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Community Science Notes

Every election, Missouri voters have the opportunity to make changes to Missouri’s constitution through ballot initiatives. Initiatives may be added to the ballot through a petition process or by the Missouri General Assembly. When ballot initiatives are related to pressing science and technology issues, MOST Policy Initiative publishes science notes on the topic to help inform voters. 


Proposed Landfill Expansion: Columbia, MO

The City of Columbia, Missouri is proposing a landfill expansion. The new landfill area will be located on the south side of the current landfill operation at 5700 Peabody Road. As of 2019, approximately 27,485 people live in the census tracts within a 2-mile radius of the landfill. Within that radius, 407 households, or 36% of the total households in the landfill’s census tract, live below the poverty line. Columbia landfill
authorities are seeking public comment on the newly proposed landfill area. All comments must be submitted Sep 3, 2021.

Medical Marijuana Science Note

In Missouri, the November 6th midterm ballot will contain three provisions related to medical marijuana.

Medicaid Expansion

Medicaid is a joint federal and state program established in 1965 to provide health insurance to low-income families, seniors, and individuals with disabilities. Under Medicaid expansion, adults (age 19-65) with a household income less than 138% of the federal poverty level would be eligible to receive Medicaid coverage.

Crayfish in Missouri

Crayfish are freshwater crustaceans that look like small lobsters and like to feed on animals and plant material. Eight crayfish species are only found in Missouri, with some being currently considered endangered. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was considering listing two species of crayfish as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.

COVID-19, In-Person Schooling, and Children's Mental Health

Childhood depression, anxiety and behavioral/conduct problems have been prevalent since before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, children’s mental health challenges have increased over the last year and a half due to difficulty coping with the changes and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. 

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