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Rep. Maggie Nurrenbern slams Republican-backed DEI budget restrictions

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State Rep. Maggie Nurrenbern, D-Clay County
Courtesy of Rep. Nurrenbern's Twitter page
State Rep. Maggie Nurrenbern, D-Clay County

On the latest episode of Politically Speaking, state Rep. Maggie Nurrenbern talks about the state budget and how Missouri lawmakers should approach education policy.

The Democrat represents Missouri’s 15th District, which takes in a portion of Clay County. She was first elected in 2020 and then reelected last year. The former teacher serves on the House Budget Committee and the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee.

Here’s what Nurrenbern discussed on the program:

  • Budgetary amendments in the House that would bar any state funding from going toward “staffing, vendors, consultants, or programs associated with diversity, equity and inclusion.” Nurrenbern said the proposal amounts to political posturing and added that state DEI work is vitally important for improving Missouri's workforce.
  • Her take on open enrollment legislation, which would allow some families to send their children to the school of their choice. She said the proposal would end up hurting schools that are struggling, since they would ultimately get less money from the state.
  • The looming debate in the House over bills that would restrict transgender health care and bar student athletes from playing on teams that align with their gender identity. Republicans have made those bills major priorities in the 2023 session.

Nurrenbern is a lifelong resident of Clay County, having graduated from Smithville High School in 2002. After graduating from Truman State University and the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Nurrenbern worked as a teacher for over a decade.

After Rep. Jon Carpenter, D-Clay County, left the House because of term limits, Nurrenbern won the race to replace him. She also prevailed in her reelection campaign by 11 percentage points. Clay County has become more Democratic in recent years, often supporting the party’s statewide candidates.

Nurrenbern is running to succeed Sen. Lauren Arthur in the 17th District. Both Arthur and Carpenter endorsed Nurrenbern.

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Sarah Kellogg has been the Missouri Statehouse and politics reporter for St. Louis Public Radio since 2021.