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The Chamber encourages voters to support a November ballot proposal that would raise the state’s tobacco sales tax rate to 90 cents per pack. This increase would generate approximately $283 million in annual revenue, to be allocated for statewide public k-12 and higher education, as well as to smoking cessation programs.
Missouri currently has the lowest tax rate on tobacco products of all 50 states, and is one of only 3 states to not raise taxes on tobacco in the last decade. The proposal would take the state’s tobacco sales tax from 17 cents per pack to 90 cents per pack and Missouri would move from having the lowest tobacco tax rate in the nation to being ranked 33rd lowest of the 50 states.
Tobacco use costs Missourians an estimated $565 per household in public expenditures and is responsible for 9,500 deaths per year in Missouri from cancer and other smoking related diseases. It is estimated that Missouri spends $2.13 billion on healthcare costs directly related to smoking, and smoking costs Missouri businesses a significant amount in lost productivity. In addition, state Medicaid costs associated with smoking-related disease top $500 million per year.
The anticipated annual revenue would be allocated for the following:
-50% of the annual proceeds to elementary and secondary public education in Missouri
-30% for public higher education and
-20% for public health tobacco use prevention and cessation assistance in Missouri
Following a review of the proposal and a recommendation from the Chamber’s Governmental Relations Committee, the Chamber’s Board of Directors voted to endorse Proposition B.
The Chamber encourages voters to vote NO on the constitutional amendment, known as Amendment 3, that would make revisions to the state’s existing Non-Partisan Court Plan.
Amendment 3 was placed on the ballot by the Missouri General Assembly, and if approved by voters, would give the sitting governor more control over the selection of appellate judges. Under the proposed amendment, the governor would gain the power to appoint four of the seven commissioners who choose nominees for the Court of Appeals and the Missouri Supreme Court.
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The Chamber and the Springfield Business Journal will recognize professional excellence in health care at the 2012 Salute to Health Care event, October 25.
For the past 28 years, the Chamber’s Salute to Health Care has honored physicians who have gone beyond the traditional scope of their jobs to improve the health of Springfield area residents. This year, the Chamber will honor Dr. Alastair Haddow and Dr. Tom Prater.
The Springfield Business Journal will present its Health Care Champions awards in the categories of Dentists, Hospice Workers, Physical Therapists and School Nurses.
The Salute to Health Care award dinner will be held at the Ramada Oasis with a reception at 6:15 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. Tickets for the event are $40. Register by calling 417-862-5567 or online at www.springfieldchamber.com/salute.
Platinum Sponsor of Salute to Health Care is Bancorp South. Gold Sponsors are Fisk Transportation Group and Integrity Home Care. Other sponsors include Community Blood Center, Bach Medical Supply, Omega Health Care and Springfield First Community Bank.
The Chamber, in partnership with the Missouri Budget Project, invites you to attend an upcoming statewide budget summit, at 3:30 p.m., Wed., Oct 24, at the Chamber .
This meeting (jointly hosted by the Chamber and the Missouri Budget Project) will provide an outlook on funding for K-12 education, higher education, healthcare access and affordability, and how Missouri's overall budget forecast compares with other states.
Guest speakers include: Clif Smart, President Missouri State University; Kris Callen, Board Member, Springfield R-12 Board of Education; Brooks Miller, President, and Jordan Valley Community Health Center.
All Chamber members are encouraged to attend, but registration is required.