Two more weeks. While it can feel like an eternity when we anticipate harmful moves by the Missouri legislature, that is how much time is left of session. We thank everyone who kept the pressure up by calling your Representative and urging them to oppose all attacks on transgender youth, especially in blocking HJR 53 and HB 1141. As of today, these bills have not yet been brought back up for floor debate, narrowing the likelihood that they will make their way through the legislative process.
HB 1141 (a bill protecting students whose GPA was adversely affected by COVID-19) now includes an amendment that would ban transgender youth from participating on a sports team that corresponds with their gender identity. Lawmakers went one step further by debating an amendment to ban Missouri teachers from integrating curriculum that discusses the role of race and racism in our nation’s history, by banning The 1619 Project’s curriculum in our public schools.
It’s time we acknowledge the tireless work of our champion legislators and their staff resulting in the positive outcome of stalling anti-LGBTQ legislation. With 10 more days of legislative session, together with our champions, we will keep these attacks against transgender kids from becoming law in Missouri. However, we need you to join us and help thank them! Their allyship is protecting thousands of Missourians, and in the sprint to finish this session, we want to keep encouraging them to stay with us in the fight.
While our bills saw little movement this week, in the dead of the night, by a vote of 14-20, the Missouri Senate voted against funding Medicaid Expansion, refusing to fulfill their constitutional duty and obligation to the people of Missouri. Last year, Missourians overwhelmingly voted to expand Medicaid to 275,000 eligible folks across the state, and it’s a shame our elected leaders have chosen not to honor the people’s vote.
This week, two voter bills (HB 334 and HB 738) with strict photo ID requirements had public hearings in the Senate Local Government and Elections Committee. HB 334 and HB 738 are bills with strict photo ID requirements that pose an unconstitutional burden on more than 200,000 Missouri voters who do not have a current state-issued photo ID and face barriers to getting one. In 2020, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that eliminating non-photo ID options to vote – as HB334 and HB738 do – would impose an unconstitutional photo ID mandate. Taxpayers will have to foot the bill to defend the state against any further legal challenges. Call your senator and tell them to VOTE NO on HB 334 and HB 738. Find your Missouri Senator here.
PROMO is working diligently to protect trans kids, defend the right to vote, maintain comprehensive school curricula, and ensure LGBTQ Missourians can live and thrive in our state. Legislators see PROMO working in the Capitol, demonstrating the vigilance, persistence, and expertise required to make certain Missouri laws protect and enhance the lives of all LGBTQ Missourians.
Stephen Eisele, Executive Director
Don’t forget to order our new PROMO Let Kids Play t-shirts to visibly show support of trans kids across our state while helping us continue to defend them against legislative attacks!