Wednesday, January 07, 2015

St. Louis Democrat: Speaker's agenda will not be women/children/family/worker friendly

(From Rep. Stacey Newman, D-St. Louis)

In just a matter of hours, the 2015 Legislature convenes in Jefferson City with full pomp and ceremony.

We expect John Diehl (R-Town & Country) to be elected tomorrow, January 7th as the next Speaker of the House and await his swearing in speech to know the full extent of his GOP legislative agenda.

Don’t count on any surprises. Since 2008, we’ve seen some of his priorities– including voter suppression efforts through Voter ID bills (already pre-filed!). Stay tuned - I assure you the rest of the new Speaker's agenda will not be women/children/family/worker friendly.


My previous legislation was filed once again for 2015 earlier this week. My next task will be requesting these bills be assigned to committees and then, asking the committe chairs for public committee hearings – which will be no easy feat.

I’m also working on additional domestic violence/gun violence legislation which I hope to file later this month.

HB 345 – Allows a voter to cast an advance ballot
HB 346 – Creates the offense of making a threat to the security of a building or a public school
HB 347 – Requires that all sales or transfers of firearms be processed through a licensed firearms dealer
HB 348 – Requires the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations to establish the Equal Pay Commission
HB 349 – Establishes the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
HB 350 – Requires a pharmacy to fill a valid and lawful prescription for any federal FDA-approved drug or device to prevent pregnancy, including emergency contraceptives, without delay.
HB 351 – Establishes disclosure regulations for entities that provide pregnancy-related services or solicits patrons with offers to provide prenatal sonography, pregnancy tests, or pregnancy options counseling
HB 352 – Establishes the Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies (CARE) Act
HB 353 – Changes the laws regarding sex education in schools and establishes the CARE Act, the Birth Control Protection Act, and a women’s health services program
HB 354 – Establishes the Employee Reproductive Health Nondiscrimination Act


This past fall several women contacted me wanting to become more involved politically but not knowing how to begin. Missouri is taking the lead in the omnipresent attacks on women’s reproductive justice, equal pay, voting rights, access to healthcare…the list keeps growing and does not appear to end anytime soon. Rep. Brattin (R-Ballwin) has pre-filed the latest attack, HB 131 requiring a father’s consent for an abortion in Missouri (an idea previously ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court).

Capitalizing on my previous work statewide with the women’s vote and after many marketing discussions , the first “ProgressWomen” event was launched at my home on December 15th with women of all ages and backgrounds. The mission is to expand the reach of and get more women involved, particularly at the voting booth.

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