05/09/22 - Missouri Mondays - Stand up for abortion, voting rights, public education, unemployment!

Stand up for abortion, voting rights, public education, unemployment benefits, and more in final days of MO Leg session!


Welcome to another Missouri Mondays! This is the final week of the 2022 regular session and another busy week of important events and actions! Thanks for staying informed and using your voice to make a difference!

MISSOURI LEGISLATURE - TAKE ACTION!


TELL YOUR SENATOR TO VOTE NO ON HB 1878 STRICT VOTER ID BILL!

Update from Rep. Patty Lewis - The Republican-controlled Senate is poised to approve legislation imposing a strict photo voter identification requirement, overcoming Democratic opposition by agreeing to also create a no-excuse absentee voting period two weeks prior to an election. Once the Senate takes a final vote, the bill will return to the House of Representatives, which can either accept the Senate changes or seek to negotiate a compromise version.

As originally approved by the lower chamber, House Bill HB 1878 was largely limited to Republicans’ latest attempt to require voters to show a government-issued photo ID in order to cast a ballot. The Missouri Supreme Court has twice ruled such laws violate the constitutional rights of legal voters who do not possess and cannot easily obtain a photo ID.

The Senate, however, on May 4 added numerous amendments to the bill, including a controversial provision that would grant the secretary of state the unprecedented power to withhold funding from local election authorities who, in the secretary’s opinion, aren’t satisfactorily maintaining their voter rolls. The power of the purse traditionally is reserved for the legislature and governor through the state budget process.

HB 1878 also purports to prohibit the General Assembly from changing state election laws within 26 weeks prior to a presidential election. This provision would be unenforceable, however, since lawmakers have no authority to statutorily restrict the power of future General Assemblies to enact laws.

To overcome a Democratic filibuster, the Senate agreed to an amendment establishing a two-week period prior to an election in which voters can cast an absentee ballot without offering a reason. Under existing law, voters must have a statutorily authorized excuse for voting absentee, such as they will be absent from their home county or otherwise unable to vote in person on Election Day.

However, a provision was added stating that if the bill’s photo voter ID requirement is struck down, which seems likely given state Supreme Court precedent, then the absentee ballot provision would not be implemented.

Find your state senator using the legislator lookup here: https://www.senate.mo.gov/LegisLookup/Default.aspx

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TELL YOUR SENATOR TO VOTE NO ON HCS HB 1858 “PARENTS’ BILL OF RIGHTS” “TRANSPARENCY IN PUBLIC EDUCATION”

”The School Administrators Coalition is opposed to HB 1858 as this bill is more than a mere transparency bill. This bill is designed to disrupt our schools and our communities. It is designed to tie our districts up in litigation and take our education professionals away from the task of educating children. Indeed, there are multiple provisions within the bill that permit individuals to sue school officials for violating the provisions of the bill. There are also multiple provisions which require the state to withhold state funding from our schools who are found to violate the provisions contained within the bill. Many of the provisions contained within the bill are vague and ambiguous which further opens schools up to litigation and possible withholding of funding.”

For example, HCS HB 1858 would require districts to post all curriculum on a website, all professional development, all speakers, and the list goes on. “...that beginning in the 2023-24 school year that all school districts and charter schools post on the school's website the approved school curriculum that will be used for pupil instruction. Any changes to the curriculum must be updated on the website within 30 days and notice must be provided in a form of written communication with parents. Any curriculum that is trademarked or copyrighted may not be widely disseminated to the Public. The bill outlines a cause of action to require that the school board comply and if any resident prevails in a cause of action the bill provides that attorney fees shall be paid up to $15,000.”

Read the perfected bill summary here: https://www.house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills221/sumpdf/HB1858P.pdf

Find your state senator using the legislator lookup here: https://www.senate.mo.gov/LegisLookup/Default.aspx

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TELL YOUR STATE SENATOR TO VOTE NO ON HB 1860 CHANGES AFFECTING UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS!

The GOP majority continue their assault on families that need Missouri’s support the most. HB 1860 has passed in the House and is now in the Senate.

  • HB 1860 would cut the amount of support a family can count on from unemployment services by shrinking the amount of time they can remain on unemployment while searching for a new job.

  • HB 1860 would tie the length of time someone can claim unemployment insurance to the statewide unemployment insurance. Not only does using the statewide numbers ignore that different areas experience different levels of unemployment, the bill would make Missouri one of the states with the lowest amount of time someone can claim unemployment insurance.

Find your state senator using the legislator lookup here: https://www.senate.mo.gov/LegisLookup/Default.aspx

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TELL YOUR STATE SENATOR TO VOTE NO ON THE FOLLOWING BILLS!

HCS HB 1686 - COVID-19 vaccination cannot be required.

HCS for HJR 117 – Proposes a constitutional amendment that would leave Medicaid expansion up to the legislature if funds are available.

HCS HB 1462 - Would allow guns in churches and on public transportation.

HB 2012 Establishes the "Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection

Act". Would make abortion drugs a felony.

Find your state senator using the legislator lookup here: https://www.senate.mo.gov/LegisLookup/Default.aspx

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MISSOURI BUDGET - LAWMAKERS FINALIZE $44.73 BILLION STATE OPERATING BUDGET

Update from Rep. Patty Lewis - Lawmakers on May 6 granted final approval to the nearly $44.73 billion state operating budget for the 2023 state fiscal year, completing the process just hours ahead of a hard constitutional deadline and avoiding a special legislative session to finish the job. Lawmakers also signed off on a separate bill allocating $2.9 billion in federal pandemic relief funds, along with a plan to provide $500 million in tax rebates to certain Missouri taxpayers.

The final budget includes some big spending increases proposed by the Senate but left out of the House’s original spending plan, including an additional $214 million to fully fund the state’s share of local public school districts’ student transportation costs for the first time in three decades and $27 million to increase minimum pay for public school teachers to $38,000 a year. Despite a record revenue surplus, basic state funding for local schools remains flat from the current fiscal year.

One Senate-backed spending reduction that was held after final budget negotiations eliminated a House-backed $500,000 increase for Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office. The Senate removed the spending bump as retaliation against Schmitt, a Republican, for filing around four dozen frivolous lawsuits against public school districts over their COVID-19 mitigation efforts. Nearly all of those lawsuits have since been dismissed without going to trial.

The budget also fully funds the state’s Medicaid program, including a constitutionally mandated eligibility expansion Missouri voters approved in 2020. Majority Republicans had continued to resist funding the expansion until the Missouri Supreme Court ruled last year that the state constitution required the state to provide those services.

In addition to the normal operating budget, lawmakers approved a bill to spend $2.9 billion in federal relief funds, with significant amounts going for a wide range of infrastructure improvements, including broadband expansion and the removal of lead pipes from water systems. Lawmakers also passed three other bills providing $903.66 million spending authority for various capital improvement needs.

Lawmakers also endorsed a plan to set aside $500 million in general revenue for income tax rebates to individuals earning less than $150,000 a year, or $300,000 annually for married couples. The House had originally proposed $1 billion in rebates targeted for the wealthiest Missourians. Like the House proposal, the final plan provides nothing to low-income taxpayers.

The governor is expected to sign the various appropriations bills into law sometime before the FY 2023 state fiscal year begins on July 1. However, the state constitution empowers him to strike spending authority he doesn’t want from budget bills while otherwise approving them.

MISSOURI ACTION ALLIANCE AT THE CAPITOL FOR MOVPC VOTING RIGHTS LOBBY DAY


Using false claims of voter fraud, the MO GOP majority has tried to make it harder for Missourians to vote, and even in these final days of session are trying to pass restrictive photo ID laws, make the initiative petition process harder, and other laws suppressing our voice and our vote. Missouri Action Alliance was proud to stand with Denise Lieberman of Missouri Voter Protection Coalition and 100+ allies from all across the state at the Capitol last week to thank the legislators fighting back and standing up to protect access to the ballot box for all Missourians!

NATIONAL NEWS


WHAT HAPPENS IN MISSOURI IF SCOTUS OVERTURNS ROE

Last week a leaked SCOTUS draft opinion reveals the court has voted to overturn Roe v. Wade. “The draft opinion is a full-throated, unflinching repudiation of the 1973 decision which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights and a subsequent 1992 decision – Planned Parenthood v. Casey – that largely maintained the right. “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito writes. “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” he writes in the document, labeled as the “Opinion of the Court.” “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

https://www.politico.com/news/2022/05/02/supreme-court-abortion-draft-opinion-00029473 Politico May 2

“Missouri's 'trigger law' is ready for Roe's demise. What happens then?

“If the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, a “trigger law” will take effect in Missouri, banning abortion in most cases. While that idea might seem straightforward, St. Louis University law professor Marcia McCormick said its language is ambiguous and leaves room for many interpretations when it comes to other areas related to conception, such as emergency contraception. Missouri’s trigger law is a near-complete ban on abortion, including in cases of rape and incest. The law allows for abortions only in medical emergencies that immediately threaten a pregnant person’s life or will create “irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function. Passed in 2019, the law would immediately go into effect if the governor or the attorney general certify that Roe has been repealed, or the state legislature passes a resolution saying so. The law would make it a class B felony to induce an abortion, even for medical providers. That charge comes with a sentencing range of five to 15 years. The trigger law does include a stipulation that a woman pursuing an abortion cannot be charged, but McCormick questions that.”

Full story here: https://news.stlpublicradio.org/show/st-louis-on-the-air/2022-05-06/missouris-trigger-law-is-ready-for-roes-demise-what-happens-then St. Louis Public Radio May 6

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KARINE JEAN-PIERRE TO BECOME WHITE HOUSE’S 1ST BLACK PRESS SECRETARY

President Biden has named Karine Jean-Pierre as his second White House press secretary, replacing Jen Psaki later this month. Jean-Pierre, who has been Psaki's deputy since the start of the administration, will make history several times over.

She will be the first Black press secretary in White House history and the first openly gay person in this high-profile role, speaking for both the president and the U.S. government in press briefings that are watched by the world.

"Karine not only brings the experience, talent and integrity needed for this difficult job, but she will continue to lead the way in communicating about the work of the Biden-Harris Administration on behalf of the American people," Biden said in a statement announcing the news. "Jill and I have known and respected Karine a long time and she will be a strong voice speaking for me and this Administration."

"This is a historic moment, and it's not lost on me," Jean-Pierre said at Thursday's press briefing, where she appeared with Psaki, embracing and holding hands at times.”

https://www.npr.org/2022/05/05/1096942696/karine-jean-pierre-is-replacing-jen-psaki-as-white-house-press-secretary NPR May 5

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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 next MOVPC meeting

MONDAY May 9 at 10 AM

Text “MOVPC” to 66866 or register HERE: https://wustl.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYoceyuqTsqGN1NlXOMKb88rSExyr-kWjbt

Help protect the right to vote in Missouri with the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition! The Missouri Voter Protection Coalition (MOVPC) is a nonpartisan statewide network working to protect the right to vote in Missouri, promoting access to the ballot and working to remove barriers to voting.

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Bans Off Our Bodies

Overland Park Canvass with Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes

Sat May 14

2 hour canvass shifts from 10:00AM - 6:00 PM

Sign up for a shift here: https://events.democrats.org/event/456319

On Monday, May 2nd, Politico published a leaked draft Supreme Court majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that explicitly overturns Roe v. Wade. This is an unprecedented leak from the court that, if true, would reverse nearly 50 years of precedent and explicitly end federal constitutional protections for abortion. 26 states could move quickly to ban abortion, meaning millions of people might live without local access to abortion. The people in your community and across the country deserve the power and freedom to make their own personal reproductive health care decisions.

Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes invites you to join these efforts during this moment of crisis. It is necessary to act now, all across the country, not only to demonstrate that people support abortion access, but to show that we won’t back down.

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Abortion Now Rally!

Sat. May 14

11:00 AM

Park Central Square in Springfield, MO

Event by The GLO Center and Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri

https://facebook.com/events/s/abortion-now-rally/4764175787024431/

RSVP here: https://www.mobilize.us/ppaf/event/456316/

The right to an abortion is under attack like never before: the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to gut or entirely overturn Roe v. Wade and eliminate federal protections. In Missouri, we have been living in a functionally post-Roe reality for years. We are coming together to fight to make sure everyone has the power to control their own bodies, lives, and futures. We deserve elected officials – at all levels of government — and judges who believe that as well. We’ll keep fighting in every state in the nation – this won’t stop us. Join us and show up for abortion now — and beyond! State Rep. Crystal Quade will be speaking. More details to come - watch this space!

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Abortion Now Rally!

Sat. May 14

11:00 AM

Park Central Square in Springfield, MO

Event by The GLO Center and Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri

https://facebook.com/events/s/abortion-now-rally/4764175787024431/

RSVP here: https://www.mobilize.us/ppaf/event/456316/

The right to an abortion is under attack like never before: the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to gut or entirely overturn Roe v. Wade and eliminate federal protections. In Missouri, we have been living in a functionally post-Roe reality for years. We are coming together to fight to make sure everyone has the power to control their own bodies, lives, and futures. We deserve elected officials – at all levels of government — and judges who believe that as well. We’ll keep fighting in every state in the nation – this won’t stop us. Join us and show up for abortion now — and beyond! State Rep. Crystal Quade will be speaking. More details to come - watch this space!

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MORE UPCOMING ACTIONS AND EVENTS

Find more upcoming actions and events here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/19AZUdtRH5WXefOC4Q5D9u-HyuzhBEL8rYX9Ospn3n18/edit?usp=sharing

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CRISIS IN UKRAINE - HOW YOU CAN HELP

HOW TO HELP

  • WORLD CENTRAL KITCHEN - Help us provide fresh meals to communities in need. On Feb 24, Russia launched a large-scale attack on neighboring Ukraine, invading the country on several fronts. As a result, millions have fled their homes in search of safety. Working at a 24-hour pedestrian border crossing in southern Poland, WCK began serving hot, nourishing meals immediately. Now, we've expanded our efforts to serve people across the region in Romania, Moldova, and Hungary. WCK is also partnering with restaurants inside of Ukraine to get hot meals to anyone in need. Make a donation to WCK here: https://donate.wck.org/give/393234#!/donation/checkout

  • RED CROSS - The International Committee of the Red Cross is supporting the Ukrainian Red Cross right now. The groups are supporting food-producing initiatives, repairing infrastructure, and helping hospitals, schools, mental health facilities and community centers. You can make a one-time donation or a monthly contribution here: https://www.icrc.org/en/donate

  • SUNFLOWER OF PEACE - Sunflower of Peace Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to helping Ukrainians affected by the Russian military invasion. Donate here: https://www.sunflowerofpeace.com/

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MISSOURI COVID UPDATE


Missourians Vaccinated vs U.S. - as of May 8 The New York Times

  • 66% of Missourians have received at least one dose - (78% have received at least one dose in the U.S.)

  • 56% of Missourians are fully vaccinated - (66% are fully vaccinated in the U.S.)

Latest COVID Trends in Missouri as of May 8 - The New York Times

  • An average of 813 cases per day were reported in Missouri in the last week. Cases have increased by 319 percent from the average two weeks ago.

  • Deaths have decreased by 655 percent.

  • Since the beginning of the pandemic, at least 1 in 4 residents have been infected, a total of 1,447,441 reported cases. At least 1 in 299 residents have died from the coronavirus, a total of 20,555 deaths.

  • January 2022 was the month with the highest average cases, while November 2021 was the month with the highest average deaths in Missouri.

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MORE COVID-19 VACCINE, TESTING RESOURCES AND INFORMATION HERE: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1i1vCikZiGfMulA8tFCDSJbEKV5N37S1JU_TSlgs699A/edit?usp=sharing

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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


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