Making Democracy Work

Our Positions

Our positions are where we stand on issues, new and old. Positions are reviewed, updated, or removed based on member input and consensus.

2019 Guide to State Action

League Positions are a result of research, study, and the evaluation process. Usually a state committee of local League members is formed which researches the study subject. It formulates the consensus questions. It provides the local Leagues with a Study Guide which includes resource materials and the consensus questions.

The study material includes comprehensive background information which covers all sides of an issue.

Additional discussion, pro and con, takes place as members learn the scope of the study. After the members reach consensus, the board forms positions based on that consensus.

Local Leagues use the state resource material to study issues particular to the state. After in-depth study and discussion among the members, each local League arrives at its own consensus on the issue. The state committee compiles the consensus results and formulates a state consensus which is then approved by the state board. It is the consensus statement -- the statement resulting from the consensus questions -- that becomes a position. Firm action or advocacy can then be taken on the particular state issue addressed by the position. Without a position, action/advocacy cannot officially be taken on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Missouri.

Local Leagues may study local issues following the same procedure and arrive at positions on local issues.

League of Women Voters of Missouri State Program Positions

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF MISSOURI 2019-2021 PROGRAM POSITIONS IN BRIEF

GOVERNMENT
Constitutional Revision Adopted 1941, Updated,1962, Revised 2017
- Support of specific constitutional revisions to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of state government

County Home Rule Adopted 01-08-1971
- Support of measures to extend home rule to counties

Election Process
Campaign Finance Adopted 12-1978, Updated 2015
The complete lack of limits on payments in Missouri is a cause of substantial concern. This, coupled with the enormous influx of virtually uncontrolled money flowing into the election process, calls for LWVMO to be more direct in its position.

Legislative Reform Adopted 1964, Updated 1967, 2017
- Support of measures to improve the organization and powers of the Missouri General Assembly including the Sunshine Law and limiting campaign contributions and lobbyist gifts as included in Amendmen1, 2018. See guide to State Action for the specifics of the Amendment.

- Support of standards for apportionment to make congressional and legislative districts as compact, contiguous, and as nearly equal in population as possible with no partisan gerrymandering as included in Amendment 1, 2018. See Guide to State Action for the specifics of the Amendment.

Presidential Nominee Selection Process Adopted 1970, Updated 1986
- Support of measures to increase the informed participation of Missouri citizens in the selection of presidential nominees

Voting Rights Adopted 1919, Updated 1966, 1970, 2004, 2010
- Support of an accurate, efficient, accessible, recountable, secure, transparent and uniform election process
- Support of measures to ensure a secret ballot
- Support of no excuse absentee voting, advance voting and measures that facilitate participation in the election process
- Support the fundamental right of every citizen to vote

Fiscal Policy Adopted 1940, Updated 1973, 2003
- Support of a balanced and progressive tax system to finance necessary governmental services

- Opposition to revenue and expenditure limits to control the growth of state government.
- Fiscal policy should be in state statutes, rather than the Constitution.

JUSTICE

Judicial System Adopted 1940, Updated 2007
- Support of a flexible unified system of courts under the Supreme Court
- Support of the Nonpartisan Court Plan and an improved system of selection, tenure and retirement of judges

Juvenile Justice Adopted 1974, Updated 1987
- Support of measures to insure a coordinated system of juvenile justice which treats children fairly and effectively

NATURAL RESOURCES

Air Quality Adopted 2015
- Promote measures to reduce pollution from mobile and stationary sources
- Our air quality in Missouri should be protected and promoted, taking into account air pollution caused by motor vehicles, power plants, factory farming, waste disposal and other challenges to our environment.

Hazardous and Solid Waste Adopted 1972, Updated 1987
- Support of strong provisions to fulfill state and local government's responsibility for hazardous and solid waste management

Land Use and Growth Management Adopted 1976 Based on National Positions 1986
- Support for the adoption and implementation of long range land use plans and regulations by state, county and municipal governments which incorporate sound policy development based upon the goals, needs and resources of each locale.

Water Adopted 1958, Updated 1989
- Support of a comprehensive water policy for Missouri, one that includes the public trust doctrine

Climate Change Adopted 2017
- Recognize manmade climate change as a critical threat to the planet

SOCIAL POLICY

Education Adopted 1965, Updated 1970, 1974, 1983
- Support for equal opportunity in education, access to quality programs and adequate financing.

Charter Schools Adopted 1999, Updated 2007, 2015
The League does not support or oppose charter schools. Since Missouri law permits Charter schools, the League supports criteria for governance and operations similar to those of traditional public schools, but accountability and accreditation same as those of traditional public schools.

Family Planning Adopted 1988 by Concurrence with Springfield/Green Co.
- Support state family planning programs and educational programs about family planning including funding for these programs.

Human Trafficking Adopted 2015
- The League opposes all forms of domestic and international human trafficking. The League supports appropriate legislation and policy to lead to strict enforcing of these laws; services for victims; and education and awareness in our communities and schools.

Minimum Wage Adopted 2018 (Concurrence St. Louis Metro)
- Promote a minimum wage of at least $12.00/hr in Missouri to advance self-sufficiency for individuals and families

Gun Control Adopted 2014
- Promote the protection of the health and safety of citizens through limiting the accessibility and regulating the ownership of handguns and semi-automatic weapons. - Support regulation of firearms for consumer safety.

HEALTH

Behavioral Health Adopted 2015, Amended 2016
- Support an adequately funded behavioral health care system, and strengthens families.
Implement full insurance parity for behavioral health care.

Medical Marijuana Adopted 2015
- Support legislation which allows marijuana for medical treatments
- Support treating possession as one of the lowest law enforcement priorities

PUBLIC LIBRARIES Adopted 2007, Amended 2013
- Support of a public library system as a basic community service, including internet access, with a long-term assured, stable and adequate funding source.
- Support of access by all persons to public library services as a major source of knowledge and information necessary for informed, active participation in a democratic society.

The League's Guide to State Action is being updated. To see the last version, visit LWVMO Guide

SUMMARY OF PUBLIC POLICY POSITIONS - LWVUS

REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT - Promote an open governmental system that is representative, accountable and responsive.
Voting Rights Citizen's Right to Vote - Protect the right of all citizens to vote; encourage all citizens to vote.
DC Self-Government and Full Voting Representation - Secure for the citizens of the District of Columbia the rights of self-government and full voting representation in both houses of Congress.
Election Process Apportionment - Support apportionment of congressional districts and elected legislative bodies at all levels of government based substantially on population.
Redistricting - Support redistricting processes and enforceable standards that promote fair and effective representation at all levels of government with maximum opportunity for public participation.
Money in Politics - Campaign finance regulation should enhance political equality for all citizens, ensure transparency, protect representative democracy from distortion by big money, and combat corruption and undue inuence in government. The League believes that campaign spending must be restricted but not banned. The League supports public financing, full disclosure, abolishing SuperPACs and creating an effective enforcement agency.
Selection of the President - Promote the election of the President and Vice-President by direct-popular-vote. Support uniform national voting qualications and procedures for presidential elections. Support efforts to provide voters with sufficient information about candidates.
Citizen Rights Citizen's Right to Know/Citizen Participation - Protect the citizen's right to know and facilitate citizen participation in government decision-making.
Individual Liberties - Oppose major threats to basic constitutional rights.
Constitutional Amendment Proposals - In addition to League positions, consideration should be given to whether a proposal addresses matters of abiding importance, makes our political system more democratic or protects individual rights, could be achieved by less difficult legislative or political approaches, and is more suited to a constitutional and general approach than to a statutory and detailed approach.
Constitutional Conventions - Concerned that there are many unresolved questions about a Constitutional Convention. Certain conditions must be in place: limited to a single specic topic, full transparency, delegates selected by population, and voting by delegates not by state.
Public Policy on Reproductive Choices - Protect the constitutional right of privacy of the individual to make reproductive choices.
Congress and the Presidency * Congress - Support responsive legislative processes characterized by accountability, representativeness, decision making capability and effective performance.* The Presidency - Promote a dynamic balance of power between the executive and legislative branches within the framework set by the Constitution.
Privatization - Ensure transparency, accountability, positive community impact and preservation of the common good when considering the transfer of governmental services, assets and/or functions to the private sector.

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Promote peace in an interdependent world by working cooperatively with other nations and strengthening international organizations.
United Nations - Support a strong, effective United Nations to promote international peace and security and to address the social, economic and humanitarian needs of all people.
Trade - Support U.S. trade policies that reduce trade barriers, expand international trade and advance the achievement of humanitarian, environmental and social goals .
U.S. Relations with Developing Countries Promote U.S. policies that meet long-term social and economic needs of developing countries.
Arms Control - Reduce the risk of war through support of arms control measures.
Military Policy and Defense Spending Work to limit reliance on military force. Examine defense spending in the context of total national needs.

NATURAL RESOURCES - Promote an environment beneficial to life through the protection and wise management of natural resources in the public interest.
Natural Resources Promote the management of natural resources as interrelated parts of life-supporting ecosystems.
Resource Management - Promote resource conservation, stewardship and long range planning, with the responsibility for managing natural resources shared by all levels of government.
Environmental Protection and Pollution Control - Preserve the physical, chemical and biological integrity of the ecosystem with maximum protection of public health and the environment.
Air Quality - Promote measures to reduce pollution from mobile and stationary sources.
Energy - Support environmentally sound policies that reduce energy growth rates, emphasize energy conservation and encourage the use of renewable resources.
Land Use - Promote policies that manage land as a finite resource and that incorporate principles of stewardship.
Water Resources - Support measures to reduce pollution in order to protect surface water, groundwater and drinking water.
Waste Management - Promote policies that reduce the generation and promote the reuse and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes.
Nuclear Issues - Promote the maximum protection of public health and safety and the environment.
Public Participation - Promote public understanding and participation in decision making as essential elements of responsible and responsive management of our natural resources.
Agriculture Policy - Promote adequate supplies of food and fiber at reasonable prices to consumers and support economically viable farms, environmentally sound farm practices and increased reliance on the free market.
Federal Agriculture Policies - Provide financial support to subsidize agriculture in specific instances, enforce federal antitrust laws to ensure competitive agricultural markets and apply clean air and water regulations to all animal and aquaculture production. The federal government should fund basic agricultural research to provide adequate safety of our food supply.

SOCIAL POLICY Secure equal rights and equal opportunity for all. Promote social and economic justice and the health and safety of all Americans.
Equality of Opportunity Education, Employment and Housing - Support equal access to education, employment and housing.
Equal Rights - Support ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment and efforts to bring laws into compliance with the goals of the ERA.
Federal Role in Public Education - Support federal policies that provide an equitable, quality public education for all children pre-K through grade 12.
Fiscal Policy Tax Policy - Support adequate and exible funding of federal government programs through an equitable tax system that is progressive overall and that relies primarily on a broad-based income tax.
Federal Deficit - Promote responsible decit policies.
Funding of Entitlements - Support a federal role in providing mandatory, universal, old-age, survivors, disability and health insurance.
Health Care - Promote a health care system for the United States that provides access to a basic level of quality care for all U.S. residents, including behavioral health, and controls health care costs.
Immigration - Promote reunication of immediate families; meet the economic, business and employment needs of the United States; be responsive to those facing political persecution or humanitarian crises; and provide for student visas. Ensure fair treatment under the law for all persons. In transition to a reformed system, support provisions for unauthorized immigrants already in the country to earn legal status.
Meeting Basic Human Needs - Support programs and policies to prevent or reduce poverty and to promote self-sufficiency for individuals and families.
Income Assistance - Support income assistance programs, based on need, that provide decent, adequate standards for food, clothing and shelter.
Support Services - Provide essential support services.
Housing Supply - Support policies to provide a decent home and a suitable living environment for every American family.
Child Care - Support programs and policies to expand the supply of affordable, quality child care for all who need it.
Early Intervention for Children at Risk Support policies and programs that promote the well-being, development and safety of all children.
Violence Prevention Support violence prevention programs in communities.
Gun Control - Protect the health and safety of citizens through limiting the accessibility and regulating the ownership of handguns and semi-automatic weapons. Support regulation of rearms for consumer safety.
Urban Policy - Promote the economic health of cities and improve the quality of urban life.
Death Penalty - The LWVUS supports abolition of the death penalty.
Sentencing Policy - The LWVUS believes alternatives to imprisonment should be explored and utilized, taking into consideration the circumstances and nature of the crime. The LWVUS opposes mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses.
Human Trafficking - Oppose all forms of domestic and international human trafficking of adults and children, including sex trafficking and labor trafficking.

For the complete Impact On Issues go to https://www.lwv.org/impact-issues

Local Positions

Applying national and state positions, a LWVSTL committee is studying the Better Together proposal to merge St. Louis City and St. Louis County