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Challenges in Jefferson City, Events in May

House Republicans Don't Care About the Will of Voters

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives on April 29 voted 104-49-3 to grant final approval a proposed constitutional amendment seeking to scrap redistricting reforms Missouri voters ratified just six months ago. The measure now advances to the Senate.
Under the redistricting reforms voters approved in November with 62 percent support, a nonpartisan state demographer is slated oversee the drawing of new House and Senate districts during the next redistricting cycle in 2021 and every 10 years thereafter. The Republican-sponsored House Joint Resolution 48 seeks to reinstate a modified version of Missouri’s old redistricting system under which state legislative districts were created in a partisan process.
If HJR 48 clears the legislative process, it automatically would go on the November 2020 ballot for voter ratification, unless the governor exercises his constitutional authority to set an earlier election date.



Rep. Razer Protested by Westboro Baptists, Renews Push for MONA

(via MissouriNet)

Legislation that adds sexual orientation and gender identity to Missouri’s Human Rights statute is scheduled to be heard Wednesday by a House committee in Jefferson City.

House Speaker Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield, has referred the bill to the House General Laws Committee.

“I do think that the conversation on MONA is a good one for the Legislature to have. I don’t know that the issue is necessarily right, but I think that’s what the committee process is for to work through the issue and figure out if there’s a path forward for it,” Haahr tells the Capitol Press Corps.

The bill is sponsored by State Rep. Greg Razer, D-Kansas City, who is gay. Representative Razer’s legislation would prohibit discrimination based upon a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Discrimination would include unlawful housing practices and the denial of the right to use public accommodations.

Razer spoke at a separate press conference on Thursday, joined by other House Democrats. Razer is calling on Missouri House GOP leaders to speak out against the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church’s protest last Thursday at the Capitol.

Razer says Westboro protested Thursday against him and other LGBT legislators, and says it’s time to pass House bill 208.

“People can lose their homes, people can lose their jobs, people can be denied service at a restaurant because they are gay or lesbian,” says Razer.

During his press conference, Razer called on Speaker Haahr to use his influence and power, to help pass the legislation. He spent much of the time referencing the Westboro protest.

“LGBT teenagers are five times more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual counterparts. Yet, what we get from the leadership in this building (Missouri Capitol) is silence and inaction,” Razer says.

Speaker Haahr tells Capitol reporters that Westboro Baptist Church “thrives on the attention we pay them, and so I pay them none.” Haahr also emphasizes he’s referred Razer’s bill to committee for the hearing.

The 2019 legislative session ends on May 17, so timing will be a factor. The state Constitution requires lawmakers to approve a balanced budget by Friday, so the budget will get a lot of attention in both chambers this week.

“We can get this done. We can get this done in two weeks,” Razer says.

House General Laws Committee Chairman Dean Plocher, R-Des Peres, tells Missourinet that Razer’s bill is tentatively scheduled to be heard on Wednesday, upon morning adjournment.


Attorney General Eric Schmitt Hopes to Take Away Health Insurance From Thousands of Missourians

This week, Missouri’s unelected Attorney General, Eric Schmitt signed our state onto a Texas lawsuit seeking to have the entire Affordable Care Act struck down. Not just part of it. The entire law.
He didn’t tell you he was going to do it. Perhaps he thought you wouldn’t notice that he’s decided to side with the insurance companies that can fund his campaign. We have other ideas.

Sign on to tell Eric Schmitt to keep his hands off our health care. Click here.

If AG Schmitt’s lawsuit is successful, it will mean the end of protections for people with pre-existing health conditions. It will mean the end of allowing children to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26. It will end lifetime and annual limits, tax credits for small businesses to insure their employees, and eliminate requirements that stop insurance companies from discriminating against women.
Schmitt may think sucking up to the Trump Administration will land him his next job on the political ladder. We’re not going to allow him to use Missouri families as rungs on that ladder.
This is urgent. This case will be heard in a matter of weeks. Some Republican state Attorneys General have withdrawn from the lawsuit. Let’s tell Eric Schmitt: NOT IN OUR NAME.


Missouri Democrats Swag Now Available

Show support for the party across Missouri and help grow the MDP by buying some great stuff from the state party website:


Upcoming Club Meetings and Events:

  • Grain Valley Democrats: Wednesday May 8th, 6:30pm at Armstrong Park (711 N Main St in Grain Valley).
  • Jackson County Democratic Committee: 2nd quarter regular meeting. Thursday May 9th at the Downtown KC Courthouse, 415 E 12th St. KCMO. Meeting begins at 7pm.
  • Greater KC Women's Political Caucus: Eastern Jackson County Political Action Group: Meeting and postcard writing party. Thursday, May 16th, 6-8pm. Tim's Pizza (17201 E US 40 Highway, Independence).
  • Greater KC Women's Political Caucus: Trailblazers celebration and reception. Thursday May 23rd, 6:00-8:00pm. Lathrop and Gage reception space (2345 Grand, 22nd Floor). See below for information and link to buy tickets.
  • Congressman Cleaver's Annual BBQ: June 1, noon, IBEW 124 (301 E 103rd Ter. KCMO). More details to come.

Trailblazers Celebration: Leading the Charge on Sustainability

Purchase your ticket before May 1 for an Early Bird price!

This year we are celebrating local women doing innovative work on environmental sustainability. Come mingle with these trailblazers, enjoy heavy apps provided by Zoe's Kitchen and drinks. Our two keynote speakers will discuss environmental efforts happening in the metro area.

Lindsey Constance is a member of the Shawnee City Council and the co-founder of Metro KC Climate Action Coalition, an organization that works to find ways to counter the effects of climate change. A teacher for 16 years, Constance aims to improve the futures of her kids and those she has taught.

Beth Low-Smith is the vice president of policy for KC Healthy Kids, a group that works to foster support for healthy habits, both in our communities and by influencing policy. Formerly a Missouri State Representative, Low-Smith has devoted her career to advocating for increased opportunities for everyone.

Hall of Fame awardees to be announced.

We'll be on the 22nd floor of the Lathrop and Gage building at 2345 Grand Blvd. In the spirit of the event, we encourage guests to carpool, or take the bus or streetcar. Parking in the building parking garage is available, and must be paid for in cash.