As a member of the minority party in the Senate it is often difficult to pass legislation. Typically, the majority party will allow a minority member’s bill to be heard in committee and sometimes our bills make it to the floor for debate.
However, most of the time the minority party is working to amend legislation onto other bills, filibustering or blocking bad legislation or trying to remove bad provisions from bills likely to pass. This year brought forth many challenges. Although several of the bills I sponsored did not make it to the floor, I was successful fighting for the citizens I represent in the 14th Senatorial District and the state of Missouri.
Here is a list of some of my session highlights:
- I stood up during a 15-hour filibuster, in which I stood for 10 hours, on Senate Bill 592, a measure changing the state’s law relating to the Missouri Human Rights Act and employment discrimination. The governor vetoed the measure.
- I stalled several pieces of legislation in the Senate Education Committee and on the Senate floor which would have changed various measures relating to education. They includes a bad teacher tenure bill, legislation dealing with school accreditation, charter schools and other provisions that would have been detrimental to our students and teachers.
- I helped strip language from legislation that would have defunded the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life at UMSL.
- I helped make sure the will not be displayed in the Hall of Famous Missourians by demanding certain procedures be in place before a bust or artwork is displayed in the Capitol Rotunda.
- As co-sponsor of Senate Bill 655, I endorsed a measure that would create the Higher Education Capitol Fund to provide matching funds to public colleges and universities for capital projects under certain circumstances. This provision was later added to Senate Bill 563, which has been delivered to the governor for his signature.
- I handled House Concurrent Resolution 22 in the Senate. The measure encourages the Missouri Veterans Commission to work with female veterans to address their needs and formally honors female veterans in Missouri. The measure was approved by the General Assembly.
- I worked with senators from across the aisle to craft legislation that implements a pilot child care subsidy benefit program to help struggling families regain accountability and possibly move off welfare.