This week I finish the House and Senate Truly Agreed and Finally Passed (TAFP’d) bills summaries. This list consists of Senate bills: you may also view all TAFP bill summaries at https://house.mo.gov/LegislationSP.aspx . I will also provide some thoughts on Medicaid Expansion, which is on the ballot for Aug. 4. Next week I will have some details on the special session.
2020 Truly Agreed and Finally Passed Bills
SB 739 – This legislation bars supporters of the Israeli Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions from contracting with the State of Missouri.
SB 782 - This act modifies several provisions concerning licensing. This includes giving preference to “not-for-profit” organizations in applying to manage local license offices.
SB 913 – This legislation removes the sunset provision of the peer review requirement for architectural and landscape proposals, and surveys.
SCR 32 – Asks Congress to declassify POW/MIA records.
SCR 38 - This resolution disapproves the regulation filed by the Missouri Hazardous Waste Management Commission on August 30, 2019, that increases fees for generators of hazardous waste. (Sections 260.380 and 260.475 authorize the General Assembly to disapprove any regulation containing new fees by a concurrent resolution adopted within the first 60 days of the regular session following promulgation of such regulation.)
SJR 36 - This resolution will appear on the November ballot. It increases gift prohibitions for members of the General Assembly. Also, it replaces the state demographer with bipartisan citizen committees, and finally provides the following list of priorities for district creation, which aligns with Federal election law:
“1. No district shall be drawn in a manner which would result in the denial or abridgment of the right of any person to vote on account of race or color. Furthermore, no district shall be drawn such that members of a community of protected citizens have less of an opportunity than other members of the electorate to participate in the political process and elect representatives of their choice.
2. Districts shall be as nearly equal as practicable in population and shall be drawn on the basis of one person, one vote. Districts shall not deviate from the ideal population by more than one percent, provided that deviation may be up to three percent if necessary to follow political subdivision lines.
3. Districts must be established in a manner that complies with all requirements of federal law, specifically including the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
4. Districts must consist of contiguous territory as compact as may be, to the extent permitted in conjunction with the above criteria.
5. To the extent permitted in conjunction with the above criteria, communities must be preserved, as described in the amendment.
6. Districts must be drawn to achieve partisan fairness and competitiveness, provided that all preceding criteria shall take precedence. Furthermore, current law provides that, in any redistricting plan, the difference between the total "wasted votes" of the two major political parties divided by the total votes cast for such parties shall be as close to zero as practicable. This amendment modifies that requirement by prohibiting such difference from exceeding 15%.”
Something for nothing is great. Please let me know when you find it because Medicaid Expansion does not fit this category. This primary election has an initiative petition, which would allow for this provision. As you know, I have consistently voted against the expansion mostly because of cost. However, I have a few other problems with the program and ask you to consider the following when headed to the ballot box:
· The proposal only expands to recipients who are working age and healthy (19-64) adults. No seniors, disabled, or blind Missourians will benefit.
· According to studies of expansion from states similar to Missouri, approximately $349 million will be required to implement expansion. To put this in perspective, the state gives the University of Missouri about $333 million per year.
· Finally, Provision 5 of the petition basically sets the Medicaid program as the priority of the state and takes budget decisions away from the General Assembly. This means that the Court will most likely make the final spending determinations, so in essence the proposal helps to destroy the separation of powers.
Where will the legislature find $349 million for expansion? Most likely in education, the only other pot of discretionary money available that is big enough to cover the costs. The legislature cannot implement a new tax to cover the cost, a move that requires a vote of the people. So, with hands tied the legislators will go for the easy money which begins in Higher Education, but that won’t be enough. The budget for K-12 will also be hit, at least to some extent. Something to think about when you go to the polls.
It is an honor to serve the 51st District in the Missouri House of Representatives. Each week I will issue a capitol report to keep you informed of activities in Jefferson City. Any concerns or issues you might have are of great interest to me. I look forward to your input and thoughts, so please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions, concerns, or ideas to improve our state government and the quality of life for all Missourians. My telephone number is 573-751-2204 or you may contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for working with me to make Missouri a great place to live.