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Attacks on the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life!

The Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life, a non-partisan, non-issue development institute to train and encourage women to become involved in the political process, has been under attack in the midst of the Missouri legislature debating budget bills. The LWVMO supports the mission of this non-partisan institution and encourages you to read on about the efforts to de-fund this and other similar programs, and please write your legislators about the issue. Please remember you are contacting your Legislator as an individual, not as a member of the League.

There is language in two bills moving through the legislature that essentially erases the Sue Shear Institute. The most troubling is an amendment that was added to House Bill 1731, relating to funding for Veteran’s Homes.  The language is below. The language also exists in HB 2003, an Appropriations bill.  Appropriations bills are now in conference committee which will meet starting Monday (tomorrow) at 10am, so calls and emails to offices are urgent.

On the conference committee that meets tomorrow for HB 2003 are Senators Schaefer, Brown, Kraus, Curls, Green and Representatives Silvey, Stream, Hough, Lampe, Kelly.  LWVMO recommends contacting these Senators and Representatives in addition to your personal Senators and Representatives since these will be the legislators with the next opportunity to make changes to and vote on the bill.  With only two weeks left in session it is vital that this problem be addressed immediately. Please contact your legislators right now and tell them how outrageous this is.  Here’s a link that anyone can use to find out who to call: http://www.senate.mo.gov/llookup/leg_lookup.aspx  

You can read more about the issue here in a KC Star news article

Here is a link to the Senate Committee Subsitute that contains the damaging language

The language of these amendments is below:

Section 1. No public institution of higher education or campus thereof, political subdivision, governmental entity, quasi-governmental entity, division, board, commission, committee, council, state department or agency, instrumentality, public officer, employee of the state, or private entity shall operate the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life, any successor entity to the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life, or any other institute that engages in political activity or whose operations consist of the following, or have any connection whatsoever in the furtherance of the following:

(1) Tracking the participation of women at various levels of government;
(2) Increasing the presence of women on boards and commissions;
(3) Training college women leaders;
(4) Increasing the number of women in policy making positions in government;
(5) Encouraging women to seek public office

2. Any taxpayer of the state or any member of the general assembly shall have standing to bring suit against the state of Missouri or any official, department, division, agency, board, commission, committee, council, political subdivision of this state, public officer, quasi-governmental entity, employee of this state, or private entity which is in violation of this section in any court with jurisdiction to enforce the provisions of this section.

The Institute is non-partisan, non-issue.  They have always been committed to making the Leadership Academy and the LEAD program awesome for every single participant, every single year, without regard to personal political leanings.  The Sue Shear Institute works to encourage more women to get involved in the policy process, which would be illegal, according to these bills.

League of Women Voters of Missouri

Phone: 314-961-6869  l  Fax: 314-961-8393  l  www.lwvmissouri.org
8706 Manchester Road, Ste 104
St. Louis, Missouri 63144-2724

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