Capitol Report: April 9, 2018

If we were having coffee, I would probably talk with you about the tax reform legislation that got initial approval in the House last week. I found the discussion on the floor very disheartening, both what was discussed and what was left out. There seemed to be an eagerness to keep the 2% sales tax discount (where retailers get to keep 2% of sales taxes collected if they file the other 98% on time). At the same time, there were no amendments allowed to restore the Circuit Breaker tax cut, which is important to helping seniors live independently.

This week is the last opportunity to take my survey. I hope every constituent uses this opportunity to share their views with me!

In this issue:

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

House Happenings

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.

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.

We heard a number of bills related to abortion last Tuesday. The Chair of the Children and Families committee scheduled four abortion bills to be heard in a two-hour time period. A number of witnesses came to testify, and several of them, on both sides of the issue, were not given time to testify. I would like to thank them for driving to the Capitol to talk about an issue that is important to them, and I am very sorry that the Chair would not give sufficient time for everyone to have a say. Refusing to let people be heard is not how Democracy works.

We also heard a bill on the House floor on Tuesday that would ban abortions after 20 weeks. Immediately thereafter, the same people who had been talking about how all life is valuable voted to increase child hunger in Missouri by passing HB 1486.

As discussed earlier, we discussed a tax cut bill ( HB 2540) on the House floor, and 12 amendments were added.

As of this writing, the Missouri House has taken votes on 197 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.

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. A House committee has been conducting an investigation into the Governor’s conduct; they are expected to issue a report this week.

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 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

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.