What’s Happening Report: July 1, 2019

If we were having coffee, I would talk with you again about drops in Medicaid coverage. I feel like a broken record talking about this, but I will keep working to bring light to the problems this causes until we get some changes.

Early in 2018, the Department of Social Services (DSS) started sending out 10-page forms to Medicaid recipients to verify continued eligibility. I want to know what thought was put into this, so I asked DSS for e-mails. They responded with an invoice for over $1,300. I am looking for other ways to get this information, and I find it unconscionable that a state department would ask a Legislator to pay for records.

Meanwhile, the cuts to Medicaid (over 27,000 children have lost Medicaid coverage in 2019 alone) have ripple effects. It is affecting the budgets of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), who are there to provide healthcare for low-income people. There have been significant cuts in a program that provides birth control and STI treatment for low-income women; I had a letter published in the St. Louis Post Dispatch about that last week.

I have a few more coffees scheduled this summer! I enjoyed talking to constituents about the legislative process and your concerns about this legislative session. See the schedule at the top of this e-mail.
RealID Update
RealID compliant drivers and nondrivers licenses are now available with properdocumentationYou can go to the DMV and request a replacement for yourcurrent license with the Real ID for a $5 processing fee. If you renew yourlicense at the time of the request you will be charged the renewal fee. You need a RealID compliant Identification Card to board an airplane and enter federal buildings; Missouri issued Identification Cards (including drivers’ licenses) will be accepted in lieu of RealID until October 1, 2020.
I-44 Update
MoDOT I-44 project near Shrewsbury now to be complete by fall 
The Shrewsbury entrance to I-44 has re-opened! There are a few more repairs to be made which will result in temporary lane closures during off-peak hours.
MODot Update: Missouri travelers should use caution, heed closure signs, during flooding JEFFERSON CITY — Moving barricades or driving over flooded roads could be deadly. With flooding impacting roads and bridges across the state, the Missouri Department of Transportation wants to remind travelers to pay attention to all posted signs.

“The phrase ‘Turn Around, Don’t Drown’ is the best advice we can give drivers,” said Becky Allmeroth, MoDOT’s chief safety officer and maintenance engineer. “With major rivers rising and flash flooding covering routes throughout the state, motorists need to check the Traveler Information Map before heading out.”

Travelers should heed barricades barring travel across flooded roads. Several water rescues have already occurred across the state. Almost all of them could have been avoided if the driver had not attempted to cross a flooded route.

“I’m always flabbergasted to learn someone has driven around — or even moved — a barricade to get across a flooded route,” Allmeroth said. “They are literally putting their lives, and the lives of their passengers, in jeopardy. It’s not only dangerous, it’s illegal.”During flooding the road may have collapsed under the water. Water may be deeper than it appears and can hide hazards such as sharp objects, washed out road surfaces, electrical wires and chemicals.

According to the National Weather Service, it takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away a small car, while 2 feet of rushing water can carry away almost any vehicle. It is NEVER safe to drive or walk into flood waters. Downed power lines, hidden debris or one false step can lead to injury or even death.

With more rain forecast across the state for the next few days, MoDOT advises all travelers check the Traveler Information Map before heading out, even if yourcurrent location appears not to be affected by flooding. You can also call 1-888-275-6636 (Ask MoDOT) to talk to a MoDOT customer service representative 24-hours a day. For more information, call MoDOT at 888-ASK-MODOT (275-6636) or visit www.modot.org. To receive the latest statewide news and text alerts, signup for e-updates.
Capitol Construction
The Missouri Capitol will be under construction for the next two years. Many streets around the Capitol are closed, with signs directing an alternate route. The Capitol Dome is also closed. Construction is expected to be complete by the end of 2020.
Even though I will not be in Jefferson City regularly, you are welcome to stop by my office if you are there. If you have an issue to talk with me about, it is best to make an appointment through my assistant, Nancy, at 573-751-1285.

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!