REP. ED LEWIS
With the November election fast approaching, people need to figure out what’s on their ballots. Sample ballots will be placed in your local newspaper and countrywide changes can be found on the Secretary of State’s website sos.mo.gov.
Amendment 3 is a 39-page amendment that will legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Missouri and eliminate the ability of local governments to regulate the amount, location, or to whom it can be sold outside of the amendment’s requirements.
It would also eliminate the ability to discipline or fire an employee for failing a drug test for marijuana. We have to wait for a marijuana accident to address the problem someone has with marijuana.
We should be able to be proactive about drug testing and surveillance, but this amendment prohibits that. In Colorado, which passed recreational marijuana in 2013, traffic deaths where drivers tested positive for marijuana increased by 138%.
The amendment establishes a 6% sales tax on marijuana and does not allow it to be increased as it is in the Constitution. In Illinois, the tax on a pack of cigarettes is $2.98. If we want to change the tax rate on marijuana, we have to change the constitution.
women, infants and children
The Missouri WIC program recently announced that it serves more than 80,000 Missourians each month. The WIC program provides supplemental nutritional support for women, infants and children. Through the program, they receive quality nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion and support, nutritious foods, and referrals to health services.
Missouri WIC offers a healthy food selection that targets specific essential nutrients that are often lacking in participants’ diets, such as iron, calcium, protein, and vitamins A, C, and D. To meet these needs, the WIC- Grocery pack fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, whole grains, milk and yogurt along with other nutritious foods.
To qualify for the WIC program, participants must be pregnant, nursing, or new mothers; an infant up to the age of one year; or a child up to the age of five; and be a resident of Missouri; and meet income eligibility requirements.
Missourians interested in learning more about the benefits of WIC can pay a visit wic.mo.gov or call TEL-LINK at 1-800-835-5465 to locate the local WIC office in your area.
WIC is funded by the USDA and administered by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
Students enrolling in college for the 2023 academic year now have the opportunity to complete their student finance applications. On October 1st, the free application for Federal Student Aid Frenzy in Missouri was officially launched.
The FAFSA is used by colleges and universities, the state, and the federal government to award scholarships, work grants, and student loans. Students should submit a FAFSA each year they wish to attend college.
The Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development, in partnership with schools and college admissions groups across the state, will host FAFSA Frenzy events to help students and families submit the FAFSA.
Public and private FAFSA Frenzy events will take place from October 2022 to March 2023. Financial aid experts, school counselors and other volunteers provide free support and answer questions during FAFSA Frenzy events.
Students can get help at any public FAFSA Frenzy event, regardless of where they live, go to school or want to attend college. Held on high schools, college campuses and community facilities, the public events are open to all high school seniors, current college students and adults interested in attending college.
Missouri students attending a FAFSA Frenzy event may apply online for one of 20 $500 Journey to College Scholarships through Scholarship Central at myscholarshipcentral.org/.
A list of public FAFSA Frenzy sites can be found at journeytocollege.mo.gov/fafsa-frenzy/. So far, more than 30 public events are planned, and more than 60 Missouri high schools are hosting private events to support their students.
When attending an event, FAFSA Frenzy attendees should bring 2021 W-2 forms, copies of their 2021 tax forms, Social Security numbers, and student and parent FSA identification cards. (Students and parents should create separate usernames and passwords at studentaid.gov before attending a FAFSA Frenzy event.)
The launch of the new FAFSA also launches the Show-Me FAFSA Challenge, an initiative now in its third year to encourage and incentivize high schools to host FAFSA events and help their high school seniors meet the to fill out the application.
The Show-Me FAFSA Challenge ends on April 1, 2023, the final deadline for the Access Missouri Grant. The Missouri Scholarship & Loan Foundation and the Missouri College Access Network sponsor the scholarship awards.