Capitol Report: March 19, 2018

Hello!

If we were having coffee, I might finally have time to have a second cup with you. The Legislature is on Spring Break this week, and while I have meetings set up and work to do, I am also taking some time to relax and spending more time with my family this week. Barring significant statewide news, there will be no newsletter next week.

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. This piece is Frosty by Braylee Mebruer, Kindergarten. Osage Co. R-1 Chamois Elementary School. A last reminder of winter before the spring equinox this week.

My survey is available, I hope every constituent uses this opportunity to share their views with me!

In this issue:

  • House Happenings
  • Budget Update
  • Governor Update
  • Capitol Construction
  • In the Community
  • Announcements
  • Events

House Happenings

We had a marathon week in the Capitol, with some late nights and long sessions.

We debated and passed a bill to eliminate prevailing wage in Missouri. Prevailing wage is when a government entity pays workers–union and non-union–at a negotiated rate that is similar to the wage commonly paid in the area for the same work. The argument for the prevailing wage law is that “construction workers are paid too much.”

We also debated bills to restrict food stamp benefits. The majority party seems oblivious to the fact that paying workers a living wage would greatly reduce the welfare benefits that the government pays out.

Wednesday was Disability Rights Day, when people came to the Capitol to advocate for people with disabilities.

The House also debated and passed its version of the Utilities Bill, which would change the state’s electric utilities laws to allow for different accounting measures and change how rates are set.

The Children and Families committee voted on Medicaid work requirements, HB 1856. 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 Rainbow Seahorse by Sierra Hussey, grade 5, Gerald Elementary, Gasconade R-2

As of this writing, the Missouri House has taken votes on 162 bills (49 of them just this past week).

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.

See what’s scheduled on the House floor.

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.

Budget Update

The Budget passed out of committee this week and will be heard on the House floor the week of March 26. The Budget bills are HB 2001HB 2013. Each bill has a different purpose. Here is a list of appropriations bills, copied from the House website:

HB2001 Fitzpatrick HCS HB 2001 3/15/2018 – HCS Reported Do Pass (H)
(LR# 2001H.02C) – Appropriates money to the Board of Fund Commissioners
HB2002 Fitzpatrick HCS HB 2002 3/15/2018 – HCS Reported Do Pass (H)
(LR# 2002H.03C) – Appropriates money for the expenses, grants, refunds, and distributions of the State Board of Education and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
HB2003 Fitzpatrick HCS HB 2003 3/15/2018 – HCS Reported Do Pass (H)
(LR# 2003H.03C) – Appropriates money for the expenses, grants, refunds, and distributions of the Department of Higher Education
HB2004 Fitzpatrick HCS HB 2004 3/15/2018 – HCS Reported Do Pass (H)
(LR# 2004H.04C) – Appropriates money for the expenses, grants, refunds, and distributions of the Department of Revenue and Department of Transportation
HB2005 Fitzpatrick HCS HB 2005 3/15/2018 – HCS Reported Do Pass (H)
(LR# 2005H.03C) – Appropriates money for the expenses, grants, refunds, and distributions of the Office of Administration, Department of Transportation, and Department of Public Safety
HB2006 Fitzpatrick HCS HB 2006 3/15/2018 – HCS Reported Do Pass (H)
(LR# 2006H.03C) – Appropriates money for the expenses, grants, refunds, and distributions of the Department of Agriculture, Department of Natural Resources, and Department of Conservation
HB2007 Fitzpatrick HCS HB 2007 3/15/2018 – HCS Reported Do Pass (H)
(LR# 2007H.03C) – Appropriates money for the departments of Economic Development; Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration; and Labor and Industrial Relations
HB2008 Fitzpatrick HCS HB 2008 3/15/2018 – HCS Reported Do Pass (H)
(LR# 2008H.03C) – Appropriates money for the expenses, grants, refunds, and distributions of the Department of Public Safety
HB2009 Fitzpatrick HCS HB 2009 3/15/2018 – HCS Reported Do Pass (H)
(LR# 2009H.03C) – Appropriates money for the expenses, grants, refunds, and distributions of the Department of Corrections
HB2010 Fitzpatrick HCS HB 2010 3/15/2018 – HCS Reported Do Pass (H)
(LR# 2010H.03C) – Appropriates money for the expenses, grants, refunds, and distributions of the Department of Mental Health, Board of Public Buildings, and Department of Health and Senior Services
HB2011 Fitzpatrick HCS HB 2011 3/15/2018 – HCS Reported Do Pass (H)
(LR# 2011H.04C) – Appropriates money for the expenses, grants, and distributions of the Department of Social Services
HB2012 Fitzpatrick HCS HB 2012 3/15/2018 – HCS Reported Do Pass (H)
(LR# 2012H.03C) – Appropriates money for the expenses, grants, refunds, and distributions of statewide elected officials, the Judiciary, Office of the State Public Defender, and General Assembly
HB2013 Fitzpatrick HCS HB 2013 3/15/2018 – HCS Reported Do Pass (H)
(LR# 2013H.03C) – Appropriates money for real property leases and related services
HB2014 Fitzpatrick HCS HB 2014 3/15/2018 – Reported to the Senate and First Read (S)
(LR# 2014H.02P) – To appropriate money for supplemental purposes for the several departments and offices of state government
HB2017 Fitzpatrick HB 2017 2/27/2018 – Referred: Budget
(LR# 2017H.01I) – To appropriate money for capital improvement and other purposes for the several departments of state government
HB2018 Fitzpatrick HB 2018 2/27/2018 – Referred: Budget
(LR# 2018H.01I) – To appropriate money for purposes for the several departments and offices of state government; for projects involving the maintenance, repair, replacement, and improvement of state buildings and facilities
HB2019 Fitzpatrick HB 2019 2/27/2018 – Referred: Budget
(LR# 2019H.01I) – To appropriate money for purposes for the several departments and offices of state government; for planning and capital improvements

Governor Update

I, along with many of you, am disgusted by the governor’s scandals. 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 continued. It is scheduled to be complete by April 9.

Capitol Construction

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 love it when people visit me in the Capitol, and it is extra special when they are people I know from home. This week, some members of Gethsemane Lutheran Church in St. Louis came to the Capitol to advocate for sensible gun laws. This picture shows some of the people who came to advocate, along with me and Rep. Donna Baringer.

This week contained Disability Rights Advocacy Day, and along with hearing their stories, I met with a group of parents of adults with severe disabilities. It was humbling to hear their stories and listen to how what we do in the Capitol through the budget process and through laws we write affects their daily life and their children’s abilities to have a meaningful life.

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!

 


 

Committees

The committees I am on are:

Announcements

April Elections

Candidates have filed to run in the April general election.
The polls will be open 6AM-7PM on Election Day, April 3, 2018.

Crestwood

  • Aldermanic Seat (4 seats)

Marlborough

  • Board of Trustees seat (2 seats).

Shrewsbury

  • Mayor
  • Aldermanic Seat — Ward I
  • Aldermanic Seat — Ward II
  • Aldermanic Seat — Ward III

Webster Groves

  • Mayor
  • 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

Donate Blood!

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.

Legal Help

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.

Events

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.