Let’s jump right on in, shall we?
I’ve long said that people need to keep a close watch on their state legislature. I’m a Missourian and my state Assembly meets for five months each year. That means five months of watching the Republicans who control both the House and Senate file bills to restrict access to reproductive health care, drug test people who receive food assistance, and cut funding for social programs to the bone.
Even with that wretched history, I was surprised by a Republican amendment to cut funding for the Sue Shear Institute created to increase the number of women in government, civic and policymaking roles.
In my defense, my surprise comes from the fact that the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life has had many a Republican woman participate in programs and mentor program participants. And I’m not talking about moderate Republicans. No, I’m talking about unquestionably conservative Republican women participating in the Sue Shear Institute such U.S. Rep. JoAnn Emerson, former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman, former U.S. Ambassador Ann Wagner, and former Missouri House Speaker Catherine Hanaway.
I should note that the institute is named after Democrat Sue Shear, who was the longest serving woman in the Missouri House with 26 years in office.
Yeah, I was surprised but that emotion quickly gave way to amazement.
Republican Rep. Sue Allen just made the case for why we need the Sue Shear Institute by sponsor the amendment to cut funds for it.
If Allen had been through the program she’d know that Missouri lacks a true representation of women in public life and why that’s not a good thing, she would have heard of the many Republican woman who support and participated in the program, and she’d have learned how to research an institution receiving public funding so she could avoid making a fool of herself by making baseless accusations.
Let’s hope the Assembly accepts this public example of why we need the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life and abandons plans to cut funding.
Missouri’s legislative session ends this week.
Let the countdown begin!