Year after year during each new state legislative session the welfare and intelligence of Missouri residents is assaulted by a multitude of offensive bills. When I think they could not do worse than the last session, they surprise me once again.
The list of proposed bills this year includes: undoing the vote to expand Medicaid, scrapping personal property taxes that support schools, discouraging voting in primaries, creating armed militias, nullifying federal gun laws, allowing guns on public transit, ignoring the Clean Missouri referendum, honoring someone so divisive like Rush Limbaugh, denying systemic racism exists, diminishing powers of cities and health departments during pandemics, reducing minimum wages, limiting initiative petitions, funding private schools over public, limiting inspections of CAFOs, and much more.
With all that ideological rubbish, no wonder there is little time left to do the hard work to improve our roads, fund education, fight the pandemic, make voting easier and increase turnout, improve public health, reduce violence, prepare for climate change, unify our state to make it more competitive to attract businesses, and arrest the fall of our state to the bottom of so many quality-of-life measurements.
It’s obvious that far too many of our legislators are not working for the welfare of their state or constituents. And if they are not working for our good, then we should limit the time they have available to do harm.
Some states, like Georgia, restrict their legislatures to meet for only 40 days, while others, like Texas, convene only every other year. While I rarely agree with the conservative politics of southern state governments, they may be on to something good for Missouri that wants to become one of them. If we can’t vote legislators out of office because of gerrymandered safe districts, then let’s throttle the time they have to come up with and vote on nonsensical regressive legislation.