© 2023 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Politically Speaking: Sen. Schupp focuses on mental health, protecting whistleblowers

Sen. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur, stands to speak on the first day of the 2018 Missouri General Assembly session.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio
Sen. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur, stands to speak on the first day of the 2018 Missouri General Assembly session.

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio's Jo Mannies and Marshall Griffin welcome back state Sen. Jill Schupp, a Democrat from Creve Coeur.

Schupp’s 24th District takes in part or all of at least 20 municipalities in St. Louis County. She’s finishing up her first four-year term and has filed for re-election this fall. Her first Senate race in 2014 was the most combative and expensive in the state that year.

As a member of the Senate’s Democratic minority, Schupp acknowledges that her party is sometimes on the sidelines. But Senate Democrats also are often the sole roadblock to controversial legislation – notably on social-services, abortion and labor issues – sought by Senate conservatives.

Among her observations on the podcast:

  • The state Senate is “walking on eggshells’’ as it watches the House investigate the allegations against Gov. Eric Greitens, a Republican accused of breaking state law by taking a photo of semi-nude woman without her consent. He was engaging in an affair with the woman at the time.
  • She’s optimistic about the chances for her bill to encourage additional professional training for some healthcare workers in mental health in order to curb suicides. “Missouri has a higher rate of suicides than the national average.”
  •  She’s trying to restore whistleblower protections for public employees, which were apparently accidentally stripped out of state law with the passage of SB43 last year. That bill, now law, makes it tougher to sue for discrimination in Missouri. Schupp says her restoration bill is being held hostage by some GOP senators who want her to first agree to vote on some of their favored legislation, such as tax cuts.
  • She’s expecting a stiff fight over Republican proposals to require public-employee unions to get annual written approval from members before collecting dues, and to end existing “prevailing wage’’ requirements for local government or school construction projects.

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter: @jmannies

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter: @MarshallGReport

Follow Jill Schupp on Twitter: @JillSchupp

Music: "Dirt" by Death in Vegas

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.
Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.