February 28, 2017

In Missouri and Kansas, health care and abortion access are especially critical issues for women. These two states are among the worst in the country when it comes to anti-abortion legislation,1 proving that–even in 2017–women still don’t have authority over their own bodies. That’s why it’s so important for you as Missourians and Kansans to tell your Senators that they have an obligation to protect the women who live in your states.

Can you take a moment to call your Senator? If you can’t get ahold of someone, leave a voicemail:

It’s always best to speak in your own words, but here are some points to guide you:

  • You have the power to make sure millions of women keep their access to sexual and reproductive health care by protecting Planned Parenthood. For many women, the services provided by Planned Parenthood are the only ones they can afford.
  • Medicaid patients need freedom to choose their doctors and nurses, just like everyone. Access to quality health care SHOULD NOT depend on the size of your paycheck. In attacking Planned Parenthood, Congress is attacking some of our nation’s most vulnerable communities, including women and people of color.
  • Forty-four years ago, the United States Supreme Court affirmed that abortion is a constitutional right. The majority of people in our country agree that access to abortion should remain safe and legal. We need you to protect our constitutional rights to abortion.A Breakdown of How Hard It Is to Have an Abortion in the U.S., attn:, January 25, 2016

 

February 23, 2017

NOT GOING BACK: Today’s Daily Action is to call on both of your Senators to publicly condemn the Trump administration’s reversal of Obama’s recently enacted protections for transgender students, which played a critical role in reducing the alarmingly high suicide rate among transgender teens–and all because Trump wants to score political points with the extremists of the religious right.

If your Senators are on our side, tell them to take a stand and block ANY AND ALL confirmations for the Justice Department and the Department of Education until the Trump Administration reverses their position. If one or both of your Senators voted to confirm Sessions or DeVos, you can ask them point-blank whether they are proud of themselves for enabling this cruel attack on some of our most vulnerable children.

Take good notes and report back on what you hear.

 

 

February 20, 2017

Do we want Missouri businesses to suffer boycotts like North Carolina? Do we want to be known for intolerance–just so our politicians can score political points with the right wing?

Write your State Senator to oppose Missouri’s Bathroom Bill and its discrimination and isolation of transgender students.

today, and tell them to say NO to SB 98.

A personalized letter to your Senator can also be effective.  Ask in writing to oppose SB 98HERE!

Here are some suggested talking points to personalize and make your own:

Senate Bill 98:

  • Bans transgender students from using facilities that correspond with their gender identity.  It does not allow the student to use the facility that matches the gender they live their life as every day.

  • Purposely discriminates and isolates transgender students. By forcing transgender students to use a separate facility, it singles them out, which can lead to fear and promote further discrimination and harassment.

  • Redefines sex based on chromosomes, anatomy at birth, and birth certificates only. Gender identity is a much more complex issue than this.

  • Is uninformed and uses legislation to spread more ignorance and fear.  Senator Emery, the bill’s sponsor, was quoted in the KC Star as saying, “It used to be considered a mental illness when a young man thought he was a woman, or vice versa. We gave these people treatment. We addressed that mental illness. We gave them counseling. Today, you and I get the counseling. How did we get here?”

  • Could impact Missouri’s economy. After North Carolina passed similar laws many businesses, conventions and events pulled out of the state.

 

February 15, 2017

Please contact Secretary of State Ashcroft, Governor Greitens, and your Missouri representative and Missouri senator to state your opposition to attempting to implement the voter photo ID law without sufficient funding

1)  to adequately publicize the photo ID requirement, and,
2)  to provide the photo ID without cost to those who do not already have a valid photo ID for voting..
Our elected representatives, especially those who “compromised” to pass HB 1631, need to hear from us so they resist passing new legislation that would negate the provisions of HB 1631–because HB 1631 provided for informing voters and providing valid photo ID for voting without cost to those who do not already have it.
Please see the following editorial in yesterday’s St. Louis Post Dispatch regarding the funding and implementation issues with the Photo ID law:

 

February 14, 2017

The House is about to vote to overturn President Obama’s rule protecting health care for more than 4 million people who rely on the Title X family planning program for birth control and other care.

Before they get one inch closer to making it easier to block millions of uninsured or low-income people from vital care, your members of Congress need to hear from you. Call your congressperson or Send a message to your representative now via the Planned Parenthood site.

 

February 13, 2017

Last Thursday, the House of Representatives voted in favor of HB 251, a bill that would require  public employees to sign an ANNUAL authorization (in written or electronic form) for payroll deduction of their membership dues and political action contributions.  The House passed HB 251 by a vote of 95-60.   Seventeen  Republicans joined all the Democrats, except for one, Rep. Courtney Curtis, in voting no on HB 251.
Public employees include not only our state workers, but also first responders like firefighters and police officers, teachers, school employees,  and nurses.  Public employers and public employee unions negotiate the provision on payroll deduction as part of their collective bargaining agreement.  If both sides don’t mutually agree to such payroll deduction, it doesn’t happen!
Because public employees can’t be required to join a union and can opt out of payroll deduction for payment of their dues and political action contributions, those of us who oppose  HB 251  believe that it’s  unnecessary legislation. We call it “paycheck deception” and believe that its real purpose  is to make it more difficult for the affected unions to collect dues and political action contributions from their members, thus weakening  their voice in the political process.
In addition, bills like HB 251, will  force unions to spend more time signing up members each year for the payroll deduction.  And that leaves them  less time for the union’s real job of representing and serving its members.
Ironically the bills on paycheck deception and Right to Work were  heard by the Committee on Economic Development and you’d think that committee would  focus on creating jobs.  However the fiscal analysis for both bills  indicated a zero fiscal note, creating zero new jobs, generating zero new tax revenue from income taxes, and zero solutions for how to fix our state’s crumbling infrastructure.
Previous versions of paycheck deception bills had exempted first responders, like firefighters and police officers, so that their unions could still utilize payroll deduction for membership dues and political action contributions.  HB 251 doesn’t carve them out, thus requiring first responders to  do the annual authorization like all the other public employee groups.
The bill will move to the Senate.
Find contact info. for your Missouri Senators  (and Representatives) here: http://www.senate.mo.gov/LegisLookup/Default.aspx

 

February 10, 2017

Medicaid

The proposal that would require the state to apply for a global Medicaid waiver and transition Medicaid funding to a block grant remains on the calendar for consideration by the full Senate.

The Senate has been slow debating bills this week, and we are uncertain when SB28 will be taken up.  If you haven’t already contacted your Senator to tell them you oppose this risky proposal, please click here to do so now.

The bill poses a serious risk to health services for Missourians, and the fiscal health of the state. Currently, federal payments to the state are based on actual health care costs. Under a block grant, the state would receive a specific set of funds, regardless of health spending needs. If Missouri’s costs exceed the amount in the block grant, it will have to use its own funds to make up the difference – or cut health services or eligibility for thousands of Missourians.

In addition, the bill does not include clear provisions that would require any final waiver come back to the legislature for final approval. Instead, a joint committee on public assistance would take public testimony regarding the changes, but it would have unelected bureaucrats make the final decision about changes to Missouri’s health care services and the General Assembly would not have final say regarding the changes.

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