01/02/23 Missouri Mondays - 2023 Legislative session begins Jan 4th! Our work continues...
Our work continues to protect our freedoms from GOP attacks!
Happy New Year and welcome to our first Missouri Mondays of 2023! Lawmakers will begin the 2023 legislative session this week on Wed. Jan. 4th and it is clear from the pre-filed bills that GOP attacks will continue on abortion and reproductive care and access, citizen initiative petition process, public education, transgender kids, gun safety laws and more. We must hold them accountable and make our voices heard! Thank you for staying informed and taking action to make a difference!
MISSOURI IN THE NEWS
“What will the Missouri legislature be up to in 2023?”
The Missouri General Assembly returns this Wed. Jan. 4th for the start of the 2023 legislative session but lawmakers began prefiling bills on Dec. 1.
“Instructional content in schools, gun safety, participation in school sports and citizens’ ability to shape public policy” are among the top issues.
Legislators hope that early filing “would increase the chances of their bills being heard early in the session. In the legislature, any lawmaker in the House or Senate is welcome to file a bill relating to any topic. Hundreds of bills are filed for each session, and multiple bills on the same topics often get combined into a larger legislative package as the 2023 legislative session progresses.”
“While many bills deal with state finances and matters of interest to local communities, the General Assembly in recent years has been dominated by hot-button issues including abortion access, school choice and parental rights and issues regarding transgender and nonbinary children and teenagers. Some of those topics appear set to be center stage again in 2023, along with possible attempts to limit citizens’ ability to place initiative petitions and referendums on statewide ballots.”
Gun access and public safety
Women’s health care
Full story on pre-filed bills here: https://kcbeacon.org/stories/2022/12/06/bills-filed-2023-legislative-session-missouri/ The Kansas City Beacon Dec 6 2022
“As Missouri abortion-rights supporters look to initiative petitions, legislators try to limit power”
“Elected officials rushed to make Missouri the first state to ban abortion outright on the same day in June that the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade decision. But an August poll from St. Louis University found that 48% of Missouri voters would support a reversal of the ban, and an additional 13% of voters were undecided. That dynamic has abortion rights supporters in Missouri and elsewhere eyeing the possibility of placing potential initiative petitions on a 2024 statewide ballot to enshrine the right to abortion in the state constitution.
It also has lent urgency to longstanding efforts by conservative lawmakers to make it harder for citizens to enact laws and amend the state constitution through the initiative petition process. Bills that GOP lawmakers have already prefiled for the 2023 session include increasing the number of signatures needed to qualify a measure for the ballot and raising the percentage of votes required for passage.”
“Those changes would likely have the effect of giving special interest groups with deep pockets more power in the process, Squire said. “If we have an abortion measure on the ballot in 2024, there will be a lot of money that pours in probably on both sides for that,” he said.
Here is some of the proposed legislation filed so far by Republicans seeking to rein in Missouri’s initiative petition capacity. Because the changes would require amending the state constitution, most of the measures are joint resolutions that must be passed first by the legislature and then by Missouri’s voters.”
Full story here: https://kcbeacon.org/stories/2022/12/13/missouri-initiative-petitions-abortion-changes-2023/ KC Beacon Dec 13, 2022
“Missouri ‘school choice’ bills to watch in 2023”
“Once again, elementary and secondary education are commanding a lot of attention in the Missouri legislature. And a major focus is throwing state support behind families who want to send their kids outside of their local public school district.
Often framed as ways to increase “school choice” for families, proposals to spread charter schools to more of the state, let students more easily transfer to public school districts they don’t live in or receive financial support for private school tuition and homeschooling aren’t new.
Bills on these topics tend to be sponsored by Republicans. But in the past they have met with bipartisan resistance, often sparked by concerns about the impact on traditional school districts.
Any given bill might not be heard by a committee after the legislative session starts Jan. 4, much less be debated by the full legislature or signed into law. Lawmakers can also amend bills at several points in the process. But this list gives a sense of how Missouri representatives and senators are seeking to expand school choice initiatives.
Check in later for more roundups of K-12 bills, and see The Beacon’s roundup of higher education bills published last week.”
https://kcbeacon.org/stories/2022/12/27/missouri-school-choice-bills-2023/ KC Beacon Dec 27, 2022
Who represents me in the 2023 Missouri legislature?
“On Nov. 8, Missourians voted for a new class of lawmakers to represent them in the 2023 Missouri legislature. Besides acting as a resource for citizens seeking to interact with state government, the newly elected or reelected lawmakers will potentially decide on issues that will deeply impact the state and its residents, including teacher pay, initiative petition reform and abortion access.
Much of what is decided will be at the will of Republicans lawmakers, who will once again control both the state House of Representatives and the Senate. Both chambers have already held leadership elections to determine who will lead the party caucuses in the upcoming legislative session.
Although Democrats are a minority in the House, Kansas City-area representatives will have some influence in their caucus.
Rep. Richard Brown, who represents south Kansas City and parts of Raytown, was reelected to serve as assistant minority floor leader. Rep. Ingrid Burnett, who represents the northeast area of Kansas City and parts of Sugar Creek, Independence and Jackson County, was reelected as caucus chair. Rep. Jamie Johnson, who represents areas north of the Missouri River around Parkville, will serve as the caucus’ policy chair. Rep. Crystal Quade, from Springfield, was reelected to serve as the Democrats’ floor leader.
In the Republican-led House, Rep. Dean Plocher from Des Peres was elected to the powerful speaker’s post. Rep. Mike Henderson from Desloge was elected as the speaker pro tem, who presides over the body when the House speaker cannot. Rep. Chris Dinkins from Lesterville will serve as the majority caucus chairman.
To look up your specific legislator, enter your address on the Missouri Senate website’s search tool at https://www.senate.mo.gov/legislookup/default
https://kcbeacon.org/stories/2022/11/30/2023-missouri-legislature/ KC Beacon Nov 30, 2022
“Missouri GOP renews push to limit transgender athlete participation in school sports”
“There have been more bills prefiled for Missouri’s 2023 legislative session regarding transgender athletes than there are transgender athletes currently competing according to their identity in public schools.
Republican lawmakers in both the House and Senate have combined to file 10 bills seeking to restrict the ability of transgender minors to play in youth sports.
In the 2021-2022 school year, only five transgender students applied to the Missouri State High School Athletics Association, or MSHSAA, to compete according to their gender identity.
Democrats and LGBTQ advocates say the flurry of bills is a discriminatory attack on an already marginalized community, motivated by partisan politics. GOP lawmakers pushing the bills, many of which are titled “Protect Women’s Sports Act,” say they are inspired by real concerns in their communities about fairness.”
“Sen. Mike Moon, R-Ash Grove and among the legislation’s most outspoken proponents, says he’s optimistic things will be different in 2023. He points to Gov. Mike Parson’s support for his bill after the legislature adjourned in May.
“After the session ended, the governor’s office voiced support for the bill,” Moon said. “And whether that was the catalyst or not, I don’t know. But this year, now several [lmakers] have filed it, and perhaps that will create enough support so that it will pass.”
https://missouriindependent.com/2022/12/27/missouri-gop-resurrects-bills-limiting-transgender-athletes-participation/ Missouri Independent Dec 27 2022
“Missouri’s minimum wage set to increase Sunday”
“Missouri’s minimum wage will increase by 85 cents on Sunday to $12 per hour, up from $11.15 per hour. That will result in more than 363,000 Missourians directly getting a raise at the start of the new year, according to Missouri Jobs with Justice, a statewide coalition.
“As Missourians, we work hard for our families and our communities. We have shown that when we unite to improve our state’s economic policies, we all benefit,” said Caitlyn Adams, executive director of Missouri Jobs with Justice, in a statement.
With 62% support, Missouri voters in 2018 approved a phased-in plan for raising the minimum wage from $7.85. It was the first time the minimum wage was increased since 2006, which was also a voter-approved raise.
The 2018 plan called for hiking the state’s minimum wage by 85 cents yearly on Jan. 1 before topping out at $12 per hour in 2023.”
https://www.stltoday.com/business/local/missouri-s-minimum-wage-set-to-increase-sunday/article_10c78db6-a30c-5187-8275-e809535f42df.html St. Louis Post-Dispatch Dec 31, 2022
“U.S. House Jan. 6 panel report finds Trump incited insurrection, demands accountability”
“The U.S. House Jan. 6 committee late Thursday published its findings in a nearly 850-page report that accused former President Donald Trump of inciting an insurrection and recommended Congress consider how to determine whether those found to be insurrectionists should be barred from holding office ever again.
The report caps 18 months of work for the committee, which the House voted to form, mostly along party lines, in June 2021. It details the committee’s central finding, gleaned through records reviews and dozens of interviews with White House, Trump campaign and other officials, that Trump’s desire to overturn the results of a lawful and legitimate election was the driving factor in the unprecedented attack on the Capitol.
“[P]reventing another January 6th will require a broader sort of accountability. Ultimately, the American people chart the course for our country’s future,” Committee Chair Rep. Bennie Thompson wrote in his foreword to the report.
“The American people decide whom to give the reins of power. If this Select Committee has accomplished one thing, I hope it has shed light on how dangerous it would be to empower anyone whose desire for authority comes before their commitment to American democracy and the Constitution,” the Mississippi Democrat continued.”
https://missouriindependent.com/2022/12/23/u-s-house-jan-6-panel-report-finds-trump-incited-insurrection-demands-accountability/ Missouri Independent Dec 23 2022
“More children live in poverty in states that haven’t raised minimum wage”
“Of the 20 states that have failed to raise the minimum wage above the federal $7.25 an hour standard, 16 have more than 12% of their children living in poverty, according to a States Newsroom analysis of wage and poverty data. Anti-poverty advocates say that’s a sign that there’s an urgent need for lawmakers to increase the federal minimum wage and do more to help struggling families.
Congress had the opportunity to achieve the latter by expanding the child tax credit before the end of the year, but lawmakers did not arrive at a deal with Republicans to include it in the omnibus spending package. The expansion, which was part of the American Rescue Plan, provided as much as $3,600 in monthly installments to qualifying families and is credited with lifting 3.7 million children out of poverty at least temporarily.
Raising the minimum wage would not lead to as fast or drastic an improvement, but a 2019 Congressional Budget Office analysis found that increasing the amount to $15 an hour would lift more than 500,000 children from poverty. And the Economic Policy Institute estimated in 2021, that if Congress passed a $15 minimum wage increase by 2025, up to 3.7 million people wouldn’t have to live in poverty — 1.3 million of those being children.
Ben Zipperer, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, said there is a strong connection between the minimum wage and poverty. “It’s not a 1-1 connection, but there is a pretty strong connection,” said Zipperer, whose expertise is on the minimum wage, inequality, and low-wage labor markets. “The main determinants of poverty in this country are whether you work and how much you work, so whether you have a job during the year and how many hours a week or weeks per year you work at that job. … And then the third [determinant] is how much you were paid for an hour of work at your job. If you’re getting paid relatively low wages, the minimum wage affects that.”
“In Missouri, where the minimum wage will be $12 next year, a 2018 analysis from the Economic Policy Institute found that Proposition B, the ballot measure that is responsible for raising the wage, would increase wages for 677,000 people in Missouri.
States where legislatures have not raised the minimum above the federal $7.25 an hour include Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina and South Carolina. All have child poverty rates of 20% or higher, according to U.S. Census data analyzed by 24/7 Wall Street, a financial news site. Mississippi has the highest child poverty rate in the United States, at 27.6%, with Louisiana following at 26.3%.”
https://missouriindependent.com/2022/12/23/more-children-live-in-poverty-in-states-that-havent-raised-minimum-wage/ Missouri Independent Dec 23, 2022
CHECK OUT OUR MISSOURI MONDAYS NEWS SUPPLEMENT!
With so much important news each week we don’t want you to miss a thing!
Check out our MISSOURI MONDAYS NEWS SUPPLEMENT here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/13cokjWlCh2EkY5K6bM357rjVPizZDzxlMqjAuoBQfoI/edit?usp=sharing
MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR THESE UPCOMING ACTIONS AND EVENTS
TAKE ACTION WITH THE MISSOURI VOTER PROTECTION COALITION (MOVPC)
TO PROTECT THE RIGHT TO VOTE
Join the MOVPC meeting MONDAY JAN 9 at 10 AM
Text “MOVPC” to 66866 or register HERE: bit.ly/protectmovoters
Our work to protect the vote requires our continued attention! So we hope you'll join our next MOVPC call where we will discuss next steps in our fight to protect the right to vote in Missouri. MOVPC is a nonpartisan statewide network promoting access to the ballot and working to remove barriers to voting in Missouri!
January 6 Anniversary Voting Rights Actions - Our Freedoms, Our Vote
This January 6 marks the second anniversary of the violent attack on our Capitol and our Democracy. Meanwhile partisan actors continue to propagate the big lie as they plan for 2024, states continue to pass restrictive voting laws, and the US Supreme Court just heard arguments in Moore v. Harper, a case that could eliminate checks and balances and allow partisan control of elections. Around the country, voter advocates are marking the two-year anniversary with Pro-Democracy Vigils and Actions. A St. Louis Area Vigil is confirmed for Sat. Jan. 7. Can you join Missouri advocates in planning, promoting and/or attending an action near you or assisting with a virtual event? Sign up here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdNxq8WmO0ZrR6wIjVL1T1gNrq8ARmXmHYwnWDQeds7qgCTOA/viewform
TAKE ACTION TO HELP END GUN VIOLENCE WITH EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY AND MOMS DEMAND ACTION MO
Every day, more than 110 people in America are killed with guns. We’re counting on people like you to take actions that will help us pass common-sense laws and implement policies that will save lives. Find actions you can take now to help end gun violence: https://www.everytown.org/actions/
Action is the counterweight to apathy. We can reclaim our safety and save lives by taking action to end gun violence. Join Moms Demand Action volunteers in Missouri who are working to make our communities safer by texting READY to 644-33.
FIND MORE UPCOMING ACTIONS AND EVENTS here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19AZUdtRH5WXefOC4Q5D9u-HyuzhBEL8rYX9Ospn3n18/edit?usp=sharing
THANK YOU! for answering the Missouri Mondays CALL TO ACTION!
Invite your friends and neighbors to join us and sign up for Missouri Action Alliance and this Missouri Mondays email at moactionalliance.com/signup
Follow us on Twitter at @MissouriAction, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MOActionAlliance and check out our website at http://www.MOActionAlliance.com