We Can Defeat House Bill 2, But We Need Your Help

As always, the happenings in Jefferson City these past two months have been full of twists, turns and surprises. And it is not over yet, so keep taking those motion sickness pills! It all began back on July 15, 2020, when Governor Parson issued a proclamation to convene an Extraordinary Session on Violent Crime. Thus,...
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Today the Missouri House of Representatives gave final passage to five of six bills heard by House committees on August 17. The bills were crafted as a response to Gov. Mike Parson’s call to a Special Session on Violent Crime, but none address the root causes of violence. We believe that the witness of the past...
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In the spring of 2020, we saw the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, a pandemic unlike anything since 1918. The pandemic forced the closure of cities, packed emergency rooms, and claimed the lives of thousands. Spring also served as the backdrop for the civil rights movement’s resurgence after the tragic death of George Floyd, and,...
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Missouri’s General Assembly and executive branch have moved into political chaos, following a pair of racially insensitive proclamations to Special Session by Governor Mike Parson. These came on the heels of signing Senate Bill 600, a “get tough on crime” package of measures that repeat mass incarceration failures of the past that had racially disparate...
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Sara Baker is the legislative and policy director for the ACLU of Missouri. She is responsible for working with elected officials and community organizations on issues related to the rights of all Missourians. She is returning to her home state after serving as Special Projects Manager and Stephen M. Rivers Memorial Fellow at the Center for Democracy...
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We were extremely disappointed when Gov. Parson announced on July 6 that he would be signing Senate Substitute for Senate Bill 600 (SB 600), legislation that enacts mandatory minimums and stacking of sentences and creates new classes of crimes.  We said so in a statewide press release, in a guest column in the St. Louis...
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We at Empower Missouri are extremely disappointed to learn that Gov. Parson plans to sign Senate Bill 600. This reverses the positive direction that his administration appeared to be heading in his 2019 State of the State Address. At that time Gov. Parson said: “As a former sheriff and law enforcement officer for over 22...
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As social justice advocates, our relationship with “Independence Day” is “complicated” to say the least. Clearly the liberty and justice promised in founding documents of the U.S. have never been realized, and those same documents contain structural inequality. So much has been written about this. This year some of us will be revisiting Langston Hughes’...
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On June 18th, the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) launched their national HIV is Not a Crime initiative, focused on modernizing HIV-specific laws across the country. This initiative is in partnership with The Counter Narrative Project, Positive Women’s Network, The Sero Project, Transgender Law Center, the US People Living with HIV Caucus, and Gilead Sciences,...
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The 2020 Legislative Session came to an end on May 15th, amidst the special challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite having floor debate time reduced by about six weeks due to the public health emergency, 51 bills became “Truly Agreed and Finally Passed” (TAFP) during the abbreviated session. We were disappointed to see many of...
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