Legislative Update: GOP Priorities Take Center Stage This Week

Jul 8, 2024

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Three Specific Priorities Keep Coming Up

Top of mind this legislative session is the emerging consistency of the GOP’s priority issues. We’ve seen the most momentum on the topics of revising the state’s majority rule, defunding clinics who provide abortions, and removing diversity, equity, and inclusion standards, requirements, curriculum, or practices within our state. We sent an update earlier this week, but the below is an expansion on what’s happened since.

TL;DR — Here are the FOUR steps to take action this week:

  1. Contact your representative and urge them to vote NO on HB 1518 to protect higher education students from discrimination.
  2. Reach out to the House Rules Regulatory Oversight Committee members and tell them to vote NO on HB 2619 to maintain DEI practices.
  3. Sign both Missouri ballot petitions to ensure Missourians get the opportunity to vote on policies that affect our health and ability to succeed in our jobs: Petition for Missourians for Constitutional Freedomand Petition for $15 Minimum Wage & Paid Sick Time.
  4. Contact your elected official about the dangers of passing SJR 74 that would end majority rule within Missouri or share your story about how initiative petitions have impacted you (i.e. signature gatherers for Right to Work or Medicaid expansion or those impacted by the Medicaid expansion in Missouri).

HB 1518 was voted out of the House Rules Administrative Oversight Committee, and heads to the House Floor for debate. This bill would force public colleges and universities to discriminate against students, allowing student groups to limit members based on protected characteristics such as race, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability. It’s clear the Missouri Legislature wants to strip away diversity, equity, and inclusion from our state, as they progress many disparate attempts to do so. Write your representative and make sure they vote NO on HB 1518. 

HB 2619, the carrier of the DE&I ban bills, was assigned to the House Rules Regulatory Oversight committee, and will be up for Executive Session on Monday at 2:15 p.m. This bill directly harms Missouri’s workforce and economy by eliminating diversity, equity, and inclusion standards in our state. It seeks to defund the DE&I programming our state departments engage in, including reducing the learning and competency of Missouri professionals. Contact the committee members and tell them to vote NO on HB 2619. 

Since our update on Wednesday, SJR 74 was referred to the House and first read. It is expected to be have its second read next week and then go through the committee process with one more public hearing.

You might recall SJR 74 is a resolution attempting to end our state’s majority rule, the common sense method by which all voters can bring an issue directly to the vote of the people at the ballot box and win by a simple majority. SJR 74 would upend this process by changing it from everyone’s vote counts to a concurrent majority. This change means that a majority of all votes cast statewide plus a majority of all state legislative districts would be needed for a measure to pass.

Make no mistake — this is an attempt by lobbyists and external influences to shred our constitution to undermine the principle of “one person, one vote” because they cannot control citizens the way they control politicians. If they destroy our constitution to get rid of ballot initiatives as we know them, it will mean more power for special interest groups and less power for voters to decide on the issues that matter most. We must stop this resolution in the House, which means we need you to contact your legislator to tell them why you oppose SJR 74 and share your story of how initiative petitions have impacted you (i.e. signature gatherers for Right to Work or Medicaid expansion or those impacted by the Medicaid expansion in Missouri).