Wednesday afternoon, Governor Parson gave his annual State of the State speech, outlining Missouri’s 2022 accomplishments and his plans for the future. While Parson did an excellent job reminding us of the many problems our legislature must address this session, many of his solutions fell flat, reminding us that the Missouri legislature’s priorities are completely out of touch with reality.
Missouri 44th In America For Maternal Mortality – Legislature Throws Gas On The Fire
We agree with Parson on this one: Missouri’s status as 44th in the country on maternal mortality rates is “embarrassing and unacceptable.” But the legislature has made a business out of pursuing laws that kill mothers.
Studies have shown that abortion bans, like those we’ve passed in Missouri, and like those legislators have presented for this session, increase maternal mortality rates dramatically.
Maternal mortality decreases when women have access to healthcare. But the legislature opposed Medicaid expansion, leading Missourians to pass it in a ballot initiative. Once Missourians voted to implement it, the legislature dragged its feet. And now, the legislature wants to take away our access to ballot initiatives so we can’t push for the same changes in the future.
“If we can’t protect our mothers,” Parson said in his speech. “We might as well pack it up and let others fill these seats.” We’re right there with you, Governor.
Schools and Childcare Centers Are Underwater – And The Legislature Is Drowning Them
Parson knows we have a problem with our schools and childcare centers in this state: a lack of funding and staffing shortages has forced us into four-day school weeks and fewer hours. While he proposed pay increases for veteran teachers, our legislature has spent the first week of session on culture wars that teachers say discourage them from staying at schools.
Parson further elaborated on the risks of poor mental health and gun violence in schools, pledging to spend more state funds on security measures. One of those proposed security measures: allowing any school personnel to volunteer to carry a gun in schools.
Legislature Will Raise State Employee Pay – As Soon As They’re Done Figuring Out What Women Should Wear
Parson wants to recruit gifted Missourians to work in the state government – he says there are 7,000 positions open – and he’s willing to raise pay to do it. In fact, he spent his State of the State practically begging fellow Republicans to pass it. He didn’t seem convinced they would.
But as always, the legislature has bigger priorities: they’re making national news… telling women Representatives what to wear.
For more on the State House’s messed up priorities for this session, read The Missouri House Is Back, And They’re Coming For Your Voice.
Posted January 18, 2023