Governor Nixon Vetos SB188
Posted on April 29, 2011 by Megan Burke
On Friday, Governor Nixon vetoed SB188 in a press conference at the Old Courthouse in St. Louis. The crowd overflowed with advocates, legislators, and other public leaders supporting the veto of SB188. The Governor spoke strongly stating, “Missouri is a state that welcomes all people, and believes that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect. That means we have an obligation to put a stop to discrimination…”
The disability community had considerable representation from a variety of groups and organizations. Some of us talked about the frustrations of dealing with discrimination in the interview process before one even gets a job, and the desire to build careers vs. just having a job. We recognize that there is more work to be done to fight prejudices, but taking a step backwards with SB188 is not an option.
Various groups which experience discrimination and have fought for justice were recognized by the Governor. He made mention of the fight people with disabilities have waged to remove barriers.
“You are the people who fought to throw open doorways and tear down barriers so that people with disabilities could live full and independent lives. How I wish that Max Starkloff and Jim Tuscher, two giants in the fight for disability rights, were still with us. They accomplished so much in their lifetimes. . . We fight today, so thousands more people with disabilities can take the “next big step” into the workplace, where their skills and talents can shine.”
It was a proud moment as we gathered together to speak out and fight injustice. The Governor made it very clear that SB188 is in no way an economic development bill as he stated,
“Making it easier for Missouri companies to discriminate against people with disabilities or cancer, against women, older workers and minorities, against those of different faiths and ethnicities, will not help us create jobs or be more competitive in the global economy.”
Governor Nixon called on all of us to come together and make sure that his veto of SB188 does not get overturned. While the veto is one victory for civil rights advocates, it is our responsibility to make sure that discrimination will not be tolerated in Missouri. Each of us must call on our Representatives and Senators to sustain the veto.