This week’s biggest topic of conversation was COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus. The Missouri Senate is following the recommended guidelines and will be closed next week, in addition to the week of March 23 for the scheduled annual spring break. While the Senate may be physically closed, my staff and the staff of the Senate will be working remotely to ensure services are still provided to the constituents of the 25th Senatorial District. Please educate yourself on the virus and take the important steps to prevent its onset and spread. The Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has opened a public hotline that will be operated by medical professionals around the clock, seven days a week. The hotline number is 877-435-8411. Updated information can also be found on the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/.
A couple of bills which I sponsor made more progress this week. On Tuesday, I presented Senate Bill 623, relating to guardians ad litem, to the House Children and Families Committee. On Thursday, I presented Senate Bill 906 to the Senate Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety Committee. This bill has some of the Department of Revenue’s proposals to ensure better customer service and increase efficiencies for the department.
This week in the Senate, we also voted on and passed House Bill 1693. It establishes the Joint Oversight Task Force for Prescription Drug Monitoring to collect and maintain a patient’s controlled substance prescription information. The data will be submitted by dispensers, like pharmacies, doctors and hospitals, throughout the state and monitored by the Joint Task Force.
One of this week’s highlights was visiting with and sponsoring Harold Miles, of Advance, before the Senate Gubernatorial Appointments Committee. Harold has been appointed by the governor to serve on the State Banking and Savings and Loan Board. I believe Harold’s many years of banking experience and ambition will make him a very valuable asset to the Board. We also had the honor of welcoming Marlene Limbaugh, who is also from Advance. Marlene has travelled to the Capitol each year that I have been a Senator, and I am always inspired by her advocacy for the Missouri Council for the Blind and her passion for our community.