Progressive lawmakers seek to overturn Missouri’s shameful discrimination law

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IBEW LOCAL 1 member, Senator Jake Hummel (D-St. Louis), rises to speak in the Senate. Hummel has filed a bill that would reverse last year’s disastrous changes to the Missouri Human Rights Statute that made it harder to prove workplace or housing discrimination.

By TIM ROWDEN

Editor

Jefferson City  The effort to repeal legislation that made it harder to sue for workplace and housing discrimination in Missouri is under way in the General Assembly.

Passed last session, Senate Bill 43, signed into law by Republican Gov. Eric Greitens, made it more difficult to prove discrimination in employment or housing by requiring discrimination based on age, ancestry, color, disability, sex, religion, race, or nation of origin to be the “motivating” factor rather than a “contributing” factor in the decision to discipline or terminate an employee or deny someone housing.

The law landed Missouri on Fordor travel guide’s no-go travel list, in the company of Myanmar and Cuba as places to not visit in 2018, and was the impetus behind a “travel advisory” issued by the NAACP.

“Backing out of a wrong as significant as Senate Bill 43 is a priority for us,” Rep. Gina Mitten, (D-Richmond Heights) told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Sen. Jacob Hummel (D-St. Louis), a member of IBEW Local 1, and Sen. Jamilah Nasheed (D-St. Louis) have filed bills in the Senate.

Hummel noted that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development was withholding $500,000 in federal funding for Housing assistance because the new law conflicts with federal rules.

“If it’s too extreme for the Trump administration,” Hummel said, “it’s too extreme anywhere.”

The legislation is House Bill 1314, House Bill 1317, House Bill 1851, House Bill 1933, Senate Bill 585, Senate Bill 605 and Senate Bill 620.

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