Sen. Mike Bernskoetter’s Legislative Column for Sept. 24, 2021

Standing Up For Missouri Values

On Saturday, Sept. 18, our state celebrated 200 years of statehood with a parade, a ball and other festivities in downtown Jefferson City. It was great seeing so many visitors to the Capital City, especially as we celebrate the history of the Show-Me state. It’s days like Saturday that make me incredibly proud to serve our community in the Missouri Senate.

Back in the Legislature, on Thursday, Sept. 23, the Senate Interim Committee on Medicaid Accountability and Taxpayer Protection met in preparation to finalize its first report. I’m a member of this committee, and we have been tasked with conducting an extensive study of the state’s Medicaid program, MO HealthNet and making recommendations to improve its efficiency, as well as determining if taxpayer dollars are being spent in a manner that protects the unborn and reflects the values of Missourians. I look forward to finishing up the committee’s work later this year and continuing to protect Missouri taxpayers and the sanctity of life in our state for years to come.

USDA Pandemic Assistance Deadline Extended

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is providing additional time for livestock and poultry producers to apply for the Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program (PLIP). Producers who suffered certain losses during the pandemic due to insufficient access to processing may now apply for assistance through Oct. 12, 2021, rather than the original deadline of Sept. 17, 2021.

PLIP provides payments to producers for losses of livestock or poultry from March 1, 2020, through Dec. 26, 2020, due to insufficient processing access as a result of the pandemic. Payments are based on 80% of the fair market value of the livestock and poultry and for the cost of depopulation and disposal of the animal. Eligible livestock and poultry include swine, chickens and turkeys. PLIP is part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative.

Senate Hall Student Art Competition

The Senate Hall Student Art Competition is now accepting artwork through Dec. 15 and is open to pre K – 12 students. Photographs of 2- or 3-D art and performance videos are accepted. No theme is required for the Senate exhibit, although subject matter must be appropriate for the Capitol gallery. One image from each of Missouri’s 34 senatorial districts will be selected by senators to represent their district and be displayed throughout the year in the Missouri State Capitol. Senators’ selections are expected to be announced toward the end of January 2022.

To submit, pre K-12 teachers from any arts discipline should take high-quality photos of a work or performance. They can then submit up to 10 works by filling out a form online at the Missouri Alliance for Arts Education website. To determine which senate district your school is in, please visit

As always, it is an honor to serve the 6th Senatorial District. If my office can be service to you, please feel free to contact us at (573) 751-2076. For information about my committee assignments or sponsored legislation, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at