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Mid-September Blue Notes

House Advances Drug Court and Education Bills to Senate in Special Session

(via Rep. Jerome Barnes)

The Missouri House of Representatives on Sept. 12 passed legislation to expand Missouri’s system of specialized treatment courts that promote recovery over punishment and also approved a separate bill that seeks to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics – or STEM – education. Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, called lawmakers back for a special legislative session on the two issues after he vetoed earlier versions of the bills due to constitutional flaws.
House Bill 2 builds on work pioneered by U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, who was instrumental in developing and implementing Missouri’s first drug court in 1993 while serving as Jackson County prosecuting attorney. HB 2 expands treatment courts to all Missouri counties and refines the standards for their operation. It passed on a near-unanimous vote of 141-1.
House Bill 3 to promote STEM education also passed overwhelmingly, 119-23, but sparked some opposition and lengthy debate due to a provision of the bill that would allow high school students to substitute one credit-hour of mathematics with a credit-hour of computer science, which at present can be taken as an elective. Critics warned dropping a mandatory credit-hour of math would leave more students unprepared for college, something the bill acknowledges by requiring parents of students who take the option to sign a consent form noting it “may have an adverse effect on college admissions decisions” since many universities require four credit-hours of math.
The bills now advance to the Senate, which was expected to pass both on Sept. 14. If all goes to plan, the special session will conclude with some procedural actions on Sept. 19.
Update on Clean Missouri (Amendment 1)
(via Sean Nicholson)
We wanted to share a few updates from the campaign office about this week’s legal fight. We are confident we’ll prevail in our appeal of the local court’s ruling about Amendment 1. Here’s why:
  • We’ll be in the Western District Court of Appeals (in Kansas City) this Thursday afternoon at 2:30pm, and we expect a ruling very soon after the hearing. Our legal team filed our first brief to the appeals court yesterday, and it's very clear that the circuit court judge erred in his ruling last week.

  • Amendment 1 is constitutional. As Attorney General Josh Hawley told the Circuit Court on behalf of Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft: Amendment 1 "does not contain multiple subjects [and] it does not amend multiple articles." Attorney General Hawley's analysis was correct, as was his assertion that "The measure [Amendment 1], if enacted by the voters, would promote transparency and accountability in the General Assembly."

  • Senator Rob Schaaf, former Senator Jim Lembke, former Senator Bob Johnson, and Common Cause filed an amicus brief in support of Amendment 1 on Saturday. "The voters of Missouri, rather than the courts, should decide the fate of this important initiative," they told the court. "The Clean Missouri initiative, if enacted by the voters, would improve democratic accountability of the legislature in very important ways."

  • The case law, facts, and people are all on our side. More than 300,000 Missourians signed petitions demanding a vote on Amendment 1, and they're going to get that chance on November 6.

That’s why our campaign is still moving at full speed towards Election Day. What the lobbyists really want is to discourage, distract, and disorganize us — and to drain our resources in the final weeks before Election Day.

We’re not going to let them do that.

So here are my asks to you:

  • If you're in the Kansas City area (or even if you aren't), join us Thursday afternoon at the Court of Appeals. The hearing begins at 2:30 PM, so come early to get through security and find a seat.

  • Make sure people understand who is fighting to protect the corrupt status quo in Jefferson City with this lawsuit: A lobbyist for disgraced former Governor Eric Greitens, another powerful lobbyist, and the personal lawyer for Missouri’s biggest donor.

  • Join us for rallies and canvasses around the state Wednesday evening to shine a light on who we're fighting against, and to keep taking our message directly to voters.


Be Aware of Voter Registration Deadlines

Keep these dates in mind if you need to vote absentee or if you have recently moved and need to update your registration:

October 10: last day to register

September 25: first day of absentee voting

You can always check the Secretary of State's office for the forms to register or update registration HERE.  You can also confirm your registration, which is recommended, HERE. Don't wait until it's too late; confirm everything is in order!


Do Your Part to Ensure Victory in November

From knocking doors, making phone calls, donating money or helping to provide rides to the polls, we all need to do something to get big wins in November. Visit one of the field offices and see what you can do.  Coordinated campaign offices are staffed at 3600 Broadway in Kansas City, 221 W Lexington in Independence, and 519 SE Melody Lane in Lee's Summit.  Every bit helps!


Upcoming Club Meetings and Events:

  • Heartland Alliance for Progress: "Who and What's on the Ballot" informational event featuring candidates in contested races and ballot issues, specifically Amendment 1 (Clean Missouri, to limit the influence of money and lobbyists in politics and and to draw district boundary lines according to fair and competitive standards), Proposition B (to raise the STATEWIDE minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2023), and Proposition D (the Gas Tax Increase, Olympic Prize Tax Exemption, and Traffic Reduction Fund Measure). Monday, September 24th 5:15-7:00pm at Californo's (4124 Pennsylvania KCMO). RSVP to
  • Keri Ingle Reception with Jean Peters Baker: Join one of our top candidates and Jackson County's Prosecutor Tuesday September 18 at Stockyards Brewing Co (1600 Genessee St KCMO) from 5:30-7L00pm.
  • Raytown Democratic Association: Monthly meeting, Thursday September 20 at 7pm. Las Chili's (6310 Raytown Road). Come early for dinner at 6pm and make new friends!  Guest speaker will be Jackson County Legislator Tony Miller to discuss changes to the county charter.
  • Jackson County Democratic Committee: Regular business meeting, October 9th, Jackson County Courthouse in Kansas City (415 E. 12th St), 7pm.
  • United Eastern Democrats: Regular meeting September 26th, social hour at 6pm, meeting at 7pm. Courthouse Exchange (113 W. Lexington on the Independence Square).

Campaign Kick Off Event
Hosted by
Hon. Scott Wagner Kansas City Mayor Pro Tem Senator Lauren Arthur
Katheryn Shields, KC City Council David Mecklenburg, KC Parks & Recreation Board
Jared Campbell Larry Bradley Karen Crutcher John & Teresa Polito
Marlin & Linda Roberts Stacey Johnson-Cosby, candidate for KC City Council
DaRon McGee, Mo. State Representative Ingrid Burnett, Mo. State Representative
John Burnett Mark Morales
Candidate for HD 16
Wednesday, September 26th
5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
The Brass Rail
CLICK HERE to donate on line
Mail checks to:
FYI: Tom's last name is pronounced "Gor- ence"


27th Annual Torch Dinner
First We Marched, Now We Vote!
Friday, September 21, 2018
6:00 pm to 9:00 pm 
Cocktails & Silent Auction 6:00 pm, Politician & Candidate Recognition 7:00 pm, Followed by Dinner
Admission Includes Dinner and Open Bar.  Free parking on site.      

Reservation Deadline: September 17th
Ad Deadline: September 14th

Purchase tickets and ads online here.