Why We Engage Missouri Legislature

The right to clean water, healthy food access, and public land are a few of the environmental and social justice issues MCE has worked on during our 50 years of service to Missouri. Of elected officials at the local, state, and federal level, lawmakers at the state level arguably have the most influence on the health of Missourians and fate of our environment, for better or worse. Many of our federal environmental laws like the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and Farm Bill are implemented by states, not the federal government. That gives a lot of power to the Missouri General Assembly, which can pass laws directing state agencies on how to implement laws related to the closure of coal ash landfills in floodplains, access to healthy food for all Missourians, public land and so much more.

How We Engage Missouri Legislature

The legislative session in Jefferson City runs January through mid-May each year. We contract with a lobbyist, Dawn Nicklas, who keeps our staff up-to-date on our priorities so we can share that information with you. MCE’s Policy Director, Ed Smith, is also a registered lobbyist. Proposed legislation can be found for the House of Representatives here and the Senate here.

Coalitions: MCE often engages on legislative priorities through coalitions, giving us the ability to increase our impact on shared values with other organizations. We work closely with traditional allies like the Sierra Club, Missouri Parks Association, Missouri Rural Crisis Center and Great Rivers Habitat Alliance. More recently we’ve worked with Operation Food Search, Missouri Farmers Union, American Heart Association, Empower Missouri, Missouri State Alliance of YMCA’s and many more to support healthy food access for all Missourians and protections for small scale, traditional family farmers and rural communities.

Committee Hearings: Bills introduced must receive a public hearing before advancing to the House or Senate floor. Anyone from the public, including lobbyists, are given time to testify for or against the merit of a bill before lawmakers during a committee hearing. Hearings can be found for the House of Representatives here and the Senate here. The committee chairperson is in charge of which bills receive a hearing and when. Hearings must be publicly posted a minimum of 24 hours before the hearing is held, which is often what happens, providing little time for members of the public to testify. Committees and members of those committees can be found for the House of Representatives here and the Senate here. MCE regularly testifies in person on priority bills, when possible, and otherwise submits testimony through our lobbyist.

Lobby Days: In coordination with our coalition allies, MCE supports lobby days where our members and supporters travel to Jefferson City to meet with lawmakers to discuss our top priorities. MCE already has a date for the Good Food Policy lobby day (see below) in conjunction with a large number of organizations who support healthy food access for all Missourians and protections for small scale, traditional family farmers and rural communities.

How You Can Help

  1. Join our Rapid Response Team! Get up-to-date alerts on how you can help influence legislation, including phone calls to committee chairs, join lobby days, submit testimony on important bills, write letters to the editor, and more!
  2. Get more details and RSVP now for the Good Food Policy lobby day in Jefferson City on Wednesday, February 6, 2019.
  3. Schedule an in-district meeting with your State Representative and Senator to share your environmental priorities for the 2019 session. MCE can help prepare you for the meeting or participate if a staff person is available.  
  4. View environmental bills of interest on the Missouri Sierra Club’s website here.
  5. For questions, please contact Ed Smith, MCE policy director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

MCE is working on a new website that is coming soon and will include more detailed content about specific bills and calls-to-action.

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