Sep 172012
 

Before the sun set on the day of the final passage of SB 749, a Kansas City labor organization filed suit in Cole County Circuit Court seeking to invalidate the law. The suit seeks an injunction to prevent enforcement of the new law, arguing that SB 749 is preempted by the recently passed Affordable Care Act and by ERISA, a federal law that governs employee benefit plans offered by private employers. The lawsuit also argues that SB 749 violates the Missouri Human Rights Act, stating it discriminates on the basis of sex and religion.

Numerous federal lawsuits have already been filed challenging the federal HHS mandate, including one filed on behalf of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and Catholic Charities of St. Louis.

The MCC looks forward to joining with others in vigorously defending the new SB 749 religious liberty law.

 September 17, 2012  Posted by at 5:34 pm Health Care, News, Religious Liberty Tagged with:  1 Response »
Sep 172012
 

Every vote counts. SB 749 — the religious freedom bill — passed the Missouri House of Representatives on Wednesday, Sept. 12, by the bare number (109) votes required to override Gov. Nixon’s veto of the bill in July.

Every one of those votes was needed. One vote less and no override would have taken place. Thanks to all MCC Network members for the tremendous outpouring of support for SB 749. Your contacts to legislators truly made the difference.

Sen. John Lamping (R-Clayton) sponsored SB 749 and came in for harsh criticism, mainly from people who failed to read the bill or relied on the often skewed reporting in the secular media.

The new law affirms religious liberty and ensures that people can follow their most deeply held religious and moral beliefs when making decisions about what kind of health insurance to buy.

The Missouri Catholic Conference repeatedly told legislators that no one should be forced to pay for someone else’s abortion or to pay for contraceptives when this violates their moral or religious beliefs.

Two democrats – Victor Callahan (D-Independence) and Ryan McKenna (D-Crystal) joined Republicans to override Gov. Nixon’s veto in the Missouri Senate. In the senate, the veto override passed easily, with three votes to spare, but the fate of SB 749 came down to a nail-biter closing vote in the Missouri House.

There were some real profiles in courage on the House vote. Democrats who had voted for the bill in May came under tremendous pressure from the governor’s office to switch their vote and sustain the veto. But seven of them held firm and voted to override, defying the governor of their own party.

The “magnificent seven” included state representatives from all corners of the state: Terry Swinger (D-Caruthersville); Ron Casey (D-Crystal City); Joe Fallert (D-Ste. Genevieve); Ben Harris (D-Hillsboro); Ed Schieffer (D-Troy); Paul Quinn (D-Monroe City); and, Tom Shively (D-Shelbyville).

Rep. Schieffer came in a wheelchair, having just left the hospital for surgery. He came even though he needed intravenous medication through a port twice a day.

The heroics by the small band of Democrats, however, would have been to no avail without nearly unanimous support from House Republicans. Newly elected House Speaker Tim Jones (R-Eureka) cajoled most of his caucus to override the veto, though there were a few defections.

State Rep. Sandy Crawford (R-Buffalo) handled SB 749 on the House floor, while State Reps. John Diehl (R-Town and Country) and Thomas Long (R-Battlefield) worked hard to secure the votes of Republicans.

The Associated Press reported that the new SB 749 law may represent the first state law passed in the nation to offer a direct rebuke to contraceptive mandate issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) earlier this year.

Click on the name of your diocese below to see how legislators in those areas voted on SB 749.

 September 17, 2012  Posted by at 10:13 am Abortion-Drug Mandate, News, Religious Liberty, SB 749 Veto Override Tagged with:  No Responses »
Sep 142012
 

On Wednesday, Sept. 12, the Missouri House and Senate voted to approve an override of Gov. Nixon’s veto of SB 749 to protect religious liberty.

The MCC separated the votes of each chamber by diocese.

Click the links below to see the votes of the legislators in:

Click here to download the PDF of the House votes to see how your representative voted.

Click here to download the PDF of the Senate votes to see how your senator voted.

 September 14, 2012  Posted by at 12:45 pm Abortion, Abortion-Drug Mandate, News, Religious Liberty, SB 749 Veto Override Tagged with:  1 Response »
Sep 142012
 

On Wednesday, Sept. 12, the Missouri House and Senate voted to approve an override of Gov. Nixon’s veto of SB 749 to protect religious liberty.

The MCC separated the votes of each chamber by diocese. Below is a list showing how the legislators in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph voted. Click here to download a PDF of the list.

Sep 142012
 

On Wednesday, Sept. 12, the Missouri House and Senate voted to approve an override of Gov. Nixon’s veto of SB 749 to protect religious liberty.

The MCC separated the votes of each chamber by diocese. Below is a list showing how the legislators in the Archdiocese of St. Louis voted. Click here to download a PDF of the list.

Sep 142012
 

On Wednesday, Sept. 12, the Missouri House and Senate voted to approve an override of Gov. Nixon’s veto of SB 749 to protect religious liberty.

The MCC separated the votes of each chamber by diocese. Below is a list showing how the legislators in the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau voted. Click here to download a PDF of the list.

 

 

 

 

 September 14, 2012  Posted by at 12:30 pm Abortion-Drug Mandate, News, Religious Liberty, SB 749 Veto Override Tagged with:  No Responses »
Sep 132012
 

On Wednesday, Sept. 12, the Missouri House and Senate voted to approve an override of Gov. Nixon’s veto of SB 749 to protect religious liberty.

The MCC separated the votes of each chamber by diocese. Below is a list showing how the legislators in the Diocese of Jefferson City voted. Click here to download a PDF of the list.

 

 

 September 13, 2012  Posted by at 4:14 pm Abortion-Drug Mandate, News, Religious Liberty, SB 749 Veto Override Tagged with:  No Responses »
Sep 072012
 

At noon Wednesday, the Missouri Senate will take up and consider SB 749 — the religious liberty bill that ensures that no one is forced to pay for abortion drugs, etc., in their health insurance when this violates their moral or religious beliefs. If the senate overrides the governor’s veto, then SB 749 goes to the Missouri House for that body’s consideration. The votes in both chambers are expected to be very close. The key will be whether supporters show up in Jefferson City to vote. If you have not yet contacted your legislators, please do so now. Click here to read the MCC’s final action alert on SB 749.

 September 7, 2012  Posted by at 1:22 pm Abortion-Drug Mandate, News, Religious Liberty, SB 749 Veto Override Tagged with:  3 Responses »
Aug 312012
 
By our count, it’s going to be a very close vote on whether legislators override the governor’s veto of SB 749. One of the biggest challenges is going to be making sure people show up. Some legislators lost their primary election, while others are term-limited and not coming back next year. For these legislators, there is no political gain in coming to Jefferson City (sometimes from far corners of the state) for a one- or two-day veto session.

Why should they come? Because they still represent their district and have a duty to perform the duties for which they were elected. Also this is not just any bill or any vote. Here is a moment when they can stand up for a fundamental human right — religious liberty. Call or visit your state senator and state representative (the personal touch is most needed now) and urge them to “be there” in Jefferson City on Sept. 12. If you don’t know who your legislators are or don’t know their contact information, call the MCC toll-free at (800) 456-1679.

Aug 182012
 

Recently, the MCC has gotten calls from people who are fired up about the upcoming election and want to enlist the Church in campaigns supporting or opposing certain candidates. We dutifully tell them what we have said many times: the Church cannot legally endorse or oppose any candidates (click here to review “What Churches Can and Cannot Do During Elections”). What parishes can do is get involved in issues like the religious liberty bill – SB 749.  Click here for an MCC alert on how parishes can help override the governor’s veto of this bill.

 August 18, 2012  Posted by at 3:55 pm Missouri General Assembly, News, SB 749 Veto Override Tagged with: ,  No Responses »