Big news at the Missouri Supreme Court today as the justices upheld the constitutional right of the Auditor to issue fiscal notes for ballot initiatives. Additionally, the Supreme Court ruled that Secretary of State Robin Carnahan’s ballot summaries are fair and sufficient. The ruling today is a big boost for the initiatives to raise Missouri’s minimum wage, cap the rates of Missouri payday loans, and an effort to increase the tobacco tax.
Victory: Supreme Court Upholds Citizens’ Petitions to Cap the Rate and Raise the Wage
“Today’s ruling is great news for the 350,000 Missourians who signed petitions to cap the rate on payday loans and raise our minimum wage,” said Rev. James Bryan, Treasurer for Missourians for Responsible Lending. “The payday lenders and corporate special interests have tried everything in the book to silence Missourians and keep these petitions off the ballot— unsuccessfully. We are happy to put this very long legal process behind us.”
“We expect the Secretary of State to certify signatures for the petitions to raise the minimum wage and cap payday loan interest rates in the coming days, and look forward to the final months of this two year campaign and victory in November,” said Rev. Dr. James T. Morris, Treasurer of Give Missourians a Raise. “Today is a great day for the working people of Missouri.”
Yessss! Thank goodness the supreme court here in Missouri has retained some sanity! Maybe the republicans won’t be able to destroy all of us this year!
Arizona’s new 20-week abortion ban goes into effect Thursday, with very real effects for families expecting babies with fatal fetal defects. The Arizona Republic reports on volunteer services rising to the challenge of helping parents cope with the trauma of watching infants die within minutes, hours, or days of birth.
House Bill 2036, which measures a fetus’ gestational age from the first day of the woman’s last period, prevents abortion after 18 weeks of pregnancy, making it the most extreme ban in the nation. Most fetal abnormalities are detected during this period, but the ban forbids abortions even when the doctor discovers a fatal defect. The woman must then carry to term a baby who will almost certainly die as soon as it is born.
MISS Foundation and Embrace are non-profits specifically working to develop birth plans for such families, provide counseling, and prepare funeral services. The Legislature has allocated no funding for these services, which are expected to kick into high demand once the abortion ban goes into effect.
About 100 pregnancies are terminated after 20 weeks in Arizona each year. According to Joanne Cacciatore, the CEO of MISS Foundation, one or two families a month currently seek their help preparing for a fatal birth. But they expect their resources to be stretched past maximum capacity soon.