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Proposition B: Sweet Dreams of a Tobacco Tax & Fully Funded Public Schools Go Up in Smoke

Proponents wanted to raise Missouri’s tobacco tax — the lowest in the nation — and use the proceeds to help fund public schools, health care and smoking cessation programs.

At 1:12 a.m. on November 7, almost all the votes were in, but results from 65 precincts were still outstanding. Right then it looked like the tax would not pass, but the race was close with 51 percent voting “no” and 49 percent voting “yes.” Shortly before that, a few precincts closed the gap from four to two percentage points. So I wasn’t going to call it yet.

I knew the tax probably wouldn’t pass, but I was going to sleep on it and check the results again in the morning.

Yawn.

It had been a long, eventful night. Time to get some sleep.

“Sweet dreams, everyone,” I was about to say. “I’m planning to get some shuteye and dream about fully funded public schools.”

AND JUST AS I WAS ABOUT TO CLICK ON “PUBLISH” … I checked the results on the Missouri Secretary of State’s website one more time. With all results counted, the “yes” votes had increased … but not enough to win.

Missouri’s tobacco tax remains the lowest in the nation, and our public schools still are not fully funded.

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About jwmartinez

JoLynne is a journalist and educator. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Park University and is certified to teach high school journalism and English. Former employment includes work for Cable News Network and the University of Missouri-Kansas City in addition to freelancing for clients such as the Kansas City Star and The Pitch.

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