Capitol Report: May 14, 2018

Hello!

If we were having coffee, I would talk with you about how things are heating up as summer approaches. It got into the 90s this weekend! Especially when you consider that it was snowing at this time last month, things have gotten warm quickly. Things are heating up in the legislature as well. We are going into the last week of session, and everyone is under significant pressure–either to pass bills or to stop them (or sometimes both).

In many cases, the pressure comes from inside the chamber. The house was in session until every night this week, one night we stayed until well after midnight. The majority floor leader was quick to call a Previous Question or use other tactics to end debate on a bill. As we enter this last week of session, I expect things to get even more intense.

In this issue:

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

Governor Update

Two significant things will happen in the coming week: our Governor will sit at the defense table in his criminal trial, and the House will commence a special session to discuss impeaching the Governor. These are sad times for Missouri, and I take no joy in these actions.

House Happenings

The Legislature has passed the budget and will soon send it to the Governor’s desk. I was very happy that it added money back to K-12 education. It also restored some of the money to higher education that had been stripped away in a prior revision of the budget, and allocated money to the summer jobs program. Language in the budget, however, took funding away from Planned Parenthood, and kept the social services funding cuts that had been done last year.

The Legislature also did a number of other things this week. The House passed HJR 100, a measure that would change how districts are drawn so that some have more constituents than others, and it would compete with the Clean Missouri initiative. If the Senate passes that, it will be on the ballot in November. The House also gave initial approval to HJR 79, which would put a constitutional amendment for Right to Work on the ballot in November.

We spent quite a bit of time debating an Education bill (SB 743) with a number of amendments. This bill would have expanded the list of people the School Board could authorize to carry weapons onto school grounds; this provision was stripped off.

As of this writing, the Missouri House and Senate have agreed and passed 34 bills. 2 of these have been sent to the Governor for signature.

Capitol Construction

Capitol construction is well underway. I don’t believe any entrances have been closed due to construction, but they are more difficult to access. If you are visiting the Capitol, be aware of signs directing you where to enter the building.

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. 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

 

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.