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Missouri House Committee tie vote blocks Senate Joint Resolution 39

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With six legislators voting in support and six opposing, a Missouri House committee has blocked Senate Joint Resolution 39, legislation that had embroiled the Missouri General Assembly since it was introduced on February 17. The tie vote means the legislation cannot move forward.

The legislation asked voters to change the Missouri Constitution to provide additional protections to certain business employees and religious organizations who oppose gay marriage.  With news of companies and conventions threatening to pull out of other states that pursued similar measures, the Missouri Chamber feared the same for Missouri.

 “There is an undeniable, negative economic impact that could occur should this be put into play in the State of Missouri,” said Missouri Chamber President and CEO Dan Mehan, as he testified in opposition to the bill on April 12. “Why would we want to risk those threats?”

In addition to the possible economic backlash, the Missouri Chamber opposes the resolution because it would add a constitutional protection for employees who refuse to do their jobs.

“There is nothing in SJR 39 that prohibits a private cause of action,” Mehan said.

The Missouri Chamber spent countless hours speaking with lawmakers about concerns over the legislation. Hundreds of Missouri companies, both large and small, spoke out against the resolution.

“Some people have referenced the situation in Georgia, Indiana, Arizona and other states that have gone through with something similar to this,” Mehan said. “While we recognize that SJR 39 was probably more benign than what some of those states have enacted. It is, again, undeniable that there was concern in various areas of industry, and various areas of the tourism and convention business that this would have been negative for the State of Missouri.”

How They Voted:

Yes
Rep. Haahr
Rep. Cross
Rep. Bondon
Rep. Hicks
Rep. Lant
Rep. Muntzel

No
Rep. LaFaver
Rep. Colona
Rep. Hansen
Rep. Pace
Rep. Rowden
Rep. Zerr

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