Legislative Column for the Week of Monday, Feb. 2, 2015
Legislative Update

JEFFERSON CITY — This week saw many pieces of legislation heard before the respective committees and on the Senate floor.

Heard in Committee

This week, Sen. Nasheed was proud to present Senate Concurrent Resolution 2 in a hearing before the Senate Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics Committee. This resolution would designate the month of November as Pica Awareness Month in Missouri. A constituent brought some challenges of this dreaded condition to the 5th District office in Jefferson City, and Sen. Nasheed has taken up the mantle of awareness for this misunderstood condition.

Also this week, Senate Concurrent Resolution 1 was voted out of the Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics Committee, passed out of the Senate and sent to the House of Representatives for its consideration. This resolution would designate the month of January as Sex Trafficking Awareness Month in Missouri. With interstate hubs at opposite sides of this great state, sex trafficking is a serious concern to Missouri law enforcement.

Both resolutions would take effect upon their adoption by the full General Assembly.


Senator Nasheed’s Ban the Box Bill (SB 44) was heard this week in the Senate Small Business, Insurance and Industry Committee.  As for that bill, Sen. Nasheed believes that removing the required felony admission from employment applications in order to foster better opportunities for those applying, as well as remove the feeling of failure from the applicant, which often keeps potential employees from applying in the first place.

Senator Nasheed’s Senate Bill 215 was referred to committee this week, a bill that would raise Missouri’s minimum wage from $7.65 to $10 per hour, thus enabling minimum wage workers in Missouri to better provide for their families. Hopefully, a hearing for this bill will be scheduled and held very soon.


In the Appropriations Committee, the National Guard came to present their budget. However, a major focus of the hearing was the involvement of the National Guard in Ferguson. The questions centered on who was in charge the night the grand jury decision was announced. Per the governor’s executive order, 14-14, the National Guard answered to the Highway Patrol, which answered to the governor.  Quoted in relevant part:  The Guard was “to carry out requests processed through the Missouri State Highway Patrol and ordered by the governor” (bottom of EO). Brett Johnson, of the Highway Patrol, was named as the ‘coordinator’ transmitting orders to the Guard (he was not in attendance). Call for help came from Ferguson at 11:16pm and the Guard’s rapid response unit arrived just before 1am.

The DESE budget was left unfinished until next week, but the committee focused on the Governor’s withholding funding for programs that the General Assembly had appropriated in FY15. The Governor also proposed further cuts to DESE programs.  Partial list of programs mentioned:

•  Scholar and fine arts academy — eliminated

•  Early grade literacy — eliminated

•  Bright Futures — eliminated

•  MO preschool — $3 million withheld in FY15, $3 million cut in FY16

•  AP dual credit — eliminated

•  Independent living centers — $400,000 withheld and cut

•  Sheltered workshops — $500,000 withheld and cut

•  Commission for the Deaf

•  Math & Science tutoring (in St. Louis) — eliminated. Note: tutoring in KC remained.

“In order to take care of Missouri’s most vulnerable citizens, certain funds are no longer negotiable,” said Sen. Nasheed. “We need to ensure that priorities are maintained and funded for the best possible future for our students in St. Louis.”

As an elected official, Sen. Nasheed has fought for math and science funding for the St. Louis area, a program she has advocated since serving in the Missouri House of Representatives.

“The governor needs to make sure that funds are going to the most vital of all programs,” Sen. Nasheed said. “However, this small percentage of funding will have a major impact on Missouri’s economy, both current and future. I am appalled that our governor has eliminated the funding for St. Louis students. I am not going to let this stand,” Sen. Nasheed stated.  “The fight will continue and I will stand up for St. Louis students, and will not let them fall through the cracks,” Sen. Nasheed declared.

Also this week, Reena Carroll, the governor’s nomination to the Missouri Community Service Commission, was confirmed by the full Senate. As Sen. Nasheed’s constituent, Reena Hajat Carroll was sponsored by Sen. Nasheed in the Senate Gubernatorial Appointments committee.

“I have no doubts that Ms. Carroll will continue to uphold the vision of the Missouri Community Service Commission, which is to strengthen Missouri communities through volunteerism and service.” Sen. Nasheed said.

On the House side, three separate Right to Work bills passed out of the House Workforce Standards and Development Committee.  After the hearing, Sen. Nasheed hosted labor representatives in her office to discuss the measures.

“This is a fight worth fighting,” Sen. Nasheed said.  “A strong economy requires a strong backbone. In Missouri, that backbone is our unions. It was good to coordinate efforts with some of the leaders this week. I plan on calling on them to help me fight against Right to Work.”