October 1994 Hancok II Amendment
In opposition to the Hancock II Amendment, the JCRC passed the following position statement, with one abstention:
The Jewish Community Relations Council opposes Constitutional Amendment 7 and recommends a “no” vote on November 8. The JCRC believes that Amendment 7, also known as “Hancock II”, is bad public policy for several reasons:
• Rather than being a simple measure that requires Missouri residents to vote on tax increases, Amendment 7 is instead a poorly-written proposal that would in fact contradict the expressed will of the voters in many cases. If residents vote for a tax increase that pushes state revenues above the proposed ceiling, a tax rebate would be triggered which would negate the agreed- upon increase.
• Amendment 7 would repeal or amend many sections of the Missouri constitution and states that it supersedes the current constitution if there is a conflict. Because it is poorly written, Amendment 7 would be an administrative nightmare. It contains several contradictory provisions, is unclear as to which revenues must be counted in the funding equations, and does not state how a rebate would be distributed should one be triggered. There are sure to be court fights and legislative battles that would put state and local governments into chaos and damage the market for state and municipal bonds.
• The severe revenue limitations required under Amendment 7 will have a devastating impact on the maintenance and improvement of every government function in the state: education, prisons and corrections, roads and infrastructure, and services to seniors, youth, and families. Missouri is already a low service state, ranking 44th in expenditures in education, for example, and is also a low tax state, ranking 23rd in the nation in personal income but 47th in general revenue. To cut spending by $1 billion or even more as required by this amendment is unthinkable.
• Years of court fights and drastic cuts in programs will seriously damage the business environment in the state, making it less likely that businesses will want to locate or expand in Missouri. The state economy will be devastated.
The Jewish Community Relations Council joins the Jewish Federation of St. Louis and other faith-based organizations, such as the Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy and the Human Rights office of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese, in urging Missouri voters to vote “no” on Amendment 7.