In the first two weeks of 2021, the Missouri General Assembly was sworn into office amidst collective anxiety shaking our nation after the violence at the U.S. Capitol and the second impeachment of the President of the United States.
As the Missouri legislature began, PROMO showed up focused on building relationships and advancing our priorities of LGBTQ equality. This session, PROMO is represented in the Capitol by our Executive Director, Stephen Eisele, and lobbyist, Sharon Geuea Jones.
At this point, the Missouri General Assembly has more bills filed that enhance the lives LGBTQ Missourians, than restrict them (follow our bills here), a welcome change from this past session. Two topics we are closely supporting are:
For the 23rd year, the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act has been filed in both chambers by out-LGBTQ members, Rep. Tom Hannegan (R-65) with HB 275 and Sen. Greg Razer (D-7) with SB 81.
Most insurance plans, including Medicaid, cover PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), an FDA-approved way for people to help prevent HIV infection, yet it’s still not widely accessible. Rep. Christofanelli (R-105) filed HB 370 and Sen. Razer (D-7) filed SB 79, both of which will make PrEP more accessible to Missourians.
In addition to filing bills that support LGBTQ Missourians, LGBTQ Missouri legislators are actively supporting our voices. On Tuesday, two bills were heard related to tax credits and deductions for adoption and foster care. In the hearing, Rep. Tom Hannegan (R-65) pointedly asked if there were any provisions that would prevent LGBTQ parents from taking advantage of the new incentives, and was assured there were no barriers. With the Supreme Court Fulton Case decision expected this year, our attention is on making sure that LGBTQ individuals and families are not left out of foster care or adoptions in our state.
The Missouri House is closed next week due to a COVID-19 outbreak. Even so, you can be certain PROMO will continue building relationships with our elected officials across digital connections, demonstrating the vigilance, persistence, and expertise required to make certain Missouri laws protect and enhance the lives of all LGBTQ Missourians.
We need you to join us. This session it is imperative we have opportunities to deliver your stories on your behalf, given the risks and uncertainty of COVID-19. Take action by sharing your experience as an LGBTQ person in your community, an LGBTQ parent, or as a parent of an LGBTQ child.
Stephen Eisele, Executive Director