What’s Happening Report: Dec 9, 2019

If we were having coffee, I would talk with you about next session. Bill filing opened last week, and I filed a number of bills:

*HB 1270, relating to Department mailings for blind pension recipients;
*HB 1271, banning retailers from selling crib bumpers;
*HB 1272, erasing the waiting period for enrolling children in CHIP health insurance;
*HB 1273, relating to how often we verify eligibility for Medicaid recipients;
*HB 1274, requiring children to be in rear-facing child safety seats until they are two years old;
*HB 1275, relating to when schools must report discipline incidents to law enforcement;
*HB 1276, requiring agencies that work with people with disabilities to help them secure competitive, integrated employment;
*HB 1277, banning the death penalty; and
*HB 1278, requiring a certificate of value before transferring interest in real property.

I will be filing more bills and will share them with you after they are filed.

Last week, I went to a conference with the Council of State Governments. I met with lawmakers from across the country to talk about issues, including what families need to be successful, what the workplace of the future looks like for people with disabilities, and how to make health care spending more efficient. I look forward to continued conversation and work on these issues.

One idea I got from the conference was to build a coalition of people with disabilities in my district. If you have a disability and would like to help advise me on disability issues, please let me know. The concept of “nothing about us without us” is important to me and needs to be part of all policy making, especially relating to people with disabilities.
Medical Bills
If you have received a surprise medical bill, I would like to hear your story. Please e-mail me with the subject “surprise bill” or call my office at573-751-1285 to tell us your story.

The Department of Insurance is available to advocate for customers who think they have been taken advantage of. You can call their consumer helpline at 573-751-4126 to get help on insurance matters.
Cold Snap
It’s getting cold! Please remember homeless residents and those in poverty who can’t keep their homes warm. You can help by donating coats, hats, mittens, and socks.

If you need help, Webster-Rock Hill Ministries (http://wrhm.org/) will help with housing, food security, or other needs. You can also call the United Way 2-1-1 for assistance.
Open Enrollment
The 2020 Open Enrollment Period for ACA Marketplace health insurance plans runs until Sunday, December 15, 2019. If you don’t act by December 15, you can’t get 2020 coverage unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Plans sold during Open Enrollment start January 1, 2020.

Look here for marketplace plans: https://www.healthcare.gov/quick-guide/dates-and-deadlines/
RealID Update
RealID compliant drivers and nondrivers licenses are now available with proper documentationYou can go to the DMV and request a replacement for your current license with the Real ID for a $5 processing fee. If you renew your license 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. For more information about RealID, go to dor.mo.gov/drivers/real-id-information/.
The Census is Coming!
The US Constitution requires the federal government to take a count of people living in the United States every 10 years — and 2020 is it! Everyone means everyone — adults and children, citizens and noncitizens. The data collected from the census will be used, among other things, to reapportion legislative districts and to apportion funding of federal programs.

The largest group of people undercounted during the last census was children aged 0-5. States lost about $500 million per year because of this undercount.

Census takers have begun visiting areas that have experienced a lot of change and growth to ensure that the Census Bureau’s address list is up to date. This is called address canvassing, and it helps to ensure that everyone receives an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census.

The Census is hiringApply here.
Watch this space for more information on the 2020 Census!
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.
Capitol Construction Progress

Ceres came back to the Capitol last week!

The statue that stands atop the dome of the Missouri Capitol is of Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture. She was taken down and restored last year, and she will be lifted up to the Capitol Dome during the week of December 16.
Even though I will not be in Jefferson City regularly until January, 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!

Representative Sarah Unsicker
91st District