Part 2 of 3: The 2021 Missouri legislative session is now over. Here’s a quick overview of major bills that failed to make it through the political gauntlet. This list is not exhaustive but we’re sharing some of the most impactful bills as compiled by the Democratic Legislative Network and Democratic lawmakers:
Good Legislation that Didn’t Pass
MEDICAID FUNDING (Budget Appropriation): Sought to provide the full funding of Medicaid to implement a constitutionally mandated expansion of the program that will take effect with the start of 2022 fiscal year on July 1.
MISSOURI NONDISCRIMINATION ACT (HB 275): Sought to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing, banking or public accommodations.
ABSENTEE VOTING (HB 412, HB 656, HB 867, HB 1100, HB 1102): Sought to allow all voters to be eligible to vote by absentee ballot in advance of Election Day without providing a reason to election officials.
UNEMPLOYMENT REPAYMENT (HB 1083): Sought to waive the repayment of excess unemployment benefits from Missourians who, through no fault of their own and due to errors by the state, received more benefits than they were entitled to.
FEDERAL REIMBURSEMENT ALLOWANCE (SB 43): Sought to renew a tax on health care providers that is vital to leveraging federal Medicaid funds and is set to expire Sept. 30.
Bad Legislation that Didn’t Pass
TRANS CHILDREN (HB 33): Prohibits medical providers from providing care relating to gender transitioning to anyone under age 18.
PHOTO VOTER ID (HB 334): Sought to require voters to possess an unexpired government-issued photo identification in order to cast a ballot.
MINIMUM WAGE (HB 726): Sought to repeal a law voters enacted in 2018 that is gradually increasing the state’s minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2023 and revert to the state’s previous minimum wage of $7.85 an hour.
CENSORING HISTORY (HB 952, HB 1141): Sought to prohibit public schools from teaching curricula that highlights traditionally overlooked or downplayed aspects of American history, including the impacts of slavery and racism.
RUSH LIMBAUGH (HB 1200, HB 1230, HB 1259): Sought to honor the controversial radio talk show host and Missouri native.
INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM (HJR 20): Sought to amend the Missouri Constitution increase the number of signatures required to bypass lawmakers and place issues directly on the statewide ballot using the initiative petition process and to require a two-thirds supermajority, instead of the current simple majority, to ratify constitutional amendments.
TRANS ATHLETES (HJR 53): Sought to amend the Missouri Constitution to require trans athletes attending public schools to participate only on sports teams that correspond with gender on their birth certificate.
ATTACKING PROTESTERS (SB 66): Sought to grant immunity from prosecution to people who assault or kill protestors who enter private property or public roadways and make it a felony to impede traffic as part of a protest.
It’s important to remember that just because bad pieces of legislation such as the ones highlighted above didn’t pass in this legislative session doesn’t mean we won’t hear about them again. In most instances, bills that don’t pass are often refiled in the following session. In other words, we’ll need to be prepared to fight against Republican efforts to disenfranchise voters, discriminate against trans children, and more.
In our final post of this series, we will take a look at “other” legislation that passed and didn’t pass this year. Those pieces didn’t evoke a lot of attention but still impact some aspect of our lives.
As Democrats, it’s important that we become knowledgeable about key legislative efforts in our state. If each person would pick a specific topic or issue to stay focused on, they could become the “resident experts” within each Democratic Central Committee or club. This would help everyone to stay better informed so people could activate quickly if needed to make phone calls, send emails, write Letters to the Editor, and so on.