Right-To-Life advocates filed suit in Cole County Circuit Court Thursday, asking a judge to declare the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act, or MOSIRA, null and void on the grounds that the language authorizing its passage was tied to another piece of legislation which did not pass in this year's special session of the Missouri General Assembly.
When Governor Nixon signed the bill into law in October and again during a , he maintained a position that the MOSIRA bill, which was tied to the fate of the failed Aerotropolis Economic Development legislation, would survive a legal challenge over severability.
The Clayton-based Missouri Rountable for Life, and Missouri Right To Life, as organizations, and Fred Sauer and Pam Fichter, as citizens, claim that the language of the bill made it clear that MOSIRA's passage was tied to Aerotropolis.
In his vist to Creve Coeur last month, Governor Nixon indicated he would work with lawmakers on a legislative fix to the issue but has authorized the state to take steps to move forward with implementation of the bill, which is designed to build a fund that could be used to help lure science and technology startups and other firms to the state.
Fichter, a Warson Woods resident and President of Missouri Right To Life, said the group was not opposed to life science research. A press release announcing the petition said lawmakers did not put clauses in the MOSIRA legislation which would have kept public money from being used for abortion, human cloning, and embryo experimentation. Fichter points to studies which indicate a preference for the use of adult stem cells.
Governor Nixon's office referred comment to the Attorney General. A spokeswoman for Chis Koster said the office had just received the petition and had no comment.