Commission for Health and Care of Veterans to oversee use of the license fee and tax. Approximately $7 million will be
spent on state operating costs. The 30-day allowed prescription amount is 4 oz.
The League hasn't taken a position on Amendment 2 or 3 or Prop C. Since 2015, the Missouri League has supported the
lawful use of marijuana for medical treatments.
AMENDMENT 3: MEDICAL MARIJUANA - Biomedical Research Institute
Similar to Amendment 2, but it focuses more on research than patient care, imposing a 15% tax on the retail sale of
marijuana that would be used for a "Biomedical Research and Drug Development Institute." The purpose of the
Institute is to conduct research and develop cures for cancer and other incurable diseases or medical conditions.
Submitted and financed by Brad Bradshaw, who will be the Chairman of the Board of the Institute and select all of the
Board members. Implementation cost would be $186,000 with an increased annual operating cost of $500,000. They
anticipate an annual income of approximately $66 million. The 30-day allowed prescription amount is 3 oz.
The League is concerned that Amendment 3 stipulates that the Institute's board members be chosen by one individual
(Brad Bradshaw) who is also the chairman of the Board and administrator of the Institute. The revenue from the
enterprise will be overseen by a private, non-elected individual.
PROPOSITION B: MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE
This initiative by Raise Up Missouri increases the state minimum wage by 85 cents an hour each year until it reaches $12
per hour in 2023. The current state minimum wage is $7.85 an hour, which is not a living wage (defined as what an
individual needs to pay for food, housing medical, child care, transportation, taxes and other basic needs). Prop B would
account for changes in the Consumer Price Index after 2023 and penalize employers who do not pay their workers
minimum wage. Minimum pay would also increase for restaurant staff and other exempt workers (51 percent of the
minimum wage in 2019 rising to 60 percent in 2024). Government employers and businesses with annual gross income
less than $500,000 are not required to pay the state minimum wage.
The League supports Prop B because a higher minimum wage will advance self-sufficiency for individuals.
PROPOSITION C: MEDICAL MARIJUANA - Health and Senior Services
Removes state prohibitions on personal use and possession of medical marijuana by anyone diagnosed with a qualifying
medical condition and allow growth, possession, production, and sale of medical marijuana by licensed and regulated
facilities. One-half of 1% of a 2% tax on the retail sale of medical marijuana would be used for veterans' services, drug
treatment, early childhood education overseen by the Department of Health and Senior Services and the State
Treasurer. Funds also go to public safety in cities with a medical marijuana facility. Annual revenues are estimated to
cover annual costs of $10 million. The Division of Liquor Control would administer the program to license and regulate
marijuana and marijuana facilities. The 14-day allowed prescription amount is 3 oz. Financed by Missourians for Patient
Care, donors' names not available.
The League is concerned that .5% of $10 million in revenue would be just $50,000 total for the four listed beneficiaries:
veterans' services, drug treatment, early childhood education and public safety in cities with medical marijuana facilities.
Also, as a statute, this proposal can be changed in any way or not implemented by the Legislature
BALLOT ISSUES FROM THE STATE LEGISLATURE
AMENDMENT 4: BINGO
The Missouri Management and Advertisement of Bingo Games amendment was submitted by the General Assembly to
lower the time required for someone to belong to a group before he/she can manage a bingo game for the organization
from two years to six months, and to remove the constitutional ban on advertising for bingo games. A constitutional
amendment is necessary because the original authorization approving Bingo in the state was passed as a constitutional
PROPOSITION D: GAS TAX INCREASE
This initiative was submitted by the legislature to increase the state motor fuel tax by 10 cents a gallon by 2.5 cents per
year until it reaches the full amount in 2022. The current tax is 17 cents per gallon for both gasoline and diesel fuel,
compared to Iowa's 31 cents for gasoline and 32.5 cents for diesel fuel. The higher tax is estimated to generate at least
$288 million annually for the Highway Patrol and $123 million annually to local governments for road construction.
Subject to appropriation by the General Assembly, the state portion of the revenue generated by the increase shall be
used for the actual cost of the Missouri Highway Patrol in administering and enforcing state motor vehicle laws and
traffic regulations. Money originally budgeted for the Highway Patrol could then go for road and bridge projects. Prop D
establishes an "Emergency State Freight Bottleneck Fund" that will select and oversee appropriate projects to be funded
by the State Treasurer at the will of the Legislature. Those projects must meet freight route and cost requirements. The
measure also exempts Special Olympic, Paralympic and Olympic prizes from state taxes.
While there's a well-known need for additional funding to maintain and repair state roads and bridges, the League is
concerned that this is a regressive tax, putting more burden on lower socioeconomic individuals.
For more information on judges up for retention in 2018, go to www.yourmissourijudges.org.
For a personalized ballot, go to www.VOTE411.org.
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