Renewable Energy Project (Missouri)

This GREEN NEW DEAL – TYPE JOBS PROGRAM would put people to work manufacturing and installing wind turbines and solar panels. Workers hired through this program would be allowed to form or join a union to negotiate pay and benefits. Workers could be employed directly by the state of Missouri or by privately-owned businesses through contracts with the state of Missouri. 

The revenue to fund this program would be raised through a state tax on long-term capital gains and qualified dividends in an amount equal to the difference between the federal taxes paid on gains and dividends and the rate that would have been paid had the gains or dividends been taxed as marginal ordinary income. Additional funds may also be solicited and accepted through grants from the federal government or other sources and from voluntary contributions.

This petition has been approved for circulation by the Secretary of State.  If enough signatures are gathered by May 3, 2020, it will appear on the ballot in Missouri on November 3, 2020.  If approved by voters, it will become law 30 days later.

This is the exact text of this initiative petition.

Be it enacted by the people of the state of Missouri:

Two new sections of the Missouri Revised Statutes are hereby enacted, to be known as sections 286.131 and 143.012, to read as follows:

286.131. 1. A program to be known as “The Renewable Energy Project” is hereby created to be administered by the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

2. Funding for The Renewable Energy Project will be provided through revenues from a tax on long-term capital gains and qualified dividends, as provided for in Section 143.012. Additional funds may be solicited and accepted through grants from the federal government or other sources and from voluntary contributions.

3. The Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations shall, within one (1) calendar year of the effective date of this section, promulgate rules necessary for the administration of this section, including methods for the expenditure of the funds collected pursuant to section 143.012 and other sources in a manner that increases the percentage of electricity generated by wind and solar sources within the state of Missouri as rapidly as possible.

4. Workers hired through this program may form or join a union to negotiate pay and benefits and may be employed directly by the state of Missouri or by privately-owned businesses through contracts with the state of Missouri.  

5. The locations of any facilities leased or constructed as part of, or in support of, The Renewable Energy Project will be selected with an emphasis on creating jobs in economically-depressed areas of the state of Missouri.

6. Until such time as at least 90 percent of the electricity generated in Missouri is generated from clean, renewable sources, funds collected pursuant to this section and section 143.012 shall be used only for the purposes of employing workers, purchasing or leasing the resources and capital equipment, and leasing or constructing the facilities necessary, to increase the percentage of electricity generated by wind and solar sources and administer this program.

7. Once the state of Missouri is producing 90% or more of its electricity from clean, renewable sources, the funds generated by the tax on long-term capital gains and qualified dividends and from other sources may be used, as directed by appropriate legislation, for the construction and maintenance of state-owned highways and bridges or other infrastructure projects.

8. All subsections and all clauses of this Section, and the phrases, and the words within them, are severable.  If any of the provisions within them are found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be unconstitutional or unconstitutionally enacted or invalid, the remainder of those provisions shall remain valid and the application of such provisions shall not be affected thereby.

143.012.  1. Beginning with the 2021 calendar year, a tax on capital gains and qualified dividends will be imposed, with the funds collected dedicated to providing funding for The Renewable Energy Project. The amount of the tax will be the difference between the dollar amount of taxes paid to the federal government by each taxpayer on long-term capital gains and qualified dividends earned, and the dollar amount of the taxes that would have been paid had the capital gains or qualified dividends been taxed as marginal ordinary income, based on each taxpayer’s federal tax bracket. 

2. Any taxpayer whose total family income is less than 110 percent of the dollar amount of the poverty threshold, based on the poverty guidelines published by the Department of Health and Human Services, is exempt from this tax. 

3. All subsections and all clauses of this Section, and the phrases, and the words within them, are severable.  If any of the provisions within them are found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be unconstitutional or unconstitutionally enacted or invalid, the remainder of those provisions shall remain valid and the application of such provisions shall not be affected thereby.