Legislative Take Action
Periodically we let you know the progress of various proposed legislation making its way through the Missouri General Assembly and suggest ways for you to contribute your viewpoint to your state Representative and state Senator.
Contact your Missouri state Representative and Senator, and let them know what you think about these. We suggest supporting these two bills. You can find your Representative and Senator, and their contact information, by entering your 9-digit zip code here.
SJR 38 (Senate Joint Resolution)
Creates a new constitutional provision relating parental rights
Introduced by Senator Kurt Schaefer (R-19). Read the full text here.
This proposed constitutional amendment, if approved by the voters, declares that every parent has a fundamental right to exercise exclusive control over all aspects of their minor children’s lives without governmental interference, including but not limited to, decisions regarding their minor children’s custody, upbringing, education, religious instruction, discipline, physical and mental health care, and place of habitation. This fundamental right does not extend to any action by the parent that threatens clear, immediate, and substantial physical injury to their minor child, nor permit a parent to compel a minor child to have an abortion.
This amendment also declares that every parent has a fundamental right to require government entities to obtain the parent’s explicit permission before soliciting or sharing information obtained from a minor child about the child or the child’s family, unless the information is obtained during a criminal investigation or, if enrolled in public school, the child’s knowledge of academic subjects.
This amendment guarantees that every parent shall have the fundamental right to decide what educational settings in which to place their child.
This amendment lists several circumstances in which government interference with parental rights will be justified, including: (1) when protecting a child from a clear, immediate, and substantial threat of physical injury; (2) when a parent has been found by a court to have knowingly exposed a child to physical neglect, abandonment, reckless endangerment, or sexual or physical abuse; (3) when a parent has been found by a court to be incapacitated or mentally incompetent; (4) when a child has been emancipated by court order in accordance with state statutes; (5) when a court has assumed jurisdiction over a minor child charged with or convicted of violating a criminal statute; and (6) when a court of law has assigned parental rights to one parent or a non-biological parent as a result of mental incompetence, adoption, or marital dissolution.
Finally, this amendment permits any parent whose rights have been adversely affected to challenge the constitutionality of the infringing law, policy, or other government act and seek damages and attorney’s fees.
HB 1755 (House Bill)
Specifies that parental liberty to direct the upbringing, education, and care of his or her children is a fundamental right not subject to infringement without demonstrating a compelling governmental interest
Introduced by Representative Kurt Bahr (R-102). Read the full text here.
This bill specifies that the liberty of a parent to direct the upbringing, education, and care of his or her child is a fundamental right. The State of Missouri and any political subdivision of the state is prohibited from infringing on this right without demonstrating a compelling governmental interest. Any law or policy must be narrowly tailored and by the least restrictive means to achieve the interest. These provisions apply to all laws of the state, whether adopted before or after the enactment of these provisions. Any law adopted after the enactment of these provisions is exempt only if the law explicitly excludes the application by reference to these provisions.
Let us know that you contacted your state legislators and let us know any response you get.