We have wrapped up a busy week of work in Jefferson City. During the past week, the Missouri General Assembly met in an extraordinary session to consider two bills that were vetoed earlier in the summer.
House Bill 3 establishes a statewide STEM career awareness program and creates new provisions of law related to computer science. This measure allows the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to create the “STEM Career Awareness Program,” which will increase STEM career awareness among students in grades six through eight. DESE will also develop a high school graduation policy that allows a student to fulfill one unit of academic credit with a district-approved computer science course for any math, science or practical arts unit required for high school graduation.
Computer science careers are growing at a rate faster than most fields. We currently have approximately 10,000 open computer science jobs in the state. Today, many computer science jobs go unfilled because not enough people have been trained for the jobs. This new law will incentivize more Missouri high school students to take computer science courses by allowing the courses to count toward graduation.
House Bill 2 establishes treatment courts, which may include cases assigned to an adult treatment court, driving while intoxicated (DWI) court, family treatment court, juvenile treatment court or veterans’ treatment court. These courts will serve as an alternative for the judicial system for some cases.
Between April 2016 and March 2017, more than 3,500 children were put into foster care as a result of caretaker drug or alcohol abuse. Drug treatment courts allow offenders to stay in their communities and lower the recidivism rate of offenders when compared with either incarceration or probation.
The passing of the two extra session bills marks the end of the 2018 legislative session, but work preparing for the start of the 2019 legislative session has already begun.
Due to the number of visitors we receive from the district each week, I encourage you to call my office ahead of your visit to schedule an appointment.
I am honored to serve as your senator in the Missouri Senate. If, at any time, you have questions, concerns or ideas regarding state government, please feel free to contact me at (573) 751-8793 or Sandy.Crawford@senate.mo.gov.