Thursday, January 12, 2023
Wednesday morning, January 11th, the Missouri House of Representatives passed the hotly-contested House Resolution 11 (HR 11) which handed unprecedented power to the Missouri Speaker of the House. Though Republican representatives pushed back in the days leading up the vote, in the end they ceded significant power to the Speaker, authority never intended for one person in our government.
IHCM and other Missouri grassroots groups issued action alerts urging Missourians to call their legislators and tell them to oppose these rules which basically give the Speaker of the House the power to decide the fate of all bills in Missouri.
As a result of HR 11, the Speaker is now authorized to do the following:
– Choose when and to which committee a bill is assigned
– Choose which rules committee would hear that bill once it passes (the bill also authorizes an additional committee)
– Choose the chair of those committees
– Chooses the committee chairman or members
– Decide when bills are referred to rules committee and to which committee they are referred
– When a bill can move from rules to the House calendar.
– Sole power to remove both a chairman and a committee member
Additionally the new rules would limited the number of bills reps can file to 20 without the Speaker’s approval. So basically, the Speaker now controls the flow of all legislation in Missouri.
Though the original language was actually worse — such as the provision limiting the number of minutes a Rep was allowed for floor debate from 15 to 10 (returned to 15 for the committee substitute) as well as no limit on the number of days a bill could sit waiting to be referred by the Speaker — the concessions leadership made took away even more of their power to speak for their constituents.
Only one Republican representative, Chris Sander District 33, voted “no”, the vote he pledged to make. Several House Democrats such as Peter Merideth from District 80 also voted “no” and filed strong, common-sense amendments which were all voted down. Two other Republican reps, Herman Morse District 151, and Cheri Toalson-Reisch Distrct 44, voted “present”. It takes a lot of courage to go against House leadership in any way and we are thankful for representatives who do.
(Photos courtesy of Jodigrace.com)
Unfortunately, the overwhelming “yes” votes mean that Missouri’s Speaker of the House is now second only to the governor in his ability to control the laws passed in Missouri.
Listen to Wednesday’s House floor debate on HR 11 here. Scroll to Wed. Jan 11. HR 11 Starts around 10:23:00.
What can you do?
IHCM is determined to continue supporting bills that affirm our health freedom and educating reps on which ones accomplish that — even if that means we stop more bad bills than pass good ones. It’s better to want legislation you don’t have than to have laws you don’t want.
Get involved with IHCM and learn which candidates will not give away your right to representation so easily. Stay updated by signing up for our email list below.
Our legislative team, Informed Health Choice, travels to the capitol weekly to talk to legislators about bills that affect health freedom. If you have questions, please join our email list, check back here frequently for updates, and connect with us via social media (see links below).
IHCM: Courage is Contagious!