The Missouri Legislature concluded its annual veto session on Wednesday by taking decisive action to over-turn the governor's errant and ill-advised veto of Senate Bill 749.
SB749, which I was proud to co-sponsor, ensures that Missourians will not be forced to purchase coverage nor provide services that are fundamentally at odds with their deeply held religious beliefs and moral convictions.
Protecting religious freedom is not a partisan issue, nor is it a denominational issue. Accordingly, Missourians of all faiths united in support
of these measures to thwart the president's unprecedented assault on religious freedoms. Individuals and employers should not be forced to violate their religious beliefs in order to obey a law that is directly at odds with those beliefs.
The governor refused to represent the values of Missourians as the federal government acted to create this moral dilemma. Similarly, when given the ability to allow these protections to become law, he bowed to radical special interests that neither understand nor share traditional Missouri values and, with the stroke of his veto pen, knowingly and willingly yielded Missouri to the dictates of President Obama and Kathleen Sebelius.
I was proud to cast a vote in favor of over-riding the governor's veto, and was pleased to see the House do likewise. I join faith leaders and Missourians across the state in celebrating the successful over-ride of this veto and in protecting our religious freedoms.
Businesses, both large and small, should be able to decide the type of health insurance coverage they are going to provide. They do not need the government to tell them what to do.
Unfortunately, HB1329 was not brought up during Veto Session. HB1329 provided the clarity that the Missouri Supreme Court asked the Legislature to provide, manifested in abrogating the court's decision.
Unfortunately, the governor spun a politically expedient, though not at all accurate, message about the bill. HB1329 would simply have codified what has been the practice since before I was born: treating vehicles purchased out of state exactly the same as those bought in state.
HB1329 would not create a new tax. HB1329, which codified practice in place since 1949, was not in violation of the Hancock Amendment which was passed decades after this precedent. HB1329 would not have resulted in any retroactive taxes. Each of these three facts fell victim to a well-orchestrated fictional campaign against many members of the Missouri House. This fictional campaign was conducted by political operatives in Washington D.C. acting on behalf of the governor.
Lost in all of these political maneuverings is the fact that Missouri businesses are losing sales, losing revenues, and are already being forced to shed employees as a result of declining sales.
According to the governor's own numbers, just shy of $1 billion in annual sales will go to surrounding states instead of to Missouri businesses that employ Missourians. All because the governor is more concerned about the upcoming election than protecting Missouri jobs.
This is the sort of politics that Missourians are tired of seeing and that earn their well-deserved scorn.
Lastly, I want to thank Kerrie Jenkins, Jennie Ames, and all the staff, residents, and families of the Stratman Apartments and the Osage County Ability Center in Linn, Missouri for allowing me to join them for dinner Monday evening. I had a great time grilling hamburgers, but more importantly I was fortunate to meet many new friends. This is a wonderful facility that provides great opportunities for many.
I am in this office to serve the constituents of the 6th Senatorial District. Please contact us at (573) 751-2076 if my office or I can be of any assistance to you or if you have any questions.