Victory! Bills to end majority rule defeated and other updates from the MO Legislature

Victory! Bills to end majority rule defeated and other updates from the MO Legislature

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I have some great news to share. The Missouri Legislature has adjourned, and the bills that would have ended majority rule and destroyed the citizen-led initiative petition process didn’t pass!

The effort to protect majority rule by Missourians from around the state was unprecedented, with over 200 people attending a coalition-wide lobby day, 1,200 people testifying against the 20+ bills designed to dismantle direct democracy, 5,000 emails to legislators from their constituents, and 250 constituents calling their Senators during this final week. Letters to the editor were published around the state, including this letter in SWMO and this letter in Kansas City. All of these efforts fueled the pro-Majority Rule Senators who held the floor for over 50 hours in our defense this week. 

Senators Lauren Arthur, Doug Beck, Karla May, Tracy McCreery, Angela Mosley, John Rizzo, Steve Roberts, Barbara Washington, and Brian Williams, stood up for the will of the people and deserve our thanks. Thank you!

Our right to direct democracy survived this session, but we must keep building power so these bills don’t come back next session. Will you take the next step and become a member of the Missouri Jobs with Justice Voter Action?

Here’s a snapshot of the good, the bad, and the ugly this session

The Good: 

  • Missourians came together to protect majority rule and our constitutional right to have a voice in the issues that matter most to our communities. We beat back more than two dozen bills designed to gut the initiative petition process!
  • Stopped attempts to restrict diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in public and private institutions. These bills would’ve cost Missouri $2.6 billion annually and nearly 24,000 jobs, and undermined efforts to understand and rectify racial and gender disparities in Missouri’s economy.
  • Renewed the provider tax, known as the FRA, that funds a substantial portion of Missouri’s Medicaid program.
  • Stopped other dangerous bills including cuts to unemployment, attacks on collective bargaining, attempts to criminalize our right to protest, and schemes to further benefit wealthy corporations.

 

The Bad: Once more, the misplaced priorities of certain Jefferson City politicians, centered on ending majority rule and depriving Missouri families of essential health services, meant that yet again, bills that would have helped Missourians were unable to get over the finish line.

  • Annual Supply Birth Control: A bipartisan effort to expand coverage for birth control and other reproductive health services failed to pass. This bill would have been a “game changer” by addressing barriers to access and allowing Missourians on private insurance to pick up an annual supply of contraception. 
  • Clean Slate: Tens of thousands of Missourians are eligible for expungement. The process is expensive and burdensome, and only about 1% are actually successful in obtaining that expungement. Clean Slate would automate the process for eligible records, replacing the petition-based process.  
  • Missouri Non-Discrimination Act: Missouri law doesn’t prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Efforts to change that have failed for 26 years. Current MOJWJ leader and former state representative, Steve McLuckie, introduced the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA) for the first time in 1998.

 

The Ugly: While we fended off many dangerous attacks, politicians still managed to pass legislation to defund public education to benefit private and charter schools. Additionally, politicians are endangering Missourians’ access to healthcare by blocking Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood for services such as cancer screenings, birth control, and other essential health services.

 

I don’t enjoy writing to you about all of the attacks on Missourians and missed opportunities to build the Missouri we want to see. I want to share stories of corporations paying what they truly owe, workers being paid the true value of our work, and public education – and the workers who make our schools run – being fully funded and thriving. 

That’s why we must keep building our movement. With your help, we will talk with our neighbors and let our fellow voters know how their elected representatives voted on important issues. We will take your priorities, concerns, and dreams, and turn them into winning campaigns and policies that benefit all of us.

Will you be a part of our growing movement by donating to Missouri Jobs with Justice Voter Action today?

It’s with your help that we will grow our movement and live in a state where we can all thrive, no matter our zip code, the color of our skin, or what we do for a living. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication.