Today Was A Good Day in Missouri

We spend a lot of time talking about the bad things happening in Jefferson City... but today, equality won.

More Attacks on Missouri’s Sunshine Law

The Missouri legislature is once again trying to roll back sunshine law provisions— this time in our state government’s dealings with corporate farming. House Bill 1414 is currently being promoted by the corporate agriculture lobby to make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to figure out how they work with state agencies. Under this proposal, citizens would lose the right to learn how the Department of Natural Resources and Missouri Department of Agriculture are spending taxpayer money on selected projects.

Kurt's Kangaroo Court

Sen. Kurt Schaefer was appointed chair of the Missouri Senate's Interim Committee on the "Sanctity of Life" last fall, and thus in charge of "investigating" now-debunked accusations made by extremist groups against Planned Parenthood.

Today the Missouri Senate voted to approve Schaefer's subpoenas and expects Mary Kogut, CEO of the St. Louis Region's Planned Parenthood (PPSLR), to appear before them with subpoenaed documents on April 25th.

Will Kraus Passes the Buck

Sen. Kraus actually sponsored the 2014 legislation that changed the date of the Presidential Primary from February to March, in spite of warnings the new date was too close to April municipal elections and could cost millions, $37.5 million to be exact. His bill gave local election authorities just 3 weeks to prepare for another election.

Yes, Good Things ARE Happening

Yes, there are terrible, awful things happening in Jefferson City (ever hear of SJR 39?). But guess what—there are good things happening, too. Cheers to the following bright spots from last week...

February 2016 Lobbyist Gift Rankings

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

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

4,000+ Missourians Voice Opposition to SJR 39

Missourians from all corners of the state rallied at the Capitol this morning.

PROMO, Missouri's leading LGBT advocacy group, and the ACLU of Missouri brought together an impressive group of clergy, business owners, community leaders, and activists from across the state to speak out against SJR 39.

#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.

About That Filibuster...

A conservative backlash has emerged as a result of the 2015 SCOTUS ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.

Senate Joint Resolution 39, sponsored by Sen. Bob Onder (R-St. Charles), would allow businesses and individuals to refuse providing “wedding-related” services to same sex couples. (nevermind that the Equal Protection Clause in the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution applies to everyone, not just straight couples).

Senate GOP Leaders Abruptly Halt Filibuster

The longest filibuster in Missouri history was ended this morning by an unceremonious parliamentary procedure

Around 7am in the Senate, democrats who had been filibustering for over 39 hours straight were cut off by a PQ motion (you can read more about a PQ here). In short, the motion is a break from usual decorum, and almost never used. In fact, there was bipartisan condemnation of the move.

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