JEFFERSON CITY – After five months of partisan bickering, Missouri legislators officially adjourned the legislative session. While many politicians used their elected office to boost their own egos and special interests, the needs of their constituents were largely ignored.
Leaders are elected to represent the needs of their constituents and strengthen Missouri’s working families. If our leaders listened to the needs of Missourians, they would expand unemployment benefits, champion Medicaid expansion, and protect our rights as voters.
Instead, for the second session in a row, these politicians continue to allow the unnecessary garnishment from workers’ paychecks, even as bills that would end this cruel government practice, SB673 and SB709, are filed with bipartisan support.
“Missouri’s families deserve relief and certainty – not months of political grandstanding,” said Caitlyn Adams, Executive Director of Missouri Jobs with Justice Voter Action. “The debates in Jefferson City have made it clear how out-of-touch politicians are with the lives and values of Missourians.”
Yet champions in Jefferson City did everything in their power to hold the line and protect working families in Missouri — even as their colleagues attempted to use this legislative session to block efforts to better the lives of everyday Missourians. As this session comes to a close, Medicaid is finally fully funded — even after politicians tried yet again to rewrite the rules and undo the will of the voters. Attempts to cut unemployment to only 8 weeks were halted. Legislation to defund public schools was amended and thanks to an influx of federal funds, the minimum wage for teachers was finally raised. And true leaders filibustered for hours on the Senate floor to protect the initiative petition process — ensuring Missourians continue to have a voice at the ballot box.
“If Jefferson City politicians think they can ignore the will of Missouri voters, they have another thing coming,” said Richard von Glahn, Policy Director of Missouri Jobs with Justice Voter Action. “We will be certain to let voters know that the apparent priorities of their elected officials in this time of uncertainty is not to protect them and their families but instead to undermine their vote. I don’t expect voters will be impressed.”
Missouri Jobs with Justice Voter Action is a statewide grassroots coalition of individuals and faith, labor, student, and community groups building transformative power for social, racial, and economic justice. Our individual and organizational members come together to hold decision-makers accountable and to build a Missouri where opportunity exists for all regardless of race, identity, income, or immigration status. Follow our work at https://www.facebook.com/MissouriJobsWithJustice/ or www.mojwj.org