A proposal in the Missouri House would make it illegal for retail stores to open for business on Thanksgiving Day. It’s one of several bills pre-filed Monday by state legislators ahead of next year’s regular legislative session. The proposal is sponsored by Democrat Jeff Roorda of Jefferson County. He says it’s in response to the ongoing push by retailers to open for business on nationally-recognized holidays: “It’s Thanksgiving Day, it’s not Black Friday’s Eve…it’s just silly what these retailers are doing to the families of folks that work for them…(it’s) supposed to be about family and reflecting and giving thanks, not about corporate greed and prosperity.”
Roorda says restaurants, pharmacies and gas stations in Missouri would be exempt from the proposed law.
Another proposal, in the state Senate, would ban lobbyists’ gifts to lawmakers, including money for food, travel, lodging and entertainment. The proposal is sponsored by Democratic Senator-Elect Scott Sifton of St. Louis County: “Taxpayers give us 104 dollars a day as a per diem for meals and lodging in Jefferson City for every day that we’re in session, and that should be sufficient to get the job done…I think it’s very hard to argue that 104 dollars a day isn’t enough to feed yourself off of, and that you would need to have somebody else picking up the tab.”
Sifton’s proposal would also ban lobbyist gifts to lawmakers’ staff, family members and election campaigns.
Other pre-filed bills in the House include one that would specify that both the US and Missouri constitutions must protect the rights of alternatives to abortion agencies to freely operate without government interference. Missouri's 2013 regular legislative session begins January 9th.