What’s Happening Report December 16, 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 1670, maintains enrollment for eligible children on Medicaid for one year;
HB 1671, extends and relocates the trauma-informed schools program;
HB 1672, expands eligibility for the show-me healthy babies program to infants (currently cannot enroll a child after it is born);
HB 1673, maintains enrollment for eligible individuals on Medicaid who are aged, blind, or disabled for one year.

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

I am very excited about HB 1670, which would guarantee that a child who is enrolled in Medicaid will stay enrolled for at least one year. Right now, Missouri verifies eligibility for Medicaid recipients every three months. A parent’s income may fluctuate–maybe they pick up a seasonal job?–and may exceed the monthly eligibility criteria for Medicaid while their annual income is below the threshold. Children deserve the stability of health insurance even if a parent’s income fluctuates. Many other states already do this.

Medicaid enrollment numbers continue to be far lower than they were at the beginning of 2018. Although we had seen a slight improvement in these numbers, they went down again in November.

My office has published a consumer guide but will not be sending it to the district. We have had a small number printed to make available to constituents, please contact my office if you would like a copy. The consumer guide is available through my website from the “District Publication” button.

I am working 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.
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!
JEFFERSON CITY—The Missouri Public Service Commission has opened a working case to consider a proposed residential customer disconnection data reporting rule filed by the Office of the Public Counsel (OPC).In its motion, OPC asked the Commission to open a working case to collect comments about a rule OPC proposed that would require each of Missouri’s investor-owned electric, natural gas, water, sewer and steam heating utility to make a monthly report to the Commission regarding residential customer service disconnections.This file (AW-2020-0148) will serve as a repository for documents and comments. Using this file, anyone with an interest in this matter may view documents and may submit any pertinent responsive comments or documents. This is not a contested case so anyone may file a comment without legal counsel. Intervention requests are not necessary to submit comments or view documents.The public is welcome to submit comments by forwarding electronic communications through the Commission’s electronic filing and information system (EFIS) at the Commission’s website (http://www.psc.mo.gov). Once at the website, click on the Access EFIS link on the right side of the page. Scroll down and click on the public comment link. Please refer to File No. AW2020-0148.Written comments in hard copy should be sent to the Public Service Commission, P.O. Box 360, Jefferson City, Missouri 65102. Please refer to File No. AW-2020-0148.The public can view the contents of the file by following the link at http://www.psc.mo.gov .Any stakeholder wishing to submit written comments regarding the rule proposed by OPC, or the cost to comply with that rule, must do so no later than February 14, 2020.A workshop meeting regarding the rule proposed by OPC will be held on March 26, 2020. The PSC Staff is responsible for conducting the meeting. Staff is to submit a notice regarding the time and location of the workshop meeting in this file when those details have been determined
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.
My Jefferson City office is closed through the end of the year, although we are checking e-mails and voice messages periodically. You may call at573-751-1285 or e-mail at sarah.unsicker@house.mo.gov.

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
I serve as policy chair of the House Democratic Caucus.
The committees I am on are:
Children and Families (Ranking member)
Rules – Legislative Oversight (Ranking member)
Health and Mental Health Policy
Subcommittee on Healthcare Reform
Joint Committee on Public Assistance
Bills Filed (2020)
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;
HB 1278, requiring a certificate of value before transferring interest in real property;
HB 1670, maintains enrollment for eligible children on Medicaid for one year;
HB 1671, extends and relocates the trauma-informed schools program;
HB 1672, expands eligibility for the show-me healthy babies program to infants (currently cannot enroll a child after it is born);
HB 1673, maintains enrollment for eligible individuals on Medicaid who are aged, blind, or disabled for one year.