First, some good news this week from the governor’s office. Governor Greitens recently announced that 800 new jobs will soon be coming to Missouri. The new jobs will come from an increase in Missouri’s National Guard. The new jobs will include transportation units, military police units, and cyber units all having an estimated economic impact of $15 million. More on this topic in the first section of this week’s report.
In other news, Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have recently sued Missouri over a portion of a new law put in place by the legislature and the governor during one of the special sessions held this summer. Specifically, the two organizations are trying to block a provision of Senate Bill 5 that would require the doctor who will perform an abortion to give information about the procedure to the woman 72 hours before it is performed. Current Missouri law allows any “qualified professional” to discuss the information with the patient. Planned Parenthood and the ACLU believe the new requirement would place “extreme and unprecedented” requirements on women seeking abortions and would “unduly restrict” their access to the procedure. More on this topic in the second section of this report.
Finally, I would like to thank those who wrote or called in to my office with their suggestions on potential transportation funding options the Policy Development Caucus (PDC) could recommend in the pursuit of obtaining funding for road and structural repairs across the state. I appreciate your time and opinions! Before next session, I will organize these responses and present them to the full PDC when we return in January. Thank you, again: your input is vital!
800 New National Guard Jobs Coming to Missouri
Governor Eric Greitens recently joined Missouri National Guard Adjutant General Stephen Danner to announce hundreds of new jobs coming to Missouri. The two officials held a press conference at the Jefferson City Memorial Airport to reveal plans to grow the Guard with 800 new jobs. The new jobs include transportation units, military police units, and cyber units. Some of the units are being transferred from other states into Missouri. The governor says the new jobs are expected to have an economic impact of $15 million.
The new jobs include a new Transportation Battalion in southeast Missouri’s Fredericktown and a new Transportation Company in southwest Missouri’s Anderson and Monett. The new units also include the 1231st Transportation Company in Bridgeton and Columbia and the 1136th Military Police Company in Lebanon and Rolla. In addition, by the end of 2019, the new 1251st Transportation Company in Farmington and Perryville is expected to be in place, along with the 529th Trial Defense Team in Jefferson City and the 1135th Maintenance Company in Kansas City.
Missouri currently has approximately 9,300 Army National Guard soldiers.
Planned Parenthood Continues to Challenge Missouri’s Pro-Life Laws
Despite Missouri being a strongly pro-life state with an overwhelmingly pro-life legislature, organizations like Planned Parenthood continue to file lawsuits to challenge the laws put in place to protect the lives of the innocent unborn and the health of women. Most recently, Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union sued the state over a portion of the new law put in place by the legislature and the governor during a special session held this summer.
The two organizations are trying to block a provision of Senate Bill 5 that would require the doctor who will perform an abortion to give information about the procedure to the woman 72 hours before it is performed. Current Missouri law allows any “qualified professional” to discuss the information with the patient. Planned Parenthood and the ACLU believe the new requirement would place “extreme and unprecedented” requirements on women seeking abortion and would “unduly restrict” their access to the procedure.
Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley has stated that his office will vigorously defend the law. The challenged provision is one of several stronger safety regulations included in the bill that are meant to address a court ruling that struck down Missouri’s previous law that required abortion providers to abide by the same regulations imposed on ambulatory surgical centers. The court also did away with a law that required a doctor providing an abortion to have privileges at a nearby hospital. The new law is intended to protect women at clinics in the case of emergencies.
The General Assembly will now wait to see what happens with the lawsuit. The previous laws that were struck down by the courts have already paved the way for Planned Parenthood to seek licensing to perform abortions in Columbia, Springfield, and Joplin. For years Missouri has had only one abortion-providing facility in St. Louis. The Attorney General is now contesting this ruling as well in an effort to prevent the expansion of abortion providers throughout the state.
It is an honor to serve the 51st District in the Missouri House of Representatives. Each week I will issue a capitol report to keep you informed of activities in Jefferson City. Any concerns or issues you might have are of great interest to me. I look forward to your input and thoughts, so please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions, concerns, or ideas to improve our state government and the quality of life for all Missourians. My telephone number is 573-751-2204 or you may contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for working with me to make Missouri a great place to live.