Governor Nixon will decide if a religious conscience bill passed by the legislature fits in with present religious exemption laws before he decides to sign it or veto it. Legislators who could have kept the bill from passing let it get through in the last hours of the session.
St. Louis Senator John Lamping introduced the bill after the Obama administration ordered employers to provide insurance coverage for contraception, sterilization and abortion, saying it offended Catholic institutions.
Pro-choice legislators objected early. But when the final vote came, they backed off. Kansas City Senator Jolie Justus says they did because the majority back ing the bill worked with the minority opposing it to write something both sides can live with.
She voted against the bill but did not keep it from coming to the vote that has sent it to the Governor, who has the next vote–with his pen. Nixon says he wants to see if this bill “harmonizes” with existing religious exemption laws.