Galloway proposes whistleblower protection legislation to fix ‘gap’ in law
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – State Auditor Nicole Galloway is pushing the Whistleblower Hotline, replaying her concerns with SB 43, which took effect on Monday. The Auditor said she believes the Governor’s signature on the bill means “state law no longer protects public employees from being fired for identifying wrongdoing in the workplace, however, reports to the Auditor’s Whistleblower Hotline are anonymous and protected by law.”
“Whistleblowers must be able to raise concerns about government mismanagement without fear of losing their jobs,” Auditor Galloway said. “As the state’s only independent watchdog, I want to make sure we are able to shine a light on misuse of taxpayer dollars. Missourians deserve better.”
Galloway also shared a proposed legislative fix for lawmakers’ consideration in the upcoming legislative session. The State Auditor’s Public Employee Whistleblower Act would restore protections and add safeguards to ensure public employees can report inappropriate activity in the workplace without fear of retaliation or intimidation.
“My Public Employee Whistleblower Act positions Missouri as a leader for those who would speak out against government wrongdoing,” Auditor Galloway said. “This legislation reverses state government’s trend toward secrecy and fights against a chilling effect that could undermine the state’s ability to uncover wasteful, improper or illegal uses of taxpayer dollars.”
Sen. Jill Schupp and House Minority Leader Rep. Gail McCann Beatty plan to file the bill for the upcoming legislative session.
“As a state senator, I take seriously my role in protecting the interests of everyday Missourians,” Schupp said. “This legislation would encourage good behavior in our public institutions by granting protection for those who speak out against waste and wrongdoing. State employees should not have to fear the risk of retaliation when they stand up for the good of our state.”
Schuup and Beatty agree with Galloway in believing SB 43 removes whistleblower protections from the law.
“The legislature should make it easier for government employees to expose official misconduct, not punish them for doing what’s right,” said Rep. Gail McCann Beatty. “Auditor Galloway’s proposed fix to state law will help protect dedicated public employees who do what is necessary to hold government accountable.”
Individuals may contact the State Auditor’s Whistleblower Hotline by calling 800-347-8597 or emailing the Auditor’s office. Concerns may also be submitted anonymously online at auditor.mo.gov/hotline.