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Missouri House Kills Funds for Sue Shear Institute

Jordan Shapiro and Matthew Patane KMOX Capitol Bureau
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JEFFERSON CITY, (KMOX) -Missouri’s representatives passed a measure Monday that would eliminate funding for the Sue Shear Institute and bar any public institution from taking part in political activity.

The Institute is based out of the University of Missouri-St. Louis and is named after a former St. Louis representative who was originally elected to the state House in 1972 and was a major proponent of ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment in Missouri.

The measure was put forth by St. Louis County Republican Rep. Sue Allen and was attached to a bill that had the original intention of modifying the duties of the Coordinating Board of Higher Education to include creating a listing of courses that could be transferred between all public universities.

The House approved the measure with a mostly party-line vote of 93-59 after contentious debate between mostly Democratic and Republican women over the importance of the Institute. While Democrats argued that the Institute is a vital organization for women interested in joining the world of politics, Republicans said the organization is not necessary to promote leadership.

“It’s a put down to say we as women need more,” Allen said. “I don’t need special treats or advantages.”

Rep. Tishaura Jones, D-St. Louis City, said the amendment would eliminate opportunities for women and force them to stay at home.

“Why not just have women stay home, barefoot and pregnant, and stay in the kitchen?” Jones said. “Because that’s exactly what this amendment does.”

The House’s passage of the provision came during a Republican-led filibuster in the Senate that was partially over the same issues. Sen. Jane Cunningham, R-St. Louis County, has pushed the issue as leverage against passing a veterans’ home funding bill.  began the filibuster earlier in the afternoon after a similar amendment to the House measure was not added to a bill that would determine funding for veterans’ homes. However, the House has demanded the Senate pass the veterans’ funding bill in order for budget negotiations to continue.

The House passed the overall bill, as amended, with a vote of 95-56. It now goes back to the Senate, which can either accept the changes or go to conference with the House

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