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Stem Cell and Wage Ballot Initiatives Approved, Others Stalled

By Kelley Weiss

Kansas City, MO – Voters will see ballot initiatives on stem cell research and minimum wage this November, but two other initiatives didn't have enough petition signatures to make the ballot. KCUR's Kelley Weiss reports.

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This fall Missourians can vote on proposals to protect stem cell research and raise the minimum wage. But proposals to reverse Medicaid cuts and increase the state's tobacco tax did not make the ballot. The Secretary of State's office reports that the Medicaid proposal fell several thousands signatures short of the requirement but the tobacco tax was only 274 signatures short in the 5th Congressional District.

Consultant Mike Kelley for a Committee for a Healthy Future says it collected almost 4,000 signatures more than required in the 5th District, which includes parts of Kansas City. He says the committee will challenge the count.

Mike Kelley: "We're confident that with the extraordinary amount of signatures that we turned in, over the required amount, that after a technical analysis is done this initiative will be on the ballot in November."

The initiative would increase the tobacco tax in Missouri by more than four times. The estimated $350 to $500 million dollars in revenue would help fund health care for low-income Missourians and state wide anti-smoking campaigns.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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