Sen. Bill White’s Capitol Report for Oct. 14, 2021

Senator Bill White’s Capitol Report for Oct. 14, 2021

Interim Committee Hears from MO HealthNet Leaders

The Senate Interim Committee on Medicaid Accountability and Taxpayer Protection held its fourth hearing on Oct. 7 and learned about the Medicaid reform initiatives underway within the MO HealthNet Division. The scope of the ongoing and planned changes is impressive, and the program improvements are scheduled to be implemented over the next five years. Many of the concerns previously voiced by the committee have been addressed in various parts of the reforms. The modifications already implemented within the pharmacy component of MO HealthNet resulted in savings of about $750 million last year. The next hearing is scheduled for Oct. 20.

Open Enrollment for Medicare begins Oct. 15

The open enrollment period for Medicare is Oct. 15-Dec. 7, a time to review options and costs or make changes to your coverage. Medicare beneficiaries can receive free assistance to navigate the different coverage options in order to decide which plan best suits their needs. Visit or call 800-390-3330 to find out more.

Register for the ShakeOut Earthquake Drill

Plan to participate in SEMA’s 2021 Great Central U.S. “ShakeOut” earthquake drill on Oct. 21 at 10:21 a.m., held in conjunction with the International ShakeOut Day observation. Missouri and 13 surrounding states are within the New Madrid Seismic Zone, the most active seismic area east of the Rocky Mountains. According to the Department of Natural Resources, hundreds of small earthquakes occur each year, but most are too small to be felt on the surface. The probability of a large, magnitude 7 earthquake in this zone is about 10% over the course of the next 50 years, so register for the drill and be prepared to drop, cover and hold on.

Fall Colors in Full Bloom

This is the time of the year when Missouri’s natural beauty kicks into overdrive, and there is still time to plan a road trip to see the colors of fall throughout the Show-Me State. The Department of Conservation has an interactive tool to map out the best places to view the changing foliage. If cooler night temperatures prevail, we should enjoy breathtaking views for the next couple of weeks.

Take Advantage of Your State Library

Did you know the Secretary of State’s Library can be accessed by all? If you haven’t checked out this resource, I encourage you to do so. Many of the publications and books can be checked out online for free, and a new virtual library is now on display. The library also offers free educational courses, like this webinar on Oct. 26, “The Path to Productivity.”

Senate Art Contest is Underway

Calling all artists from kindergarten through high school! Don’t miss the opportunity to enter the annual Senate Hall Student Art Competition and Exhibition. Simply create your own artwork, have your teacher take a hi-resolution photo and complete the online entry form on the Missouri Art Education Association’s (MAEA) website before the Dec. 15 deadline. Each senator will pick a winner to represent their district, and the 34 selected pieces of art will be displayed on the MAEA website and in the Senate from March 2022-March 2023. For more information, please visit

Go Pink for Breakfast

During the month of October, Joplin’s Panera Bread will donate 25 cents for every pink ribbon bagel sold to the Hope 4 You Breast Cancer Foundation. On Oct. 15, they’ll up the ante and donate 100% of proceeds. Let’s see if our community can top last year’s sales!

Soroptomist Celebrates 100 Years of Empowering Women and Girls

Soroptimist International of Americas celebrated its 100th anniversary on Oct. 3. I was honored to join the Joplin Chamber Ambassadors on Sept. 30 to congratulate the members of the Soroptimist International of Joplin and present a resolution highlighting their contributions. Our local chapter was established in 1937 and has provided countless resources and opportunities to help women and girls reach their full potential.

Lynda Banwart, president of Soroptimist International of Joplin, receives a resolution from Sen. White.