If we were having coffee, I would remind you how human the legislators are after a rough week. We have one member who broke her pelvis, another who is having to help a family member make weighty decisions, and a legislative assistant who is severely ill from complications from the flu. So I would ask for your healing thoughts and prayers for those with major health issues.
We’ve had some student artwork displayed in the Capitol rotunda recently. This week I took some pictures to share some of Missouri’s talented children’s artwork with you. Of all the artwork in the Capitol, this piece really moved me. It is Monday v Friday by Lindsay Jones, grade 4. Van-Far Elementary, Van-Far R-1.
My survey is available, I hope every constituent uses this opportunity to share their views with me!
In this issue:
- House Happenings
- Bills Signed
- Governor Update
- Capitol Construction
- In the Community
I want to talk a bit about how sausage is made here. We had a good bill, HB 1442, “Relating to County Government,” which would require vacancies in county offices to be filled in a more timely manner. Unfortunately, an amendment was added on which prohibits cities from regulating a landowner’s private potable water systems (such as a well for drinking water). There are two problems with this, one technical and one substantive. The technical problem is that this doesn’t relate to county government, so if it is challenged, it would probably not hold up in court. The substantive problem is that cities need to be able to regulate drinking water within their borders so that they can ensure water quality. Because of these two problems, I (along with most Democrats) voted no on what was otherwise a good bill, but the bill passed.
Next Tuesday, the Children and Families committee will be voting on Medicaid work requirements. The bill is similar to SB 562. It is a terrible idea because, while people generally need to be healthy to work, this bill requires people to work before they can afford healthcare. Healthy people who do work, as they would be required to under this bill, would be ineligible for Medicaid due to income limits. The bill would cost Missouri a lot of money to put together bureaucracy that would make lives more difficult for poor people.
This artwork is Untitled by MaKenna Blackshere, grade 3. Highland Park Elementary, Lee’s Summit R-7
As of this writing, the Missouri House has taken votes on 113 bills.
You can see a full listing of House actions by date.
The House Rules Committee has voted out a charter school bill, HB 2247. This bill would allow a charter school to open in any school district in Missouri, without increasing the accountability measures for charter schools. charter schools are privately-run schools that are publicly funded.
View upcoming committee hearings. After bills go through committee, they go to a Rules committee (there are 2) to get another look before they go to the Floor.
On Monday, March 5, Governor Greitens signed HB 1246, which directs the Department of Public Safety to create a poster that provides information regarding the National Human Trafficking Hotline. The law will take effect on August, 28, 2018 and will require entities located in areas most likely to see high levels of human trafficking to display the poster. These establishments will be required to display to poster starting March 1, 2019.
I have had a number of people write me and ask for the Governor’s resignation. I do not have the power to force his resignation; I do not have the kind of personal relationship with the Governor where I could request his resignation. In the House, we have the power to present Articles of Impeachment.
The process toward impeachment has begun. Below is an infographic outlining the Constitutional steps for impeachment in Missouri. This week, the House investigation began. It is scheduled to be complete by early April.
The Missouri Capitol will be under construction for the next two years. The streets around the Capitol are closed, with signs directing an alternate route. In case you’re wondering what it will look like, here is an artist rendering. Construction is expected to be complete by the end of 2020.
In the Community
I am currently scheduling meetings in June to talk with constituents about the voting process and how to be involved with your government. If you would like to schedule a time for me to meet with you and your neighbors, please let me know by responding to this e-mail!
I enjoy opportunities to meet with people in the community and participate in local events. It’s one of the best parts of my job! I am busy planning town halls, including a large one with Reps. Beck, Lavender and Burns, at South County Tech High School, 12721 W Watson Rd., on April 7 from 10-12. Save the date!
Thanks for reading. Have a great week!
The committees I am on are:
- Children and Families
- Fiscal Review
- Insurance Policy, Standing
- Subcommittee on Creation and Appointments
- Rules — Administrative Oversight
- Special Committee on Innovation and Technology
- Career and Technical Education Advisory Council
Candidates have filed to run in the April general election.
The polls will be open 6AM-7PM on Election Day, April 3, 2018.
- Aldermanic Seat (4 seats)
- Board of Trustees seat (2 seats).
- Aldermanic Seat — Ward I
- Aldermanic Seat — Ward II
- Aldermanic Seat — Ward III
- City Council (3 seats)
- League of Women Voters will be holding a candidate forum on March 13 at 7:00 pm at the Webster Groves Rec Center (33 E Glendale)
There will not be an April election in the wards I represent in St. Louis City (16 and 23).
Senior Service Awards
The Lieutenant Governor’s Senior Service Award was instituted in 2005 to promote and highlight the positive accomplishments Missouri’s senior citizens have made in their local communities. Hundreds of seniors have been honored so far with this award. This year we again are honoring seniors from around our state. We will recognize each of these exceptional seniors at our annual Senior Service Award banquet here at the Capitol in May.
Each winner will receive an official Declaration from my office and an invitation to our award banquet. Here is the timeline for the awards:
- March 29: Nominations due
- April 6: Winners announced
- May 7: Awards Presentation at 1:00 PM in the 1st Floor Capitol Rotunda
Nominations are being accepted for the 2018 Senior Service Awards. Individuals should be at least 60 years of age and volunteer a minimum of 25 hours per year. You also can access the nomination form here. The deadline to submit your nominations is March 29, 2018. Please submit completed forms via fax, mail, or email. Please contact me if you would like me to make a nomination
The Red Cross has issued an urgent call for blood donations. Platelet and type O negative and B negative blood donations – in particular – are critically needed right now. Hectic holiday schedules, winter weather and an active cold and flu season collectively contributed to more than 28,000 fewer donations than what was needed in November and December.
The Red Cross must collect more than 13,000 donations every day for patients at about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide. Accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all require blood to help save their lives.
Eligible individuals are urged to schedule a blood or platelet donation today by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donors can help even more people by inviting a family member, friend or co-worker to donate too.
The Missouri Bar has launched a new website, https://missouri.freelegalanswers.org/. This website will provide some legal answers for low-income people from trained lawyers, and also has resources for other legal assistance for people who need it. It is a resource for people who need legal help but cannot afford it.
I will share events here that I am asked to share with my constituents.
- League of Women Voters will be holding a forum for Mayoral and City Council Candidates on March 13 at 7:00 pm at the Webster Groves Rec Center (33 E Glendale)
- Grand Opening of Bloom Cafe: Bloom Cafe is a project of Paraquad and is designed to help people with disabilities get the skills they need to move into competitive, integrated employment.
Wednesday, March 21, 2018, at 10 a.m.
5200 Oakland Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110
- Town Hall with Reps. Sarah Unsicker, Doug Beck, Bob Burns and Deb Lavender on Saturday, April 7 from 10-12 at South County Tech High School, 12721 W Watson Rd.