Polarizing Proposals: Missouri Legislators Push Hot Button Issues

Missouri Legislature Proposes Controversial Bills

Brianne Tremper, Editor-In-Chief, Writer

  The Missouri House of Representatives has been in the spotlight recently with decisions that some consider problematic. One of the most notable bills, “The Right to Bare Arms,” more officially known as House Amendment Number II, imposed a dress code for women on the House floor. There were also nine anti-LGBTQ+ bills in review, a record number, according to the Kansas City Star.  Numerous other bills are currently under review in the House. 

Dress Code

    The House of Representatives passed a bill on Jan. 13 that was criticized by members as sexist because it explicitly called out women, stating that “Proper attire for women shall be business attire,” while mens’ clothing options weren’t explicitly brought up. This amendment banned womens’ arms from being shown, requiring them to wear a second layer “blazer or knit blazer.” This law was reversed citing that it is uncomfortable for pregnant women to wear blazers.

Anti-LGBTQ+ Bills

     Missouri’s legislature is attempting to ban transgender athletes from competing in high school sports, according to the Kansas City Star. Another bill currently under review is a restriction on gender affirmative care for people under 18, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch. 

     There have been 27 anti-LGBTQ+ bills filed by Republicans in the Missouri House and Senate, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, making Missouri the state with the highest number of anti-LGBTQ bills. Senate Bill 134, similar to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, would ban conversation of sexual identity and preferred pronouns in schools, as well as require teachers to publish their lesson plans for parents to view. The version of this bill proposed in Missouri would occur all throughout public K-12 education. 

State Constitution  

     On Jan. 24, the legislature voted to amend the Missouri constitution. U.S. News and World Report reported that the change would take 51% of the votes to amend the state constitution. This was passed in lieu of Missouri voters passed a Medicaid expansion in 2021.

State Representatives (based on the location of Staley High School)

State Senator– Lauren Arthur, is a Democratic state senator for District 17 and was first elected in 2018. She was a teacher in the Kansas City area before holding office, and she serves on the competency-based education task force and the computer science education task force. 

Missouri Representative– Bill Allen is a Republican in the Missouri House of Representatives for District 1. He is a Vice Chancellor at University of Arkansas Grantham  and serves on the Special Committee on Homeland Security, Crime Prevention and Public Safety, Economic Development and Public Safety.