The state auditor for Missouri is backing a bill to reinstate legal protections for whistleblowers in state government. The governor and General Assembly stripped those protections earlier this year.
A Missouri law that went into effect this summer made it harder for employees to sue businesses for racial discrimination. And that same law has made it easier for state agencies to fire employees who go public with government wrongdoing or corruption.
Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway says that whistleblowers are crucial, and wants them protected.
“Our bill reverses state government’s troubling trend toward secrecy,” says Galloway. “It prevents a chilling effect that could undermine the state’s ability to uncover wasteful, improper or illegal uses of taxpayer dollars.”
The legislation is sponsored by Rep. Gail McCann Beatty, a Democrat from Kansas City, and by Sen. Jill Schupp, a Democrat from St. Louis. It doesn’t have any Republican sponsors.
Gov. Eric Greitens, a Republican, enthusiastically supported the law weakening whistleblower protections. He’s said it will prevent lawsuits that threaten jobs.
Frank Morris is a national correspondent and senior editor at KCUR 89.3. You can reach him on Twitter @FrankNewsman.