Missouri’s 100th General Assembly wrapped up their Second Regular Session this last week after 3 weeks of whirlwind legislating during the current coronavirus pandemic.
Missouri’s State Legislature- who was called back to Session after a prolonged recess due to the coronavirus pandemic under the auspices of passing a budget and addressing the challenges brought on by the global health crisis that we’re currently facing- passed a budget dependent on future Federal aid funding featuring many cuts and virtually ignored the challenges facing Missouri residents and businesses.
While most Democratic Legislators acted responsibly by respecting social distancing rules and wearing masks for the safety of themselves and their Legislative colleagues while working in the Capitol our State Representative Dottie Bailey neither wore a mask nor practiced social distancing.
Rep. Bailey has produced several official statements- including a petition- demanding that St. Louis County leadership end Stay at Home orders (which have now expired) as well as relax or eliminate recommended safety procedures for businesses who intend to reopen. The Stay at Home Order and recommendations for re-opening were created with the collaboration of Medical and Scientific professionals in order to keep St. Louis County residents as safe as possible while also trying to allow businesses to reopen in the midst of an unprecedented- and deadly- global health crisis.
Medical professionals and scientists have told us repeatedly that the novel coronavirus is going to be with us for the time being and until we develop a vaccine and effective treatments for COVID-19- which to those who are severely effected too often leads to death. Countries around the world are working to address this crisis as well and some have been more successful at saving lives than others.
It would appear that the countries who have been the most successful at saving lives (such a South Korea and Taiwan for instance) have focused on testing, tracking and isolating those that are infected until they recover and are no longer contagious. Unfortunately since this is a novel virus we’re not exactly sure whether one acquires immunity from the disease once they recover or what long-term effects that coronavirus might cause.
I believe that until we commit to making testing, tracking and isolating a priority and unless we make a long-term commitment to social distancing and following prudent safety precautions we’re going to lose many more lives than we might have otherwise. Unfortunately, many of our leaders don’t seem to agree (for example Rep. Dottie Bailey) and want to open up businesses with few or no restrictions in place to protect the public, businesses and employees. Rep. Dottie Bailey apparently doesn’t take this crisis seriously as she is advocating for reopening immediately without restrictions in the name of “freedom" while also being unwilling to respect her own or others’ safety.
The COVID-19 disease and the crisis that it’s causing is revealing the quality of our leaders- both good and bad- and testing our communities’ capacity to address this crisis as well. It’s also revealing how life and death decisions made by government officials effect the people that they serve and whether they truly take that great responsibility seriously.
As we go forward addressing our current and future health and financial challenges we will be looking to our leaders in government to coordinate policies and resources in order to mitigate the inevitable damage being done to our communities and our State by this unprecedented crisis. I believe that we must consider the health and welfare of our people first and foremost while we institute strategies designed to help our economy to adjust to what will most likely be our “new normal" while keeping citizens safe.
Rep. Dottie Bailey’s habit of ignoring our challenges, disrespecting our neighbors and her colleagues in a time of crisis, and directing and enabling constituents to act irresponsibly while also setting a poor example demonstrates neither leadership nor patriotism- much less integrity.
I believe that House District 110- and Missouri- deserves better, more honest, more insightful and more effective leadership than Representative Dottie Bailey is willing or able to demonstrate. Please help us to #FlipItBlue in House District 110 in November by supporting our grassroots campaign in whatever way that you can.
Here’s a summation of some the legislation that was passed, pressed or passed over in the last 3 weeks of Session:
- SJR38- undoing elements of the CLEAN Amendment passed by voters in 2018- was passed and will now go to the voters once again. This measure is primarily intended to undo the redistricting portion of CLEAN before redistricting occurs in 2021.
- Republican Legislators attempted to pass a number of gun-related bills including a “guns everywhere" bill, mandating that every public school has an armed volunteer in the building during school hours and a measure allowing Missouri to ignore Federal gun laws (which Rep. Bailey testified for passionately citing the KKK and nazis).
- Republican Legislators attempted to pass a variety of laws regarding ballot initiatives that would have raised the bar to certify, pass or even get a certified petition on the ballot.
- Republican Legislators passed a bill legalizing brass knuckles in the name of “freedom".
- Republican Legislators passed legislation regarding hunting feral hogs.
- Republican Legislators rejected providing $200 million in emergency funding to small businesses and family farmers in Missouri.
- Republican Legislators rejected accepting Medicaid Expansion- even in light of the ongoing global health crisis that we’re now experiencing.
- Republican Legislators rejected debating or considering MONA- the Missouri Non-Discrimination Act- for the 20th year in a row.
- Missouri’s motorcycle helmet law was altered so that riders 26 or over who possess health insurance are no longer required to wear a helmet. However- law enforcement cannot pull over a motorcyclist solely on the basis of checking whether a motorcyclist is observing legal statutes.
- Measures were passed regarding trailers hauling cotton, derelict aircraft, aviation fuel, vehicle insurance, driver’s licenses and “Real ID’s", drones, commemorative license plates and more in a large transportation bill.
- Rules were passed that are intended to discourage the construction of a high-speed “tube system" that’s been proposed to run from St. Louis to Kansas City that includes prohibiting use of eminent domain, encroaching on current or future right of ways, use of public money for development or construction for this project, etc.
- Legislation was passed that would allow those 65 or over or physically effected by COVID-19 to qualify to vote with an absentee ballot without the requirement of a notary. These measures will only be in effect for 2020 elections.
- Republicans proposed legislation granting employers immunity from lawsuits as a result of recalling workers back to work.
- Due to safety measures in place in the Capitol in light of the coronavirus pandemic there was little to no public input regarding the vetting of legislation over the last 3 weeks.
- Republicans proposed stripping County Health Departments of their authority during an ongoing public health crisis.
- Measures were passed to help support and facilitate providing broadband access to the rural parts of Missouri.
- A measure designed to change the way Charter Schools are paid which would have included both local and State funding were removed.
- Legislation providing Interstate licensing reciprocity for military spouses was passed.
- A number of measures passed that are designed to protect foster children, provide more accountability for casework agencies, provide more information and resources for foster providers, improve hotline assessments, allow for temporary placements with qualifying parties, etc.
- SB591 is “Tort Reform" legislation that weakens a consumer’s ability to bring civil suit or be awarded punitive damages if they are injured from a purchased product or medical malpractice.
- Rules were passed that will help to ensure that water plants operate more safely including expanded testing for lead and assessing risks regarding cyber attacks.
- The Legislature passed measures designed to make COVID-19 free and available to anyone referred for testing by their doctor.
- Democrats blocked Republican efforts to impose strict Voter ID laws on Missouri voters.
- Sen. Jill Schupp sponsored and passed the Sexual Assualt Survivor’s Bill of Rights which requires hospitals to provide rape kits and prohibits rape victims from being charged for rape kit testing.
- A Statewide Prescription Drug Monitoring Program was again rejected. While Missouri has a number of regional PDMP’s we are the only State without a Statewide program.
- The Republicans pushed and passed a harsh crime bill that severely penalizes offenders possessing even a small amount of fentanyl. These policies would not only lengthen prison sentences for offenders and incarcerate more non-violent offenders but also cost Missouri taxpayers millions in additional spending without actually addressing the causes and possibly remedies to the crisis that opioid usage is causing in our State.
- Republicans refused to grant “essential" status to frontline grocery and pharmacy workers denying them resources like PPE, free childcare, access to COVID-19 testing and so forth.
- Measures were passed to assist new parents in identifying and addressing post-partum depression.
- A measure was passed prohibiting certain shapes and labeling designs on “edibles" that mandates that a simple geometric shape is acceptable.
- A number of days and months were designated to recognize a variety of healthcare issues.
- The “Long Term Dignity Act" allows an individual to open a long-term care savings account and designate the account to be used to pay a designated qualified beneficiary’s eligible long-term care expenses. There is also a 100% tax deduction attached to the account up to $8,000 for individuals and $16,000 for married joint filers but not to exceed their AGI.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE LIST OF BILLS TRULY AGREED UPON AND PASSED
Unfortunately we’re now facing an unprecedented crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic so current financial instability may make supporters reluctant to donate to a political campaign. However- your TIME is valuable to us as well.
If supporting our campaign financially isn’t currently in your budget (which is VERY understandable) perhaps you would be willing to contribute some of your time to help us to reach out to the voters in House District 110 and introduce them to our campaign.
Here’s what you can do to help TEAMKIEHNE to deliver a victory in November:
- Phone bank
- Host a Virtual House Party
- Join our Social Media Street Team
We can only win with YOUR help!!! Help us to be the change that we want to see. Go to our website to sign up to volunteer, ask us a question, express your concerns and/or insights and stay up to date with what’s going on with our campaign to deliver a VICTORY in November 2020.Please help us to meet our 2nd Quarter 2020 goal of receiving 400 donations by giving today. Our average donation is $36 but supporters can contribute up to $2046. If a large campaign donation is not in your budget please consider a modest recurring monthly donation which by November will add up to some very decent support for our campaign