Sen. Jamilah Nasheed’s Legislative Update for the Week of March 17, 2016

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The first half of the 2016 Legislative Session has come to an end with a contentious filibuster and the subsequent fallout that continued into this week. The Missouri House of Representatives continued their work as usual, having passed its version of the budget last week. The Senate, on the other hand, is still deliberating on how to move forward after Republicans cut off debate last week in a rarely used procedural maneuver.

“My colleagues and I have great respect for the institution of the Senate. The fact is, with so many important issues coming up, I have to be sure to hold the line against legislation that would hurt my constituents,” said Sen. Jamilah Nasheed.

Another highly controversial debate looms just over the horizon for the Senate: Voter ID. As legislators return to their districts for spring break, the decision of how to proceed with the debate continues. “I simply will not sit down on a bill that will disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of Missourians. Voting is not a privilege, it is a hard-earned, fundamental right. I will fight to the end to ensure that this bill does not become law,” Sen. Nasheed said.

On the Floor

It was a short week on the floor, as disagreements about last week’s controversial filibuster inhibited floor action. All four legislative days this week were considerably shortened and the Senate took up just one bill for debate before laying it onto the informal calendar without allowing a vote.

Session will resume on Tuesday, March 29.

Bills and Committees

Two of Senator Nasheed’s bills had committee action this week:

  • Senate Bill 1146 – This act would increase cost-of-living allowances for retirement plans within the Public School Retirement System of the City of St. Louis. If the cost-of-living increases by at least 2 percent, the retirement allowance must also be increased by 2 percent. The bill was heard this week by the Senate General Laws and Pensions Committee. Senator Nasheed was joined by several representatives from St. Louis’s Local 420 teaching and retiree community who testified in support. The bill will now be reported to the full Senate.
  • Senate Bill 977 – This act would prevent the shackling of children under the age of 17 and pregnant women during court proceedings. It passed the Senate Judiciary Committee by a vote of six to one and should be moved to the full Senate calendar in the coming days.


This week was a slow one for the Missouri budget process. The Senate Appropriations Committee did not meet, taking a break before returning after spring break to start amending the budget. The House this week overrode three of the governor’s budgetary withholds.

The House’s overrides on the withholds, including the brain injury fund, scholar’s academy, and fine arts academy, amount to just under $1 million. The House voted to fund these measures immediately, instead of waiting to see if the budget stays balanced through the end of the fiscal year. The overrides have not yet been taken up in the Senate.

The budget process will start full steam again on Tuesday, March 29, with the Senate Appropriations Committee beginning its mark-up of the state budget. That process typically lasts a week, with the potential for the budget to be on the Senate Floor for debate by the first week in April. While May 6 is the constitutional deadline to pass a balanced budget, April 21 is the pass-by date needed to force the governor to veto budget line items before session ends, giving the legislature the opportunity to override them.

Other News

Early Childhood Education Apprenticeship To Link Unemployed With Teaching Careers; Help Teachers Earn Wages While They Learn

Developed by LUME Institute at University City Children’s Center, in partnership with SLATE, a new Early Childhood Education Apprenticeship program will help address two significant issues in our society:

  • To ensure quality education that nurtures young children and encourages the development of emotional and social skills to help them achieve academic success.
  • Provide ways for unemployed individuals to learn and benefit from in-demand careers in early childhood education through hands-on training and paychecks while they learn.

This model was developed as part of a Compete Midwest initiative put forth by a coalition of three urban, Midwest, workforce development partners (SLATE and its counterparts in Milwaukee and Detroit) to jumpstart and spur the expansion and/or initiation of new registered apprenticeships in fields such as information technology, health care, manufacturing and construction. Apprenticeships will be designed for women, minorities, veterans, young adults and other underserved populations.

An Early Childhood Education Apprenticeship pilot will be introduced to the Clinton Peabody Public Housing complex’ residents, many of whom are single mothers. However, the program is open to anyone who is at least 18 years old, a high school graduate, and who is interested in working in early childhood education.

“Quality early child education requires quality early child educators,” Mayor Francis Slay said. “We are very proud to partner with LUME on this first-in-the-nation apprenticeship program. Graduates will earn their child development associate credential, which will help put them on the path to get quality, good-paying jobs educating and supporting children in our community. That’s a win-win for all of us.”

The apprenticeship will begin with 135 hours (five weeks) of early childhood teacher training with participants hired as an early childhood worker at a rate of $9.50 per hour. This is followed by 480 hours of on-the-job training, after which participants will receive a child development associate credential, and can then be promoted to an assistant teacher position earning at least $10.50 per hour.

After another 1.5 years of continuous work/training experience, participants will receive the Department of Labor certification as a Childhood Development Associate, resulting in wages of $13 per hour. Additionally, nine hours in college credits are earned and could be applied towards obtaining a bachelor’s degree, which could help the program participants advance into stable careers such as a head teacher or a director of early childhood education, among others.

Orientations will start on April 4 and will be scheduled throughout 2016. Participants must register at SLATE, 1520 Market Street, St. Louis, MO 63103. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the exception of Wednesdays, when the center opens at 9 a.m., to register, individuals must bring their photo identification. For information about SLATE, visit our website, at

SLATE will provide financial support for apprenticeship training. Participants will be trained by LUME Institute, a recognized leader in providing training and support services to early childhood educators, early childhood centers, and their families. For more info, check out LUME’s website, at

In addition to SLATE, other Compete Midwest partners include the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board, State of Wisconsin Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards, Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership and Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation/ Detroit Workforce Board.

Severe Weather Awareness Week 2016: Gov. Nixon Urges Missourians to be Prepared for Severe Weather, Announces Funding for Projects to Build Tornado Safe Rooms, Install Warning Sirens

Annual safety effort focuses on tornado, severe storms, lightning and flooding safety; 23 of 27 flooding deaths in 2015 in Missouri involved motor vehicles and flash flooding

With spring severe weather season approaching and possible flooding in the immediate forecast for much of the state, the governor called on Missourians to renew their efforts to prepare for potential deadly flooding, tornadoes and severe storms.

On the eve of Severe Weather Awareness Week (March 14-18), the governor also announced he has authorized the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to move forward with proposals for 10 more projects around the state to construct tornado safe rooms or install outdoor warning sirens.

“The severe weather we had in late December was a painful reminder of just how dangerous flooding and severe storms can be at any time of the year,” the governor said. “I urge all Missourians to plan for severe weather and understand the threat posed by driving in areas experiencing flash flooding. I also want to thank all of our dedicated emergency management and response personnel for keeping people safe during severe weather and spreading the word about these very real dangers.”

Severe Weather Awareness Week is an annual effort by the National Weather Service, SEMA and Missouri’s local emergency managers to help Missourians prepare for dangerous tornadoes, severe storms, lightning and flooding. Last year was an especially deadly year for flash flooding in Missouri, with the same number of flooding deaths in Missouri reported by the National Weather Service last year (27) as in the previous eight years combined. According to the weather service, 23 of the people who were killed had been in vehicles.

The governor said flash flooding facts, safety tips and safety videos are available at, and he stressed these tips:

  • Flash flooding kills far more people in the U.S. than tornadoes, lightning or hurricanes, making it the primary killer among all severe weather hazards, according to NOAA.
  • More than half of all flash flooding related fatalities are vehicle related.
  • Less than a foot of moving water is enough to push a vehicle.
  • Never expect barriers to block off flooded low-water crossings because floodwaters often rise so quickly authorities cannot close a road or put up barriers in time.
  • Motorists may wind up in flood waters before seeing the flooding because of limited visibility due to darkness or heavy rain. Don’t drive in areas experiencing flash flooding unless absolutely necessary. Turn Around Don’t Drown.
  • Never think that because you made it across a flooded low-water crossing in the past that you’ll make it the next time. Many areas saw record flooding in 2015 and others will in the future.
  • If you’re tempted to drive into floodwater because it appears shallow, understand floodwaters often wash out roads or compromise their structural integrity.

Protecting Missourians from Tornadoes

This week, the governor also announced he has authorized State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to move ahead with proposals for severe weather shelters in six locations and outdoor warning sirens in four other locations. State Emergency Management Agency would use just over $5.2 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hazard mitigation grant funds for the projects; the FEMA program provides 75 percent of the funding for approved projects, and local grant recipients pay the remaining 25 percent of the costs.

Missouri currently has 168 completed safe rooms across the state. Since the governor took office, he has approved or Missouri has moved forward with 188 community safe room projects, with 123 of those projects in schools. The completed projects and those being designed or constructed would be capable of protecting more than 210,000 Missourians in severe weather.

The governor said the state of Missouri has created the StormAware website to show people how to protect themselves from tornadoes in specific types of structures. The site contains videos focused on buildings with and without basements, mobile homes, and schools, as well as videos on flash flooding safety, tornado sirens and weather alert radios.

More information on severe weather preparedness and how Missouri families, schools and businesses can use Severe Weather Awareness Week to learn more about weather safety terminology, tornadoes, flash flooding, severe thunderstorms and NOAA weather radios is available from the National Weather Service at