Life Issues Entangled In Sideshow Budget Battle
MOHELA – Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority Plans to sell off assets of MOHELA for life sciences research construction is on a fast track. While the vast majority of the funds involved would be used for otherwise appropriate causes a great fear looms over the political landscape like a thick river bottom fog. Currently Missouri has no protections against these funds being used to facilitate the creation of laboratories or other facilities to be used for human cloning and embryonic stem cell research in which multitudes of human embryos would be killed in the name of “life sciences”.
Passage of Amendment 2 created a constitutional right to clone human beings for research, as well as the right to engage in stem cell research by destroying human embryos and using tissue derived from aborted babies. This political quagmire puts pro-life and anti-cloning citizens and a variety of organizations in a position to openly and vigorously oppose any attempt by the legislature to authorize the sale of MOHELA assets to build life sciences research labs or any other facilities which could be used to assist in such unethical “research”.
While the primary purpose for the plan to sell these assets is to initiate capitol construction projects, this should not occur. First note that the profits of MOHELA come from those students who use the student loans. These students are overwhelmingly from private and community colleges. However, the biggest benefactor of the sell off plan is the University of Missouri and other public institutions (private colleges would NOT qualify). Therefore – to promote equity, protect the loan authority from fiscal policy erosions, and to guarantee these public funds not be used for unethical cloning or ESC research – Missouri Family Network supports and advocates that any revenues from the sales of MOHELA should only and solely be used for student loan support services. This would be to lower loan rates, forgive debts, and/or offer grants for all qualifying students attending ALL institutions of higher learning, public or private!
Pro-life citizens need to contact their House and Senate members to encourage them NOT to allow “any public funds”, including the MOHELA assets or sales profits from being used in ways that could support cloning or destructive ‘research’ on embryonic stem cells!
Monday, Jan. 1st
Even though there was no session on New Years Day, the Capitol building is full of activities. Members of the House of Representatives and State Senate, along with staff, families and friends began last dayÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s preparations for both the ceremonies on Wednesday, and for the long months of work ahead.
Tuesday, Jan. 2nd
Missouri Family Network co-sponsored and participated in the 6th Annual Capitol Legislative Academy. We started out the day by learning about the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the legislative process.
Other basic topics that where addressed included protocol (what to wear… what NOT to wear!), and how to properly address your elected officials. It is very important in this environment to have a proper understanding of decorum, tradition and proper way to present yourself as well as your arguments. for the rest of the afternoon attendees focused on more application, as every one participated in a mock hearing, and other valuable exercises.
Among many of the special guests who stepped in to address the group was House Speaker Pro Tem Carl Bearden who provided a verbal outline of the Missouri State budget process, Representative Jim Lembke who explained the need and probable strategies for dealing with post-amendment 2 (embryonic stem cells and cloning), and Mr. Ed Martin Chief of Staff for Governor Blunt.
Other sponsors who were also heavily involved in the program would include. Lois Linton and Janet Englebach of Missouri Eagle Forum. Ronnie Margason with the Republican Federation of Women. Bev Ehlen from Concerned Women of America. As well as Evelio Estrada representing CasiNO Watch.
Thank you to every one who came, and every one who gave of their time to make this event successful.
Make plans on joining us next year!
Wednesday, Jan. 3rd
Concord Baptist Church in Jefferson City was gratuitous in hosting the Third Annual Prayer and Dedication Service for all elected Missouri State Officials. This forum was open to the public; numerous church members, clergy and family had the opportunity to join with all the elected officials who attended this event. Many of whom came from all across the state to join with us in prayer for our state leaders.
In a thought provoking charge presented by Christian Life Commission (MBC) Chairman, Rodney Albert challenged the Governor and other officials to remember their God given rolls as defined by the scriptures, and their responsibilities. The event was attended by many Senators and State Representatives, members of the Missouri Supreme Court, various agency directors, and both Governor Matt Blunt and Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder. (A number of others were also dotted throughout the crowd, making it a well rounded program.)
In the House of Representatives:
The first day of Session Started at noon with the swearing in of all members of the House of Representatives since both experienced and freshman Representatives were all elected in November.
Leaders from both the majority and the minority parties were given an opportunity to address the full body, following election of House leadership. Former Speaker of the House Representative Rod Jetton was elected to continue in the top post.
In the Senate Chambers:
The Senate proceedings followed the same outline – Swearing in of the new Senators elect (half of the body due to staggered four year terms whereby even and odd numbered districts are divided so each two year election cycle address half of the Senate). Senate President Pro Tem Senator Michael Gibbons was also reelected to continue as the Senate’s top lead. (By constitutional guidelines the Lt. Gov. serves as the formal President of the Senate but is only authorized to vote as a tie breaker due to the even number of senators (34).)
Senator Tim Green drew media attention as he hijacked the day speaking on ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œa point of personal privilegeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â. During his speech he broke the Senate tradition of reserving the first day as purely symbolic and ceremonial by blasting republicans (he being democrat) for not upholding senate traditions.(‘?’) His main objection being the use of parliamentary procedures to “call the question” thus breaking filibusters against pro-life legislation.
These ceremonies as well as all sessions of the House and Senate are broadcast as a live stream. Go to: http://www.moga.state.mo.us and select which chamber you want to listen in on, any time either body is in formal session.
At the Legislative Ball which occurs opening session evening following every two year election cycle, each individual elected official is (and was) formally presented along with their spouse (or significant other partner – including homosexual partners).
Thursday, Jan. 4th
“Foundations of Faith” was the title for the Governors Prayer Breakfast. Of the many people who took part in the program, former United States Attorney General John Ashcroft presented the key note address. Former Governor Ashcroft and current Governor Blunt spoke eloquently to the needs of spiritual faith in the discharge of secular governance. Gov. Blunt, who is known for short addresses and for not being a public orator, gave a brilliant rendering of the historical precedence and need for personal and public faith. Former Gov. Ashcroft spoke convincingly of the Foundations of Faith in government. With a political background incomparable, he used colorful word pictures to express how we do not IMPOSE our faith upon anyone – but how important it is to EXPOSE or faith – especially in the public square.
Legislative Activities: (Bills & Members)
House and Senate both went into regular sessions. Both bodies moved through the procedural process of introducing a laundry list of new bills which are now waiting for committee assignments.
Every year, but especially in election years the leadership dynamics at the capital changes dramatically. Please be in serious prayer over the committee assignments. Committee chairmen control the flow of legislation in their respective committees; deciding whether or not legislation moves on, changes in meaning, or simply dies. Likewise, various bills will face certain doom or added attention for possible passage when assigned to various committees and the culture of those groups.
As the gears of the Legislature begin turning – a smooth idle for some & a grinding mangled death for others – committee cultures translates into either a flow of trustworthy legislation that is straight forward and dependable in its meaning or convoluted legal ease designed to deceive and damage. Whatever the case, we must keep constant watch on the language in the legislation coming out of these committees. One or two words can have a devastating impact on out families.
Please employ regular prayer for those in your state government and for those of us who are there to work with them!