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Sen. Barbara Anne Washington’s Legislative Column for the Week of June 27, 2022

Abortion Now Effectively Illegal in Missouri After Court Strikes Down Roe

Abortion became illegal in Missouri in nearly all circumstances – including those involving rape or incest – after the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 on June 24 to eliminate the constitutional right of women to make their own reproductive choices first established 49 years ago in the court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

The high court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization immediately outlawed abortion in Missouri under a provision of a 2019 state law imposing a near-total ban on the procedure in the event Roe was overturned. Shortly after the ruling was announced, the governor issued a proclamation triggering the statewide abortion ban. The attorney general likewise issued a legal opinion declaring the law in effect.

Under the law, which had been blocked by a federal court for violating Roe, abortion is a crime, except for “cases of medical emergency.” A violation is a class B felony punishable by five to 15 years in prison.

In Roe, the Supreme Court found the right to abortion was a liberty guaranteed under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. But since abortion was illegal in most states, including Missouri, at the time the 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868, the majority of justices in Dobbs reasoned the amendment was never intended to protect abortion rights.

While the majority opinion says other rights the court has recognized under the Equal Protection Clause in modern times that were outlawed in 1868, including the right to contraception and the rights to same-sex intimacy and marriage, aren’t affected by Dobbs, Justice Clarence Thomas said that’s only because those issues weren’t before the court in this case. In a concurring opinion Thomas, the longest-tenured justice currently on the court, said the court should review those other precedents at its earliest opportunity.

Although not specifically mentioned by Thomas, who was an assistant Missouri attorney general in the 1970s, his reasoning also appears to jeopardize constitutional protections for interracial marriage, which the court established in 1967 when it struck down a Virginia law making such marriages a felony. Missouri had a similar anti-miscegenation law at the time, but while the high court’s ruling blocked enforcement, the state Legislature didn’t repeal it until 1969.

Governor Signs Photo Voter ID Law, Legal Challenge Expected

On June 29, the governor signed legislation into law that seeks for the third time to require voters to show photo identification in order vote. The Missouri Supreme Court struck down the state’s two previous photo voter ID laws for unconstitutionally infringing on the fundamental right to vote. A lawsuit challenging the latest law is expected.

House Bill 1878 also includes other provisions allowing the secretary of state to withhold state funding from local election officials in certain situations and eliminating Missouri’s presidential primary election. With the state’s presidential preference primary eliminated, Missouri in 2024 will revert to the caucus system, under which members of each party meet in person to determine which candidates should get the state’s delegates to their respective party’s national presidential nominating convention. The bill will take effect Aug. 28.

Governor Signs Bill on KCPD Funding  

On June 27, the governor signed a bill into law seeking to require Kansas City to allocate at least 25% of its municipal budget for the city’s police department. At present, however, the new law is an unconstitutional, unfunded state mandate and will remain so unless voters ratify a proposed constitutional amendment later this year to weaken the existing ban on such mandates.

A provision of the state constitution’s tax-limiting Hancock Amendment prohibits the Legislature from imposing spending mandates on local governments unless it also appropriates state funding to pay for the mandate. However, Senate Bill 678 bumps the minimum amount the city must spend on police without providing corresponding state funding.

Since the bill doesn’t comply with the Missouri Constitution, the Legislature also passed Senate Joint Resolution 38 in an effort to bring the constitution into compliance with the bill. If approved by voters, SJR 38 would carve out an exemption to the Hancock Amendment to allow lawmakers to impose the increased police funding requirement on Kansas City. The Kansas City Police Department is controlled by a state board, but funded by local taxpayers.

Kansas City currently is required to allocate 20% of its budget for policing under a state law that predates the Hancock Amendment and, therefore, remains in effect. Although SJR 38 will appear on the Nov. 8 statewide ballot, SB 678 will take effect Aug. 28. In a statement, the Kansas City mayor said a lawsuit challenging the new law will be forthcoming.

Compromise Charter School Funding Bill Signed Into Law

Missouri charter schools will soon get a funding boost under legislation the governor signed into law on June 29. The additional funding is expected to cost about $62 million for the 2023 fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2022.

Charter schools, which under state law currently can operate only in Kansas City and St. Louis, have been vocal about not receiving their rightful amount of funding and had sought legislative changes to remedy the issue. Charter schools are public schools that operate independently of their local school district and are exempt from many state education regulations.

In a compromise struck in the Senate, however, House Bill 1552 adjusts the statutory formula for distributing state funding to local schools so that charter schools will receive additional funding directly from the state without taking away money from their home districts. The legislation also requires charter schools be run by nonprofit entities – and not for-profit companies – and mandates only Missouri residents can be charter school board members, among other reforms. In addition, the bill updates rules for operating online virtual schools.

Registering to Vote Information

If you are a Kansas City resident, please visit the Kansas City Election Board website for more information on how to vote or where to register to vote. If you a resident of Jackson County, but not a Kansas City resident, please visit the Jackson County Election Board website for more information.

Place Address Hours Phone
City Clerk’s Office 414 E. 12th St., 25th Floor

Kansas City, MO, 64106

9am-5pm Mon.-Fri. 816-513-1313
Kansas City Election Board 30 W Pershing Road

Lower Level

Kansas City, MO, 64108

8am-5pm Mon.-Fri. 816-842-4820
Kansas City MO Health Department 2400 Troost Ave, Ste. 4000 Kansas City, MO, 64108 8am-5pm Mon.-Fri. 816-513-6008
State Building 615 E 13th St, 1st Floor Kansas City, MO, 64106 8am-5pm Mon.-Fri. 816-889-3193
Central Library 14 W. 10th St.

Kansas City, MO, 64105

9am-9pm Mon.-Wed.;

9am-6pm Thurs.;

9am-5pm Fri.;

10am-5pm Sat.;

1pm-5pm Sun.

816-701-3433
NAACP Headquarters 1601 E 18th St., Ste. 250 Kansas City, MO, 64108 9am-5pm Mon.-Fri. 816-421-1191
Delta Athenaeum

 

900 E Linwood Blvd.

Kansas City, MO, 64109

5pm-8pm every 1st Mon. of the month

5pm-9pm every 1st Tues. of the month

10am-4pm every 1st Sat. of the month

11am-4pm every 3rd Sat. of the month

816-916-1780
L.H. Bluford Branch Library 3050 Prospect Ave.

Kansas City, MO, 64128

10am-8pm Mon.-Thurs.; 10 am-5pm Fri.-Sat.; 1pm-5pm Sun. 816-701-3482
Plaza Library 4801 Main St.

Kansas City, MO, 64112

9am-9pm Mon.-Fri.; 10am-6 pm Sat.; 1pm-6pm Sun. 816-701-3481
Northeast Branch Library 6000 Wilson Road

Kansas City, MO, 64123

9am-8pm Mon.-Thurs.; 9am-6pm Fri.; 10am-5pm Sat.; 1pm-5pm Sun. 816-701-3485
Southeast Branch Library 6242 Swope Parkway Kansas City, MO, 64130 10am-7pm Mon.-Thurs.; 10am-5pm Fri.-Sat.; 1pm-5pm Sun. 816-701-3484
Blue Ridge Branch Library 9253 Blue Ridge Blvd. Kansas City, MO, 64138 9am-9pm Mon.-Thurs.; 9am-6pm Fri.; 9am-5pm Sat.; 816-761-3382
Raytown City Hall 10000 E 59th St.

Raytown, MO 64133

8am-5pm Mon.-Fri. 816-737-6000
Mid-Continent Public Library 6131 Raytown Road Raytown, MO 64133

 

9am-6pm Fri.;

10am-6pm Sat.; 1pm-5pm Sun.

816-353-2052
Vocational Rehabilitation 8800 E 63rd St., Ste. 260

Raytown, MO 64133

 

8am-4:30pm Mon.-Fri. 816-743-8730

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Special License Plate

During the 2021 legislative session, lawmakers passed Senate Bill 189, which I was proud to sponsor. This legislation creates a special license plate for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Anyone interested in supporting this Kansas City gem can apply for the license plate by following these steps:

  1. Make a $10 donation to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
    • Donations can be made directly to the museum or by sending the museum a check upon submitting your application. Be sure to get a receipt for your contribution.
  2. Complete the 1716 form to apply for the specialty license plate. This form can be found at mo.gov/motor-vehicle/plates/personalized-specialty.html.
    • When completing the form, select “other” and fill in that you are applying for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum plate.
  3. Send your application, along with your $10 museum donation (or the receipt for your donation), and your $15 standard plate application fee to the museum at 1616 E. 18th St., KCMO 64108.

As of April 9, 2021, anyone age 5 and up is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Please contact your local pharmacy or health care provider for information on how best to receive one of the available vaccines. For more information about the vaccine in Missouri, please visit covidvaccine.mo.gov.

University Health is now providing Pfizer, Moderna and J & J booster shots for COVID-19. The CDC approved a booster shot for any adult who received their first two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago, or for any adult who received a single dose of the J & J vaccine at least two months ago. If you are eligible, you can schedule an appointment by calling 816-404-CARE or walk in to University Health (2211 Charlotte St., KCMO 64108) or University Health Lakewood Medical Center (7900 Lee’s Summit Road, KCMO 64139). The COVID-19 vaccine is available for children ages 5-12 at these two locations as well. Patients may make an appointment with their child’s provider at the Med/Ped’s clinic at UHTMC or the Family Medicine Clinic at UHLMC. Additional vaccine information, including free transportation info, is available at www.universityhealthkc.org/covid-19/covid-19-vaccine/.

The Jackson County Health Department also has numerous vaccine and testing clinics available. For more information, please visit jacohd.org.

The Center for COVID Recovery is open to treat patients who experience long-term effects from the virus. For more information, visit universityhealthkc.org/covid-19/center-for-covid-recovery; please share this information with anyone who continues to struggle after a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.

Thank you for your vote of confidence to serve the people of the 9th District in the Missouri Senate. In an effort to keep you up-to-date with my legislation or other proposed measures, please feel free to visit my website at senate.mo.gov/Washington. I appreciate your active interest in your community and encourage your participation in the legislative process. Should you need assistance with state matters, please feel free to contact my office at (573) 751-3158.

Senator Washington’s Sponsored Legislation for 2022

Bill Number Description Status
Senate Bill 717 Authorizes a tax credit for urban farms located in a food desert Voted Do Pass by Senate Economic Development Committee
Senate Bill 718 Designates the third week of September as “Historically Black College and University Week” in Missouri Truly Agreed To and Finally Passed
Senate Bill 719 Authorizes a tax credit for the purchase of certain homes Second Read and Referred to Senate Ways and Means Committee
Senate Bill 793 Creates provisions relating to expungement for certain marijuana offenses Second Read and Referred to Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee
Senate Bill 794 Modifies provisions relating to medical marijuana program participants in family court matters Voted Do Pass by Senate Seniors, Families, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee
Senate Bill 795 Modifies provisions relating to law enforcement officer use of force Second Read and Referred to Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee
Senate Bill 854 Modifies provisions relating to reporting requirements of law enforcement agencies Second Read and Referred to Senate Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety Committee
Senate Bill 855 Establishes the “Cronkite New Voices Act” to protect the freedom of press in school-sponsored media Second Read and Referred to Senate Education Committee
Senate Bill 856 Modifies provisions relating to the expungement of records Second Read and Referred to Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee
Senate Bill 896 Modifies provisions relating to probation and parole for certain offenders Second Read and Referred to Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee
Senate Bill 897 Authorizes a sales tax exemption for feminine hygiene products Second Read and Referred to Senate Ways and Means Committee
Senate Bill 898 Allows a museum property tax levy to be used for certain museums Second Read and Referred to Senate Local Government and Elections Committee
Senate Bill 994 Creates new provisions prohibiting discrimination based on hairstyles Formal Calendar for Senate Bills for Perfection
Senate Bill 995 Modifies provisions relating to parole eligibility Second Read and Referred to Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee
Senate Bill 1094 Modifies provisions relating to wrongful convictions Voted Do Pass by Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee
Senate Bill 1130 Modifies provisions relating to earned compliance credits for probation Voted Do Pass by Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee
Senate Bill 1145 Establishes the third full week in September as “Sickle Cell Awareness Week” in Missouri Voted Do Pass by Senate Progress and Development Committee
Senate Bill 1146 Modifies provisions relating to organ donation Voted Do Pass by Senate Progress and Development Committee
Senate Bill 1147 Requires the MO HealthNet Division to conduct an annual review of services available for enrollees with sickle cell disease Voted Do Pass by Senate Health and Pensions Committee
Senate Bill 1172 Modifies provisions relating to sales tax revenues for certain transportation authorities Second Read and Referred to Senate Local Government and Elections Committee
Senate Bill 1193 Modifies provisions relating to electric vehicle tax credits Second Read and Referred to Senate Economic Development Committee
Senate Bill 1194 Modifies provisions relating to voter registration Second Read and Referred to Senate Local Government and Elections Committee
Senate Bill 1195 Modifies provisions relating to the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development Second Read and Referred to Senate Education Committee
Senate Bill 1196 Modifies provisions relating to a tax credit for providing services to homeless persons Second Read and Referred to Senate Economic Development Committee
Senate Bill 1205 Modifies provisions relating to the certification of juveniles for trial as an adult Second Read and Referred to Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee
Senate Bill 1230 Modifies provisions relating to expungement of criminal records Second Read and Referred to Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee
Senate Concurrent Resolution 35 Establishes the third full week in September as “Sickle Cell Awareness Week” Voted Do Pass by House Rules – Administrative Oversight Committee
Senate Joint Resolution 42 Places limits on increases of the assessment of certain properties Second Read and Referred to Senate Ways and Means Committee
Senate Joint Resolution 43 Places limits on increases of the assessment of certain properties Second Read and Referred to Senate Ways and Means Committee