The Honorable Pat Dougherty
The Honorable Pat Dougherty
Born June 30, 1948, in Decatur, Illinois, Patrick Dougherty lives in St. Louis with his wife Beverly. They have three children: Erica, Bridget and Elizabeth and a granddaughter, Dana McFarlane. Pat received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Quincy University in 1970 and attended Kenrick Theological Seminary for two years. He served as a Division of Family Services caseworker for four years before joining the Missouri Legislature.
Pat Dougherty began his legislative career in 1978 when he was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives. He served in the House until elected to the Senate in a special election on January 24, 2001. He was sworn into office in the Senate on January 31, 2001, and was re-elected to the Senate in the fall of 2002. Legislative term limits drew a close to his 28-year legislative career at the end of 2006.
Legislative Accomplishments, Missouri House of Representatives
As a Representative, Pat chaired the House Children, Youth and Families Committee, and the Energy and Environment Committee. He spent more than 20 years on the House Appropriations Committee for Social Services and Corrections, including several years as vice-chair.
During his career in the House, Pat Dougherty established himself as a champion of children’s issues over the years, and particularly, as he chaired the House Children, Youth and Families Committee. He sponsored dozens of pieces of legislation dealing with children and families and passed many of them. These included measures regarding: day care, abuse/neglect, immunizations, divorce/child custody, domestic violence, anti-stalking, women and children orders of protection and many more. He has received numerous awards while in the House (and the Senate) for his efforts on behalf of families and children.
Pat Dougherty wrote and co-sponsored a bill in 1995 establishing the Youth Opportunities and Violence Prevention Act, which promotes, through the use of tax credits, programs that focus is on preventing violence, conflict resolution and job skills and training.
Pat Dougherty also began to focus on cancer issues while in the House and has continued these efforts in the Senate. He helped pass the first bill in Missouri to require health insurance companies to cover breast cancer/mammogram screenings for women. He wrote legislation to also cover treatment for chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants for women who had breast cancer. Several years ago, Pat wrote and passed what became at the time a national model bill that, in Missouri, required health insurance companies to cover cancer screenings for colon, uterine and prostate cancer using the American Cancer Society guidelines.
Other House activity includes: (abridged)
- Co-sponsored legislation to insure that children have easier access to immunizations.
- Increased children’s health insurance program (“CHIP”) coverage.
- Sponsored/passed legislation revising divorce and separation statutes to ensure the best interests of children are protected during divorce.
- Passage of the Lead Poisoning Prevention Act.
- Wrote and co-sponsored the 1994 anti-stalking law.
- Wrote numerous environmental bills.
Legislative Accomplishments, Missouri Senate
While still a “freshman” senator, Pat Dougherty in 2001 was appointed to the Senate Appropriations Committee, which oversees the state budget and was soon the ranking Democrat on this panel. While fighting for many programs during his tenure on the Appropriations Committee, Pat worked closely with both parties to fashion support for items even in the midst of great controversy surrounding health care issues.
As a state Senator during the 2001 and 2002 legislative sessions, Pat Dougherty helped write and pass legislation requiring lead poisoning screenings for all children at risk and obtained $1.3 million to fund the legislation.
Also in 2002, Pat advanced legislation allowing young teenagers to make donations of blood and bone marrow. His daughter Elizabeth who, at the time, was a senior in high school initiated this. She brought the idea to her father, researched the proposal, testified before the Senate and helped her father gain support for this important health care bill, which was signed into law the same year.
Again in 2002, Pat helped write and pass bills in the Senate requiring health insurance coverage of phase III and IV clinical trials, as well as second opinions for those diagnosed with cancer. Pat Dougherty furthered this healthcare accessibility initiative in 2006 by securing passage of a bill requiring health insurance companies to provide coverage for routine patient-care costs incurred as the result of phase II clinical trials undertaken to treat cancer.
In 2005, Pat Dougherty aggressively challenged so-called “reforms” to state-sponsored healthcare programs and services, most notably Medicaid. In the end, these “reforms” forced over 100,000 Missourians off health care coverage. The legislation mandated the elimination of the Medicaid Program by 2008 in Missouri.
Of special note is the compromise Pat helped fashion to provide some protection to children in the CHIPS program during the 2005 Medicaid cuts. During 2006, he again helped fashion changes to the CHIPS premiums to help parents.
Pat Dougherty served on the following legislative committees during the 2006 session:
- Aging, Families, Mental and Public Health.
- Pensions, Veterans’ Affairs and General Laws.
- Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions & Ethics.
- Joint Committee on Legislative Research.
- Joint Committee on Solid Waste.
- Medicaid Reform Commission.
- Senate Interim Committee on Availability, Affordability, and Wellness Promotion in Healthcare.
National Conference of State Legislatures, Career Involvement With –
Pat Dougherty has been an active member of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) for more than 25 years. He has served on the NCSL’s Executive Committee, was vice-chair of the Assembly of State Issues of the National Conference of State Legislatures, and was chair of the NCSL’s Environment Committee. Other NCSL-related affiliations include:
- NCSL Foundation – Environmental Partners, past chairman.
- Human Services and Welfare Committee.
- Agriculture, Environment and Energy Committee.
- Health Committee.
- Policy Dialogue Advisory Committee – a greenhouse gas reduction advisory committee to President Clinton.
- Clean Air Advisory Committee.
- Member, NCSL/Lance Armstrong Foundation (now LIVESTRONG) Cancer Survivorship Committee.
Boards, Committees and Commissions, non-legislative (abridged listing)
- Nurses for Newborns.
- Children’s Trust Fund.
- Cornerstone Early Learning Center.
- Missouri Restorative Justice Coalition.
- St. Patrick Center.
- Task Force on Children’s Justice.
- St. Louis Crisis Nursery Advisory Board.
- National Conference of Environmental Legislators.
- State Division of Medical Services, Medical and Technical Advisory Committee.
- American Cancer Society, High Plains Division, Government Relations Committee.
- American Cancer Society, Missouri Government Relations Committee, chair.
- Missouri Committee on Lead Poisoning, past chair.
- St. Louis Voices for Children, retired.
- American Lung Association of Eastern Missouri, retired.
- United Way Government Relations Committee, retired.
- Patient Advocate Foundation Board of Directors, retired.
- National Patient Advocate Foundation Board of Directors, retired.
- 2006 Outstanding Legislator Award, presented by the National Alliance on Mental Illness–St. Louis.
- 2006 Laurie Donovan Award, presented by the Children’s Trust Fund.
- 2006 Crystal Wagon Legislative Award, presented by Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center.
- 2006 Parade of Heroes Award, presented by the Patient Advocate Foundation.
- 2006 Outstanding Leadership Award, presented by the National Patient Advocate Foundation.
- 2006 Defender of Patient Safety, presented by the Families and Coalition Partners of Missouri Watch, Inc.
- 2006 High Plains Division Award, presented by the American Cancer Society.
Awards prior to 2006 include: (abridged)
- Recognition, Children’s Advocacy Services of Greater St. Louis.
- Guardian Angel Award, presented by the Family Support Network.
- Children’s Hero Award, presented by the Child Day Care Association.
- Outstanding Achievement in Government Relations/Advocacy Award, presented by the American Cancer Society.
- Heroes Award, presented by Citizens for Missouri’s Children.
- Lifestyles Award, presented by the American Lung Association of Eastern Missouri.
- Ann Dandurant Award, presented by Prevent Child Abuse Missouri.
- Legislative Friend to Animals Award, presented by the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation.
- H.U.G.S. & K.I.S.S.E.S Award, presented by the St. Louis Crisis Nursery.
- Excellence Award in Advocacy, presented by the American Cancer Society.