Representative Ian Mackey, a Democrat from St. Louis County, was vehemently opposed to the bill, and said in a passionate address to his colleagues: “Women brought all of us into this world, and I sure hope they vote all of us out.”

Later, in a telephone interview, he said that Friday’s vote was the “day when it finally hit home that, ‘Oh my God, my state is also participating in the effort to overturn Roe v. Wade,’” the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case that established federal protections for abortion.

But St. Louis Democratic Rep. Ian Mackey said restricting faculty speech contradicts the point of the bill.

"What's wrong with being offended in the context of a college classroom?" Mackey said during a House floor debate. "What's wrong with that? That's particularly the place where one should be offended. I learn by being offended half the time."

State. Rep. Ian Mackey, a Democrat who lives in St. Louis County, filed House Bill 583 to require parents to enroll children by age 5. Currently, the rule is age 7.

"You cannot start school at 7 years old. You can't make that time up," said Mackey, who was recently sworn in to serve his first term. "If you are behind, you are not going to catch up."

Mackey, an attorney who previously worked as an early childhood educator, said this change is long overdue.

He believes the earlier start will increase student achievement and help more students access post-secondary college and career options.

"Evidence and experience demonstrate that a child’s early years are formative for their long-term development,” said Mackey, in a Jan. 17 news release. “Lowering our state’s mandatory school age is the right thing to do — and should serve as a critical piece of Gov. Mike Parson’s workforce development agenda.”

Mackey, who taught in Head Start classrooms in Springfield, said the Missouri General Assembly expanded funding and access to early childhood education in recent years, and this change supports that effort.


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