Many of you are contacting me wanting to know what's going on in the Capital, what should you be focusing on, what can you do...
I'm furious that our legislature is mirroring the White House's agenda - very little good for everyday people but plenty of protecting corporate interests.
In the first 41 legislative days the House has passed:
*HB57 ---allowing law enforcement to further target anyone
*HB95, HB153, HB339, HB452, HB460, HB461 ---making it harder for citizens to access Missouri's legal system if they ever need
*HB126 ---abolishing prevailing wage in the construction industry
*HB251 ---abolishing requirement of union dues
*HB288 ---reducing unemployment compensation to 13 weeks from 20 weeks
*HB289 ----reducing who pays into workers compensation
*HB634 ---anti-public school education
*HB655 ---more tax credits for fake religious unregulated pregnancy centers
*HB1194 ---not allowing cities to set their own minimum wage (St. Louis)
*HCB3 ---removing tax credits from elderly poor to give to other poor
Numerous bills that protect corporations in current or future litigation. Anti-labor union bills. Anti-worker unemployment bills. Anti-public education. Anti-minimum wage. Anti-accurate medical information. Pro-racial targeting.
We still have 29 legislative days to go. Coming up:
*Numerous anti-abortion anti-women anti-science bills which will make your head spin (see below)
*Numerous gun industry bills
*Bathroom restriction bills targeting transgender students
*Anti-immigration bills which are unconstitutional
*More "tort reform" bills coming from the Speakers special committee on Litigation Reform.
*Budget bills rewarding of tax credits but take $$$ from the poor, social services, public education, healthcare, etc.
I wish I had answers of what we can do to stop this punitive agenda.
Good news however:
1) House bills which haven't yet been heard by House committees have little chance of progressing out of both chambers before adjournment.
2) Bill filing deadline (March 1) has passed, except for the new "House Committee Bills", those advanced by committee chairs (never saw these in the past)
3) We adjourn at 6pm on the dot, Friday May 12th. Time is counting down.
4) We are ON LEGISLATIVE SPRING BREAK until Monday March 27th. That is a good thing.
*Committee hearings ---UPDATED DAILY HERE. Anyone is welcome to testify at any public hearing which begin again on Monday, March 27th. Committees usually meet at the same time on the same day of the week and are usually noticed up by Thursday afternoon of the week before.
*Pesky little House subcommittees which are confusing everyone as to their
Subcommittee on Second Amendment Preservation ---next meeting March 28th, 8am (guns, of course)
*Session ---we normally go into 10am and 2pm House floor sessions following our Spring break. The Speaker determines when we adjourn each day or into the evening - whenever he chooses. When we are in session, you can listen or watch live debate HERE. I also try to live tweet floor debate when I can ---@staceynewman on Twitter.
*Senate ---don't forget the other chamber. Listen when they're in session HERE.
SO WHAT CAN YOU DO?
1) VOTE IN YOUR MUNICIPAL ELECTION ON APRIL 4TH.
In St. Louis County, look up what's on your ballot HERE. Absentee voting information for St. Louis County HERE.
Nothing you care about? VOTE ANYWAY.
Get in the habit of voting every single election. Become a "Frequent Voter" whom candidates talk with (the rest of you may not get a candidate visit). Pay attention to who is running for school board, mayor and local office. Many run for higher office eventually and you should learn their agendas.
2) My best advice: make as much noise as you can, wherever you can, to whomever you can, as loud as you can. That's what I do on bills on which I focus - gun violence prevention, reproductive justice, immigration and voting rights....via email, social media (Facebook & Twitter), etc.
3) Follow legislative alerts from organizations you care about (I do!) - sign up for their newsletters and stay informed the best you can.
4) Testify or just attend hearings, come watch in person or livestream floor debate. Listen to the action. Write the Speaker and committee chair.
5) Attend marches, rallys, town halls, legislator meetings, issue events ---be vocal on what you care most about. Clue in your like-minded friends and colleagues.
6) Don't be complacent or silent.
UGLY ANTI-WOMEN BILLS HEADED TO HOUSE FLOOR AFTER SPRING BREAK
Sign on my House floor desk last week.
I'm opposing all of these bills below and will be extremely vocal in floor debate (if I'm allowed to speak). Not one of these helps women or physicians but add more barriers and burdens on those who need access to reproductive healthcare. Missouri GOP interference is NOT NEEDED.
I'm talking to younger GOP legislators who find themselves in medical situations as many throughout the state sometimes experience and who suddenly understand.
I asked one recently whose wife had a tragic pregnancy complication if he wishes the House floor was present in his wife's examining room. He said, "touche". Unfortunately, his family experienced a "real life" situation which is in direct conflict with the GOP's anti-reproductive healthcare access agenda. He may not change his vote on any of the extreme bills below but he promised to do what he can to prevent them from progressing.
HB174 - RELIGIOUS PROTECTION FOR FALSE PREGNANCY CENTERS AND PREEMPTING ST. LOUIS CITY ANTI-PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION ORDINANCE---Rep. Tila Hubrecht (R-Dexter) - Protecting fake pregnancy centers which have no state regulation but receive millions of tax credits PLUS ending anti-pregnancy discrimination ordinances such as the one recently signed into law in St. Louis City
HB 182 - TRANSPORTING MINORS FOR ABORTION ---Rep. Tom Hurst (R-Meta)
Criiminalizing those who transport minors to another state for an abortion
HB 194 - ABORTION ---Rep. Diane Franklin (R-Camdenton)
Fetal disposal and inspections, ban on fetal cell research omnibus bill re 2016 anti- Planned Parenthood investigative hearings
HB326 - TWO PARENT NOTIFICATION OF MINOR ABORTIONS ---Rep. Rocky Miller (R-Lake Ozark) Mandating both custodial parents be notified regardless of the danger that causes for a minor
HB 908/HB757 - PAIN CAPABLE UNBORN CHILD PROTECTION ---Rep. Donna Lichtenegger (R-Jackson) & Rep. Phil Christorfanelli (R-St. Peters) New restrictions on abortion re gestational age & fetal pain.
Planned Parenthood's FACT sheets on each bill HERE.