From Missouri Digital News: https://mdn.org
MDN Menu

MDN Home

Journalist's Creed

Print

MDN Help

MDN.ORG: Missouri Digital News
MDN Menu

MDN Home

Journalist's Creed

Print

MDN Help

MDN.ORG Mo. Digital News Missouri Digital News MDN.ORG: Mo. Digital News MDN.ORG: Missouri Digital News
Lobbyist Money Help  

Women Legislators Rally in Capitol

January 14, 1999
By: Melissa Miller
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - Women legislators rallied Thursday in the Capitol Rotunda to discuss a surprisingly wide range of women's issues.

From insurance-covered birth control to tax credits for small businesses there was little common ground among speakers.

The issues discussed ran the gamut, but all had a common thread: economic equality for women.

Thursday's conference was held in conjunction with similar conferences in 18 other states and Washington, D.C.

"This is a new event to highlight legislation coming up in the spring session," said Shirley Breeze, executive director of Missouri Women's Network, the organization that sponsored the conference.

"Missouri's economic future depends on families and the economic success of families depends on the economic success of women," said Rep. Vicky Riback Wilson, D-Columbia, who presided over the conference.

Wilson announced she will file a bill concerning earned income tax credit. "This is a women's issue because so many women in the work force are in minimum-wage jobs," she said. "This bill is a way to help working families get out of poverty."

Like Wilson's proposal, other issues discussed did not present an obvious connection to women.

Sen. Betty Sims, R-St. Louis County, suggested corporate tax cuts for small businesses since a growing number of women own them.

Rep. Joan Bray, D-St. Louis County, proposed tax credits for rebuilding houses that are more than 50 years old. "This will allow women to get their homes in order, stay at home and receive tax credits for doing so," she said.

However, most issues were directly related to women like child care, domestic violence, and contraceptives.

Mary Mosley, legislative director for Missouri Women's Network, called for requiring insurance companies to pay for contraceptives.

"If they can pay for Viagra, they can pay for contraception," she said.

While legislators may agree there is a problem, their solutions are varied.

"I think everyone has a genuine concern that economically, women are not equal to men," said Rep. Emmy McClelland, R-St. Louis County. "We agree on that, how we get women to the same place as men is where we disagree."