The race is on for Missouri lawmakers who want to get a jump start on setting the agenda for the 2022 legislative session. As of December 16, House members have pre-filed a total of 573 bills while those in the Senate have pre-filed 364. 


On the Senate side, Franklin County Senator Dave Schatz (SD26) has not pre-filed any bills for the upcoming session. That’s likely because his full attention is directed at his newly announced run for the US Senate. Given his current 3% standing in the polls, that might be a wise decision on the campaign front. However, it suggests that his priorities are not serving the people he was elected to represent. 


Some, but not all Franklin County area lawmakers have pre-filed bills in advance of the 2022 session: 


Rep. Dottie Bailey (HD110) hasn’t yet pre-filed any bills. This begs the question: What are Rep. Bailey’s priorities with regard to serving those who live in her district? Could she be waiting to receive a bit more PAC money before she makes that decision? It remains to be seen. 


Rep. Aaron Grieheimer (HD61) pre-filed HB 1810, which would modify provisions relating to services and programs for gifted children. The language appears to be reasonable and would support student learning in Missouri public school districts, provided there is an appropriate funding mechanism attached to the bill. 

It’s likely we won’t see any further activity from Griesheimer, given his recent decision to vacate his house seat, terminate his SD26 campaign, and return to the private sector. 


Rep. John Simmons (HD109) pre-filed six bills, the most of any Franklin County area lawmaker. Based on the scope of these bills, one has to wonder if Simmons is motivated by public service, or by the PACs who are already contributing to his campaign fund. 

Interestingly, Simmons also has his own fledgling PAC. While it hasn’t seen much activity to date, he did receive a donation from a national gaming company in Las Vegas earlier this year. So, we shouldn’t be surprised to see him advocate for and cast a vote in favor of expanding gambling across the state. Also, it should be noted that Rep. Jim Murphy (HD94) seems to be running his PAC. It seems awfully odd that one representative should be running a PAC for another representative; doesn’t it? 

  • HB 1877 would modify provisions for initiative petitions and referendums. In essence, the bill is designed to make it harder for Missourians to have a voice in changing bad laws. 
  • HB 1878 would modify provisions for voter identification. This bill would make it much more difficult for Missourians to vote, and to have their ballot counted. 
  • HJR 94 Like HB 1878, this House Joint Resolution would modify provisions for voter identification. Rest assured, it will not 
  • HJR 95 is one that should make the hair on the back of every Missourian’s neck stand up. This pre-filed bill proposes a constitutional amendment to prohibit selecting electors for the President of the United States based on the national popular vote. 
  • HJR 96 would modify term limits for members of the general assembly. Apparently, Simmons is having way too much fun pre-filing bills in Jefferson City and raking in PAC money. He wants to stay longer. 
  • Related to HB 1877, HJR 97 would modify signature requirements for initiative petitions and seems to also take aim at the City of St. Louis. 


Rep. Nate Tate (HD119) hasn’t pre-filed any bills. Like Dave Schatz, Tate’s priorities may have recently changed given his announcement yesterday that he is considering a run for SD26, now that Griesheimer has bowed out. 

What to Do:

 If all of the bills Simmons has pre-filed for 2022 were to pass, it then begs the question: 

Why even vote, if our votes don’t matter? 

This is exactly why it’s critical that all Democrats remain vigilant, informed, and actively involved in holding the line on efforts to silence us and quash our votes. To throw our hands up and do nothing is giving in. It’s turning our power over to others. Bowing down and accepting defeat. Allowing others to decide our destiny. In other words, if Democrats don’t push back hard, Republicans such as Simmons will take away the very freedom that they shout about every day. 

We can’t let that happen. 

Here are some action items we need to do on a regular basis. A simple “one and done” approach just isn’t good enough. Likewise, activism by emoji is ineffective and a waste of time. Hitting the “Like” button or choosing an “Angry” face on social media and then moving on to the next post is the same as doing nothing. 

Using these pre-filed bills as an example, Democrats should: 

  • Call in to local radio programs and express your opinions. Don’t forget to be ready with facts. Write down your main ideas ahead of time so you will be focused and ready. 
  • Share on social media. Don’t underestimate the power of posting information on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and other social media outlets. Friends and followers will take you more seriously though if you support your points with facts from reliable sources. Not quite sure what constitutes a “reliable” source? Think PBS, not FoxNews. Consider Google Scholar, not Wikipedia. Turn to the New York Times, not the New York Post. You get the idea. 

And finally, please get involved in local Democratic organizations in your area. It’s so helpful to connect with those who share your values. There are more of us out there than you may think! Have questions? Reach out. Need information? Reach out. Want to get involved? Reach out. We’re ready to help. 


The Franklin County Democratic Central Committee meets the last Monday of each month. Due to COVID, meetings are currently being held via Zoom. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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