By Michael Green, Manager, State Government Relations

Vote SignWithout a doubt, there was much at stake in Tuesday’s elections. But it is important not to let the high drama over control of the U.S. Congress distract from several equally important policy questions that were decided at the state level. To that end, we are monitoring 53 ballot measures in 23 states of particular importance to the food retail industry. Listed below are the top ten ballot measures we are tracking and how they fared in Tuesday’s elections:

  • Arkansas Issue 5: The Minimum Wage Increase Initiative would raise the current State minimum wage to $9.25 per hour on January 1, 2019, to $10.00 per hour on January 1, 2020, and to $11.00 per hour on January 1, 2021. For more information, click here. (Approved 68-32)
  • California Proposition 12: The Farm Animal Confinement Initiative would establish new minimum space requirements for confining veal calves, breeding pigs, and egg-laying hens; require egg-laying hens be raised in cage-free environment after December 31, 2021; and prohibits certain commercial sales of specified meat and egg products derived from animals confined in noncomplying manner. For more information, click here ( p. 68). Full text here. (Approved 61-39)
  • Idaho Proposition 2: The Idaho Medicaid Expansion Initiative would expand Medicaid eligibility to those under sixty-five years old, whose income is 133 percent of the federal poverty level or below and who are not eligible for other state insurance coverage. For more information, click here. (Approved 61-39)
  • Michigan Proposal 1: The Marijuana Legalization Initiative would authorize and legalize possession, use and cultivation of marijuana products by individuals who are at least 21 years of age and older, and commercial sales of marijuana through state-licensed retailers, subject to a 10 percent sales tax, dedicated to implementation costs, clinical trials, schools, roads, and municipalities where marijuana businesses are located. For more information, click here. (Approved 56-44)
  • Missouri Proposition BL: The $12 Minimum Wage Initiative would increase the state minimum wage to $8.60 per hour, followed by annual increases of 85-cents per hour until it reached $12.00 per hour in 2023. For more information, click here. (Approved 62-38)
  • Montana Initiative 185: The Extend Medicaid Expansion and Increase Tobacco Taxes Initiative would eliminate the sunset date for expanded Medicaid services for certain low-income adults, which otherwise ends June 30, 2019, and raise taxes on all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vaping products. For more information, click here. (Rejected 45-55)
  • North Dakota Measure 3: The Marijuana Legalization and Automatic Expungement Initiative would remove hashish, marijuana, and tetrahydrocannabinols from the list of schedule I controlled substances and create a process to automatically expunge the record of an individual who has a drug conviction for a controlled substance that has been legalized. For more information, click here. (Rejected 40-60R)
  • Oregon Measure 103: The YES! Keep our Groceries Tax Free Initiative would prohibit the state or other political subdivision or municipal corporation from adopting, collecting, enacting, or imposing a tax, fee, or other assessment upon the sale or distribution of groceries. Groceries are any raw or processed food or beverage intended for human consumption, except alcohol, marijuana products and tobacco products. For more information, click here. (Rejected 43-57)
  • Utah Proposition 3: The Medicaid Expansion Initiative would expand the state Medicaid health coverage program to include coverage, based on income, for previously ineligible low-income adults and fund the expansion by increasing the current state sales tax rate by 0.15%, resulting in a 3.191% increase in the current tax rate. For more information, click here. (Approved 54-46)
  • Washington Initiative 1634: The YES on Affordable Groceries Measure would prohibit new or increased local taxes, fees, or assessments on raw or processed foods, beverages, or their ingredients, intended for human consumption except alcoholic beverages, marijuana products, and tobacco. Collection of local sales and use taxes, and of taxes, fees, and assessments on such raw or processed foods or beverages, or any ingredients thereof, that were in effect January 15, 2018, would continue. For more information, click here. (Approved 55-45)

For more information on any of these, plus the other 43 measures FMI tracked during the 2018 midterm elections, check out the Ballot Measure Guide For the Grocery Industry: 2018 Edition.


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