What’s Happening Report: January 7, 2020

I hope you had a good New Year celebration with family and friends.  Kids are going back to school after the winter break, Missouri’s legislative session opens this coming Wednesday, and I will be hosting a town hall with Rep. Doug Beck on Thursday evening. It is going to be a busy start to this year!

When I was in middle school, one of my best friends was Miriam, who was a refugee from Iran. She was very sweet and a good friend. When I think of the people of Iran, I think of that confident seventh grader. There are millions of people trying to live their lives, kids learning math and writing essays, parents teaching their children good behavior and making dinner. The people of Iran are, before anything else, people trying to live their lives.

But we appear about to be in another war, and one that, I fear, won’t end quickly. We are sending thousands of troops to the Middle East at the same time as Iraq is kicking our military out of their country. This war will fall squarely on the shoulders of a man who is surrounded by inexperienced advisers and who Congress has already impeached.

At the same time, Australia is burning. An entire continent, the size of the United States, is on fire, covered with smoke, and the sky is red. This has never happened before. The common belief is that this fire is precipitated by global climate change, and the common scientific understanding is that climate change is caused by human activity.

Our world is in crisis, and I cannot be silent about it. I ask that you take action in your own way, as well.
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.
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.
Beginning this Wednesday, Nancy and I will be in the office Monday-Thursday through session. If you are in the Capitol, please contact Nancy to arrange a meeting–I welcome walk-ins, but may not be available to meet. You may call at573-751-1285 or e-mail at sarah.unsicker@house.mo.gov.
I enjoy opportunities to meet with people i
n 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
Sarah’s Website
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 PolicySubcommittee on Healthcare ReformJoint 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.