What a start
Thursday, January 4th, 2024, was the 2nd day of our legislative session here in Missouri and it barely got started before it was over! There's so much to talk about in regard to this brand new session and it's my intention to share my thoughts about it with you here and on the Arise & Build podcast. In the days ahead, I'll be talking about ...
- The new Freedom Caucus
- The Republican platform
- The newly filed bills we're keeping an eye on
- Actions & words of current legislators
- And so much more!
But, to understand what's happening now in 2024, we've got to look back AT LEAST to last year. It would be even better if we could look even further back through history, but for now I think the stats on 2023 will be enough to show you that we have a HUGE problem here in Jefferson City. In fact, I'd compare it with a Pelosi-run D.C.
Understanding that problem will help you know why it is you see brave senators standing on the Missouri senate floor trying to change the status quo & being met with the full force of the GOP leadership.
Pelosi style leadership results in passing unread omnibus bills
The following charts are the final pass votes on every bill and joint resolution that passed in 2023 and went to the Governor's office for his signature. These bills are what your Missouri General Assembly actually accomplished. These were the bills they "truly agreed and finally passed."
The Governor signed most of them, but not all. The bills he signed took effect at the end of August in 2023. They are now current Missouri statute.
I've been wondering for a while, "What ARE they actually doing?" I knew, often times, the bills we were hoping to see pass were indeed dying and the ones we'd hope to kill were passing.
You hear Senate leadership (really GOP leadership in general and the talking heads on the news) complaining that they "can't get anything done" because of this crazy band of conservatives that just want to bicker and fight. From what you hear at leadership-led press conferences these guys are just far right fanatics that are making it their mission to thwart the good intentions of the GOP who only want to work together to "get things done."
My perspective after a good friend of mine, Lisa Pannett, printed and read every bill passed last spring and after we summarized and scrutinized all of them for days upon days... is that the narrative coming from senate leadership couldn't be further from the truth.
The truth I see is that Missouri would be BETTER off if they stood and opposed MORE OFTEN!
Our freedom would be much safer if they passed NOTHING at all. After all - aren't ALL republicans supposed to support less government instead of more?
To reassure you about our opinions, we contacted experts and even attorneys when we had questions or weren't sure of the language we were reading. We have already had several conversations with a variety of legislators - both senators and representatives on the specifics of certain bills as well as this overarching problem I'm addressing today.
We believe we have a good understanding of these bills and what they mean for Missourians.
We've got a huge problem and I think this 2-page chart with all the 2023 final pass votes will give you insight as to what might be the reason we aren't seeing particularly REPUBLICAN policy pass even though we have a super majority of republicans in the senate & in the house.
what you're looking at
- What they ACTUALLY did. Every bill (House & Senate bills) and the one joint resolution that actually passed the Missouri General Assembly.
- Final votes on each bill. These are ONLY the "truly agreed & finally passed" votes. These votes alone do NOT tell the whole story of what happened, but these votes alone DO pass the bill in its final form. It's the TAFP vote that is the final vote a legislator takes on bill and the vote that officially passes the bill. These are the votes you hold them accountable for.
- Every bill that passed in 2023 and the 1 joint resolution that passed. The 39 non-budget bills plus 1 joint resolution that passed are included here. We did not cherry pick bills. We wanted to know the whole story and we want you to know the whole story. After the 2023 session our team printed and read every bill that passed, searched for the votes and compiled them to study for ourselves and to share with you. These charts include all the bills & one joint resolution. 40 total votes.
- All Senators from both parties. I wanted to know ALL of the votes and see who was voting with who. All 34 senators are listed down the left. Names in red are republicans and blue are democrats. Yes, I have the House votes, too, and I'll be publishing them as well. Stay tuned.
- Part of the story. Again, these votes don't tell the whole story. Please, if you have questions about the votes, give your legislators a call or better yet, make an appointment in their office and ask in person. You can't necessarily trust they'll tell you the truth but it's your responsibility to ask and start learning. If you're new to this political arena I suggest a "trust but verify" approach with all of them.
missouri, we have a problem!
Actually we have more than one problem, but let's focus on just one for now.
What do you see when you look the charts below? Red names are republican senators and blue are democrat senators. Green votes are good (in our opinion) and yellow votes are bad.
Do you notice how A LOT of the time, everyone is voting the same way?
Even if you don't know why we support or oppose a bill and even if you don't agree with our position - it's easy to see that 80% of the time, the senate is voting as one block. They ALL vote together nearly all the time.
WHY?? Good question!
The answer: Leadership in the Senate wants everyone to be happy and get along so they can get things done. That means they have to include LOTS of things in the bills to keep everyone happy and get all the yes votes.
After they pass all the bills, they each go back home to their voters and talk about the tiny little details - almost like trophies. But while they wave the feather in their cap in front of voters at home, they don't tell you the whole truth.
Well, here it is. Every senator. Every final vote. None of them are immune...even the ones I really love and support.
This is the system they are working in and that system needs an overhaul badly.
The problem for voters: How do you hold anyone accountable when one vote includes so many topics, especially when everyone votes the same!?
The fact is they are ALL supporting ALL the issues by voting yes on Christmas tree, multi-subject, unconstitutional omnibus bills that are so big and being thrown together so quickly the last 2 weeks of session - NO ONE is actually even reading them!!
Hello! Anyone remember Nancy Pelosi?? It's like she is living and working right here in Missouri!
For more clarity....these bills come up for vote and there are really on a few options as to why they would vote yes.
- They know one or two sections of language is included that they want to support and/or they promised Lobbyist ABC or even a good friend they'd support a piece of language that's included (that makes them happy) so they vote YES.
- Their own language is in it (that makes them happy) so they vote YES.
- They know leadership will be angry if they vote NO. Happy leadership makes them happy but angry leadership means you don't get what you want tomorrow. So they vote YES.
But when you vote to support a bill that has 12 subjects in it and you've only read 1 or 2 or even if you read 11 - the unread portion of statute that you vote yes on could be the one that erodes another piece of our freedom.
The unread but supported language can & OFTEN does harm people.
Here's a PDF version that will be more readable if you'd like to download: 2023 MO Senate Final Votes.pdf
**Disclaimer: The votes shown are accurate to the best of my human ability. They were manually taken by myself, personally, from the senate journals on the last truly agreed vote on each bill. If you find an unintentional error, please reach out to me and I'll be happy to fix it.
but jodi, what is actually in these bills?
You're a smart cookie to ask!
I've already posted a few podcasts on that very topic so hop over there, take a listen and subscribe. There's more on the horizon!
It's my intention to talk and/or write a little each day about what passed in 2023, what I've witnessed since I've been involved (this is my 4th up close & personal session) and how I believe it relates to what's happening right now.
I'm going to keep talking about it both here & there so stay tuned & be sure to share with like minded friends & family.
And PLEASE pray about sharing with your pastor. We NEED the ekklesia to rise up, get educated & start using the tools God has given us to make a difference in this government mountain!
TODAY'S SCRIPTURE: Then you will know the truth and the truth shall set you free. John 8:32
TODAY'S GOAL: Understand the 2023 voting pattern and why it's happening.
TODAY'S ACTION: 1. Subscribe & share. 2. Find your senator's contact info here: Lookup Tool