Problems with SB 727

Problems with SB 727

don't mess with our kids!

SB 727 is stirring a lot of discussions and controversy across Missouri.  Why?  Because most of us are passionate about our kids.  We may not take the time and use the energy to fight for things like water rights or to protect Missouri's constitution, but most of us will stand up when we feel are kids are being directly attacked.   

Our kids ARE being attacked on all fronts.  The attacks on our children - the children of the United States, the children of Missouri - are relentless and range from the war on their identities & their minds, their physical safety, their spirits and all that includes their education.   

A child's education now consumes the vast majority of their lives after age 5 and the influence of those hours, the curriculum, the teachers and teacher training, the counselors and their training, the culture at the schools, etc. is something that literally shapes their attitudes, beliefs and behaviors for their lifetime.   It helps to mold who they are and who they become.

Missouri's schools are generally not doing well with academic performance and the struggle is overwhelming in regard to the social and cultural issues.

the system needs a big change

Everyone agrees we need a change in policy.  But what and how?   That is the big question that causes all the political antics.   The democrats want to fund more programs for the schools and the republicans say the school system is the problem but they continue to empower DESE with even more reach and authority.  DESE is the one driving the schools so where's the logic in that?

It's a real problem.  

The Missouri Senate has just passed an education omnibus bill, SB 727 sponsored by Senator Andrew Koenig, that includes several changes to Missouri's education system.  If you listen to the legislators talk about it, they'll say how they are proud of all the hard work they've done to get a great education bill out of the senate chamber with wonderful things for students, teacher and families alike.

More money will flow into the hands of select families through a voucher system, free books for kids, higher salaries for teachers and so much more.   But, is that the whole story?

the devil's in the details

This is ALOT to unpack and it can't be done well in one blog article, but because I've received questions about SB 727, I'm going to share my thoughts without getting into the weeds too much.  However, there are some very important details you need to understand in order to really grasp some of the problems with this piece of legislation.  

The following is a short list of the reasons I oppose the bill.

  • This bill is unconstitutional now.   It started out as a 12 page bill sponsored by Senator Andrew Koenig with a title that read, " enact ...four new sections relating to educational scholarships."  The bill is now 167 pages long with a title that reads, " enact...forty-four new sections relating to elementary and secondary education with penalty provisions and an effective date for certain sections."   Opening up this very specific title to a very broad one and putting unrelated topics under one bill is unconstitutional.  That's a no go.    See the Missouri Constitution, Article 3 Section 23.

The original bill included only sections on Education Scholarship Account Programs in the four sections, shown above. 

The perfected version, title seen above, that passed in the senate included 44 new sections under the subjects:

    1. Education Scholarship Accounts Programs
    2. Minimum school term
    3. Charter school (expansion)
    4. Literacy of elementary school students
    5. Missouri course access and virtual school program
    6. Family Paced Education Schools 
    7. School board vacancies
    8. Weighted average daily attendance
    9. Early childhood education programs operated by school districts and charter schools
    10. Small schools grant
    11. Minimum teachers salary
    12. Compulsory school attendance
    13. School attendance officers
    14. Recovery high schools
    15. Teacher certification
    16. Hard-to-staff schools and subject areas
    17. Teacher education programs
    18. Career ladder
    19. Working after retirement
    20. Suicide prevention in grades 7-12
    21. Teacher recruitment scholarship program
  • The ESA Program.   This one point deserves an entire blog series in and of itself.  I'll keep my issues with the ESA short and to the point here and only pertaining to this bill rather than the concept of ESAs and whether or not I agree with them.

    • Expanded qualified students 
      • Free/reduced lunch kids who live in unaccredited & provisionally accredited schools would be eligible.  This is a potential HUGE expansion when you consider there are approximately 150 schools that are on the verge of being provisionally accredited. 
      • Students whose households do not exceed 300% of the free/reduced lunch standard are eligible. This is a household income of around $110,000.  These are not necessarily  "impoverished" households.

    • Added another Educational Assistance Organization (EAO) which totals 7.  Inserting non-profits into our State law is a huge problem, one of which is an inability to sunshine the non-profit for information regarding these funds and programs.  These EAOs were chosen and provided for before the original bill was passed in '21.  They are choosing winners & losers.

    • Participating students are required to take the MAP or a norm-referenced test that provide for "value-added assessment" which is a measure of teacher performance.  This is a huge issue as it might pertain to FPEs and private schools.  It was already in the statute and needs to be scrutinized, especially considering DESE is going to be able to promulgate more rules.  

    • DESE is now inserted multiple times and specifically charged with collaborating on rules changes.  This is a HUGE problem! 

    • Kids who are non-English speaking, free/reduced lunch and IEP have the potential to stack increased scholarship amounts based on those criteria.  There is nothing in the statute that prohibits this.  This could result in a student receiving 460% of the state adequacy target.  That is upwards of $20,000/year or more, which would be a huge incentive for families with non-English speaking kids to be here.  Considering our souther border problem, this is a concern.
Note:  Regarding the ESA program, to understand the problems fully you have to take into account the rules in addition to the statute.  The State Treasurer's Office has written rules along with a parent handbook that outlines and details how the program functions.  For example, those rules include background checks for anyone over 18 living in the home of a homeschool family who participates.  Now DESE will be collaborating on those rules and policies as well.  This is an open door to so many more problems and it makes no sense.  Why would you want DESE to have ANY influence in a program designed to get kids out of public school?

  • Expanded charter schools to Boone County.  Boone County (Caleb Rowden's district) got charter schools but they don't have to follow all the same rules as the rest.  
Note:  There are significant issues and reasons as to why I feel charters are NOT what Missouri needs.  Charter in Missouri are not really fairing any better than our public schools and they are not required to follow all the same rules as public.  Many, if not all, in Missouri are woke leftist schools funded by our tax dollars.

  • Elementary Literacy Fund.   Original language sponsored by Senator Karla May (Democrat)
    • The State will now be mailing student selected books into the homes of K-5 graders.  Again, this program will be administered by a non-profit and there will be no sunshining of the details of the program, the books we are providing or how it is operating.  There is data being collected from these homes and weekly contact being made.  The selection of the administering non-profit will be an integral part of the program.  

  • Homeschool definition changed to include enrollment.  The Family Paced Education school was created and the homeschool definition changed to exclude FPEs.   The enrollment language was also slightly changed.  Although the term enrollment had been used in previous language, it was located in a different paragraph that had to do with attendance - not enrollment.  The addition of the word "homeschool" to the enrollment paragraph is curious and makes one wonder why the change needed to be made.  Maybe it's nothing.  But if it's nothing, I prefer it go back to its original form.

  • Removal of records review by prosecuting attorney.  The following was removed from the original language, "Home school education enforcement and records pursuant to this section, and sections 210.167 and 211.031, shall be subject to review only by the local prosecuting attorney."    If the definition of FPE creates two "silos" for students learning at home, there is no need to completely remove the language that says the ONLY review of homeschool records will be done by the prosecuting attorney.  This could be an open door to homeschool records being reviewed by other offices.  The FPE schools are subject to review at any time by administrators of the program, but this would not require a change to the homeschool records review language.  

  • Private school teacher certification.    
    • Considering that DESE will be promulgating more rules around the ESA, you can expect them to write a rule saying participating private schools will be required to hire teachers certified through their program.  
    • The certification will be created by another non-profit.  Who will that be and what will they be training our private school teachers to do?  We probably won't be able to find out due to the inability of sunshining the non-profit.

the vote & the status

This bill was perfected in the senate with the following vote and is now waiting to be referred to the education committee in the House.   It's an interesting vote, because the final vote did not look exactly like this.  Two of the republicans who voted No on perfection were absent for the final TRAP vote.  Gannon, Justin Brown and Hough didn't come to take the final vote.  That's intentional, so to get a really clear picture of who supported what it's the perfection vote you need to pay attention to in this case.  No changes can be made to the bill after perfection.

Another interesting thing to note was that in this case, even though this bill had democrat language in it and multiple things the democrats supported, including Senator Karla May's book program - they didn't need to vote yes.  There were enough Republican yes votes to pass what they wanted to get accomplished. 

The constitutionally correct and conservative vote on this bill was NO.   

Ben Brown
Thompson Rehder 

NOs (Democrats plus Gannon, Justin Brown, & Moon)
Justin Brown

Absent With Leave - Rick Brattin who was attending his daughter's wedding.

take action

1.  Pray and add the Call to the Capitol on April 13th to your calendar!  Consider yourself personally invited to come pray, worship and gather with other like minded believers who are fed up with the attacks on our children.  

We know the only true answers and strategies to push back darkness come from the Lord, so please consider coming and joining with hundreds of other Missouri parents to pray & hold the line for the next generation.  I'll be there & I'd love to see you!

2.  Call your Missouri representative and ask that he/she vote NO on SB 727 when given the opportunity.  The bill isn't clean and I can't imagine the House will clean it up entirely.  Even if they do, it's unconstitutional and for that reason alone the correct vote is NO.

Homeschools & Private Schools at Risk!

Homeschools & Private Schools at Risk!

Episode 50 Show Notes

SB 727 - ESA & charter school expansion

  • requires homeschool students to enroll

Our homeschoolers do not currently have to enroll or register with the State.  Language in this bill would require it.  Homeschoolers do NOT want to be tracked and/or monitored by the State.   This langauge needs to be removed to protect homeschools from more government overreach.

  • giving DESE access to homeschool & private school data

They've touted the ESA program as being free from DESE and run by the Treasurer's office.  This bill gives DESE access in multiple areas to the process both through accessing test scores, family and student information and collaborating with the Board who governs the ESA program in regard to promulgating more rules.  DESE needs LESS influence, not more and ZERO influence in our homeschools and private schools.   

This is the door opening to give DESE license to influence rules and create requirements of our private schools and homeschools who are taking this government money.

take action

Call our conservative senators and express your feelings about SB 727.  We want this bill significantly amended or stopped altogether.

Senator Bill Eigel

Senator Rick Brattin

Senator Mike Moon

Senator Andrew Koenig, bill sponsor

Senator Denny Hoskins

Senator Ben Brown

Senator Jill Carter

Senator Nick Schroer

Senator Caleb Rowden

Senator Cindy O'Laughlin

Church Apathy, the Constitution & Education Reform

God is good all the time!

The democrats are filibustering the Constitution Ratification (aka I.P.) bill, which is holding up all action in the senate.  They started yesterday around 4:00pm or so and have continued on through the night. So far as I can tell, they are still going strong.  

I pray that bill passes, but I also welcome the opportunity for other conversations to be had in order to flesh out the junk from other bills that would otherwise be passing.  Great conversations are being had both in public and in private to bring awareness and light to potential problems with the education legislation that is "on deck" in the Senate.

the battle must be won at the ballot box

Like I said, I pray this bill passes but REGARDLESS whether it does or does not, the specific battle to protect our Missouri Constitution from not only abortion but also the transitioning of our kids - possibly even without parental consent - MUST be won at the ballot box!   The legislature cannot and will not be able to galvanize the constitution in order to keep those changes from occurring.  

Followers of Jesus MUST do it.   I'll be sharing more & more information - so please stay tuned & be preparing to share it with your circle of influence.

The solution is in 3 words:   PRAY.  FAST.  STAND.

eSA & charter school bill - sb 727

This school choice bill is a big problem and it's on the Senate calendar for perfection.  That means it could come up for debate at any moment and you need to know about it.  I'm explaining more on the podcast - so be sure to listen!  
Here's a few quick bullet points:

  • The ESAs in Missouri are set up for the money to flow through a digital system called Class Wallet.   This program uses block chain technology and is a data mining problem.  This feeds into the digital finance goals of the United Nations and the World Economic Forum, through initiatives such as the 2030 Agenda.
  • Funneling government money to parents does NOT come without strings.  Period.   If you think it does... you might be interested to know that even the private schools who take the federal milk money are required to comply with Title 9 requirements. 
  • School Choice money you might receive is NOT your property tax money.  It's the government's dollars the moment you give it to them.
  • The ESA Missouri already has actually requires homeschool PARENTS to do a background check and give their kiddo the MAP test in order to take those funds.  The funds can be spent only on approved vendors through the Class Wallet system.   Do you think you will always have faith-based options on that approved vendor list?   The state giving you a select choice of curriculum vendors to use is NOT free choice.
  • Charters have NO elected school board.  Is this what you want the state to be paying for?  Taxation without representation?  No, thank you!
  • This bill has other problems that includes the incentivizing of educating illegal immigrants. 
  • SB 727 is Senator Andrew Koenig's bill.  I've been part of conversations with Senator Koenig that started a couple of years ago.  Although he's a homeschool dad and part of the Freedom Caucus, which I love, he has been unwilling to budge on these issues.  What I find with the conservatives is that they are so frustrated with the state of public schools they want to do something to help.  I commend that and I agree that public schools are in big trouble.  But I don't believe school choice is the answer.   
  • Bill Gates is a big fan of school choice.  Big red flag there!

Check out what the homeschool curriculum company Classical Conversation has to say:

Shout out to James Holderman for finding these Gates-related resources.   I'm thankful to have friends who have come alongside us and help us find the details - the needles in the haystacks, so to speak.  Thanks, James!

Take Action to Protect Missouri Students

Take Action to Protect Missouri Students

sB 681 & SB 662 (2022) by Senators cindy o'laughlin (R) & Lauren Arthur (d)

SB 681 & SB 662 were combined to create an education omnibus bill in the 2022 legislative session.  It's what we call a "Christmas Tree Bill" because there are several different sections of Missouri statute addressed.  It was a large bill that ended up being 166 pages long, repealed 30 sections and added 50 brand new sections of statutes.  It was all pertaining to elementary and secondary education.  This was the brainchild of Senator Cindy O'Laughlin, republican from northern Missouri (Majority Floor Leader in 2023) and Senator Lauren Arthur, democrat from Clay County (KC area).

It contained everything from testing kids for lead poisoning to creating additional pathways for high school graduation to changing the state learning standards and MANDATING mental health training for high school students.

The latter is what we are going to be talking about today.  

Here's the statute created by SB 681 & SB 662:

the result of rsmo 170.307 is ADDED social emotional learning standards

Based on this new statute, on Tuesday, August 15th, the Missouri State Board of Education approved a rule change to add Social Emotional Learning (SEL) standards for K-12 mental health training.

It's ALWAYS a problem when we see in statute that our legislators are abdicating their authority to the unelected bureaucrats with NO way of knowing what the outcome will be.   The overreach of bureaucrats into every part of society is a primary reason government has grown to the extent it has, and it's a huge problem in our education system.

This should be a primary concern to conservatives, especially Christian conservatives across Missouri.  Promulgated rules are nearly always written to expand progressive government in one way or another.

what is SEL?

Social Emotional Learning is a broad umbrella term that encompasses several things, but the term is pretty self explanatory.  In a nutshell, it's the teaching or training of students in regard to social and/or emotional issues.  

This is the proposed rule change:

SEL can include, but is not limited to:
  • any mental health related topic such as depression, suicide, anxiety, etc.
  • communication skills
  • motivational skills
  • racial & social justice issues
  • diversity & equity
  • civic engagement
  • affirming LGBTQIA+ student behavior
  • giving students a "safe" private space with counselors without parental knowledge or consent
  • comprehensive sex education
  • SEL related student surveys that collect student data related to their beliefs 
SEL learning objectives will most likely come through health or PE class by way of the school counselors, who are NOT trained psychologists.  Honestly, I don't prefer my own student to have ANY mental health instruction at school - SEL or otherwise.  

These new standards will most likely be largely driven by the American School Counselor's Association and organizations such as CASEL and American Federation for Teachers (AFT).  These organizations are the opposite of conservative.  POLAR opposite.

It doesn't take much to see why it would be a problem for these large progressive organizations and bureaucrats to be running the show in relation to social and emotional learning.

vague standards & local control

The standards are vague.  When you read them, there is no clear danger if you aren't familiar with specific terminology or the bigger picture of SEL.  Of course we want our children to be empathetic, good problem solvers and happy, productive kids.  

Isn't that what this is about??  

Well, for some districts and teachers - yes.   But for others and maybe most at this point because of the American School Counselors Association - there is a bigger agenda involved.   

A marxist agenda.  An agenda that divides our kids, pits them against one another and destroys the fabric of patriotic Christian family values all unbeknownst to parents while our kids are in school.

The standards DO allow for individual districts & teachers to adopt their own curriculum and lesson plans as they pertain to these specific standards.  It IS possible that your school and your student would not be exposed to the progressive woke agenda.  This is why if you ask your administration or school board member, they'll likely tell you that the standard doesn't really matter and that the local school controls the curriculum.  That is true.  

But here are a few of the problems:

How will you know what your student's teacher is saying or teaching regarding SEL??  You won't.  Most likely, you won't even know the questions to ask your student or when to ask them.  

How will you know if your student is talking to your school counselor about LGBTQ, sexual identity, gender identity or even suicide?  You won't.  They are not required to disclose.  They are "safe" spaces for students and your students have privacy privileges there.  You will know NOTHING if the school counselor doesn't want you to know. The School Counselor's Association wants it this way and they are lobbying legislators to keep it this way.

Do you want your school counselor, PE teacher or health teacher or any teacher - none of whom are trained psychologists - to be teaching mental health topics to your students anyway?  I don't.  

Do you want your student to be surveyed without your knowledge?   I don't.

Do you want your school district to be forced to do MORE teaching that is NOT core classes?  I don't. Our schools have more than enough requirements forced onto them by DESE as it is.  

Are you familiar with the American School Counselor's Association and what they are pushing into your school counselors offices?  Probably not.  There are a few resources below & I'll continue to talk about it here.

what can you do?

  1. Submit public comment to DESE, via survey below, rejecting SEL standards being MANDATED to our schools.   You can simply enter "I reject all SEL standards, definitions, and implementation in any format, whether recommended or mandated, in Missouri public schools" in the appropriate text boxes.

2. Share this blog with your like-minded family & friends!

3.  Use the resources below to learn a little more and be sure to subscribe to the blog!


Please spend some time learning about SEL if you aren't already aware.  

 - Pay attention to her language in the video above. She want's school transformation - bringing joy & justice to schools by bringing together SEL, restorative practices & racial equity.  They have a NEW definition of SEL.  "Culturally affirmative SEL". Race conscious, justice oriented & everything that happens in a classroom cannot be neutral.  

Final Thoughts on SB 4 - The "Parent's Rights" Bill

Final Thoughts on SB 4 - The "Parent's Rights" Bill

If you're reading this in an email and the videos at the bottom don't come through, read it online.  

This is the first in a series of blogs relating to public education and the legislation that is moving through our capitol this session.  It's a HUGE topic and I'm doing my best to break it down for you but it's still a lot of information.  

It's so important, so please do come back to re-read, absorb and ponder.  Then, go talk with trusted friends and resources.  Do your own due diligence and develop your own perspective.   Our kids & grandkids need you to take the time and get involved.

Sb 4

Parent's Rights.  Transparency.   

This is what Senator Koenig & GOP leadership know you want.  So they gave it to you.  

But did they?  You decide.

I'm not an attorney.  But I did hear the opinions of three unrelated, unbiased attorneys whose expertise is in this field throughout this process.  Those who have differing opinions from mine heard from attorneys, too.  They were primarily senate attorneys and attorneys that are Missouri senators.  There are legal opinions on both sides of this issue.

On my couch with a laptop perched on my lap, I spent hours reading this bill.  Re-reading, referencing U.S. codes & current Missouri statutes.  I made phone calls, sent and received questions via text and consulted legislators as well as educators and heard opinions of attorneys.  Although not an attorney myself, I can tell you I invested many many hours of study and consulted several others.

the good.

What it does do that I'm happy about...

  • Restricts the gathering of biometric data on your student.  Currently, there are no restrictions whatsoever.  Now it is limited to information on their school ID card that can be gathered and stored.  
  • Requirement to train teachers in patriotic history & civics.
  • School accountability report cards for the previous 5 years will be available on the school's website as well as on hand at each individual "attendance center."
  • Parents will receive a printed version of the report card within 5 days of the start of school or enrollment.  These report cards will have a lot of data including school finances, student-teacher/admin ratios, attendance rates, graduation rates, etc.    The report cards have a plethora of information on them.  Too much to type here and even too much for one screen shot but here's a glance.  The report cards are great information for prospective families or anyone considering moving into a district.  

  • Requires schools to protect student devices from explicit materials and inappropriate sites.  I honestly think most are already doing this but codifying it is good. 

the bad

I already blogged about why I don't like SB 4.  Check it out!

the vote.

I believe the vote on SB 4 should've been a no.  Truthfully, I believe we are all a lot better off when these legislators are at home vs being in Jefferson City.   Our liberties are much safer when they are not at the Capitol.

Senators Moon & Carter are the only Republicans who stood against the grain of GOP leadership & voted no.  They voted on their principles regardless of what the others were doing.  I like that.  We need more who are willing to do that.

the real problem

Senator Andrew Koenig put ALL of us in a really tough spot when he pulled a Pelosi-style maneuver and closed debate on the floor hours earlier than what was expected.  

Picture This.

Everyone had been told there would be a filibuster lasting into the night.  They got their sleep schedules worked out and made plans for someone to bring food in later on for dinner, settling in for their first long night of the session.

The democrats were bantering back and forth holding the floor while our favorite republicans huddled in the back discussing what might be the best options to move forward.  They ALL had concerns and they were prepared to work on improving the bill to create something that they could all be proud of. 

Suddenly...what did they hear?  Nothing but Senator Koenig closing the debate!  The democrats suddenly sat down and Senator Koenig CLOSED, which gave the rest of his team basically ZERO time to make any changes at all.  The perfection vote is a voice vote - so it passed and that was the end.  After perfection, bills are generally not changed any further.  They are considered perfect and the next step is a TRAP (Third Read and Pass) vote before it goes to the House.

Our favorite senators had no time.  They were completely caught off guard and they weren't even given time to read the bill.  

Heard of anyone doing that before?  Hmm...yeah.  Pelosi.   

That led to most of our conservatives being between a rock & a hard place on this vote.  

the senators say

Most of our senators truly were between a rock & a hard place on this vote.  They didn't agree with the perfected version, but they did agree with the heart and intent of the bill as well as particular pieces they believed to be more beneficial than the negatives were harmful.  They did agree that there were things about the bill they liked and also things they were and still are concerned about.  

What I know of this group of senators is that they are nearly always with us and they typically always vote conservatively. They are our team.  They are our team now and they are our team in the battles we will fight in the future.

We aren't always going to agree, though, and that's ok too.  If we can agree 80-90% of the time - I'm happy and I think you should be, too.  

I got Senators Eigel & Moon on video for you & I personally talked to Senators Hoskins, Brattin, Carter and Brown.  Here's what they had to say.

Senator Denny Hoskins did appreciate parts of the bill although he does have concerns about the copyright language and the "CRT" portion.  He is committed, though, to working alongside the handler of the bill in the House in hopes of continuing to improve it to the point that we can all be more content.  

Senator Rick Brattin shares very similar sentiments as Senator Hoskins.  He was actually the original sponsor of SB 42 which was combined with SB 4 and 89.  His original bill included language that would require schools to teach patriotic content such as the founding documents, history of civic engagement, excerpts from de Tocqueville's Democracy in America, and an entire list of other patriotic civics topics.  That language stayed in the bill and Brattin is very passionate about trying to ensure that our kids are learning what I would consider to be classical American history, civics and a sense of pride in America.  He is concerned that the CRT language needs to be improved and he's also hoping to be able to continue to work to create something better as the bill moves forward.  

Senator Ben Brown was the original sponsor of SB 89.  Some of his language also stayed with the bill and he felt that although there were concerns about the bill, it was still a net win.  He's happy with the biometric data piece as well as the transparency language.  One concern we both share is the ability of DESE to create so many rules around this.  He says he feels responsible to continue to monitor the progress of this bill, help with the improvements as he can and keep a watchful eye on JACOR, which is the committee that approves the rules DESE will write.

Senator Carter hated to vote no, but she saw too many concerns to feel good about voting yes.  She voted her conscience and I love that about her.  It was a hard hard decision to make and I'm proud of her for sticking to her principles.

my team.  we win together.  we Lose together.

TRUTH:  I hate this bill.  I see so many holes & flaws it feels more harmful than good to me.

TRUTH:  Senator Koenig threw us all under the bus in the perfection process.  That stinks.  That's the 2nd time this session.  I'm really disappointed and very sad about it. 

TRUTH:  Our conservative team was between a rock and a hard place feeling like people would be screaming at them for voting down a Parent's Rights & transparency bill if they voted no and they'd upset others if they voted yes.  Everyone weighed the vote in their own heart & mind and they made the decision that felt best.  I can respect that.  

TRUTH:  This is one vote of the 10-20% that we won't agree on.  It's to be expected.

TRUTH:  I know these senators.  Their hearts and intentions are good & we all want the same thing.  They were each willing to sit down today and talk with me personally and that's worth more than one vote.  It's pretty priceless.

TRUTH:  These guys are my team.  These are the ones I want to go to battle with when it's necessary.  And it will be very soon.  I'm going to trust them and support them in the hard decisions they are forced to make even when I wish it was different.  I hope you will, too.  That said... if they continually show themselves to be untrustworthy or not who they profess to be  - then they'll have to find another bench to sit on.

TRUTH:  IF the House changes even one thing, even as much as a punctuation mark, the senate will be able to take it up again, debate and make amendments if they want.   It's not a done deal yet.

call to action

Always.  Respectfully, let them know what you think.  If you'd like to see them vote differently then tell them.  If you're not willing to do that- don't complain.   I hope you'll take the time to send an email or make a phone call to these senators, your own or the rest of them.  When more of us start speaking up, the more likely we are going to be to see real change not only in the a bill here or there, but in the process of how these things are accomplished.  And THAT is the real win.

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