- 1 Ways to Resist
- 2 Updates
- 3 Actions Taken by the State Government
- 4 Key Upcoming Elections
- 5 Healthcare
- 6 Policing
- 7 Immigration
- 8 Voting Rights
- 9 Mass Incarceration
- 10 Benefits / Tax Cuts
- 11 Housing/Infrastructure
- 12 Women's Rights/Reproductive Justice
- 13 LGBTQ+ Issues
- 14 Educational Justice
- 15 Consumer Protections/Workers' Rights
- 16 Climate / Environment
- 17 Disability Rights
- 18 Organizations and Events
- 19 Local News Sources
- 20 Relevant City and County Information
Ways to Resist
- Contact your elected officials:
- Get involved with local organizations.
- Find organizations with state and local presences working in your area.
- Check out our Tools of Resistance.
- Look for upcoming events and opportunities and state and local events.
- 9/15/17 On Friday, in a one-sentence ruling, the full Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals put a temporary hold on a ruling issued by U.S. District Judge Howard Sachs in April 2017. Sach's ruling had said Missouri put an "undue burden" on patients seeking a safe and legal abortion, allowing Planned Parenthood clinics in Kansas City, Columbia, Jopin and Springfield to get licenses to offer elective abortion services. The latest ruling has blocked them from applying for licenses.
To see past updates for Missouri, click here.
Actions Taken by the State Government
Legislation that Supports Equity and Justice
Important bills proposed by Missouri lawmakers this legislative session that should be supported:
- HB 41 would require a special, independent prosecutor to be appointed for cases of police shootings.
- SB 338 would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
- HB 274 would require children under age 18 to be tried for most criminal offenses in juvenile court.
- HB 503 would create a law enforcement identification numbering system to track complaints against officers from one agency to another agency.
Harmful bills proposed by Missouri lawmakers this legislative session that should be opposed:
- SB 19, the right-to-work bill, weakens unions' power by allowing employees in unionized workplaces to opt out of paying union dues for the cost of being represented.
- HB 607 would increase criminal penalties, up to life in prison, for attacking a police officer or potentially even resisting arrest.
- HB 179 would make it illegal for protesters to wear masks or other disguises during unlawful assemblies.
- HB 86 "Blue Lives Matter" bill, would include members of law enforcement in hate crime protections.
- HB 202, HB 745 and SB98would require all public restrooms to be divided by gender; it defines gender as determined by chromosomes and identified at birth.
Key Upcoming Elections
Click here to find out if you're registered to vote. Register to vote here. The deadline is 28 days before Election Day. Bring proof of identification the first time you vote. A non-photo ID is requested every time you vote.
- Senator Claire McCaskill (D) is up for reelection in 2018.
- Missouri 50th State House District elections will be held August 8, 2017.
- The St. Louis Mayoral election will be held in 2017; the primary is March 7, the general election April 4.
- St. Louis City Council elections will be held in 2017; the primary is March 7, the general April 4.
- If there is a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, 203,000 people in Missouri (or 3.3% of the population) are estimated to lose coverage, whereas 504,000 people (or 8.3% of the population) will lose coverage with a partial repeal. (Retrieved 1/28/2017 from ACA Repeal Impact, state-by-state.) This is because with a full repeal, premiums will not increase the way they would under a partial repeal, since insurance companies will be able to discriminate on the basis of preexisting conditions and won't be required to provide essential health benefits. Not covering preexisting conditions will disproportionately affect people with disabilities.
- The number of uninsured people in Missouri is predicted to be 551,000 by 2021 under the ACA. Without the ACA, that number is expected to rise to 921,000, a 67.2% increase.
- Prior to the ACA's ban on gender-rating, women in Missouri could pay up to 31% more for the same coverage as men; an ACA repeal could bring back that coverage gap.
- Missouri is among the many states that lost the ability to place lifetime limits on coverage, because that practice is banned by the ACA; those limits are likely to be reinstated under a full repeal.
- Given that a repeal of the ACA would also change payment structures and subsidies, 46,000 jobs could be lost in Missouri in the event of repeal. When federal funding is cut, it creates a ripple effect that affects local and state revenue, thus creating losses in economic activity and employment.
- Democratic US Senator Claire McCaskill voted to keep the ACA, and is up for reelection in 2018.
- Under the ACA Repeal-and-Delay strategy, young adults in Missouri could pay $732 more in 2018.
- 105 people have been killed by police in the state of Missouri from the years 2013 through 2016..
- 42% of the people killed by police were black.
- In 2015, 100% of the people killed by police in Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri, were black..
- Black people are 3.5 times more likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts.
- St. Louis and Kansas City are among the state's largest cities with the highest police department killing rates per capita..
- Department of Justice Consent Decree 2016 - Ferguson
Incidents: Investigations began after fatal police shooting of unarmed Michael Brown by a police officer in 2014. African-Americans were also disproportionately affected by stops, citations, and arrests.
Findings: Violations of 4th Amendment by stops without reasonable suspicion, arrests without probable cause, and use of excessive force. Violations of 1st Amendment by police's interference with the right to free expression and right to record public police activity. Violations of 14th Amendment by racial discrimination in police and courts and lack of due process and equal protection rights in court.
Consent Decree 2016: Create a Civilian Review Board, engage in community policing; Re-training in use-of-force and de-escalation, bias-free policing, responding to individuals in mental health crisis, and of School Resource Officers to lawfully engage with youth and minimize use of force in schools; Protection of 1st Amendment rights including recording or complaining about police activity and engaging in lawful protest; Protection of 4th Amendment rights with stops, searches, citations and arrests; Mandatory investigation and correction of police misconduct and mandatory use body-worn and in-car cameras; Prohibit any law enforcement to generate revenue and reforms of municipal court policies.
- In 2013, Missouri had 233,261 immigrants, making up 3.9% of the population.
- There are estimated to be 55,000 undocumented immigrants in Missouri, making up 0.9% of the population.
Rights of Non-Citizens
- Missouri does not allow undocumented immigrants to get drivers’ licenses.
- Missouri does not allow undocumented immigrants to attend public college at the same in-state tuition rate as legal residents and citizens.
- In 2012, President Barack Obama signed an executive order (DACA) that defers deportation for children who were brought to the country as children. The action allows them to work lawfully but does not create a pathway to citizenship or give them legal status in the United States. In Missouri, 5,555 individuals have benefited from this executive action.
- 1.8% of K-12 students in Missouri had undocumented parents in 2014.
- Undocumented immigrants in Missouri made up 1.3% of the labor workforce in 2014.
- If all undocumented workers were removed from Missouri, the state would lose $2.3 billion in economic activity.
- Undocumented immigrants paid $44 million in state and local taxes in Missouri in 2012.
- Missouri requires all public employers to use E-Verify to check employees’ immigration status.
- Missouri does not have any counties or cities with sanctuary policies.
- In 2014, Missouri resettled 1,392 refugees.
- The Missouri Department of Social Services offers employment, health care and education services to refugees.
In 2016, the Missouri legislature introduced several bills to require the Secretary of State to set up a system for automatic voter registration, as well as to establish procedures for preregistration for 15- to 18-year-olds.
- In 2014, Missouri had 43,368 incarcerated people, plus a probation population of 51,197 and parole population of 19,402.
- 0 people are incarcerated in private prisons in Missouri.
- 1,053 juveniles are in custody in Missouri.
- Of the prison population, 2,807 people were serving life sentences, and 1,063 were serving life sentences without parole.
- In Missouri, a black person is 4.1 times more likely to be incarcerated than a white person.
- Corrections expenditures in 2014 were $137 million.
Benefits / Tax Cuts
- Missouri residents who face a tax increase under Trump’s plan:
- Households: 156,000
- Adults and children: 474,000
- Children: 285,000
- In 2015, an average of 398,662 households and 844,597 individuals received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP, formerly called Food Stamps) in a given month in Missouri. In 2011, approximately 16% of the population of Missouri was receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP, formerly called Food Stamps). The average monthly benefit per Missouri household was $255 per household and $120 per person in 2016.
- In 2016, an average of 38,473 households, including 16,601 families and 28,338 children, received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which is direct financial assistance, in a given month. The average monthly benefit for a single parent with three children residing in Missouri was $292 in 2014. Average benefits in Missouri have fallen in value by 34.4% since 1996.
- In 2016, an average of 32,003 women received funds from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in a given month.
- In December 2015, there were 7,023 Social Security recipients in the "aged" category who received $327.28 per person on average, for a total of $2,302,000.
- 165,100 low-income families spent more than half of their income on Housing / Infrastructurehousing.
- In 2014, Missouri had 37 units (less than the national level) of affordable and available housing for every 100 households categorized as “extremely low income” (at or below 30% of area median income.)
- In Missouri, there were 6,194 homeless people in 2016.
- Of the homeless population, there were 767 families, 575 veterans, 437 unaccompanied young adults (18-24), and 1,136 people experiencing chronic homelessness.
- Missouri received $517 million in federal rental assistance funding in 2014.
- In Missouri, more than 96,000 families relied on federal rental assistance in 2014.
- Nearly all Missouri households using federal rental assistance included children, elderly people or disabled people.
- Missouri infrastructure received a score of C- from the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2015.
- This study gave the state no “good” scores, and rated energy, dams, and inland waterways as being in “poor” condition.
- In 2013, the Department of Transportation found that 27.2% of Missouri's bridges were structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, and 31% of Missouri's roads were in poor or mediocre condition.
- Driving on these roads leads to an additional $380 per motorist per year in increased vehicle repairs and operating costs.
- According to Governor Jay Nixon (D), improving roads, bridges, and ports are major infrastructure goals for Missouri.
Women's Rights/Reproductive Justice
- Missouri has 12 Planned Parenthood centers; only one performs abortions as of April 2017.
- In 2015, 10 centers were in rural, medically underserved, or health provider shortage areas.
- On average, there is one Planned Parenthood for 98,167 women of reproductive age.
Policy Solutions / Issues
- There is one abortion provider in Missouri (down from two in 2015).
- In 2014, 3.8 out of every 1,000 women of reproductive age in Missouri had an abortion. The national abortion rate is 14.6.
Policy Solutions / Issues
- There is a 72-hour waiting period required after mandatory counseling.
- Parental consent is required for minors.
- Ultrasound requirements exist.
- Mandated counseling includes misleading information.
- Medical abortion is limited.
- Private insurance coverage is limited.
- State Medicaid does not fund most abortions.
- TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) laws exist.
Women and Wages
- In Missouri, 15% of women live in poverty. 41.3% of single mothers live in poverty, as do 10.3% of women age 65 and older.
- For every dollar made by men, women are paid $0.78, which is two cents below the national average of $0.80.
- African American women are paid $0.68 for every dollar paid to white men, while Latina women make $0.61 for every dollar made by white men.
- In 2012, 40,645 domestic violence incidents were reported in Missouri.
- In 2014, 34,841 people have received domestic violence services and over 23,000 people were turned away from shelters as they were full.
Religious freedom law
Religious freedom laws protect people's right to practice their religion and limit laws imposing on that right, and were intended to protect religious minorities. However, in Missouri the State Religious Freedom Restoration Act was enacted after same-sex marriage became legal and includes discriminatory provisions against LGBTQ+ individuals.
Missouri lacks nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, adoption, foster care, insurance, credit and jury selection, but has passed nondiscrimination policies for state employees. A so-called “bathroom bill” (forcing trans individuals to use the public toilets matching their gender at birth and not their gender identity) was introduced in the Senate in 2017.
Missouri lacks laws protecting LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in parenting, including laws on second-parent adoption, surrogacy, foster care, parental presumption for same-sex couples, de-facto recognition and consent to inseminate (meaning that in the case of the insemination of one member of a female same-sex couple, the partner not carrying the child is not automatically recognized as a parent).
Hate crime laws
Missouri does include LGBTQ+ people in its hate crime laws as a protected group, but does not require specific reporting of such crimes.
Missouri has passed laws prohibiting the enumeration of LGBTQ+ youths in anti-bullying policies and does not require school suicide prevention policies. The State does not promote transgender inclusion in sports and lacks laws on protection from conversion therapy, laws to address homelessness among LGBTQ+ youth, LGBTQ+ inclusive sex education laws, and LGBTQ+ inclusive juvenile justice policies. It has passed school laws that criminalize youth, which tend to disproportionately impact LGBTQ+ students. 
Health and safety laws
Missouri does not have nondiscrimination protections in the ACA exchanges and does not ban insurance exclusions for trans health care. It does not have trans-inclusive health benefits for state employees and excludes trans health care from State Medicaid. The State does not allow gender marker changes on identification documents but does collect health data on LGBTQ+ individuals. Missouri has laws that criminalize HIV/AIDS.
- HIV criminalization laws are those that make it illegal for an HIV-positive person to “knowingly expose” another person to HIV—in some states, this means that it is illegal not to disclose HIV-positive status to a sex partner, but many laws criminalize behaviors that are unlikely to lead to transmission. Because the laws focus on disclosure, not actual transmission, they serve no real purpose. All states have other, non-HIV-specific laws that can be used to prosecute transmission of HIV, so these laws just needlessly single out and stigmatize HIV-positive people and reinforce the image of them as “dangerous.” It also allows the saliva or blood of an HIV-positive person to be classified in court as a “deadly weapon.” HIV criminalization laws also disproportionately target people of color, mainly African Americans, and gay men.
- Missouri was ranked 29th in per-pupil spending as of 2013, with an average expenditure of $5,728 per student.
- As of 2013, Missouri ranked 40th in teacher pay, with teachers earning an average of $47,517 per year.
- 85% of students in Missouri attend public schools. As is the case in other states, students who attend private schools come from wealthier families, with private school families earning an average 64% higher income.
- As of 2014, public charter school enrollment accounted for 2.1% of total public school enrollment.
- Missouri's overall graduation rate is 87%, which is above the national average. By subgroups, four-year graduation rates are as follows:
- White: 90%
- Latino: 63%
- Black: 75%
- Asian/Pacific Islander: 82%
- American Indian: 83%
- Economically Disadvantaged: 80%
- Limited English Proficient: 64%
- Students with Disabilities: 75%
Consumer Protections/Workers' Rights
- Missouri has a minimum wage of $7.70. In addition to the exemption for federally covered employment, the law exempts, among others, employees of a retail or service business with gross annual sales or business done of less than $500,000.
- Missouri has no state law for paid sick leave.
- Missouri has no state law for paid family leave.
- Missouri is a state with an at-will exemption. "At-will" means that an employer can terminate an employee at any time for any reason, except an illegal one, or for no reason, without breaking the law. Likewise, an employee is free to leave a job at any time for any or no reason with no adverse legal consequences.
- Missouri also has a public policy exemption, meaning that an employer may not fire an employee if it would violate the state's public policy doctrine or a state or federal statute, including refusing to perform an act that state law prohibits (e.g., refusing an employer's request to commit perjury at a trial), reporting a violation of the law (e.g., reporting an employer's fraudulent accounting practices or use of child labor), engaging in acts that are in the public interest (e.g., joining the National Guard or performing jury duty) and exercising a statutory right (e.g., filing a claim under the state workers' compensation law).
- Missouri does not allow for implied contract exemptions.. An implied contract can be created in several different ways: oral assurances by a supervisor; or handbooks, policies or practices as written assurances by the employer. This means that if there is no written contract between the employer and employee, that employee may have an exception of fixed term or even indefinite employment based on an employer's statements. As a general rule, courts disregard language promising long-term, lifetime or permanent employment as aspirational and consider the relationship to be at-will.
- Missouri does not support the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing. Courts have interpreted the covenant in different ways, from requiring just cause for termination to prohibiting terminations made in bad faith or motivated by malice.
Climate / Environment
- About 16.5% of Missouri's electricity generation is from nuclear energy; 80.7% is from fossil fuels (mostly coal), and the rest is from renewable sources.
- Missouri has 33 sites on the National Priorities List.
- Approximately 5.6% of Missouri’s land is federally owned.
- In 2014, the Black population had the highest air pollution exposure indices—of 74—compared to an overall index of 55 and a White index of 51.
- In 2012, Native American people in Missouri were most likely to have asthma—14.8%, compared to 9.3% overall.
- The environmental agency in Missouri is the Division of Environmental Quality.
- Missouri's Climate Action Plan was completed in 2002. It offers options for reducing greenhouse gases, but does not articulate a specific reduction goal.
- The Missouri Clean Energy Initiative, passed in 2008, was one of the first renewable energy standards passed by ballot initiative. It requires a progressive increase in renewable energy generation to 15% by 2021.
- 14.5% of Missouri's residents are disabled, compared with the national average of 12.6%. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table R1810]
- The employment rate among disabled adults in Missouri is 35.3%, compared to the national average of 34.9%. People without disabilities in Missouri have a 78.8% employment rate. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table R1811]
- Approximately 17.6% of eligible voters in Missouri have one or more disabilities, compared to a national average of 15.71%.
- Of adults with disabilities in Missouri, 28.2% live in poverty, as opposed to 12.4% of non-disabled adults. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B23024] The poverty rate for disabled children under 5 is 24.6%, as opposed to 23.0% for non-disabled children.[2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B18130]
- In Missouri, 5.4% of adults between 18 and 64 receive SSI (Supplemental Security Income), which is equal to the national average of 5.4%. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B19056]
The Education Savings Account Act for Students with Disabilities
A bill has been proposed to allow the parents of disabled students to relocate the funds used to educate their children to an "education program of their choosing." This would take disabled students out of the hands of trained professionals and leave them in their parents' care.
Organizations and Events
Find state/local chapters of national organizations here.
Resistance and Social Justice
- ACLU Missouri
- Capital Area Missouri NOW, [email protected], @CapAreaMONOW
- Empower Missouri
- Gitana, performing arts and education]
- Jefferson City Area Indivisible, @JCMOIndivisible
- Missouri NAACP
- National Council of Jewish Women, St. Louis Section—working for general social change
- National Organization for Women, Missouri chapter
- Progress Missouri
- PROMO, equality for all Missourians]
Disability Rights Organizations
- The Arc of Missouri
- Brain Injury Association of Missouri
- Disability Resource Association, a Center for Independent Living serving residents in Jefferson County, Metropolitian St. Louis and surrounding counties
- Missouri Association of County Developmental Disabilities Services
- Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council
- Missouri Money Follows the Person (MFP), helping people transition from institutions back into the community
- Missouri Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Services
- Missouri Statewide Independent Living Council
- NAMI Missouri (National Alliance on Mental Illness)
- OlmsteadRights list of Missouri disability resources
- Southwest Center for Independent Living, serving people in the Missouri counties of Christian, Dallas, Greene, Lawrence, Polk, Stone, Taney and Webster
- State of Missouri Disability Portal
- Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Missouri updates
- Capital Area Missouri NOW events
- National Council of Jewish Women, St. Louis Chapter—advocacy and educational events
- Coffee, Cake and True Islam