Will Kraus Banner for Guest Columns from District 8On Aug. 7, the first Tuesday after the first Monday in August this year, Missouri will hold its primary elections for federal, statewide, and state legislative races. In addition, there will be one statewide ballot proposal. For those of you who live in Kansas City, several local issues will be on the ballot, as well.

The right to vote is at the core of every other right we hold. Unless we vote, and, in the process, share our voices on issues affecting us, we lose the strength of our democratic republic.

This year, my son, Tylor, will vote for the first time in statewide elections. As a member of our military, he helps protect us from enemies; by voting, he will help protect our freedoms here at home. Unfortunately, Tylor is an exception. Less than 40 percent of registered voters are expected to vote, and a significantly lower percentage of young adults Tylor’s age will go to a poll on Tuesday. My hope is that each of you will do your part by voting and encouraging your friends and family to do the same.

Remember that, since this is a primary election, you will be asked to choose a party ballot and will only be able to vote for the races on that ballot. The issue questions will be the same on all ballots within a jurisdiction.

When you and Tylor go to vote, you will be voting on these races and issues:

Statewide races including: U.S. Senator, Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, and Treasurer.

State House Representative – Several state House seats that are in the 8th Senate District will be decided this year.  Some of those have contested primaries in August. The state House districts that overlap District 8 are (these are new numbers due to redistricting):  20, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 and 53.

Missouri Amendment 2 – Right to Pray

Fair Ballot Language:

A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to provide that neither the state nor political subdivisions shall establish any official religion. The amendment further provides that a citizen’s right to express their religious beliefs regardless of their religion shall not be infringed and that the right to worship includes prayer in private or public settings, on government premises, on public property, and in all public schools. The amendment also requires public schools to display the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution.

A “no” vote will not change the current constitutional provisions protecting freedom of religion.

If passed, this measure will have no impact on taxes.

Additional information you may find of interest

Dunk Your Senator at the Grain Valley National Night Out

 On election night this year, I will skip the various victory parties and, instead, head to Grain Valley for their National Night Out event.  For the second time, I have agreed to be in their dunk tank.  If you live in Grain Valley, join us at Armstrong Park on Tuesday, Aug. 7 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information, check out this article in The Pointe.

Back to School Sales Tax Holiday

The annual Back to School Sales Tax Holiday begins this weekend, from Friday, Aug. 3, to Sunday, Aug. 5. During this time, certain back-to-school items, such as clothing, school supplies and select electronics, are exempt from sales tax, or what amounts to a 4.225 percent savings on qualifying purchases. Jackson County, Lee’s Summit and Blue Springs are participating in the sales tax holiday this year. For more information, click here or email salesuse@dor.mo.gov.

Visitors to the Capitol

This week, my office had several groups visit the State Capitol. Carol and Wayne Pattison, along with their two sons, David and Brandon, came to visit all the way from Independence, Mo. There were also members from First Baptist Church in Raytown who stopped in to visit the Capitol, including Paul Phillips, Hellen Hull, Larry Casey, Wanda Reese, Don Patten, Michael Smith, and Sue Davis. Thanks to everyone. We hope you had a pleasant visit.

District Office

We have a new in-district office as of Aug. 1. Still in Lee’s Summit, it is just off Woods Chapel road at I-470/MO 291. The address is 3720 NE Troon Drive, Suite 100, Lee’s Summit, Mo., 64064. Please call the Capitol office if you would like to make an appointment for the district office.