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Missouri Rep. Ian Mackey On Vaccine Mandate Debate

State Rep. Ian Mackey, D-Richmond Heights, speaks during a special session held on June 30, 2021.
Tim Bommel
House Communications
State Rep. Ian Mackey, D-Richmond Heights, speaks during a special session in June.

State Rep. Ian Mackey is the latest guest on Politically Speaking, where the Richmond Heights Democrat talked with St. Louis Public Radio’s Sarah Kellogg and Jason Rosenbaum about some of the key issues facing lawmakers in 2022.

Mackey, who is one of the few openly gay lawmakers in the Missouri General Assembly, also discussed the decision to move an exhibit about Kansas City’s contribution to the LGBTQ rights movement out of the Missouri Capitol and into a less well-known building in Jefferson City.

Here’s what Mackey talked about on the program:

  • His participation in a House Judiciary Committee hearing where a number of business groups slammed President Joe Biden’s plan to require vaccinations or testing at companies that employ more than 100 people. 
  • His doubts about whether legislators could pass anything to counteract Biden’s proposal that would stretch beyond symbolism. It may be more likely that pushback comes from Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who has promised to file litigation when the emergency OSHA rule is released.
  • His reaction to the removal of the LGBTQ exhibit from the Capitol, which he says shows that the Missouri GOP is still way behind the curve of public opinion. 
  • Expectations for both bipartisan cooperation and sharp divides between Republicans and Democrats in the 2022 session. Mackey collaborated with Rep. Dottie Bailey, R-Eureka, to overhaul how seclusion and restraint can be used in schools. But he’s been an outspoken opponent of GOP efforts to limit abortion rights and has pushed for restrictions on guns that have gone nowhere in the Republican-controlled legislature.

Mackey graduated from Westminster College with a degree in early childhood education. He also has a law degree from Suffolk University in Boston.

He first ran in 2018 for the 87th District seat, which includes St. Louis County municipalities such as Clayton, Richmond Heights and Ladue. He was re-elected in 2020 without major opposition.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Sarah Kellogg on Twitter: @sarahkkellogg

Sarah Kellogg is a Missouri Statehouse and Politics Reporter for St. Louis Public Radio and other public radio stations across the state.
Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.