SOMETHING'S JUST NOT RIGHT
Often when I'm out talking to Missourians across the state, we have conversations regarding things that just don't seem right, although we have a hard time putting our finger on exactly what's wrong. It feels like we are losing our freedoms and yet we can't exactly pinpoint the moment they were lost or how it happened.
I've got something for you to consider.
THIS BILL ISN'T TOO BAD
It happens often that bills are passed because they "aren't too bad." They may have a decent thing or two and maybe something great but usually they've got concessions in them as well. They are seen by legislators as a "net win" even though there are concerns or possible issues. Lawmakers love to say that no bill can be perfect and we just do the best we can.
But would you eat a brownie with a tiny bit of dog poop mixed in to the batter? Because, unless I was saving my kids, I really don't want ANY amount of dog poop in my food.
Now for my kids? I'll eat a pile of poop.
But otherwise, that's a big NO.
THE VIEW FROM ABOVE
If you look at one bill at a time, you may see a tiny bit of dog poop and choose to look the other way if you feel the benefit outweighs the poop. But if you look at the big picture and see that all these tiny turds amount to one big pile of crap, you realize that passing one turd is a huge problem!
The following is a list of Republican sponsored bills in the legislature NOW that are chipping away at your individual liberty. If you look at them individually, it probably doesn't feel like a real big deal. If you look at them collectively, I think you may feel differently.
the nutshell version
Here's the list. Click on the link to read a separate article with more details and action steps on each of these issues.
SB 117- Tort Reform & Sovereign Immunity. We are losing time in the statute of limitations on personal liability and they are giving sovereign immunity to every private contractor doing business with any public entity in the state. This elevates government related business and squashes Missourians. The law makers will tell you it's good because they need to reduce frivolous lawsuits and unclog the court system. They say it's good. I say it's 100% dog poop brownies.
Privacy Acts - There are more than one. These are elevating elected officials and protecting them at the expense of our first amendment right of free speech. The penalty is up to 5 years in prison & up to $10,000 in fines. Again...protecting and elevating government officials and squashing Missourians. Of course, they love it and think it's a great thing. And again I say there's a bunch of dog poop in the batter here.
Sunshine Law - Senator Andrew Koenig wants to make it harder for citizens to get transparent information from the government by revising our Sunshine Law. And again...elevating government and squashing Missourians. Even if this one stood alone, it's nothing but a huge pile of crap. Keeping Missourians in the dark and giving elected officials places to hide is nothing but a breeding ground for even more corruption.
See a pattern here??
If you want to know more, click on the link to get the details on each issue and the actions you can take to help. Yes, I know. It's a lot of work and it takes time. I think the ones who fought & died for this freedom would say that this is the least we could do.
Government transparency and our ability to see what public office are doing is protected for us within our Sunshine Law. Senator Andrew Koenig, Representative Bill Falkner and Representative Dane Diehl are hoping to make it more difficult for citizens to find the truth.
It's interesting that Senator Koenig wants to be the "Champion for Transparency" when it comes to schools, but it looks like he feels very differently about his own office being transparent. I have to wonder why. This one just doesn't make sense to me.
Senator Koenig's bill has gotten the farthest of the handful that have been filed. His passed through committee 2/23/23 on a party line vote. All the republicans voted yes. All the democrats voted no. The Senate Committee Substitute is linked above if you'd like to read it for yourself but here are a few bullet points you might be interested in.
- Changing the definition of "public business". (Text struck out is current but being removed. Highlighted text is being added) "Public business",
[all matters which relate in any way to the performance of the public governmental body's functions or the conduct of its business]the deliberations of at least the number of individual public governmental body members required to take action on behalf of the public governmental body where such deliberations determine or result in the joint conduct or disposition of official public governmental body business; This means that "public business" is no longer all matters relating to government functions, it's much narrower in scope.
- He's also changing the definition of "public meeting" in such a way that we would have less access to information. See the screenshot below. Underlined text in the photo is being added to the definition.
- Changing the definition of "public record" in such a way that we have less access. See page 5. It's too big for a quick screen shot to put here.
- Adding the government's ability to close the following items & remove them from our ability to access.
- Closing additional policies regarding public health. In the following screenshot, highlighted text is being removed. That means currently, in order to close these materials they had to be considered to be terrorist in nature. With his changes, they can be closed if they only appear to endanger individual or public safety or health.
- Closing access to more information regarding legislation and the legislative process. This is a screenshot from page 13.
what are they hoping to hide?
Probably a lot of things, honestly. It's another situation where the "kings" can do no wrong, they are protected and elevated while the people are kept in the dark.
This one is a big pile of dog crap all on its own. It needs to be scooped up and thrown out.
SB 174 passed the Government Accountability committee and is headed to the Senate floor for perfection. Please call and email your own senator as well as our more conservative senators. Ask that they do what is necessary to kill this bill that works against transparency for Missourians.
Senator Mike Moon. firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Bill Eigel. email@example.com
Senator Rick Brattin. firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Jill Carter. email@example.com
Senator Ben Brown. firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Denny Hoskins. email@example.com