Defending traditional families

Under the Dome: February 20-24

MONDAY, February 20, 2006

The Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee held a public hearing on SB 658, sponsored by Senator Joan Bray. This is a bill that would force all government agencies and political subdivisions to recognize all citizens’ “RIGHT” to contraceptives! Of course the bill, as written, conveniently fails to define “contraceptives” and by default would include all politically correct forms, including morning after drugs as well as late term abortions drugs such as RU 486.

TUESDAY, February 21, 2006

In the Senate Education Committee, Senator Jason Crowell introduced SB 736. SB 736 would explicitly allow the use of the Bible in various public school classes. In the committee, Senator Crowell pointed out the fact that the Bible is the single most quoted text in history. Regardless of your spiritual beliefs; you should still recognize the significance of the Bible with regards to history, literature, and a variety of social and academic applications. The chairman of the committee; Senator Gary Nodler when speaking in favor of the bill, announced that if we took the references to the Bible out of American history, we would have to throw out half of our history!

Keep your Legislature in prayer and write your elected House and Senate members on a pray card to keep handy as a reminder to lift them up before the Lord regularly.

The Senate Education Committee went into executive session and voted on the “Historical Documents Protection Act” (SB 806). It was voted out of committee as a ‘consent’ bill. (When a bill is voted out of the committee as a consent bill, it means that the bill cannot be amended on the floor – thus greatly increasing chances of ultimate passage.)

This same Senate Education Committee also heard testimony regarding SB 912, related to “virtual schools”. While this legislation has no direct impact on home education families or students, it is creating a stir among some folks who are concerned that it could negatively impact the overall home school culture/community. Missouri Family Network is working with Families for Home Education to make sure any Virtual Schools legislation is framed with the greatest protections for home school families as possible. Home schoolers are encouraged to stay abreast of these bills and feel free to call on us directly if confused or concerned about issues surrounding any proposals that sound threatening.

The Joint Committee on Transportation Oversight meet Tuesday afternoon to consider specialty license plates applications based on the states administrative process for such plates. As this process is outlined by law, any proposed plate can be approved as long as 200 or more pre-qualified plates have been requested and all the other guidelines met. However, since the administrative process bypasses the full legislature (as many plates are often created) any two members may block authorization of a particular plate with no debate required. Senators Joan Bray and Rita Heard Days did just that – they struck down the proposed specialty license plate that would bear the inscription “Choose Life”. (Maybe some voters should be more motivated to “choose another senator”!

The Senate Pensions, Veterans’ Affairs and General Laws Committee, which held a public hearing on SB 637 (dealing with midwifery) last week – was given a “do pass” vote in the committee this week. This means both the House and Senate bills are on the move in both bodies – an encouraging step that has not been seen since the first midwifery bill introduced 15 years ago!

SB 578 receive a final debate on the floor of the House – approved – and sent to Governor Blunt for his signature. Passage of this legislation now makes it a crime to interfere with a funeral in Missouri by protesting during an actual service, along the procession route, or at the grave site during a burial program.

WEDNESDAY, February 22, 2006

Wednesday was a good day for Missouri veterans! House Joint Resolutions 28 and 36 were each initially adopted in the House on Tuesday but by rule could not be “third read” until the next day. HJR 28, sponsored by Representative Jack Jackson, passed the House and seeks to exempt all properties owned by veteran’s organizations from state taxes. HJR 36, sponsored by Representative Mark Bruns, was also passed by the House and exempts any personal property from state taxation for any active duty military personnel who is serving our country overseas during wartime!

“Active duty in the military service of the United States” includes any member of the national guard or of any reserve component of the armed forces of the United States or who is a member of the United States Army, the United States Navy, the United States Air Force, the United States Marine Corps, the United States Coast Guard or an officer of the United States Public Health Service detailed by proper authority for duty with any branch of the United States armed forces and who is engaged in the performance of active duty in the military service of the United States in a military conflict in which reserve components have been called to active duty under the authority of 10 U.S.C. Section 672(d) or 10 U.S.C. Section 673b or any such subsequent call or order by the President or Congress.

These bills must clear the Senate but do not go to the Governor for approval because they are Constitutional Amendments. If adopted by the Senate, these proposed Constitutional Amendments will be placed on the November general election ballot for voter approval.

Representative Cynthia Davis presented HB 1075 to the House Children and Families Committee. This noteworthy legislation is poised to make a powerful change in how our children are taught sex education. Public schools currently have the authority to bring in whomever they want to teach reproductive health. Much controversy revolves around the materials that are used in these curriculums. It is very common for schools to use materials provided by Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood also has employees and volunteers who go in and teach these classes. Another part of their program includes recruiting students to lead discussions, and pass out their worldview materials. PP is not the only abortion provider that is involved in sex ed. HB 1075 would prevent anyone who has a financial interest in abortions to be allowed to teach, or provide materials on sexual reproduction. The bill would also require schools to notify parents of what materials are going to be used, as well as who is going to be teaching the class. You can check out the full range of issues that Planed Parenthood teaches, as well as student “resources” on their website ( www.PPKM.org/education.asp ) which include a wide range of offensive concepts, including homosexuality!

THURSDAY, February 23, 2006

Thursday morning the House Health Care Policy Committee focused on HB 1112. Sponsored by Representative Belinda Harris, this bill would statutorily codify Missouri’s recently enacted fiscal policy of encouraging childbirth over abortion. Debate zeroed in more on what was NOT in the bill rather than the fact that HB 1112 would create a Missouri Alternatives to Abortion Services Program as well as a Missouri Alternatives to Abortion Public Awareness Program. Pro-abortion members of the committee droned on and on with criticisms focusing on the fact that “family planning” is excluded from these programs. Missouri Family Network testified that such ‘family planning’ services amount to public funded sexual activity outside marriage! No taxpayer should ever be forced to pay for other people’s sexual activity!