For Immediate Release:
May 23, 2014
Contact: Christine Brauner
(573) 751-4106

Senators Respond to Governor's Promised Veto
of Student Transfer Bill

Last week, the General Assembly addressed one of the most important problems facing our state, the failure to provide children access to a quality education in their own communities. This situation has led to thousands of kids traveling substantial distances in order to find the education they deserve. Senate Bill 493 passed overwhelming in the Senate with a bipartisan vote of 28-3. The legislation addresses school accreditation and tackles some of the challenges confronting school districts in the school transfer process.

In spite of the months of bipartisan work that went in the legislation, the governor announced earlier today that he plans to veto the bill. Senate Leader Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, as well as senators from both political parties agree - a veto is a significant setback for some of Missouri’s most vulnerable children.  

“I am deeply saddened to hear that the governor plans to turn his back on Missouri’s children at a time when they need his leadership most,” said Dempsey.  “Senate Bill 493 is a bipartisan measure that passed overwhelmingly in the Senate, thanks to the tremendous effort of senators from across the state who worked tirelessly to find a common-sense solution to the transfer issue.  The bill we passed provides a path forward for our children to receive a quality education close to home.  It also requires accountability for failing districts and represents the most far-reaching education measure in decades.  

Unfortunately, the same governor who offered no solutions as this monumental piece of legislation was being crafted, now proclaims that he will use the power of his office to block the hard work of others.  While those in the educational establishment who seek to protect their turf at all costs will celebrate, our thoughts are with the children who are the helpless pawns in this pointless political game. 

Regardless of the governor’s actions and his lack of leadership, we can take satisfaction in the knowledge that the Legislature has fulfilled our promise to Missouri’s children. We have set forth a common-sense policy that provides a ray of hope to kids in failing districts.  If the governor intends to stand in the way of that policy, announcing his intentions on a Friday before a holiday weekend when many Missourians are likely to be less focused on news from Jefferson City, let him do so.  He answers not to us but ultimately, to the people of our great state.”  

Senate Leader Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles

“Senate Bill 493 was a proactive piece of legislation that brought all sides together. I’m disappointed that the governor did not see fit to sign it.” 

Senator David Pearce, R-Warrensburg

“The governor has provided no solutions during this process, offering only a fear-based public relations strategy and rhetoric. This bipartisan bill gave real solutions to real students. My disappointment is in knowing yet another few years’ worth of students has been deemed expendable in this political fight. The governor claims he is standing on principles, but where are his principles in standing up for children in my district?  Ensuring that Missouri provides the youth of this state with unsurpassed educational opportunities is my top priority and will remain so regardless of the governor’s actions. ” 

Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City