For Immediate Release:
Sept. 9, 2013

(573) 751 - 4415
Missouri Legislative Black Caucus Vows to Lead the Fight to Sustain Governor's Veto of House Bills 253 and 436
House Bill 253 and House Bill 436 Would Disproportionately Impact Minorities and Disadvantaged Communities

JEFFERSON CITY — With the veto session of the Missouri Legislature set to commence this week, Sen. Jamilah Nasheed announced today that the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus stands solidly behind and in solidarity with the governor in his veto of House Bill 253 and House Bill 436, and vowed that the Caucus would be in forefront of the fight to sustain the governor’s vetoes.  Caucus members said that by devastating funding for public services, including education and public safety, House Bill 253 would have a disproportionate impact on low-income and minority communities. 

“House Bill 253 would funnel billions of dollars away from schools and other public services in our communities, and into the pockets of the wealthy special interests and lobbyists who helped write it,” said State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, chair of the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus. “This backward-thinking policy, which would reduce revenue by as much as $1.2 billion and increase taxes on prescription drugs, is not what the citizens of Missouri deserve. We support the governor’s veto of House Bill 253 because we believe in expanding economic and educational opportunities for our most vulnerable citizens – not undermining them with fiscally irresponsible experiments.”

House Bill 436 is yet another ill-conceived bill attempting to circumnavigate citizens’ constitutional rights.  There is often discussion of gun owners’ rights in both the House and Senate, protected by the Second Amendment.  This year, HB 436 was introduced that would have defied federal gun laws, as well as violated many citizens’ First Amendment rights.  The majority in the Legislature wants to make certain federal laws don’t interfere with the rights of Missouri citizens; however federal law is the law of the entire land.  “We cannot pick and choose where and what laws affect us,” Sen. Nasheed said.

In HB 436, it would also be a crime to publish, in print or digitally, the name of any gun owner for any reason.  This would include any potential news article regarding a burglary involving firearms, or even reporting the name of a random citizen for an act not related to firearms.  This prospective hamstringing of the First Amendment could conceivably even extend to court records, police reports, or the mention of the name of a person who owns firearms by a private citizen on a social networking site.  Senator Nasheed continued, “The language of this bill is too broad, and clearly violates both our state and federal constitutions.”

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