CALLS TO ACTION

Here is where you will find our weekly calls to action as they happen! 

Senate

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Tell your Senator to take a stand against attacks on our most vulnerable Missourians--vote NO on HB1443 & SB561!

Over 900,000 Missourians were living in poverty in 2016 and nearly 290,000 are children. Two bills in the Senate, HB 1443 and SB 561 would punish these Missouri children who have no control over their circumstances. HB 1443 prohibits temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) benefit cards from being used at ATMs or to access cash, and further limits the items that may be purchased with TANF or SNAP benefits. SB 561 changes the requirements for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits by punishing people who fail to meet federal work requirements for SNAP by cutting off benefits and, if they are the head of household, cutting of the entire household as well.

Indivisible Missouri opposes HB 1443 & SB 561 because children shouldn't be punished for the acts of their parents!

HB 1443--

  • HB 1443 places further restrictions on purchases using SNAP and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) benefits. Under HB 1443, an individual who purchases a prohibited item or makes a purchase in a prohibited establishment using SNAP or TANF funds could lose TANF benefits for a period of five years. TANF funds help families in poverty pay for essential living expenses. Children should not have to suffer the traumatic consequences of losing this necessary benefit due to a parent’s ill-considered action.

  • Children would be punished for their parents’ actions and forced to go without benefits for three to six months or permanently through no fault of their own. Under HB 1443, if a disqualified individual is the head of a household, the household would then be ineligible to receive TANF benefits for a period of three months, six months, or five years. To withhold these benefits as punishment is utterly unconscionable.

  • Families should not be cut off from accessing much needed cash for essential items. HB 1443 would prohibit using a SNAP or TANF EBT card at an ATM or from receiving cash back on a purchase. Not every item a family needs can be purchased with an electronic card. Cutting off access to cash can devastate an already needy family. Some need cash to pay rent, transportation, school expenses, or other necessities.

SB 561--

  • SB 561 changes the requirements for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits by punishing people who fail to meet federal work requirements for SNAP by cutting off benefits and, if they are the head of household, cutting of the entire household as well. In other words through no fault of their own, children will be at risk of having less food or going without food due to the actions of their parents. For families living in extreme poverty meeting these requirements can be incredibly difficult if not impossible. Employers can cut hours, employees can be ill or need to care for sick children, all of which could reduce work hours. To withhold food benefits as punishment is utterly unconscionable.

  • Children could go without nutritional benefits for up to 180 days by no fault of their own. SB 561 would punish children for their parents’ actions. This is unacceptable as the SNAP program serves 378,373 households and 810,000 Missourians per month. If a disqualified individual is the head of a household, the household would then be ineligible to participate in SNAP for up to 180 days.

  • Hunger causes stress and stress is harmful for a child’s mental and physical development. If a child lives with the stress of food insecurity, it can lead to lasting damage to health, learning, and behavior. “The future of any society depends on its ability to foster the healthy development of the next generation.”* We must insure that all Missouri children have the nutrition they need.

References:

http://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-blog/why-snap.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/?referrer=https://t.co/emfAjfFTOa

https://developingchild.harvard.edu/science/key-concepts/toxic-stress/

https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/ops/Missouri.pdf

https://www.riverfronttimes.com/newsblog/2018/01/25/missouri-senator-calls-for-food-stamp-crackdown

https://www.cbpp.org/sites/default/files/atoms/files/1-23-18kstanf.pdf

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2018/02/26/new-evidence-that-work-requirements-do-not-work/?utm_term=.c9a0f03b19fd

https://rewire.news/article/2018/03/05/work-requirements-bad-womens-health/

http://www.communityaction.org/poverty-reports/

https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ofa/programs/tanf/about

http://www.stlamerican.com/news/columnists/guest_columnists/sb-would-deepen-poverty-and-hunger-in-missouri/article_94540baa-faeb-11e7-b726-1b611f71b52e.html

http://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-blog/why-snap.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/?referrer=https://t.co/emfAjfFTOa

https://www.columbiamissourian.com/news/state_news/missouri-house-supports-bill-adding-welfare-program-restrictions/article_09c6f19c-270e-11e8-a220-73953d2a405e.html

Sample Call Script:

“Hi, my name is __________, I'm a constituent from ___________, and I am calling to ask Senator ________to vote NO on HB 1483 and SB 561 because _____________.”

Twitter: @MOIndivisible *** https://www.facebook.com/IndivisibleMO


CALL TO ACTION!

Tell your State legislators to take a stand! Greitens must resign or be impeached!

For this week’s Missouri Mondays, Indivisible MO asks that you write or call your State Senator and Representative and tell them to demand the Governor's immediate resignation and if he refuses begin impeachment!

On April 11, the Missouri House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight released its report on their investigation into allegations of the Governor’s misconduct. According to the sworn testimony of subpoenaed witnesses before the committee, Governor Greitens committed non-consensual sexual acts and invaded a woman’s privacy by taking a nude photo of her without her consent while she was blindfolded and her hands were bound and then Greitens threatened to distribute the photo if she ever told anyone about their affair. The woman’s testimony contained many other disturbing details including that Greitens struck her on some occasions. The committee of 5 Republicans and 2 Democrats found the woman to be a credible witness. Governor Greitens was also invited to testify under oath before the committee but has so far declined. This committee plans to release a second report soon regarding their investigation into possible misuse of Greitens’ charity donor list by his 2016 gubernatorial campaign in violation of Federal law. The Governor’s trial begins in St. Louis in May for his grand jury indictment on first-degree felony invasion of privacy charges.

Indivisible MO demands Governor Greitens’ resignation because:

  • Abusive behavior by any elected official should not be tolerated, and especially when it’s the Governor! The allegations against Governor Greitens are shocking and disgraceful. We should expect nothing less than good moral character, honesty, and integrity from all of our elected officials and especially from our Governor. The people of Missouri should not have to accept a Governor who is under felony indictment for revenge porn blackmail threats and also under investigation for other alleged illegal activities. Governor Greitens has brought shame and embarrassment both to the office of governor and to the great state of Missouri.

  • The Governor’s legal matters are distracting our elected officials from doing the job they were sent to Jefferson City to fulfill. Our state faces many serious problems including our budget shortfall, funding for public education, repairing our roads and infrastructure, taking care of our seniors, and many other critical needs and there’s not much time left in the Session. Until the Governor resigns or is impeached, our legislators will be distracted from addressing these important issues facing our state.

  • Both Democrats and Republicans alike are calling for the Governor’s resignation. Legislators calling on Greitens to resign include: Kevin Kehoe (Senate Majority Leader), Gina Walsh (Senate Minority Leader), and Gail McCann Beatty (House Minority Floor Leader), Attorney General Josh Hawley, State Auditor Nicole Galloway, and Senator Claire McCaskill. Even a top Greitens donor, David Humphreys, has also called for his resignation.

  • Greitens values his own constitutional protections over those of all Missourians. The Governor asked to delay the release of the House committee’s report until after his day in court at his upcoming trial, yet would deny the right to a jury trial to other Missourians. Last year Governor Greitens signed SB 43 into law, which made it easier for employers to discriminate against their employees and weakened Missouri’s human rights laws. This year another bill, SB 578, would give employers the right to force employees into secret arbitration, denying them the right to a jury trial and hiding discrimination or sexual harassment in the workplace. We deserve a leader who will fight for constitutional protections for all Missourians and not just for themselves when it’s convenient.

Sample Call Script:

“Hi, my name is __________, I'm a constituent from ___________, and I am calling to ask Representative/Senator ________to demand the governor’s resignation because _____________.”

References:

https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article208375284.html

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/columns/tony-messenger/messenger-greitens-wants-his-day-in-court-but-seeks-to/article_882be829-b2a7-5591-a84c-b1fdeee7455e.html

http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article208633839.html

https://www.kansascity.com/news/nation-world/article208677059.html

http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/editorials/article208729834.html

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/eric-greitens-indictment-felony/554012/

https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/11/politics/eric-greitens-missouri-governor-report/index.html

http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article208614359.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/13/us/eric-greitens-missouri-scandal.html

http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article208621159.html

Twitter: @MOIndivisible *** https://www.facebook.com/IndivisibleMO *** http://www.indivisiblemo.com/

Last week two bills were brought to the Senate floor for debate, SB 567 and SB 561, both of which would do harm to Missouri’s most vulnerable citizens; seniors, people with disabilities and children.

Write your State Senator here: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/012918mm.

Don’t know your State Senator? Find out here: http://www.senate.mo.gov/LegisLookup/Default.aspx

The Circuit Breaker Bill (SB 567)

  • SB567 raises taxes on low-income seniors and people with disabilities by reducing the Circuit Breaker tax credit, which is intended to help them stay in their homes longer by offsetting the cost of rising property taxes. By reducing these tax credits it would effectively increase taxes on a group of people who more than likely can no longer work to replace that money and are on a fixed income which leads to the possibility that they may not being able to stay in their homes.

  • This tax increase trades cuts to one vulnerable group for another in order to make up for tax cuts to wealthy corporations, which have caused budget shortfalls in Missouri. If passed SB 567 would increase taxes on Missouri’s most vulnerable who are living on fixed incomes, in order to fund tax cuts for wealthy corporations. This bill would take approximately $42 million in savings by increasing their taxes and putting the savings toward undoing cuts to other services for low-income seniors and people with disabilities. We shouldn’t have to decide which vulnerable groups suffer while wealthy corporations continue to benefit.

SNAP benefits (SB 561)

  • SB 561 changes the requirements for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits by punishing people who fail to meet federal work requirements for SNAP by cutting off benefits and, if they are the head of household, cutting of the entire household as well. In other words through no fault of their own, children will be at risk of having less food or going without food due to the actions of their parents. For families living in extreme poverty meeting these requirements can be incredibly difficult if not impossible so to withhold food benefits as punishment is utterly unconscionable.

  • Children could go without nutritional benefits for up to 180 days by no fault of their own. SB 561 would punish children for their parents actions. This is unacceptable as the SNAP program serves 378,373 households and 810,000 Missourians per month. If a disqualified individual is the head of a household, the household would then be ineligible to participate in SNAP under SB 567 for a period not to exceed the lesser of either the duration of the ineligibility period of the disqualified individual or 180 days.

  • Hunger causes stress and stress is harmful for a child’s mental and physical development. If a child lives with the stress of food insecurity it can lead to lasting damage to health, learning and behavior. “The future of any society depends on its ability to foster the healthy development of the next generation.”

Resources:

http://www.stlamerican.com/news/columnists/guest_columnists/sb-would-deepen-poverty-and-hunger-in-missouri/article_94540baa-faeb-11e7-b726-1b611f71b52e.html

http://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-blog/why-snap.html

https://developingchild.harvard.edu/science/key-concepts/toxic-stress/

https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/ops/Missouri.pdf

https://www.riverfronttimes.com/newsblog/2018/01/25/missouri-senator-calls-for-food-stamp-crackdown