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01/23/23 Missouri Mondays - 50 years after Roe v. Wade, Missouri abortion ban lawsuit filed.

Support their work and spread the word! Take action this week for initiative petitions, public education, more!

Welcome to another Missouri Mondays! Yesterday would have been 50 years of Roe v. Wade’s federal protection of the right to abortion. Last year an extremist Supreme Court stripped that fundamental right from millions and we know this is only the beginning of the GOP’s agenda to attack our rights and freedoms, including here in Missouri.

As former President Obama reminds us “...we’ve got to recommit to doing our part to protect and expand reproductive rights for families today — and for generations to come.”

On that note we have important and exciting news about an abortion lawsuit filed last week by Americans United and the National Women’s Law Center challenging Missouri’s abortion bans. See details below to RSVP for the Zoom webinar TONIGHT to learn more about the lawsuit and what you can do to help spread the word and support their work.

Also see the CALL TO ACTION details below for MO House hearings this week on harmful education legislation and attacks on the initiative petition process.

Thank you for all you do to help protect our freedoms and democracy! Help us spread the word to get involved and sign up for Missouri Mondays updates here:


Americans United & the National Women’s Law Center file suit to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans.

“Abortion bans impose one narrow religious doctrine on everyone. These bans violate the separation of church and state. Missouri’s abortion bans impose one narrow religious doctrine on everyone and in doing so deny equality and bodily autonomy. Missouri officials repeatedly told us that they were imposing their religious law on every Missourian. So, we’re suing.

Our lawsuit has widespread religious support.

That’s why Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the National Women’s Law Center, leading experts in religious freedom and gender justice, are challenging Missouri’s draconian abortion bans on behalf of THIRTEEN clergy from SIX different denominations. Our plaintiffs include an Episcopal bishop, an orthodox Jewish maharat, a United Methodist pastor and state legislator, as well as Reform Jewish rabbis and United Church of Christ and Unitarian Universalist ministers. Fittingly, we filed just days after Religious Freedom Day and before the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Abortion bans violate the separation of church and state. Americans United and the National Women’s Law Center—the leading experts in religious freedom and gender justice—have joined forces with thirteen clergy from six faith traditions to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans as unconstitutionally imposing one narrow religious doctrine on everyone.”

Read more about the AU and NWLC Missouri abortion lawsuit:

Make a donation to help AU fight for abortion rights, religious freedom, and church-state separation:


“Abortion Bans Violate Church-State Separation” Missouri Abortion Lawsuit

Zoom Webinar Discussion


Please SHARE! Help spread the word!

Religious and anti-abortion extremists achieved one of the crown jewels of their agenda by overturning Roe v. Wade, but there is much more to come if we don’t stop them. When the Supreme Court overturned Roe, Americans United (AU) and National Women's Law Center (NWLC), leading experts in religious freedom and gender justice, joined forces to take on Missouri’s abortion bans. Join us as we discuss the basis for our lawsuit and why we're bringing it now.

Moderated by Brian Silva, Americans United’s VP of Outreach & Engagement with featured panelists: Rachel Laser, AU's President & CEO; Fatima Goss Graves, NWLC's President & CEO; The Rev. Dr. Teresa Danieley, Missioner for Public Advocacy, Episcopal Diocese of Missouri

Missouri Action Aliiance is proud to join these Co-Sponsors (to date)

Access MO, American Association of University Women, Ashrei Foundation, AU St. Louis, Episcopal Diocese of Missouri, Greater KC Women's Political Caucus, Heartland Alliance for Progress, Jewish Community Relations Council, Kol Rinah, Missouri Action Alliance, NCJW St Louis, ProChoice MO, ProgressWomen, PROMO, Southwood United Church of Christ



House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee Hearing HB 253

HB 253 “Establishes transfer procedures to nonresident districts for students in public schools”

Wednesday, January 25

State Capitol, Jefferson City

Hearing Room 7

8:00 AM

Call the members of the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee below and tell them to VOTE NO on HB 253!

This legislation has the potential to force smaller school districts to consolidate and larger districts will be forced to compete against each other for resources and students. This doesn’t empower schools to better serve students but forces competition that distracts from providing the best possible educational experience for Missouri students. In addition to calls, submit written testimony BY WED JAN 25 here or if possible testify in person.

Rep. Brad Pollitt 573-751-9774

Rep. Ben Baker 573-751-9781

Rep. Gary Bonacker 573-751-4567

Rep. Tricia Byrnes 573-751-1460

Rep. Phil Christofanelli 573-751-2250

Rep. Jamie Gragg 573-751-2565

Rep. Mike Haffner 573-751-3783

Rep. Josh Hurlbert 573-751-0246

Rep. Ann Kelley 573-751-2165

Rep. Ed Lewis 573-751-6566

Rep. Dan Stacy 573-751-8636

Rep. Cheri Toalson Reisch 573-751-1169

Rep. Ian Mackey 573-751-3859

Rep. Maggie Nurrenbern 573-751-4787

Rep. Doug Mann 573-751-2134

Rep. Marlene Terry 573-751-6845



The MO House Elections and Elected Officials Committee Hearing

Modifications to the initiative petition process, amending the MO constitution

Tuesday, January 24

State Capitol, Jefferson City

Hearing Room 6

12:00 PM

Call the members of the Elections and Elected Officials committee listed below and tell them not to make ANY changes to the initiative petition process!

In addition to calls you can submit written testimony here: or if possible travel to Jefferson City to testify in person against these bills.

These five bills would make the already incredibly difficult process of putting issues onto the ballot much harder. This is nothing more than an attempt to silence the voices of Missourians and keep power in the hands of the GOP supermajorities.


The proposed resolutions attacking Missouri's citizen initiative process employ two strategies:

Make it harder for citizens to place a proposed measure on the ballot

Make it harder for citizen initiatives to pass once they are on the ballot

HJR43 - would increase the number of signatures required to place a measure on the ballot and increase the threshold for passage from a simple majority to 2/3 - a nearly impossible threshold.

HJR 30 - would require proposed constitutional amendments to receive not just a majority of votes cast statewide (the rule now) but also prevail in a majority of state legislative districts.

HJR 18 - would increase number of signatures required to place a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot, limiting them only during a general election, and would increase the threshold for passage from a simple majority to a 2/3 majority.

HJR24 & HJR 25 - increases the threshold for passage of a constitutional amendment to require a majority of all registered voters in the state. Currently, measures pass by a majority of votes cast.


The initiative petition process is amongst the purest forms of democratic participation.

For more than a century, Missouri citizens across the political spectrum have been able to have their voices heard through the initiative petition process.

The Missouri constitution guarantees: “The people reserve power to propose and enact or reject laws and amendments to the constitution by the initiative, independent of the general assembly.”

The process already requires a high threshold of signatures from registered voters to get a proposal on the ballot.

Missourians across the political spectrum have used and benefitted from the citizen initiative process.

Measures passed by a majority - as is currently the case - reflect the will of the people. Making it more difficult - as these bills do - undermines the will of the people.

Lawmakers should reject efforts to make direct democracy more difficult.

Call the members of the Elections and Elected Officials committee listed below and tell them not to make ANY changes to the initiative petition process!

Rep. Peggy McGaugh 573-751-2917

Rep. Dan Stacy 573-751-8636

Rep. Brad Banderman 573-751-0549

Rep. Tricia Byrnes 573-751-1460

Rep. Jeff Coleman 573-751-1487

Rep. Bill Falkner 573-751-9755

Rep. Rodger Reedy 573-751-3971

Rep. Alex Riley 573-751-2210

Rep. Adam Schwadron 573-751-2949

Rep. Justin Sparks 573-751-0562

Rep. Cheri Toalson Reisch 573-751-1169

Rep. Ken Waller 573-751-4451



“New school for troubled boys to open on Agape grounds”

“As the controversial Agape Boarding School closes its doors permanently today, other doors will soon open on the same property, also aiming to reform troubled boys through Christian schooling.

According to documents from the Missouri Secretary of State, a nonprofit called Stone of Help was filed on Sept. 15, 2022. At that time, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt was outspoken about his plans to shut down Agape Boarding School and prosecute alleged abusers.”

“Jennifer and Jason Derksen’s names are listed on state business filings for Stone of Help Group Homes. Jason Derksen says the allegations of mental, physical, and sexual abuse at Agape were often exaggerated or untrue. He confirmed he was a former principal at Agape and that his wife Jennifer worked in the academic office there.

As the couple looks toward an opening date for Stone of Help, they’re seeking a similar clientele – boys with behavioral issues to enroll as students. Some former Agape students will join their roster, according to Derksen, who declined to interview on camera.“Derksen also told our investigative team that he wasn’t sure why a connection was being made between Stone of Help and the shuttered Agape Boarding School, despite the two sharing employees, land, students, and the same general business concept.

Schmitt moved out of his role as attorney general at the beginning of 2023 after being elected to the U.S. Senate. His successor Andrew Bailey says he plans to keep a close eye on Stone of Help and ongoing litigation against Agape Boarding School and its previous staff.

“We’re not going to let child abusers play a shell game and hide their abusive behaviors under different names and different entities,” said AG Bailey. “We’re going to use the legal mechanism of the state to prevent that from happening and protect children.”

Derksen tells KOLR 10 Investigates that Stone of Help is awaiting proper permitting from the health and fire departments, but anticipates the group homes could be able to open before the end of January. Agape had capacity for 150 boys. Stone of Help will have room for 30.”


“Critical race theory dominates Missouri Senate committee hearing on education bills”

Lawmakers debated critical race theory for two hours Wednesday, as the Senate Education and Workforce Development Committee heard public testimony on a pair of bills that both seek to create a so-called “Parents Bill of Rights.”

The two bills would establish a statewide transparency portal for public schools and enshrine parental rights, like a right to view teaching documents and their child’s records.

Legislation proposed by Sen. Ben Brown, R-Washington, would give parents the option of opting their child out of lessons or material they believe is “inappropriate for whatever reason.”

The bill sponsored by the committee’s chair, Republican Sen. Andrew Koenig of Manchester, contains similar provisions but also restricts critical race theory – which Koenig did not define but instead provided examples of, like “individuals of any race, ethnicity, color, or national origin are inherently superior or inferior.”

A majority of the committee’s members have proposed similar legislation, boosting the likelihood the committee might approve a bill addressing these topics.”

“Critical race theory, according to a Columbia News article, is a study of how racism has affected United States society and law.

Sen. Greg Razer, D-Kansas City, gave an example of how he sees racism impact Kansas Citians today. He mentioned the historical practice of redlining in Kansas City, a history he said has corresponded to a 15-year difference in life expectancy today of residents on either side of Troost Avenue.

Republican Sen. Rick Brattin of Harrisonville, vice chair of the education committee, said the United States was “founded on equality.”

Heather Fleming, a Black woman and founder of Missouri Equity Education Partnership, said Brattin wasn’t correct.

“People like me were considered to be 3/5 of a person,” she said.

She spoke about racism she has encountered through her life and her daughter’s, but noted that diversity, equity and inclusion education — sometimes mislabeled critical race theory — has helped her daughter have a better school environment.”


“How committees pull the strings in the Missouri legislature”

The Missouri General Assembly is in full swing, and legislators are beginning the arduous process of lawmaking through months of hearings and negotiations in legislative committees.

Although bills need approval from majorities in both the House and Senate before they are sent to the governor’s desk, committees handle the intricate details. The fate of a piece of legislation falls almost entirely on the shoulders of the committee chairs, who are members of the majority party and appointed by leaders of the two chambers.

This year, Republicans have a wide majority in both chambers. In the House, Speaker Dean Plocher, a Republican from St. Louis County, has made appointments for committee chairs and assigned Republican members to most of his chamber’s 36 standing committees. In the Senate, committee chairs and appointments are designated by the president pro tem, Sen. Caleb Rowden, a Republican from Columbia.

As a part of The Beacon’s series “DIY Democracy,” we broke down the basic information on how committees work and the power that committee leadership has in crafting, advancing or stalling legislation in the Missouri General Assembly.”


Missouri Budget Project “Emerging Tax Policy Issues”

“Since 2014, state lawmakers have approved a number of tax bills that together will reduce state general revenue by $1.83 billion annually when they are fully implemented. Most recently, last fall lawmakers approved reductions to the top rate of individual income tax that will reduce Missouri’s top rate of tax from 5.3% in 2022 to 4.95% in 2023 and to 4.5% when the reductions are fully implemented.

These cuts are likely to mean that Missouri’s current flush budget reserve will be short-lived.

As lawmakers consider additional changes to the tax code, we must ask them to be cautious and focus on targeted tax changes that help those Missourians that haven’t been reached by previous cuts.

Improvements in the circuit breaker tax credit for seniors and people with disabilities with modest incomes, and the earned income tax credit are affordable alternatives to broad-based tax changes that would do little to help the Missourians who need it the most.”


“U.S. lawmakers preparing plan to avert debt-ceiling crisis”

“A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers is preparing a plan to defuse a looming crisis over the nation's debt ceiling by changing it from a fixed dollar amount a percentage of national economic output, the group's top Republican said on Sunday.

The proposal would replace Washington's current federal debt ceiling - currently set at $31.4 trillion - with a rule that would instead limit debt to a share of national economic output, said U.S. Representative Brian Fitzpatrick, the Republican co-chair of the moderate Problem Solvers Caucus.”

“The U.S. government on Thursday came close to its statutory borrowing limit. The Treasury Department warned that its extraordinary cash management measures could only allow the government to pay all its bills through early June, at which point the nation could be at risk of failing to meet its obligations, including on its debt securities.

House Republicans want to use that critical deadline to force spending cuts, while the White House has said there should be no negotiations over lifting the debt limit. Republicans' narrow House majority has given outsized influence to the party's most hardline voices.”


“U.S. hits debt limit and Treasury Department begins ‘extraordinary measures’”

“The nation reached its debt limit Thursday, beginning the uncertain process known as extraordinary measures, in which the U.S. Treasury Department uses accounting maneuvers to avoid defaulting on the debt.

The often-used practice is intended to give the Republican House, Democratic Senate and Biden administration time to negotiate a bipartisan agreement to raise the debt ceiling to a dollar figure or suspend it through a certain date.

This year’s debate over how exactly to do that is expected to be especially tense after Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, made promises to several of his party’s more conservative members in exchange for the votes needed for him to hold the gavel.

Democrats and the White House are adamant they won’t agree to drastic spending cuts to discretionary programs, which fund the vast majority of federal agencies, or mandatory programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

The stalemate could have significant impacts on the global economy, financial markets and the nation’s credit rating the longer it goes.

If disagreements about how to address the debt limit last too long, the Treasury Department will exhaust extraordinary measures and the nation would default on the debt for the first time.”



With so much important news each week we don’t want you to miss a thing!





Join the MOVPC meeting MONDAY JAN 23 at 10 AM

Text “MOVPC” to 66866 or register HERE:

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!



“Abortion Bans Violate Church-State Separation” Missouri Abortion Lawsuit

Zoom Webinar Discussion


Please SHARE! Help spread the word!

Religious and anti-abortion extremists achieved one of the crown jewels of their agenda by overturning Roe v. Wade, but there is much more to come if we don’t stop them. When the Supreme Court overturned Roe, Americans United (AU) and National Women's Law Center (NWLC), leading experts in religious freedom and gender justice, joined forces to take on Missouri’s abortion bans. Join us as we discuss the basis for our lawsuit and why we're bringing it now.


Democratic Legislative Network Monday Night Call

Every Monday night

Want to stay up to date on what's happening in Jefferson City and how YOU can help secure Democratic victories for Missouri? Sign up below to join the Democratic Legislative Network and be a part of our Monday night messaging calls.

Sign up here:


January is National Blood Donor Month!

Did you know that the Greater Kansas City area hasn’t had a healthy and stable blood supply for nearly three years? And we’re not alone. Blood centers across the country, and even the globe, are experiencing record low numbers of blood donations. Even prior to the pandemic, our country was already facing a looming public health issue: a lack of blood donors.

#GiveLifeKC, an awareness campaign launching January 2023, aims to put an end to blood shortages in Kansas City. This campaign will focus on increasing awareness about the important and consistent need for blood donations in our region.

To find out how you can help #GiveLifeKC go to:



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:

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.


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

Follow us on Twitter at @MissouriAction, on Facebook at and check out our website at


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