JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A coalition of lawmakers from both chambers is calling on Gov. Mike Parson to include pro-life policies in a special session call.
The group, led by GOP Rep. Nick Schroer, called on the state’s chief executive in a letter Thursday requesting the inclusion of a prohibition on the use of public funds for abortions or for tax dollars to go to organizations providing them. Schroer requested a generalized call of whether the proclamation had to do with the state’s federal reimbursement allowance (FRA).
“Waiting until the next regular session of the Missouri General Assembly to deal with these problems is not a responsible or viable option,” the letter said. “We urge you to exercise responsible pro-life leadership by making a general call for a special session to prohibit direct and indirect funding of abortion and abortion-related services — leaving it to the Missouri General Assembly to best craft pro-life legislation to be sent to your desk for your signature.”
Schroer’s letter pointed to concerns over the new presidential administration, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones’ prior support for a “Reproductive Service Fund,” congressional attempts to revoke the Hyde Amendment, and the future of Medicaid expansion in the courts. The letter also cited policy victories over the course of the session, including the passage of new foster care and adoption tax credits and oversight for unlicensed youth homes.
The letter garnered signatures from 38 legislators from both chambers, including members of the Senate Conservative Caucus.
The request came the day after Democratic Rep. Sarah Unsicker sent her own plea for a session centered around the renewal of the state’s FRA tax. The program taxes health care providers, which is then matched by federal dollars at a higher rate, reimbursing providers and leaving the state with extra money by reducing the burden on the state’s Medicaid program, known as MO HealthNet.
The program is set to expire on Sept. 30, and its renewal stalled at the end of this year’s session in the upper chamber. Conservative members opposed attempts to extend the program without an amendment that would have prohibited the use of the funds for drugs or devices “that may cause the destruction of, or prevent the implantation of, an unborn child.”
The conflict stalled progress on the renewal through the end of session. Leadership in both chambers said a special session focused on the renewal would happen at some point before the expiration date arrived.
Calls for a special session have been prominent since the legislature adjourned sine die; Kansas City Republicans also urged the governor to recall legislators over a plan to reallocate a portion of the city’s police department budget, and other Republicans have asked for one tackling election security issues.
Cameron Gerber studied journalism at Lincoln University. Prior to Lincoln, he earned an associate’s degree from State Fair Community College. Cameron is a native of Eldon, Missouri.
Contact Cameron at firstname.lastname@example.org.