Many public policy issues pertain to more than one level of government. The League is organized to allow flexibility in implementing its positions at the appropriate government level. For example, national issues may require action on the state and/or local level as well as in the nation's capitol.
League Positions are a result of research, study, and the evaluation process. Usually a state committee of local League members is formed which researches the study subject. It formulates the consensus questions. It provides the local Leagues with a Study Guide which includes resource materials and the consensus questions.
The study material includes comprehensive background information which covers all sides of an issue.
Additional discussion, pro and con, takes place as members (not part of the study committee) learn the scope of the study. After the members reach consensus, the board forms positions based on that consensus.
Local Leagues use the state resource material to study issues particular to the state. After in-depth study and discussion among the members, each local League arrives at its own consensus on the issue. The state committee compiles the consensus results and formulates a state consensus which is then approved by the state board. It is the consensus statement -- the statement resulting from the consensus questions -- that becomes a position. Firm action or advocacy can then be taken on the particular state issue addressed by the position. Without a position, action/advocacy cannot officially be taken on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Missouri.
Local Leagues may study local issues following the same procedure and arrive at positions on local issues.
2018 St. Louis programs: --- 2018-19 COMING SOON
Minimum Wage - Where We Stand
The League of Women Voters believes that one of the goals of social policy in the United States should be to promote self-sufficiency for individuals and families and the most effective social programs are those designed to prevent or reduce poverty. Promoting a minimum wage of at least $12/hr in Missouri aligns with the League's goals to advance self-sufficiency among individuals and families. A living wage would allow anyone working full item to stay above the federal poverty line and avoid homelessness. The living wage would not improve quality of life for families and individuals or account for emergencies, such as affording health insurance; these families would still live paycheck to paycheck.
Raise Up Missouri is leading the effort on an initiated measure that will likely be on the November ballot. The schedule for increasing the Missouri state minimum wage would be as follows: $7.70 in 2017, $8.60 in 2019, $9.45 in 2020, $10.30 in 2021, $11.15 in 2022 and $12.00 in 2023.
Evidence has shown that raising the minimum wage has a positive effect on local and state economy. A higher minimum wage does not result in the loss of jobs and increase job retention and productivity. At the same time, there is no significant evidence that shows it will lead to price increases among goods and services. Small businesses grow faster areas where the minimum wage has increased; workers whose pay increases usually spend their extra earnings locally.
At $16,000/year or $341/week, the current minimum wage does not align with the cost of living for the state of Missouri. Raising the minimum wage would allow for Missourians to become self-sufficient and not rely on government aid for important needs and services. Minimum wage workers are mostly women with children, however this increase would positively affect 23 percent of Missouri's population.
Education - Where We Stand
Support a sound program for financing schools, and school programs, including civics curriculum, for students to develop their full potential.
Support of a communication process involving all segments of the community within each school district.
Support equal opportunity in education with continued efforts to achieve racial and socioeconomic balance and equality within city/county schools.
Action to implement locally the state position of support for equal opportunity in education, access to quality programs, and adequate financing.
Environmental Quality - Where We Stand.
Support of improved air quality and an interstate regional approach to solve air pollution problems.
Support of emission standards for air pollutants as a means of improving the air quality of the metropolitan area by providing standards which can be legally enforced on the individual polluter.
Support of national industrial emission standards, with any region retaining the right to establish more stringent standards.
Support a mandatory emergency plan for protection of the health and welfare of the community when a high air pollution potential exists in the area and pollution reaches a dangerous level.
Support for the authorization of a single regional agency to set and enforce standards to control air pollution in the St. Louis air quality region.
Support for the adoption and management by county and municipal governments of land use plans which incorporate a sound policy development based upon the goals, needs and resources of those communities and provide for citizen input.
Support of planning for the proper management and disposal of solid waste.
Support of improved water quality with emphasis on the Metropolitan Sewer District and improved communications between MSD and the citizens.
Support changes that better meet the needs of both city and county.
Government - Where We Stand
Support of reorganization of St. Louis County under a pre-mediated plan which would permit all areas to be considered of equal importance, prevent haphazard annexations and in corporations, and promote planning for growth and development, thereby benefiting not only the County, but the entire St. Louis region. Responsibility for providing services should be divided appropriately between the municipalities and the County. Fire and emergency medical services in St. Louis County should be organized so that all residents receive high quality service, provided with optimal efficiency, economy and accountability.
Support of a balanced and equitable tax system to finance necessary governmental services in the County and its municipalities.
City and County Charters Support of effective, efficient, responsive and responsible St. Louis City and County governments.
Finances/Taxes Support for an open budget process which provides adequate and timely information to citizens and allows for citizen participation.
Support for long-range fiscal planning for municipalities and St. Louis County.
Support of the use of county property tax dollars to benefit St. Louis County and all county residents.
Support of governmental units, including St. Louis County, disseminating information regarding the services they provide.
Support for streamlining city government and the relationship with other agencies paid by the city and commissions appointed by government that function only in the City of St. Louis.
Home Rule Action to promote charters that will insure good government in such municipalities in this League area whose citizens have shown a desire for charter government.
Support for inclusion in a charter of a provision for periodic review.
Services Support for a comprehensive governmental structure, regional in scope, whose functions are to plan for the long-range development and/or deliver services to the citizens of metropolitan St. Louis.
Support for a regional governing body, chosen by direct election on the basis of proportional representation, taking into consideration a rural-urban formula.
Transit Support a public mass transit system that meets the needs of the community, and as an alternative to the automobile, with emphasis on a fully representative governing board and adequate financing from federal, state and local levels, with all local half-cent transportation sales tax going to Metro.
Zoo-Museum District Support of the current level of property tax funding for the present member districts of the Zoo-Museum Taxing District.
Support of increases in rate of funding from public sources by a subdistrict and of the formation of new subdistricts which meet established criteria.