This Week’s Legislative Column from Senator Mike Cunningham

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Speaking Out Against Federal Overreach

This week I joined more than 100 of my fellow Missouri lawmakers in voicing opposition to the recent directive regarding transgender bathroom access handed down from the Obama administration. The unconstitutional mandate, which came in the form of a “Dear Colleague” letter issued through the departments of Education and Justice earlier this month, undermines the inherent rights of state governments and the American people.

I have signed on in support of a letter Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder has written and sent to the president’s office. The letter illustrates Missouri’s opposition to the decree and calls for the president to rescind the mandate. The federal government has no business in changing policies that affect local school districts in individual communities around the country. This issue, and others like it, should be discussed and handled at the state and local level.

The executive office has even gone so far as to threaten to cut federal funding for any schools found in noncompliance with the president’s demands. This unconstitutional, and frankly deplorable, bully tactic used by the president is an attempt to rewrite the law and cannot be tolerated. Missouri needs to stand with the multiple other states around the country that have spoken out against the directive and have filed suit against the president.

If we as a state allow this action to stand, we set a precedent of letting the federal government abuse its power and overshadow the state and local systems of governance. I suggest you contact your U.S. senators, representatives and the office of the president to let your voice be heard on this issue. This is a slippery slope the Obama administration has just set us on – let’s make sure we stand up against this problem before it worsens.

As always, I appreciate it when groups from around Missouri and from our community back home come to visit me at the Capitol. If you would like to arrange a time to come and visit me in Jefferson City, or if you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact my Capitol office at (573) 751-1882.