State legislators are currently deliberating on a number of proposed laws aimed at limiting the ability of public and private organizations to conduct training or implement initiatives focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Some of these bills target only state departments, while others extend to public and private medical institutions within higher education.

If passed, these bills would have far-reaching effects, undermining the state’s priorities in health, economy, and workforce development. Many programs and services offered by these entities are either mandated by accrediting bodies to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion principles or are specifically designed to address longstanding disparities in health and economic opportunities for Missourians. Consequently, the proposed bills could endanger the licensing and accreditation of programs within state departments and private healthcare entities that are crucial for the well-being of Missourians and the state’s economic competitiveness. Additionally, they could jeopardize hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding allocated for services in Missouri and exacerbate workforce shortages in the state.

Recent research conducted by the Perryman Group found that efforts to undermine diversity, equity and inclusion would have reverberating impacts throughout Missouri’s economy. Their analysis found that legislation to limit diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives would result in a loss of $2.6 billion in Missouri’s annual gross domestic product and a corresponding loss of 23,842 jobs by 2030.

Moreover, we know that Missourians continue to face devastating disparities in health, economic opportunities, and other corresponding outcomes based on race, ethnicity and gender. These bills would undermine efforts to understand and address those disparities.

The Missouri Budget Project has drafted a sign-on letter for organizations to express their concerns to lawmakers.

You can find the text of the sign-on letter here or by clicking the button below. Please add your name and contact information as you would like to be included on the letter to lawmakers by March 4th.

After signing on, please feel free to circulate the letter with your network: we are working to get signatures from all corners of the state!

For additional questions about RHC Policy and Advocacy, please contact Kate Kasper, RHC Public Policy Manager.

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