Weather-Related Disclaimer: missives from legislators concerning road conditions, although timely and important, should be considered snapspots in time. For the most recent travel information, please consult MoDOT's Web site at

except when the post starts "MO Expat", all content published on Missives from Missouri is written and supplied by the noted legislator. Said missives will not necessarily reflect the views of Kyle Hill, the operator of Missives from Missouri, and as such the operator does not assume responsibility for its content. More information
Share this missive:

14 April 2010

Carter: Programs for Minority and Women Owned Businesses At Risk

Since 1990, Missouri has funded several state programs meant to promote contracting with minority and women owned businesses in order to remedy the some of the effects of past discrimination. Recently, courts have ruled that programs setting targets intended to remedy past discrimination must be based upon evidence demonstrating both that the effects of discrimination still exist and the extent of the problem. Therefore, Governor Nixon asked the General Assembly in his budget to fund a study of Missouri’s marketplace relative to minority and women owned businesses. This is commonly known by those in state government as “the disparity study."

The need for a disparity study is manifest. First, we need a new study – our last statewide study was completed in the mid-1990’s – to determine whether or not the playing field is level for women and minority owned business enterprises seeking to work with the state. While the answer may seem obvious, we need the evidence in order to support the second reason for the study, which is to help set the proper target for minority and women owned business participation in state contracting going forward. In his time in office, Governor Blunt wrongly cut participation targets in half without any evidence to justify his decision. A new study will provide a powerful tool to ensure that such ill-considered action will not happen again should the state elect a future administration hostile to this effort. Finally, we need the disparity study to help win the inevitable costly legal battle waiting to be initiated by those who would choose to ignore the reality of discrimination in America; a legal battle that may well endanger these programs and put countless jobs in our community at risk.

The Missouri General Assembly is in the process of determining whether or not to fund a disparity study and avoid this catastrophe. House Republicans stripped the disparity study funding from Governor Nixon's budget, but State Rep. Jason Kander, D – Kansas City, was successful in restoring the money. This week, in a Senate committee, State Sen. Jim Lembke, R – St. Louis County, led a successful effort to undo that good work. However, with your support there is still time for the General Assembly to put money for the disparity study back in the budget.

Even in difficult times – particularly in difficult times – the fight to end discrimination and promote equality cannot take a break. We must act now to preserve this important program. Please join me in contacting State Senators and Representatives, particularly Senators Lembke, Mayer, Schaefer, Dempsey, Pearce, Rupp and others in the Republican Majority, to urge them to fund the disparity study.

No comments:

Post a Comment