Kevin's blog

#SJR39 Hurts

In the middle of arguments made by supporters of Senate Joint Resolution 39 defending “business rights,” often forgotten were the names, faces, and stories of LGBT Missourians who will face legalized discrimination if the amendment becomes law.

I am one of those faces. Already the debate over SJR 39 forced a conversation where my mother shared that my father supports the amendment. Why? Because despite having a gay son, business’ freedom matters more.

New Year, New Lobbyist Gift Rankings

The Missouri Ethics Commission just released lobbyist gift data for January 2016. Here are your updated rankings of gift takers in the House and Senate.

We've ranked elected officials by the amount they have taken personally. The second number represents how much staff and family members have taken as reported to the MEC.

Discrimination Has No Place in Our State Constitution

Sen. Bob Onder (R-Lake St. Louis) admits the United States Supreme Court affirmed the right of same-sex couples to marry. However, he wants to make sure these couples are not treated equally here in the Show-Me state by passing a constitutional amendment that would make discrimination a part of our state constitution.

In just one week, the Missouri Senate fast-tracked Onder’s SJR 39 from filing to passing out of committee--next up, the Senate Floor--and that could be as early as next week.

Time to Pass #MONA16

Today, the State Senate’s Committee on Progress and Development held its first hearing of the year on the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA). Sen. Joe Keaveny (D-St. Louis) filed the legislation that prevents discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodations.

Good Things ARE Happening: Mic Drop Edition

When the Missouri legislature is in session, it’s easy to focus on the negative and give in to cynicism. But before you start shuffling around the house muttering to yourself about the logistics of moving to Canada, let's take a moment and reflect on a few good things that have happened in Jeff City recently. You might even crack a smile.

Rowden Pulls an Eddie Haskell on Ethics Reform

Today, Rep. Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) gave us his best Eddie Haskell impersonation as he testified before a committee on ethics reform. Rowden spoke on behalf of two of his ethics reform bills, trying hard to give the appearance of a champion for reform, fighting for fairness and transparency.

2016 Missouri Legislative Session Bill Preview Part 2

Today, we’re highlighting legislation targeting Missouri women’s access to health care, denying rights for LGBT citizens, and weakening Missouri’s already-lax gun safety laws. If you missed Part 1, find it here.

2016 Missouri Legislative Session Bill Preview Part 1

Since prefiling started on December 1, around 800 bills have been filed in the legislature. We sifted through them to find the disastrous bills our elected officials hoped you wouldn’t see. Today, we’re highlighting legislation targeting Missouri workers, making voting more difficult for thousands of Missourians, and a bizarre bill that withholds funding from public education as retribution.

What Can $10 Million Buy You, Aside from Missouri Elected Officials?

The Missouri Ethics Commission released its 2014 annual report and revealed that Rex and Jeanne Sinquefield gave a jaw-dropping $10,463,000 in total contributions worth over $5,000.

$10 million can go a long way. In fact, you can buy a Caribbean Island and still have $1 million left over. However who needs a private island when you can just spend the money on electing a general assembly and statewide office holders that help make you even wealthier?

Missouri GOP Legislators Rely on their Favorite Ghost Writer to Craft New Legislation

Bills filed by Missouri Republicans for the upcoming legislative session are nearly word-for-word from the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) bill templates. ALEC is a “membership organization” for state legislators, but functions primarily as a bill factory that pushes a pro-corporate special interest agenda. In exchange for expensive steak dinners and all-inclusive getaways, legislators support bills that are directly from ALEC’s “model” legislation.

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