It’s spooky season – and here in Missouri, we have no shortage of scream-worthy moments from the past year to keep us on our toes.
10. Missouri’s Most Famous Coward Wrote a Book On Manliness
Senator Josh Hawley, nationally known for literally running away from his own problems, thought he was the authority on manhood for Missouri, so much so that he wrote a whole book about it. Notably missing: form tips for sprinting away from rioters.
9. Extremists In the Legislature Obsessed Over Controlling Women’s Bodies
Last year, Missouri became the first state to ban all abortions after the fall of Roe v. Wade. But that wasn’t enough for the extremists in the state. As soon as session kicked off in January, the legislature spent days debating dress codes for women. And in February, the legislature debated restricting access to birth control and other preventative health care for the poorest Missourians.
8. Secretary of State Ashcroft Left an Anti-Voter Fraud Organization Over Conspiracy Theories
Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft decided earlier this year to leave ERIC, a bipartisan interstate group designed to combat election fraud. Over six months later, he hasn’t found a replacement for it. Ashcroft pulled Missouri out of the organization after far-right conspiracies emerged about ERIC.
7. Radical Politicians Banned And Threatened To Burn Books
Missouri was named number one for school censorship earlier this year after the state successfully banned more than 300 books from libraries. Not long after, State Senator and gubernatorial candidate Bill Eigel posted a video of him using a flamethrower to burn boxes, saying if he was elected he would burn books on the front lawn of the Governor’s mansion.
6. Missouri Kids Were Granted Complete and Total Access To Guns Unsupervised
In February of this year, Republicans in the state legislature voted down any restrictions on toddlers’ right to bear arms – meaning a four year-old can carry an assault rifle in the street without adult supervision.
5. Elected Officials Refused To Feed Hungry Kids
Missouri had a chance to get free money to feed hungry kids during the summer. Elected officials just… didn’t apply for the money, so poor kids didn’t get fed.
4. The State Kicked Kids Off Their Health Care Because Of Paperwork Issues
After automatic Medicaid re-enrollment ended earlier this year, the state kicked thousands of Missourians off their health care, half of whom were children. Most of these Missourians are still eligible for Medicaid, but administrative issues like paperwork are forcing them out of coverage.
3. Lawmakers Ignored Education To Fight Culture Wars
Missouri is in the bottom five on teacher pay nationally, and is in last place for starting teacher pay. Nearly a third of Missouri schools are only open part-time. School funding has fallen in the past decade, putting Missouri at 49 in the country for K-12 education spending. But lawmakers spent session ignoring education and instead arguing about trans kids getting health care.
2. Attorney General Bailey Repeatedly Broke the Law
Attorney General Andrew Bailey made repeated illegal power grabs at the initiative petition process. Despite calls from the Republican State Auditor, a Republican judge and lawyers across the state, Bailey has continued his crusade for power by attempting to lie to voters.
1. Missouri Speaker of the House Committed Multiple Crimes
The Speaker of the Missouri House, Dean Plocher, got caught breaking the law multiple times, might be under FBI investigation, and is currently facing multiple calls to resign. The spookiest part? Plocher has said he will not step down AND he’s running for Lieutenant Governor – a higher office than his current position.