Take Action – Missouri Legislature

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.

The Missouri General Assembly is the state legislature of the State of Missouri and is composed of two chambers: the House of Representatives and the Senate. The General Assembly is responsible for creating laws for governing the State of Missouri. The Revised Statutes of Missouri (RSMo) are electronically available on this site:  http://revisor.mo.gov/.

You can find your Representative and Senator, and their contact information, by entering your 9-digit zip code here.

The Ninety-Ninth General Assembly, Second Regular Session, will convene at 12:00 P.M., Wednesday, January 3, 2018. Pre-filing of bills started December 1, 2017.

This time we’d like to discuss several bills which we’d like you to write your legislators about. Please write from your viewpoint as an individual or professional, and not as a representative of any organization. Let us know the details and any responses you get. The full text of each bill can be found on the House and Senate Joint Bill Tracking site. Just put the bill number into the search box (e.g. SB661).

Check out our handy discussion about How to write to a legislator.

If you are not a voting resident of Missouri, you can find out about legislation in your own state and write your own state legislators; also, we are looking for volunteers to monitor legislation in Missouri and the states surrounding Missouri — let us know if you’d like to help out.

Very Bad Bills

These are bills that further psychiatric abuses of human rights. Please express your opposition and opinions about these to your legislators and copy the sponsors.

1) SB661 – Senate Bill 661 – sponsored by Senator Jeanie Riddle (Republican, District 10).

This act provides that after a person accused of committing a crime has been involuntarily committed to the Department of Mental Health due to lack of mental fitness to stand trial, the legal counsel for the Department shall have standing to participate in hearings regarding involuntary medications for the accused.

The subject of this bill had been introduced previously in 2016 and 2017. We think it is very bad because it allows the Department of Mental Health to force psychiatric drugs on involuntarily committed citizens. Both of these actions — involuntary commitment and enforced drugging — are psychiatric abuses of human rights.

2) SB785 – Senate Bill 785 – sponsored by Senator Jamilah Nasheed (Democrat, District 5).

This act establishes the Coordinating Board for Mental Health Issues in Higher Education (CBMHI). Each public institution of higher education in Missouri shall have one representative, who is either an administrator or counseling director, on the CBMHI.

It requires setting standards and regulations for student counseling facilities that relate to mental health problems, and developing a process for measuring a higher educational institution’s ability to meet student mental health needs. In other words, it will promote psychiatric and psychological counseling, and likely recommend psychiatric drugs as well. While this sounds altruistic, we know that the current state of psychiatric and psychological counseling is an abuse of human rights.

3) HB1363 – House Bill 1363 – sponsored by Representative Bill Kidd (Republican, District 20).

This bill requires teachers and principals to complete two hours of suicide prevention education each school year.

Again, while this sounds altruistic, the current state of so-called “suicide prevention education” is a recommendation for harmful and addictive psychiatric drugs, which are known to cause the very thing they are supposed to prevent, which is violence and suicide.

4) HB1419 – House Bill 1419 – sponsored by Representative Marsha Haefner (Republican, District 95).

This bill requires certain health care professionals to complete two hours of suicide prevention training as a condition of licensure.

More of the same — the current state of so-called “suicide prevention training” is a recommendation for harmful and addictive psychiatric drugs, which are known to cause the very thing they are supposed to prevent, which is violence and suicide.


Very Good Bills

These are bills that support human rights and oppose psychiatric abuses. Please express your support and opinions about these to your legislators and copy the sponsors.

1) SB672 – Senate Bill 672 – sponsored by Senator Andrew Koenig (Republican, District 15).

This act provides that during a child protective investigation if the child is at risk for possible removal the Children’s Division shall provide information to the parent about community service programs that provide support services for families in crisis. Additionally, a parent may temporarily delegate to an attorney-in-fact any powers regarding the care and custody of a child, where a child subject to such power of attorney shall not be considered placed in foster care.

This returns parental rights to the parents instead of forcing a child into foster care. We think this is supportive of human rights, not to mention preventing a child from receiving psychiatric drugging which almost always occurs in foster care.

2) SB786 – Senate Bill 786 – sponsored by Senator Jill Schupp (Democrat, District 24).

This bill modifies provisions relating to “whistle-blower’s” protection for public employees by broadening its scope of application and extending protections to the whistle-blower.

3) HB1294 – House Bill 1294 – sponsored by Representative Cheri Toalson Reisch (Republican, District 44).

This bill specifies that parental liberty to direct the upbringing, education, and care of his or her children 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.

Needless to say, we support parental rights as a basic human right. Article 25 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights says, “Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.” And Article 26 says, “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.”

4) HB1451 – House Bill 1451 – sponsored by Representative Karla May (Democrat, District 84).

This bill prohibits the use of electroconvulsive therapy on children under 16 years of age. Any person or mental health facility that administers electroconvulsive therapy to someone under 16 years of age will be fined up to $100,000 or imprisoned for two years, or both, and will be liable for compensation to the person that was given the electroconvulsive therapy.

What can we say? About time! Get this one passed! Write your legislators now!

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