Capitol Report: April 16, 2018

Hello!

If we were having coffee, I know you would ask me about the Governor. I was shocked and disgusted by the report that came out last Wednesday detailing his behavior. This was not consensual behavior, and a person who behaves this way has no business leading our state.

In this issue:

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

Governor Update

The report that was released on Wednesday was signed by every member of the investigative committee: five Republicans and two Democrats. As Speaker Todd Richardson said, this was not a witch hunt.

I do not believe the Governor’s claims of innocence. But even if they are true, he needs to step down temporarily until the numerous investigations into his behavior reach their conclusions. He is under investigation by the House committee and by the Attorney General, he is under felony indictment, and a complaint was made to the Missouri Ethics Commission. There is also a lawsuit into his use of the Confide application. I do not see how a person facing so many investigations can effectively concentrate on his job.

House Happenings

I believe the House will now begin impeachment proceedings. The infographic above lays out a timeline for these proceedings.

The Speaker has stated he wants to call a special session to deal with impeachment proceedings. I do not believe business should continue as usual while Eric Greitens remains in office. We will pass a budget, as is our constitutional mandate. Other than that, I do not see how anything else passes, especially not on a bipartisan basis.

We had two days last week where we discussed legislation; during most weeks there are four. Everything we addressed last week was considered non-controversial. This coming week, we will not be in session on Monday. As of this writing, committees are scheduled to hear relatively few bills this next week.

Senate Democrats have threatened to filibuster every House bill other than the budget bills until the committee issues articles of impeachment.

If they are allowed to come up, here are some bills that might be debated this week:

The charter school bill, HB 2247, is at the top of the calendar for hearing next week. 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. I have heard that there are not enough votes for this bill to pass.

Another bill at the top of the calendar this week is a bill that prevents government agencies from contracting with any company that boycotts Israel. This is HB 2179. This bill is a priority of the Governor.

A bill I initiated, HB 1803, is also on the calendar for this week. This bill leaves to the discretion of school administrators to call the police when harassment or third degree assault occurs on school property (currently it is mandatory).

HB 2540, a 400-page tax cut bill, is also on the calendar to be discussed. When we are already struggling to meet our obligations, Missouri should not be passing Kansas-style corporate tax cuts.
As of this writing, the Missouri House has taken votes on 216 bills.

You can see a full listing of House actions by date.

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.

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

This week, I had the opportunity to share with third- and fourth-graders at Gotsch Primary School’s career day. I enjoyed talking with the children about what I do as State Representative and teaching them more about the state legislature.

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!

Thanks for reading. Have a great week!

 


 

Committees

The committees I am on are:

Announcements

Children are looking for Forever Families

One of the priorities of the legislature this year has been legislation to help foster children. We have a crisis number of foster children in Missouri, and it has been rising due to the Opioid epidemic. If you would like to open your home to a child, you can find information about becoming an adoptive parent online at https://dss.mo.gov/cd/adoption/.

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.