ST. LOUIS – As 36 school districts in Missouri are being sued by the attorney governor for having mask mandates, a Senate bill was recently filed that would help districts with expenses if they win.
More than 70 parents have joined Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, claiming schools do not have the authority to enforce mask mandates. In a recent interview with Fox 2, Schmitt referred to the mandates as “Illegal masking of kids.”
In the St. Louis area, 20 school districts are being sued, including St. Louis Public Schools, Parkway, Francis Howell, Fort Zumalt, St. Charles, Clayton, Mehlville, Ladue, and more.
SB 992, sponsored by Sen. Doug Beck, D-St. Louis, states that if a school district wins the lawsuit, then Schmitt would have to pay for the school district’s attorney’s fees and other expenses they may incur.
“In a civil action brought by the Attorney General against a political subdivision, including school districts, the court shall award attorney’s fees, court costs, and all other expenses incurred by the political subdivision or school district in defense of any such action brought if the action is terminated in favor of the political subdivision or school district,” the bill summary states.
“Additionally, any award of attorney’s fees or other expenses incurred by the political subdivision or school district shall be paid by funds appropriated to the Attorney General by the General Assembly on an annual basis for the expenses relating to the operation, personal costs, and equipment of the Attorney General’s office, and shall not be paid from any other designated, statutory, or administrative fund.”
On Saturday, Beck posted to his Facebook page about his bill saying, “Are you tired of our Attorney General’s frivolous lawsuits against our schools, our teachers, and our kids? Shouldn’t the AG protect our citizens and not try to harm them? Senate Bill 992 will help our schools to fight back and keep our kids safe.”