Senator Wayne Wallingford’s Legislative Column for the Week of March 14, 2016

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The Second Regular Session of the 98th General Assembly Hits the Halfway Point

This week the Missouri Senate adjourned for our Mid-Session Spring Break. Over the past two-and-a-half months, the Senate has been busy crafting and advancing legislation that will improve our state’s communities and future. I would like to use this column to highlight some of the most impactful legislative happenings we’ve seen during the first half of the Second Regular Session of the 98th General Assembly.

Religious Freedom

One of the most engaging moments of the Session so far occurred when the Senate passed legislation protecting Missourians’ religious freedoms following a 39-hour filibuster from the minority caucus in an attempt to block the Joint Resolution from moving forward. Senate Joint Resolution 39 did eventually pass out of the Senate and on to the House, after which it will go on the ballot for Missouri voters to decide.

Ethics and Tort Reform

A main goal for the Senate this year was to pass legislation dealing with tort reform and improving the Missouri Legislature’s ethical standards. So far, we’ve seen the crafting and passage of Senate bills addressing our state’s outdated civil judicial system as it relates to expert witness testimonies, regulations concerning lawmaker’s registering as lobbyists and paid political consultants and curbing the corruption of campaign funding donations. As of Spring Break, the Senate is moving in the right direction as far as Missouri’s future ethical and judicial principles are concerned.

Health Care

Health care is always a very important issue for the Legislature, and for the 27th District in particular, as many of my constituents and neighbors struggle to find or afford access to the quality health care they need. I, along with my fellow senators, have introduced multiple pieces of legislation that seek to increase the ease of access to medical care and decrease the associated costs.

One Senate bill I sponsored, SB 794, creates a sales tax exemption for certain types of medical equipment, making it easier for in-need Missourians to purchase and maintain costly health care related hardware. Senate Bill 794 was passed in the Senate and is currently working its way through the House. Other important health care legislation topics this Session have included tele-health services, office and emergency copayment regulations and prescription drug costs.


Passing legislation that helps improve the lives of Missouri agricultural workers is another important topic for the 27th District. This Session, legislation that deals with agricultural property taxes and land valuation standards was passed in the Senate with the goal of creating a more sustainable future for our state’s farmers and ranchers. Agriculture is Missouri’s number one industry, something the Legislature is very intent on maintaining and protecting for years to come.

National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Finally, I’d like to let you know that March is National Colorectal Awareness Month. The entire 27th District – Bollinger, Perry, Scott, Wayne, Cape Girardeau and Madison counties – have been identified as part of a colorectal cancer “hot spot” for America, where death rates associated with this type of disease are 40 percent higher than the national average, according to the American Cancer Society.

This is a terrible and very concerning trend in our part of the state, and I would like to urge you to take advantage of a potentially life-saving colon cancer screening this month. Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in our country, though it is also one of the easiest types to be detected and prevented at an early stage. If you or someone you know is over 50 and has not had a colon-cancer screening, please urge them to get one. Most insurance plans cover the procedure, and it could end up saving you or your loved one’s life.

For more information, please visit the American Cancer Society’s website at:

I urge you to contact me with any questions or concerns you have about state government so that I can better represent you during the 2016 legislative session.

Contact Me

I always appreciate hearing your comments, opinions, and concerns. Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at (573) 751-2459. You may write me at Wayne Wallingford, Missouri Senate, State Capitol, Jefferson City, MO 65101, or email at or

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