This week, Sara Walsh and 88 of her Republican colleagues in the House voted against giving Missouri women much-needed protections in their fight for equal pay. That’s especially devastating for the more than 40% of households that rely on the wages of women.

My opponent tried to defend this vote, saying it “was unnecessary as our current state statutes already clearly define and protect discrimination against women since the 1960’s.”

But the current statutes leave much to be desired and are unnecessarily narrow, going so far as to define “female” as any woman over the age of 18. The proposed changes to the law in Rep. Brandon Ellington’s amendment would have ensured that every worker is protected from gender-based discrimination and prohibited reducing any worker’s pay to comply with the law.

Provisions would also have allowed a court to award compensatory damages in an amount not to exceed twice the lost compensation, along with punitive damages for employers that are proven to have engaged in a pattern of gender-based discrimination. Finally, this measure would have prohibited employers from retaliating against employees for making inquiries into pay discrimination.

Without allowing employees to recover damages beyond lost wages and prohibiting retaliation for investigating pay discrimination, there is little incentive for employers to follow the law. The fact that the gender pay gap persists 50 years later is clear evidence that we need to do more.

The families and women of the 50th District and Missouri deserve a representative who will fight for equal footing in the workplace.

Today, on International Women’s Day, let’s raise our voices together and demand better.

-Michela Skelton

Our state legislature’s continued refusal to adequately invest in our infrastructure needs makes renewing the Boone County road and bridge tax essential for the growth and vitality of our communities.

I fully support the Proposition 1 ballot measure to extend this half-cent sales tax for another 10 years. Maintaining our bridges and roadways isn’t a partisan issue — there isn’t a Republican or a Democratic way to pave a gravel road or repair a crumbling bridge.

But our General Assembly is failing to address mid-Missouri’s growing infrastructure needs. Instead, they’ve slashed state revenue by cutting taxes for corporations and the state’s richest citizens.

As State Representative for the 50th District, I will fight to reverse these budget-draining tax cuts and invest in infrastructure projects that keep mid-Missouri communities strong and vibrant.

Democratic special election nominee Michela Skelton announced today her first quarterly fundraising totals since entering the race for Missouri’s vacant 50th District House seat in mid-January. Her campaign raised just under $35,000 in 11 weeks, with 92 percent of the total coming from individual donors.

Skelton raised $34,974 from 544 donations with an average contribution of $64. Skelton significantly outperformed her Republican opponent, who had a sizable head start after forming a political committee in March 2016. Her opponent raised just over $15,000 in the first quarter after starting the year with nearly $9,000 in campaign receipts.


With Governor Greitens’ signature on SB 19 (Senate Bill 19), the so-called “Right to Work” bill, the war on Missouri workers hastens. The bill strips workers of the right to freely enter into collective bargaining contracts with their employers for better healthcare, better wages, and better opportunities. Families of the 50th District need more opportunities, not less.

For years, Caleb Jones and his allies have accepted corporate campaign donations to peddle the myth that “Right to Work” legislation would drive job growth. The facts tell a different story: Missouri had higher job growth than all “Right to Work” neighbor states in the last 12 months, adding more jobs than Kentucky, Nebraska, Iowa, and Arkansas combined while Kansas and Oklahoma lost nearly 20,000 total jobs. Even the owner of the shuttered warehouse in Springfield where Governor Greitens chose to sign the bill admitted to the Springfield News-Leader that his business went under because of offshore competition, not because of a failure to pass “Right to Work” legislation. Missouri workers need to be asking their elected representatives why they listen to corporations instead of the facts.

Rep. Rick Brattin’s proposed bill to abolish tenure for new hires at public universities is the latest attack on higher education in Missouri and another example of job-killing political overreach.

Eliminating tenure would cripple the ability of colleges and universities to hire and retain top-tier talent, which only hurts our students and their ability to compete in a global economy. Short-sighted legislation like this will only chase away much-needed investment and economic growth in the 50th District and throughout Missouri communities.

Employers and employees want and deserve access to high-quality education. Missouri would be the only state in the country to outlaw a long-accepted practice that helps ensure our future workers and leaders obtain the best education possible.