Missouri’s Wonky Week – Jan. 30, 2020

This week in Missouri’s wonky news! 

We’re complete policy wonks, and we own that. We talk about politics and polls and studies and data all the time. (Some say too much.) And we thought … maybe you want to know what’s going on “in the weeds” here in the Show Me State, too! So here are some Missouri-specific things we think are interesting right now: Something Interesting to Read, a bit more in-depth wonky-ness with Your In The Weeds Moment, and our favorite – the Race to the Top! (Be sure to check out our NEW “Democrats of Missouri” project in that section!) 

Something Interesting to Read: So, you might want to sit down for this one. Last week, an anti-choice PAC issued its statement … opposing Medicaid expansion. That’s right. The “Missouri Right to Life” PAC opposes giving healthcare to more people. Even people who might, you know, have kids. Why? Well because just maybe… someday… perhaps… IF at some point in the future the Hyde Amendment is overturned, Medicaid funding just MIGHT be used for abortions.

By way of reminder, the Hyde amendment currently prohibits federal funds from being used for abortions at all. 

So they don’t want to expand healthcare to more Missourians because MAYBE SOMEDAY the rules will change and people will be able to use federal funds for abortions.  

But there’s more.  

Because they ALSO oppose expanding Medicaid because doctors can prescribe birth control pills under Medicaid. (Which seems like it should be a good thing, right?) And birth control pills can maybe … sometimes …. occasionally … be used as “morning after pills.” Morning after pills, according to this PAC, are abortifacients.

They admit that their position is “contested by other researchers.” (You don’t say.) But, in the end, that doesn’t matter.  

Are their positions shocking? Yes. Offensive? Yes. But also refreshingly transparent. Because they’re not interested in saving lives.  

They’re just interested in controlling yours. So bless their hearts for being so honest.  Check it out yourself here. http://www.missourilifepac.org/2020/mrl_concerns_with_medicaid_expansion2020.pdf 

Your “Completely In the Weeds Moment”: 

This week’s been a doozy, with the MO GOP trying to tell you what kind of books your kid can read at the library, opposing Medicaid expansion because people might get … healthcare, and pushing through their attempt to undo CLEAN Missouri. It’s been busy. 

But lost in the shuffle is SJR31. It proposes a constitutional amendment changing the requirements for ballot initiatives. 

Yawn. Right? Well… 

Ballot initiatives are a really excellent way for folks like you and I who don’t agree with what’s going on in Jefferson City to lace up our boots, get out there and gather signatures from a whole passel of people, and make sure we’re heard. It’s very, very difficult to get a ballot initiative on the ballot. Right now, you have to get 8% of the signatures of registered voters from 2/3 of Missouri’s eight congressional districts.

That’s a heavy lift on its own.

Signature gatherers have to get many more signatures than are technically required – because some of the signatures will be eliminated (due to legibility, addresses not matching, etc.).  

This bill would ask voters to agree to nearly double the signature requirement for constitutional amendments – requiring 15% of registered voters in EACH congressional district. And it makes it harder to pass constitutional amendments by increasing the threshold from a simple majority to 2/3. For reference, CLEAN passed with 62% of the vote – which wouldn’t be enough under this new standard.  

So keep your eyes on this one.  

Read the text here: SJ31 https://www.senate.mo.gov/20info/BTS_Web/Bill.aspx?SessionType=R&BillID=26838132 And some coverage about it and related bills here: https://www.kfvs12.com/2019/12/18/missouri-lawmaker-wants-add-fees-up-signatures-initiative-petitions/

The Race to the Top!

Here’s where we highlight some great things that have happened this week in Missouri. Have something to share? Send us an email at missouri@itstarts.today. 

First, a SERIOUS hat tip to Auditor Galloway, who announced that she will be putting all Sunshine requests and responses from August 2015 onward on her website to be accessed by all of us! Since arriving in office, Galloway has not charged people or entities for their Sunshine requests. Talk about transparency!  https://auditor.mo.gov/content/auditor-galloway-announces-first-its-kind-transparency-initiative-make-sunshine-requests Spread the word about what she’s doing here folks! 

Missouri Democrats Quarterly Meeting! Last weekend was a great time at the Quarterly Missouri Democrats meeting. If you haven’t gone to one of these yet, you’re missing out. Not only is it really informative, but it’s great to be in a room with a bunch of fantastic people from every corner of the state. Michele was there, and she LOVED seeing so many of you! She was also able to get lots of great testimonials for our “Democrats of Missouri” project, where we’re going to highlight a Missouri Democrat each week on social media and right here. 

We want to showcase what a diverse and interesting bunch us Missouri Democrats are. If you’re interested in participating, we’d love to have you! Email us at missouri@itstarts.today! This week we’re starting with Vicky from Greene County.  

Why I’m a Democrat: My father was an FDR Democrat, and my mom came from a long line of Democrats. He was a farmer who belonged to the farmer’s union – not the farmer’s bureau.  They taught me that government is there to ensure people are taken care of. Government services are provided, and it’s our responsibility as citizens to do our part.  And I come from a religious tradition that says you feed the hungry, you clothe the poor, and you heal the sick. In that tradition you are taught to “do unto others as you would have done unto you.”Democrats are the only ones doing that today. The GOP used to. But not today. Vicky, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves! Thank you for lending your voice!  (If you’d like to take part in our project, shoot us an e-mail at missouri@itstarts.today!) 

Third Annual Night to Shine in Sikeston!And finally, we wanted to share a local event that’s upcoming on February 7 in Sikeston. The third annual “Night to Shine” is a formal dance for people with special needs aged 14 and over.  Guests walk the red carpet, are greeted by a crowd with paparazzi, and can enjoy hair and makeup stations, shoe shining areas, limo rides, corsages and boutonnieres, food and dancing. Each guest is paired with a buddy for the night to help make their night truly one to remember. Sounds like a great night!! Read more about it here: https://standard-democrat.com/story/2660838.html

Before you go…We know you care. A lot. We know you’re working hard, and we’re darn grateful for it, because none of this democracy stuff works without you. Were right there by your side. In fact, we’re a community of folks like you who work together to fund every single Democratic nominee for Missouri state legislature with small-dollar monthly donations (over 12,000 and counting!).  

YES!! I know Democratic nominees need my help and I’m ready to join! 

It’s pretty simple: folks like you kick in a few bucks a month (as Fran told us last month, “that’s less than a froofy coffee!”) … and after the primary we split the community funds evenly between every single Democratic nominee for MO state legislature.  We leave no nominee behind. 

People like you are doing something NOW to remove barriers for great people to run for office, and make sure Dems all over the state have the resources to reach voters. We’re also forcing GOP nominees to fight in every district – not pool their cash and send it to the places they’re most vulnerable. Y

ou should totally join, because all the Democrats are doing it. 😉 With over 12,000 donations already, you’ll be in great company. Join us at www.itstarts.today/missouri or through the big button below. 

Stay wonky!