We need a better legislature

What did we learn from the 2015 legislative session?

It's never been more clear that the politicians running our legislature have lost connection with their constituents -- and reality. Let's break down a few ways we've observed this:

Politics trumped people... again

Despite bipartisan support, relentless pressure from constituents, and urgent calls from faith leaders and health care providers, the legislature once again failed to expand Medicaid.

ALEC's so-called 'right to work' bill was pushed through MOLeg

Ignoring strong bipartisan opposition in both the House and Senate, extremists in the Senate rammed through ALEC's so-called 'right to work' bill. But despite all the arm-twisting, ALEC and the Koch Brothers still don't have the votes to override a veto from Gov. Nixon.

It is still legal to be fired for being gay in MO

LGBT people in Missouri can still be fired from their jobs, evicted from their homes, and denied access to public accommodations and services. The legislature failed to act to change that shameful reality.

GOP leaders celebrate harming 6,000+ children

The legislature overrode Gov. Nixon's veto of a mean-spirited bill that cuts 6,000 children off desperately needed food and financial assistance, including more than 2,600 children under the age of five.

Ferguson-related reform bills floundered

Legislators failed to act on the majority of reform bills, including key measures that would create citizen review boards, mandate body cameras for police officers, and establish training protocols for police officers.

Ethics reforms turned out to be all talk

There was a lot of big talk at the beginning of session from Senate Majority Leader Ron Richard and Rep. Caleb Rowden, but ethics reform stalled under the dome and Jefferson City remains a cesspool.

Schools are left underfunded

The General Assembly passed a budget that comes up about $442 million short of what state law calls for in the Foundation Formula that funds K-12 schools.

Local control enthusiasts attempt to restrict local control

From issues such as plastic bags to minimum wage, GOP legislators made banning local control a priority issue this session.

In conclusion, we need a better Legislature.

 

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