Legislative Column for the Week of Monday, Jan. 26, 2015
Legislative Update

JEFFERSON CITY — This Monday began the first regular week of committee hearings in the 98th General Assembly.


Senator Nasheed joined her colleagues on both sides of the aisle to oppose a pay raise for elected officials, but would not touch the salaries of state employees. Missouri state employees are currently among the least compensated in the country. “It was the right thing to do,” she said simply.

During debate on the omnibus agriculture bill, SB 12, Sen. Nasheed introduced an amendment that would mandate all products made with genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) bear a label. In her signature delivery style, Sen. Nasheed boldly challenged her Senate colleagues to consider the amendment. “I’m not here to say whether certain ingredients are good or bad,” she argued. “I’m just trying to make sure that we have the right to know what our children are eating.” The amendment was ultimately defeated, but as she said, “the issue is not [defeated].”



After a positive hearing in the Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday morning (1-28) , Sen. Nasheed’s Sex Trafficking Awareness resolution, Senate Concurrent Resolution 1, was recommended to the full Senate by a unanimous vote. “[The] victims of sex trafficking are vulnerable children: kids from poor families, children bounced around the foster care system, those whose caretakers are sick and disabled, whose parents are incarcerated, and who have been abused most of their lives. This legislation is an important first step,” she said. Senate Concurrent Resolution 1 will be heard by the full Senate next week.

The majority of Sen. Nasheed’s bills have now been referred to committees. Her deadly force (SB 42), special prosecutor (SB 43), and criminal records (SB 165) bills were referred to the Judiciary Committee, while her Ban the Box Bill (SB 44) was referred to the Small Business, Insurance, and Industry Committee, and will be heard on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015 at 1:00 p.m.  As for that bill, Sen. Nasheed met with eight students from Washington University to discuss the merits of the Ban the Box law.  Also on Tuesday (2-3), Senate Concurrent Resolution 2 will be heard in the Senate Rules Committee, dealing with Pica Awareness Month in Missouri at 9:00 a.m.


“It was a great discussion with a lot of back and forth,” she said. “It’s good to engage with the young people who will lead St. Louis into the future. We had different backgrounds and perspectives. Those differences allowed us to tackle the issue from all angles. I came out of the discussion even more convinced that Ban the Box would be a good law in Missouri.”


On Thursday, the full Senate took up Senate Concurrent Resolution 8 and Senate Concurrent Resolution 9, bills that provide funds for much needed improvement projects throughout the state. District 5 and the City of St. Louis were among the largest recipients of the money.  Senator Nasheed made a special point of ensuring that Prince Hall Family Support Center and Harris-Stowe State University were near the front of the line to receive this money.  “Prince Hall and Harris-Stowe especially needed this money for improvements,” Sen. Nasheed stressed.

Senator Nasheed used her social media presence this week to promote awareness of the Ellingson Drowning case. Last May, Brandon Ellingson drowned after Missouri Highway Patrol Officers arrested and handcuffed him while in custody on a boat. Last summer, the prosecutor declined to bring charges, but is now considering using a special prosecutor. 

“We still need to uncover some of the facts of this case. I encourage everyone to read the articles themselves. I just want to emphasize that there CANNOT be a double standard for the use of the special prosecutor.  Every unarmed person who is killed by the police or in police custody should have the same chance for justice to be done,” she said.