Stating that Missouri should not move backward on protecting workers and civil rights, Gov. Jay Nixon today vetoed House Bill 1219, dealing with employment discrimination; and Senate Bill 572, dealing with workers' compensation. A copy of the Governor's veto letter on House Bill 1219 can be found here; the veto letter on Senate Bill 572 can be found here.
"House Bill 1219 is nearly identical to a bill I vetoed last year because it would undermine the Missouri Human Rights Act and decades of progress on civil rights," Gov. Nixon said in a separate statement. "This bill contains those same fundamental flaws. Rather than making it easier to discriminate against people with disabilities or cancer, or against women, older workers and minorities, we need to keep our focus on the economic policies that are moving us forward, such as the Missouri Works initiative.
"Our economy is growing, our unemployment rate is at its best level since 2008, we had a record number of exports last year, and we've seen a growth in manufacturing jobs," the Governor said. "With the clear progress we're making, let's not get sidetracked by bills that regress on discrimination and don't help our economy."
Gov. Nixon also spoke about his veto of Senate Bill 572, the workers' compensation bill.
"We also should not take a step back in protecting workers who are afflicted with serious or deadly diseases, as a result of their workplaces," Gov. Nixon said. "Unfortunately, this bill weakens the important workplace protections that are part of our laws and regulations. As is the case with the employment discrimination bill, we have to stay focused on the priorities that are truly aiding our moving forward with our economy. This bill moves us backward on protecting Missouri's productive workers."