House Democrats Call on Nixon to Oppose Cuts to Shear Institute

Students who have participated in a UMSL Sue Shears Institute for Women program

Twenty-three Democrat women state representatives delivered a letter today to Governor Nixon governor asking him to veto SB 455, which includes an amendment abolishing the Sue Shear Institute for Women.

By Eli Yokley, Missouri News Network — May 9

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A $250,000 a year expenditure threatens to stall passage of the state’s $24 billion budget.

The issue is over whether the University of Missouri should continue to fund the Shear Institute, a public policy institute for women in politics based at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. Legislation barring the funding passed the House as part of a larger education bill earlier this year and now returns to the state Senate.

On Wednesday, House Democratic women penned a letter to Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon calling on him to veto the bill if it makes it to his desk.

“It is not the responsibly of the state legislature to micro-manage higher education public institutions as to their programs,” said the letter, led by Rep. Stacey Newman, D-Clayton. “This sets a dangerous precedent.”

Some Republican lawmakers, in particular, state Sen. Jane Cunningham, have insisted their believe that the institute is nothing more than a partisan organization.

Several top Missouri Republican women have also participated in the Shear Institute, including U.S. Rep. JoAnn Emerson, former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman, former U.S. Ambassador Ann Wagner, and former House Speaker Catherine Hanaway. Hanaway said Tuesday she supports effort to cut funding for the institute.

Read more here.

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