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Missouri Government News:

July 17, 2017         

Know Your Voting Rights

At a time when state and federal government agents are openly trying to make it harder to vote, we need to know our rights and exercise them.  If you haven't seen the Kansas City Star's scathing editorial on the Kris Kobach-led effort to

consolidate voter data with the obvious goal of purging voters off the rolls, read it HERE and tell a less politically involved friend.  The Kansas City Public Library will be sponsoring another session to learn about what the new laws are in Missouri and how you can ensure your vote will be counted on election day going forward. Join us at the Plaza Branch (4801 Main St.) on July 18 (Tuesday) at 6:30pm. The session will be conducted by the League of Women Voters and they will walk you through what forms of ID will work and how to get the identification you will need to vote in future elections. All Missouri residents can register to vote at any Kansas City Public Library.

Labor Tribune Has Harsh Words for "Coward" Eric Greitens

Ed Finkelstein, publisher of the Labor Tribune, is not happy with the actions of Governor Eric Greitens and has plenty to say about it. In an article published today, The Labor Tribune calls Greitens "Missouri’s political coward...has decided that the best way to help the Missouri workers he pledged to support while campaigning is to cut their wages — some 35,000 of them in the city of St. Louis — and make it almost impossible for a worker to sue an employer for discrimination. Bowing to the Big Business, dark money interests that bankrolled his campaign and will do so for his rumored future presidential campaign, Greitens refused to veto House Bill 1194, a bill that on Aug. 28 will cut the new St. Louis minimum wage of $10 an hour back down to the state’s abysmal $7.70 an hour.

“This is a sheer act of political cowardice in not standing up for what he pledged to do – help improve the lot of Missouri’s workers,” said St. Louis Labor Council President Pat White.

A full-time 40-hour-a-week worker, even at $10 an hour, would only have been making $20,800 a year compared to the $16,016 they will earn at the $7.70 wage, White said.

That’s hardly a living wage, White said, but for those workers, it meant the difference between having to decide what bills they can pay and having enough money to eat.

More Bad News In State Government: MORx Program Cut

We are now well into July – which in Missouri unfortunately means that more than 60,000 seniors are going to see an increase in their prescription drug costs. 

All around the state, older Missourians have been receiving letters from Governor Eric Greitens administration telling them that their monthly prescription drug prices are going up.  This includes over 6000 seniors here in  Jackson county.  

The letter reads in part: “your Missouri Rx (MORx) program coverage expires in 2017. The last day you can receive help with prescription drug co-payment costs from the MORx program will be June 30, 2017. Prescriptions filled after this date will not be covered by MORx.”

The attacks on those most in need are not just a national concern; Republican "leaders" in Missouri are just as proud to sentence seniors to death so their corporate backers can keep their tax breaks.  As average citizens see the horrible impacts of taking away health care options from those in need, our voices and stories need to be heard by the Republican majorities. Affordable, life-saving prescriptions should not be a chip in partisan games.

 

 

Candidate Recruitment Continues

Think you have what it takes to make Missouri government better? There are several open or competitive seats for Missouri House and Senate coming up on the 2018 ballot. If you are interested, let us know. Emailgeoff@jacksoncodems.org and run@missouridems.org so we can discuss your best options.

Democratic Club Meetings/Events

  • United Eastern Democrats: July's monthly meeting will be Wednesday the 26th at the Courthouse Exchange Restaurant in Independence. Social hour begins at 6pm, meeting starts at 7:15. Guest speaker will be State Rep. Judy Morgan.
  • Raytown Democratic Association: Annual Democratic picnic August 12th, 4-6pm at Kenagy Park (79th and Raytown Rd). $10 gets you a load of food and drink. Elected officials attending will be announced soon. Bring friends and family!
  • 2nd District Forum: Join County Legislator Alfred Jordan July 19th, 5:30pm at the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Center, 3700 Woodland Ave. KCMO. Main discussion will be about mental health and will feature guests from the Mental Health Fund and Swope Health Services.
  • New Approach Missouri: Fundraiser for patients to have safe and legal access to medical cannabis. Thursday August 3rd at Californos (4124 Pennsylvania), 6-8pm. RSVP by July 28 at 916-872-6987 or jamie@newapproachmissouri.com.


CONTACT US

Sign up for Blue Notes
Our website
Email Exec. Dir. Geoff Gerling
Missouri Democratic Party
Democratic National Committee
Legislator Lookup

          

Mon, July 10, 2017

Know Your Voting Rights

At a time when state and federal government agents are openly trying to make it harder to vote, we need to know our rights and exercise them.  If you haven't seen the Kansas City Star's scathing editorial on the Kris Kobach-led effort to consolidate voter data with the obvious goal of purging voters off the rolls, read it HERE and tell a less politically involved friend.  The Kansas City Public Library will be sponsoring two sessions to learn about what the new laws are in Missouri and how you can ensure your vote will be counted on election day going forward. Join us at the Bluford Branch (3050 Prospect) on July 12th or the Plaza Branch (4801 Main St.) on July 18. Both sessions begin at 6:30pm. These sessions will be conducted by the League of Women Voters and they will walk you through what forms of ID will work and how to get the identification you will need to vote in future elections. All Missouri residents can

register to vote at any Kansas City Public Library.

Eric Greitens Will Step on Anyone to Reach His Personal Goals

Half a year into his first term, push-up enthusiast and Trump worshiper Eric Greitens has made an impact few could have predicted, and not in a positive way.  Despite running as an outsider determined to fight the "career politicians" and clean up Jefferson City's corrupt culture, he has done nothing of the sort accepting millions of campaign contributions from unknown special interests and mega-wealthy donors, concealed that money through a phony non-profit, spent much of his time in Washington DC and at high dollar national fundraising events, went out of his way to attack labor unions and lowered the minimum wage in St. Louis. Then he vetoed the UMKC Arts Campus, a project that would have served as a significant job creator and economic development tool for Kansas City and further cut education and senior services, again hurting the people who need state services. Along the way, he has picked fights with moderate members of his own party and extended the legislative session two months past the constitutionally mandated end date to selectively force parts of his own agenda that he couldn't be bothered to work with people on to pass in the spring.  WHAT CONSTITUENCY DOES THIS HELP SERVE?  The Kansas City Star came to the same conclusion many Democrats (and some Republicans) announced months ago: a constituency of one. Eric Greitens is out to serve Eric Greitens. It has been no secret that Greitens views himself as a future President cut from the same cloth as Donald Trump. Missourians need to tell their stories about how his selfish agenda of harm will never allow that to happen.

Make Your Voice Heard at the MDP Listening Tour

The Missouri Democratic Party's Platform Committee will be having a Listening Tour in Kansas City to hear from the people about what our platform should focus on for 2018. Come and let your voice be heard about policies that your party should stand for here in Missouri.
Thursday, July 13th 6:30-8:30
Travois: 310 W. 19th Terrace

Kansas City, MO 64108

Candidate Recruitment Continues

Think you have what it takes to make Missouri government better? There are several open or competitive seats for Missouri House and Senate coming up on the 2018 ballot. If you are interested, let us know. Emailgeoff@jacksoncodems.org and run@missouridems.org so we can discuss your best options.

Democratic Club Meetings/Events

  • Heartland Alliance for Progress: July 10, 5:30-7:00pm at Californo's (4124 Pennsylvania KCMO). Guest speaker will be Sara Baker, Legislative and Policy Director for the Missouri ACLU.
  • 40 Club Monthly Lunch: July 11, noon. Join us at Sheet Metal Workers Local #2, 2902 Blue Ridge Blvd KCMO 64129. Speaker will be announced Monday.
  • Phone Banking with HAP and others: Wednesday, July 12, 5:30-8:00 pm.   HAP partners with JwJ to make calls at their office at SEIU Building, 4625 Paseo, KCMO. Take your cell phone.  Take your computer if you can, but not mandatory.  Contact for this is also Fran Farah 816-516-5858.
  • Raytown Democratic Association: Fundraiser for Auditor Nicole Galloway. Friday, July 14th 4:00-6:00pm. Grand Prix Indoor Family Fun Center, 6731 Blue Ridge Blvd. Raytown MO 64133. Bring friends and family to support the Galloway campaign!
  • 2nd District Forum: Join County Legislator Alfred Jordan July 19th, 5:30pm at the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Center, 3700 Woodland Ave. KCMO. Main discussion will be about mental health and will feature guests from the Mental Health Fund and Swope Health Services.

July 7, 2017

Missouri Government News:

GREITENS CONTINUES TO ATTACK HIGHER EDUCATION

Rejecting a top priority of Kansas City business and civic leaders, Gov. Eric Greitens on June 28 vetoed bipartisan legislation that sought to authorize the sale of $48 million in bonds to help finance construction of a downtown arts campus for the University of Missouri Kansas City. Greitens’ veto of HCR 19 was his first since taking office in January.

The long-sought downtown arts campus is slated to cost $96 million, with $48 million in private donations already secured to cover half its cost. The state bonds would have paid for the other half. UMKC officials will now attempt to raise more private donations to cover what would have been the state’s contribution. However, that could delay the project indefinitely.

Supporters of the downtown arts campus said it would help revitalize downtown Kansas City and provide a strong economic stimulus for the city. HCR 19 enjoyed widespread support in both chambers, passing 117-39 in the House of Representatives and 28-4 in the Senate. In a statement, Greitens, a Republican, called it “wrong” to use public money for the project, notwithstanding the fact that it would be a public facility at a public university.

Lawmakers could attempt to override the action when they convene for their annual veto session on Sept. 13 but that is considered unlikely. Although the measure passed by veto-proof margins, many Republican lawmakers who originally voted for it might be reluctant to override a governor of their own political party. Call House and Senate leadership and ask them to do the right thing. Higher education is one of the state's most important economic development tools. Don't let Eric Greitens use the next generation's future as a political tool. 

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL

In a most cowardly manner, Greitens announced a slew of terrible decisions after 4pm on a Friday leading into a holiday weekend. He cut $250 million out of the budget, mostly from education and seniors. He signed the controversial SB43 which cripples discrimination protection in the workplace. He cut the wages of those who need it the most in St. Louis in favor of business owners. He vetoed legislation that would provide in-home care for seniors and the disabled. These decisions drew sharp criticism from members of his own party immediately.  But instead of taking responsibility for these damaging decisions, he keeps parroting his favorite campaign lines about "career politicians" being out of touch with the people. At least Greitens found the time to be in his own state when these announcements came. Nice to see he found his way back to Missouri from Washington DC.

Candidate Recruitment Continues

Think you have what it takes to make Missouri government better? There are several open or competitive seats for Missouri House and Senate coming up on the 2018 ballot. If you are interested, let us know. Email geoff@jacksoncodems.org and run@missouridems.org so we can discuss your best options.

Democratic Club Meetings/Events

  • Heartland Alliance for Progress: July 10, 5:30-7:00pm at Californo's (4124 Pennsylvania KCMO). Guest speaker will be Sara Baker, Legislative and Policy Director for the Missouri ACLU.
  • Phone Banking with HAP and others: Wednesday, July 12, 5:30-8:00 pm.   HAP partners with JwJ to make calls at their office at SEIU Building, 4625 Paseo, KCMO. Take your cell phone.  Take your computer if you can, but not mandatory.  Contact for this is also Fran Farah 816-516-5858.
  • Signature Gathering for Petitions: Ongoing. Call or email the JCDC office to find out where and when you or a group can sign petitions for repealing Right to Work, Clean Missouri, Green New Deal, Medical Marijuana, and others.

June 26, 2017

The Quarter is About to End; Help Us Meet Our Goal

The deadline to accept donations for this quarter is Friday. The Jackson County Democrats have set an ambitious goal of bringing on additional full-time staff for the 2018 election and, without new donors over the next year, we will struggle to achieve that important goal.  With two critical state-wide races and multiple opportunities to make gains in the Missouri House and Senate, we have to take advantage of momentum and that takes financial resources. Please make a contribution and consider making an automatic monthly donation between now and the 2018 election. Donate securely here.

Missouri Government News:

The Extraordinary Session That Will Never End

Governor Eric Greitens, who spends about as much time in Washington, DC and with the Koch brothers as he does in Jefferson City, has used the term "career politician" about a much as anyone in the country since his campaign started in 2015. But when given the opportunity, he seems to be turning our legislature, which works from January to May, into a full-time and year-long job to force through his radical agenda. Greitens broke with standing tradition (and some would say the letter of the law) when he ordered the House and Senate consider more restrictive abortion policies earlier this month. This was seen by nobody to meet the standards of calling an "extraordinary session" where taxpayers would be on the hook for up to $20,000 a day.  Now, weeks later, we are still several weeks away from reaching a conclusion as the Senate will not return to debate the House version of the bill until after July 4th. Greitens has also made threats that he would keep calling the legislature back for other issues that did not pass in the regular session.

Tax Credits Cost Missouri $5.4 Billion in Last Decade

(via Rep. Jerome Barnes)

Tax credits have cost Missouri $5.4 billion in lost revenue over the last decade, with an additional $3 billion in outstanding liability over the next 15 years from credits that have been authorized but not yet redeemed, according to a report State Auditor Nichole Galloway issued on June 21. Galloway, a Democrat, recommended that lawmakers more carefully weigh the purported benefits of the state’s various tax credit programs against their impact on the state budget.

“Tax credit programs serve a purpose, but each one must be regularly analyzed for efficiency, effectiveness and to ensure they meet desired purposes,” Galloway said in a news release. “Budgets are about priorities and the impact tax credits have on the budget has to be considered.”

Missouri has more than 60 tax credit programs, and their scope and structure vary. But the higher profile – and higher dollar – programs provide businesses with a mechanism to leverage tax revenue to finance development projects. How such programs typically work is a recipient is awarded a certain amount of tax credits and then sells them at less than face value to generate financing. So, instead of paying taxes to the state, the credit purchaser pays their taxes to the credit seller at a discount rate while being credited by the state with having paid their taxes in full.

Tax credits aren’t included as part of the state budget and can be cashed in years after the fact. As a result, in years when spending cuts are required, such as with the 2018 fiscal year state operating budget approved by lawmakers in May, achieving budget savings by reducing tax credit expenditures in a given year isn’t an option.

Tax credit programs have expanded greatly since the late 1990s but in recent years have generated more criticism regarding their impact on state revenues and whether they serve a legitimate policy purpose or instead primarily are unnecessary corporate welfare programs.

Candidate Recruitment Continues

Think you have what it takes to make Missouri government better? There are several open or competitive seats for Missouri House and Senate coming up on the 2018 ballot. If you are interested, let us know. Email geoff@jacksoncodems.org and run@missouridems.org so we can discuss your best options.

Democratic Club Meetings/Events

  • Heartland Alliance for Progress: July 10, 5:30-7:00pm at Californo's (4124 Pennsylvania KCMO). Guest speaker will be Sara Baker, Legislative and Policy Director for the Missouri ACLU.
  • Jobs With Justice and Clean Missouri:  Discussing the Clean Missouri ballot campaign dealing with ethics, lobbying, gerrymandering and more. Tuesday June 27, 6:00-7:00pm Sherwood Estates HMS Association 4120 NE Vivion Rd, Kansas City, Missouri 64119
  • Women Stars and Battle Scars: A panel of progressive women legislators will review the recent legislative session and talk about what to expect going forward. Panelists will include multiple state legislators. Moderated by Hon. Jolie Justus. Event Schedule: 5 pm – 6 pm: Social hour, light snacks and libations provided 6 pm – 7 pm. Tickets for this event are $50.00 though all donations are appreciated. Pay online or at the door. 1012 W 66th Ter, Kansas City, MO 64113. Questions or to RSVP, please contact Jane Crigler at (816)516-7643 or mjcrigler@gmail.com OR Reserve your spot onlinewww.mowomensleadership.com/event_calendar
  • Signature Gathering for Petitions: Ongoing. Call or email the JCDC office to find out where and when you or a group can sign petitions for repealing Right to Work, Clean Missouri, Green New Deal, Medical Marijuana, and others.

 

Legislature Works to Control Women's Health Despite Session Concluding A Month Ago

Governor Eric Greitens, who spent most of last week hanging out in Washington DC to get some photos with President Trump and pull in funds for his dark money PAC, ordered the Missouri General Assembly back to the capital to further erode women's rights over their own bodies. The legislation, which has been introduced each of the past several years and went nowhere, is not thought to warrant an "extraordinary session" but here we are, paying up to $20,000 per day to make Greitens feel good about forcing his extreme agenda on the taxpayers. After passing the Senate in the middle of the night, the measure seeks to invalidate a St. Louis City ordinance enacted in February that prohibits employers or landlords from discriminating against women who are pregnant, use contraception or have had an abortion. Other provisions seek to increase regulations on abortion clinics and grant the Attorney General the authority to initiate prosecutions for alleged violations of abortion regulations. 

Auditor Galloway Holds Department of Revenue Accountable

Still looking for your Missouri tax return?  State Auditor Nicole Galloway saw problems in the Department of Revenue coming months back and hundreds of taxpayers still haven't been issued their refunds even in mid-June.  Galloway has gone on record with many media outlets to let citizens know that the DOR is now being audited by her office and they may be entitled to not just their refund, but interest paid by the state for holding your money for so long. Here are few brief articles on the subject from Springfield's KY3 News, the Kansas City Star, The Pitch, and Missourinet.  Thank you Nicole for taking care of our tax dollars!

Get Certified to Become and Deputy Voter Registrar

The Jackson County Democratic Committee will be partnering with a few other organizations across the area to hold a class sponsored by local election authorities where you can become a deputy registrar. As voter registration is an important goal for us heading into any election, the more people who are trained in this area the better. If you are interested in this contact Geoff at geoff@jacksoncodems.org and let him know. Classes are tentatively scheduled for September.  Thanks to all who responded to this call last week!
 

Democratic Club Meetings/Events

  • Rep. Judy Morgan's 5th Annual Cookout: Join us on June 22, 5:00-8:00pm at her home (3837 Campbell, KCMO). More information to come.
  • Petition Signings: Right to Work Repeal, Green New Deal, Clean Missouri and other petitions have been circulating our area in recent months. If you know of an issue that requires signatures to be on the 2018 ballot, call or email us to get basic information and find where you can add your name to the effort. Ongoing.
  • Jackson County 2nd District Forum: June 21, 5:30pm at the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Center (3700 Woodland). Topic will be County Assessment and Collections. Hosted by County Legislator Alfred Jordan.
  • Northland Democratic Club: June meeting, Tuesday June 20th. 6:30 sign in and social, 7pm business meeting. North Kansas City Public Library, 2251 Howell St. NKC 64116. Petitions and information on Right to Work, Medical Marijuana and Clean Missouri will be available.


CONTACT US

Sign up for Blue Notes
Our website
Email Exec. Dir. Geoff Gerling
Missouri Democratic Party
Democratic National Committee
Legislator Lookup

 

Missouri Government News:

GOVERNOR PROUD TO LOWER WAGES, ATTACK WORKING CLASS
 

Gov. Eric Greitens on May 30 signed legislation into law that will allow local governments to pay lower wages to workers hired for public construction projects. The General Assembly granted final approval to the measure in April with nearly all Democrats opposed and all but a few Republicans in support.

Senate Bill 182 prohibits local governments from entering into “project labor agreements,” under which they agrees to pay union-level wages and follow union work rules on public works projects. Under the previous law, local officials had the discretion on whether or not to use such agreements, unless the state is paying for more than 50 percent of the project, in which case they were already prohibited.

Greitens, a Republican, signed the bill into law during a ceremony at Automation Services in Earth City, an industrial instrumentation company. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a fellow Republican who gained national notoriety for union-busting efforts in his home state, also attended the ceremony.

Greitens has also continued to push the idea of additional special sessions, this time to further restrict access to women's health services. An announcement could be made soon. Special sessions cost taxpayers roughly $125,000 per week, mostly for lawmaker per diem and mileage expenses.
 

SECRETARY OF STATE DISCUSSES NEW VOTER ID REQUIREMENTS

Last November, 63% of Missourians voted to support photo voter ID. As of June 1, Missouri's new voter ID requirements are now in effect. While the Republican led effort aims to serve as an additional burden to your Constitutional right to vote under the false pretense that voter fraud exists, this is nonetheless the law in Missouri now.

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft is hosting a series of regional information meetings sharing an update on the new voter ID requirements and encouraging individuals to register to vote. The only one scheduled for our area will be Tuesday June 6 at the Blue Springs Public Safety Building (1100 SW Smith Rd.) beginning at 9:30am. Expect a full house of people wanting to learn about the new regulations and voice their opposition.

Democratic Club Meetings/Events

  • Heartland Alliance for Progress: "Restoring Workers' Rights in Missouri" featuring Jessica Podhola of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. June 12, 5:30pm at Californo's (4124 Pennsylvania KCMO). Also please note that HAP will be meeting only on the second Mondays during the summer.
  • Rep. DaRon McGee town hall: June 10th at Avila University from 9:30-11:00am. Free breakfast as Rep. McGee reviews the 2017 session. RSVP to linda.spence@house.mo.gov
  • Rep. Judy Morgan's 5th Annual Cookout: Join us on June 22, 5:00-8:00pm at her home (3837 Campbell, KCMO). More information to come.

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