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"With less than a third of legislative seats and no statewide office, Missouri Democrats couldn’t have asked for a better legislative session."

— "Winners and losers of Missouri’s 2023 legislative session," Missouri Independent, May 12, 2023 

House Minority Floor Leader Crystal Quade and the Missouri House Democratic Caucus address the media after the 2023 legislative session adjourned May 12, 2023. (Missouri House Communications)

Post-partum coverage extension, infrastructure bills among victories for Missourians

By the conclusion of the 2023 legislative session, House Democrats had scored several important legislative wins for Missourians, including expanding coverage for post-partum care to combat Missouri’s high maternal mortality rate, ending the “cliff effect” for Medicaid recipients and investing in long-neglected infrastructure needs throughout the state.


“From the outset, House Democrats pledged to invest in Missourians this session, and we played a crucial role delivering investments that will move us towards a stronger, more prosperous Missouri,” said House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield. “Much more remains to be done, but our caucus can be proud of what it accomplished this year.”


Quade said lawmakers could have achieved even more if majority Republicans had focused on bipartisan solutions instead of spending much of the session marginalizing minorities, attempting to dismantle local control, and persecuting Missouri’s LGBTQ community.


Assistant House Minority Leader Richard Brown, D-Kansas City, said House Democrats played instrumental roles in defeating some highly divisive Republican proposals. Among those, he named a vindictive attempt to rob libraries of state funding and an attempt to insert language in the state budget that sought to broadly ban government agencies and anyone they contract with from implementing “diversity, equity and inclusion” programs, which effectively would have prevented Missouri’s government from doing business with private entities.


“We spoke loudly against it on the House floor and our voices jumpstarted opposition across the state against that language, which would have thrown our state and our budget into chaos,” Brown said.


House Minority Whip Ashley Aune, D-Kansas City, said that increased funding for state employees, services and infrastructure reflected Democrats’ commitment to investing in Missourians while championing tax cuts on groceries, diapers and feminine hygiene products, as well as tax credits for senior citizens and child care.


“While Republicans pushed a corporate income tax elimination and other tax cuts that only benefit the wealthiest in our state, our caucus focused on targeted tax relief for Missouri families and seniors that would make a meaningful difference in the lives of most Missourians,” Aune said.

  • Extended postpartum MOHealthNet Medicaid coverage up to a year after birth

  • Eliminated the cliff effect in our state benefits program

  • Protected I-70 expansion project and many of the governor’s other infrastructure and capital improvements budget requests

  • Directly contributed about $450 million to this year’s budget, including $250 million to raise wages for in-home care providers 

  • Supported pay raises for state employees to make our state better at recruiting and retaining talent

  • Finally passed a meaningful, positive piece of gun reform in Blair’s Law to put harsher punishments on celebratory gunfire

  • Supported Worker’s Compensation for PTSD for First Responders 

  • Established conviction review units

  • Increased restitution for those wrongfully convicted

  • Supported raises for police officers in Kansas City

  • Removed restrictions on the manufacture and sale of goods for fentanyl testing

  • Defined telecommunicators as first responders so they can receive benefits, and allowed PTSD to be classified as an occupational disease for first responders

  • Passed tax credits for seniors, adoption, entertainment and films and entertainment

  • Joined the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

  • Required consent from patients for sensitive medical exams

Democrats don’t always get to put their name on legislation as a superminority, but these ideas would not likely be going into law without our advocacy, expertise, and hard work. We've worked to pass many of these policies for years, and we finally managed to get them across the finish line. Here are some of our big wins in 2023:

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