The scandal surrounding Governor Greitens continues on with potential House & Senate investigations as the St. Louis Circuit Attorney continues with her own Attorney General directed investigation of the governor.
A timely bill, we heard HB1558, the “Revenge Photo” bill last week in my Crime Prevention and Public Safety committee. We also heard this legislation last year late in session – which would create a new crime of nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images. We expect to vote the bill this week out of committee and send it to the House calendar for full debate. I fully expect the Governor’s scandal to be a prime part of the discussion, based on allegations that he threatened to blackmail a private sexual image taken without consent.
In addition, our yearly “Prevention Harassment in the WorkPlace” trainings for legislators and staff kicked off last week. I attended one of the mandatory training sessions which included several comical videos from Saturday Night Live and the movie, “Legally Blonde”, highlighting inappropriate gender workplace behavior.
I was perturbed (but not surprised) to see several male legislators laughing inattentively throughout the session taught by a St. Louis female attorney, clearly not understanding the seriousness of workplace sexual harassment that most of us females have experienced.
Afterwards, I heard a male legislator explaining that he told his female legislative assistant that he was never going to be alone with her, travel in a car with her or walk out of the Capitol with her. Obviously, he woudn’t have given a male staffer or intern that same directive. I was disgusted that his solution to prevent harassment in the Capital was to take the “Vice President Pence Approach” to never be alone with a female.
In this heightened national #MeToo movement, why can’t we legislators and staff figure out how to simply treat each other professionally?
Or are women not people too in the Capital?
MY LEGISLATION TO DATE
Today I filed my final bills – bringing my total to 30 in my last year of office. As usual, my focus remains on reproductive rights, gun violence prevention, pay equity and racial justice. The next step in the legislative process is bill referral to committees and then possibly a public hearing with the permission of the committee chair. However, as a minority caucus member, most of our bills are referred (mandated by Missouri Constitution) to a committe on the very last day of session.
FIRST ANTI-ABORTION BILL = ENDANGERING TEENS
Last week my Children and Families Committee advanced HB1383 sponsored by Rep. Rocky Miller. (R-Osage Beach). This bill would require a two parent notification of a minor seeking abortion, which on it’s face might sound reasonable.
However, every major medical organization is in opposition because of the potential danger a minor might face in seeking both parents notification, especially in abusive and incestuous situations. Numerous medical professionals testified against the bill in the public hearing focused on child abuse – taking time from their classes and patients to drive to Jefferson City.
These “Rock Stars” did their best to convince committee members that putting teens in additional danger is harmful policy, particularly Dr. Mia Henderson, a pediatric resident with numerous medical degrees (second from left) who testified for over 45 minutes. We were aghast when Rep. Mike Moon questioned her knowledge of biology although Dr. Henderson mentioned she has a PhD in molecular biology. HB1383 passed out of committee on a party line vote and is headed to the House floor for debate.
When legislators REFUSE to consider medical expertise or even believe in science, how on earth can we pass good policy?
The Rock Stars: (left to right) M’evie Mead with Planned Parenthood Advocates of Missouri, Dr. Mia Henderson, Divya Natarajan, Jamie Moffa, Rep. Cora Faith Walker, me, Guaurang Gupte, Emma Braun, Taylor Dibble and Dr. Valerie French.
CLAYTON STATE OF THE CITY WITH MAYOR SANGER
I was thrilled recently to attend the Clayton “State of the City” presentation with one of my favorite mayors, to learn about the vibrant civic and educational progress of one of our state’s major economic driving communities.
Indeed I was proud, as the parent of a Clayton alum, to hear that Clayton School District is consistently ranked by Niche as one of the best school districts in the state (#1) and the country.
Thank you Mayor Harold Sanger for the invitation —I especially loved how the Clayco crane moved outside to coordinate perfectly with your presentation.
You can watch it (without the crane) HERE.
TICKETS GOING FAST —-MISSOURI HANDMAID’S TALE WITH LIZZ WINSTEAD – FEB. 17th
You don’t want to miss this!
Saturday, February 17th, 10am at the Ethical Society in St. Louis. Tickets HERE.
1) Reproductive Health Physicians & Providers – moderated by Lizz Winstead
2) “What is Pro-Life”? with faith heroes – Rev. Deb Anderson, Rev. Traci Blackmon, Rev. Deb Krause, Rabbi Andrea Goldstein, Rabbi Susan Talve
3) Pamela Merritt with Reproaction on crisis pregnancy centers and maternal mortality rates for minority women
If you care about the state of reproductive freedom in Missouri, this event is for you.
Thank you and now back to work…