Letter to Attorney General Koster Regarding Tobacco Tax

October 18, 2015
Dear Attorney General Koster:
Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice is celebrating its 10th year and is approaching the goal of having 300 dues paying members.  As past president I am proud to say that as early as 2006 our membership supported an increase in the tobacco tax and we did so again in 2012.  And in May, 2015 our members felt it necessary to once more vote to express our view that the tax should be increased from 17 cents per pack to 67 cents.   You may read our full position paper here. 
We urge you to support the tax and direct your attention to the third section of our paper which calls for the tax to be allocated to the needs of children under the age of 5 for the following reasons:
  • According to the nonprofit organization Raise Your Hands for Kids, Missouri enrolls fewer children in its state preschool programs than neighboring states, and it has drastically cut programs such as Parents as Teachers (raiseyourhandsforkids.org).
  • Early childhood education is essential to children’s future success in school and work.
  • Early childhood investments can reduce the need for later state expenditures on such interventions as remedial education, incarceration, welfare, and job training.
It has been shown that by investing in early care and education, high school drop out rates, teen pregnancy and incarceration rates will be lower.   Please join us in supporting the plan put forth by Raise Your Hands for Kids.
Respectfully,    Mary Clemons, past president