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Capitol Report

Seitz leads the way in defunding Planned Parenthood


Last week, I spoke from the House Floor on SS#2 HCS HB 2634, the effort initiated by Budget Chair Cody Smith to defund abortion provider Planned Parenthood from receiving Missouri taxpayer dollars through Medicaid reimbursements.


During the floor debate I said, “Abortion is murder,” then asked a rhetorical question, “Is Planned Parenthood sending monies from our state budget, to OTHER states, to allow for women to have an abortion?”


I then turned to God’s word for backup, paraphrasing Jeremiah 1:5 which states in part, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee.” I noted that human life begins at conception and must be protected.


HB 2634 would make it illegal for public funds, including Medicaid reimbursements, to support abortion facilities or their affiliates, while granting taxpayers and the Attorney General the right to take legal action to enforce these provisions.


HB 2634 simply codifies in our statutes that we will not allow abortion providers or their affiliates to be reimbursed through our state's Medicaid program. The bill also amends an existing statute, requiring MO HealthNet participants to obtain services only from qualified providers and empowering the Department of Social Services to revoke contracts with providers found unqualified due to specific offenses. Additionally, the bill prohibits reimbursement to abortion facilities under the "Uninsured Women's Health Program.”


With the passage of this bill, we are saying that taxpayer dollars will not be used to pay for abortion. Medicaid funds will remain dedicated to senior citizens, disabled persons and those in financial need pursuant to Missouri law. We in the Missouri Legislature stand for the most vulnerable members of our society, for those who have no voice. Today, the unborn have a voice.

Missouri House passes bill furthering the protection of vulnerable persons from human trafficking


In an ongoing commitment to combat human trafficking and protect vulnerable individuals, the Missouri House of Representatives has approved HB 2688. This bill establishes a statute of limitations for sex and human trafficking offenses in Missouri and implements vital measures to address these issues, including the formation of the "Council on Human Trafficking" within the Department of Public Safety. Comprising diverse stakeholders, this council will convene regularly to coordinate prevention training, offer necessary services to victims, assess state data, and raise public awareness.


HB 2688 mandates that prosecution for certain human trafficking offenses must commence within 20 years. It also introduces a new offense: patronizing a victim of sexual servitude, punishable as a felony carrying a potential sentence of five to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 if the victim is 18 years or older. If the victim is under 18, the potential penalty includes life imprisonment without parole or a minimum of 25 years served. Convicted individuals must also pay restitution to their victims.


Moreover, the newly established offense of patronizing a victim of sexual servitude, along with the offense of enabling sexual exploitation of a minor, are now categorized under Tier III of the Sexual Offenders Registry.


We must stand united in our commitment to combat sex and human trafficking. By enhancing prevention, strengthening prosecution, and supporting survivors, we are taking significant strides towards protecting the vulnerable and prosecuting those who exploit them. Together, we can build a future where every person's dignity and rights are upheld, and where the chains of trafficking are broken forever.


The bill will now move to the Senate for consideration, where lawmakers are expected to continue their bipartisan efforts to combat trafficking and protect vulnerable individuals.


Missouri House passes amended SJR 74, heads back to Senate for further review


The Missouri House of Representatives has made a historic move by passing SJR 74, which proposes crucial changes to the state constitution in an effort to enhance the integrity and transparency of the constitutional amendment process.


SJR 74 aims to refine various provisions pertaining to constitutional amendments, addressing key concerns regarding voter approval thresholds, foreign influence in initiative petitions, voter eligibility, and the review process for proposed amendments. Under the resolution, an initiative would need to win a statewide popular vote and a majority in at least five of the state’s eight congressional districts.


This legislation will strengthen the constitutional amendment process in Missouri. This bill still ensures that a simple majority of the votes cast decides an election; however, this legislation requires a concurrent majority of five of the state’s eight congressional districts to approve any constitutional amendments or initiatives. This simply seeks to ensure that we are getting a truly fair representation of the state. The amendments made reflect our commitment to upholding the integrity of our state's constitution and ensuring that the voices of Missourians are heard.


After careful consideration and debate, the Missouri House passed SJR 74 with amended language that would curb any potential foreign activity in the initiative petition process, reflecting the collaborative effort of legislators to ensure that the proposed amendments align with the best interests of Missourians while prohibiting any outside influence.


Our House language reinforces safeguards against noncitizen voting and prohibiting foreign involvement in initiative petitions, ensuring that Missouri's electoral processes remain untainted by outside influences. In passing this legislation, we are standing for democracy and accountability, and saying once and for all that our constitution is not for sale.


The resolution now heads back to the Senate, and if approved, heads to the Governor’s desk. With his signature, the resolution would be put before the voters for approval.

Need to contact my office?

Please call my office at 573-751-1309 if we can ever be of assistance to you or stop by our office in Jefferson City in room 118. I or my legislator assistant are happy to help.

Brian H. Seitz

State Representative of the 156th District

201 W. Capitol Ave.

Room 118

Jefferson City, MO 65101

Phone 573-751-1309

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