The Winners and Losers of 2023’s Legislative Session

Progress MO

Last Friday, Missouri’s legislature adjourned for the final time in 2023. After weeks of back and forth, here’s what won — and lost — in 2023.

🏆 The Winners🏆

1. Majority Rule

One of the biggest victories of 2023 came not from what did pass, but from what didn’t.

This year, politicians came into session with an agenda: taking away your power and putting it back in their own hands.

But when they banged the gavel on Friday evening, they hadn’t passed a single bill to restrict the initiative petition process and end majority rule. Democracy lives to see another day in Missouri.

2. The Women’s Jacket Industry

Remember way back in the first week of session when House Republicans made it their first priority to make women wear jackets? That was the beginning of the end for these lawmakers, who never really ended up getting their priorities straight.

3. New Moms

In a rare showing of bipartisanship, the Missouri Senate came together to expand postpartum Medicaid, allowing new moms access to healthcare for up to a year after they give birth. 

Missouri started session as the worst state in the country for maternal mortality rates. This is a small step in the right direction.

😔 The Losers 😔

1. LGBTQ Kids

Extremists in Jeff City, including Governor Parson, made it a top priority this session to bully school children. After proposing the most anti-LGBTQ legislation in the country, Missouri settled on bans against trans children competing in school sports and bans on trans children receiving life-saving healthcare.

2. Schools and Teachers

While politicians debated culture war issues, bills to increase teacher pay, fully fund schools, and mandate five-day school weeks fell by the wayside.

Missouri has the lowest public school teacher pay in the nation. Public schools can’t stay open full time. Our legislature owes it to our kids to give them the best education possible.

3. The Republican Party’s Sense of Direction

Republican electeds in Missouri cannot seem to get it together.

As session came to a close, the main story wasn’t all the potential laws (good or bad) getting passed to Governor Parson. It was the in-fighting preventing anything from getting done. In fact, the House and Senate passed the fewest bills this session than in 30 years, barring the shortened 2020 session.

In a world where lawmakers don’t have the right priorities, maybe that’s not such a bad thing. But if Missourians want electeds who get things done for working families, we wouldn’t recommend reelecting the failing Republican legislators.

To read more about what happened under the dome this year, check out these posts:

We’re Halfway Through Session – Here’s What Jeff City Politicians Have Done (And What They Have Not)

It’s International Women’s Day: What Are Missouri Politicians Doing For Women?

Behind The National Right-Wing Conspiracy To Bully Missouri’s Trans Kids