Senator Bill White’s Capitol Report for Oct. 22, 2020
My Top 3 Reasons for Voting “Yes” on Amendment 3
In less than two weeks, Missourians will decide the fate of two constitutional amendments. Everyone should research the information and decide how to vote before arriving at the polls, but I want to take this opportunity to share my top three reasons for why I will vote “yes” on Amendment 3. First of all, I believe that ethics reforms were the main reason that voters approved the so-called “Clean Missouri” amendment in 2018, and I am glad that banning gifts from lobbyists and limiting campaign contributions have been strengthened and secured under the new proposal. However, the redistricting process outlined in the 2018 amendment forces us to have our legislative district maps drawn by an unelected demographer, instead of keeping this control in the hands of citizen-led, bipartisan commissions. A “yes” vote returns this important role to citizens, reinforcing the adage, “nothing about us without us!”
Secondly, Amendment 3 reorders the priorities of how the legislative districts are drawn. Instead of being drawn to achieve partisan fairness, Amendment 3 tasks the bipartisan, citizen-led commissions with drawing legislative districts that are compact, contiguous and follow commonsense boundaries like city limits, county lines, major roads and natural features. If we don’t change the constitution’s current language, I fear we could see our cities split and our counties unnecessarily divided, potentially eroding rural representation.
Finally, I would like to remind everyone that “Clean Missouri,” which I believe was heavily funded and marketed by out-of-state special interest groups, only made it onto the ballot through the initiative petition process. Amendment 3, or Senate Joint Resolution 38, was vetted through the meticulous and deliberate legislative process, clearing the Senate with a 22-9 vote, and the House with a 98-56 vote.
There are several other components to consider, so please reach out to my office if you need additional information or assistance on this initiative or any other issues on the Nov. 3 ballot.
Silver Haired Legislator Honored
You don’t find too many citizens with a resume like Norma Scott, the 90 year-old go-getter from Joplin who continues to lead an active life of public service and philanthropy. In addition to her 20 years of service to the Silver Haired Legislature, she has also worked with the Area Agency on Aging Region X to connect senior citizens to valuable resources. Norma raised eight children and has 20 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren to dote on. It was an honor to visit with her on Oct. 16 and present a Senate Resolution highlighting some of her professional achievements and contributions to our community.
Associated Industries of Missouri Hosts Legislative Panel during Virtual Conference
The Associated Industries of Missouri invited me and several other state senators to participate on a legislative panel as part of their virtual 2020 Missouri Tax, Manufacturing and Business Conference. I enjoyed fielding questions about bills and sharing information about the upcoming 2021 session with attendees.
Operation Warp Speed Plans for COVID-19 Vaccines
Operation Warp Speed, the multi-agency partnership tasked with creating a COVID-19 vaccine, is accelerating its efforts to develop, manufacture and distribute vaccines and therapies to immunize Americans and get us on the road to physical and fiscal recovery. The Department of Health and Human Services has a helpful video and fact sheet on its website to further explain the operation’s goals and processes. When the vaccine becomes available, priority populations, like health care workers and at-risk groups, will receive the first rounds, followed by the general population.
Cable One Services Ending Dec. 9
Most of the residents of the 32nd Senatorial District have been notified that Cable One’s email services are ending on Dec. 9. If you would like to continue receiving “The White Pages,” please call my office or email email@example.com to add your updated email address to our distribution list.
54th Annual Maple Leaf Festival Converged on the Carthage Square
One of my favorite traditions in our community is the month-long Maple Leaf Festival, and although it looked a little different this year because of COVID-19 safety precautions, I think attendees still enjoyed the great variety of foods, crafts, art displays and entertainment.
Newton County Community Coalition Announces PSA Contest
Did you know that 90% of substance use disorders begin in the teen years before the brain is fully developed? Get involved with local drug and underage drinking prevention efforts by supporting the Newton County Community Coalition and encouraging youth to enter their Red Ribbon Week PSA video contest before Oct. 31. Email submissions and inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.