Senator Elaine Gannon’s Capitol Report for Dec. 2, 2021
Bill Pre-Filing Is Underway
The lyrics from a classic Bing Crosby song have been playing in my head recently, but on the days leading up to Dec. 1, I found myself altering the words to “It’s beginning to feel a lot like session!” Legislators have begun the process of pre-filing bills, and I’m excited to get the legislative ball rolling next year at the State Capitol by pre-filing a few important proposals in the Senate.
Two of these proposals stem from the investigation conducted by one of the interim committees I served on, the Senate Interim Committee on Medicaid Accountability and Taxpayer Protection. Senate Bill 779 grants the Department of Social Services the authority to suspend, revoke, cancel or refuse to enter into any contract or provider agreement with a provider that has been determined to have committed fraud, abuse or unethical behavior in another state’s Medicaid program. I believe this bill will help to further protect the sanctity of life in Missouri by ensuring abortion providers and their affiliates remain in compliance with the department.
To address Missouri’s high maternal mortality rates, Senate Bill 698 will extend MO HealthNet coverage for postpartum women from 60 days after birth to one year. This coverage has been authorized for five years under the federal American Rescue Plan of 2021 and will greatly improve health outcomes for our state’s low-income, new mothers.
Senator Gannon introduces legislation on the Senate floor during the 2021 legislative session.
As a staunch supporter of no-excuse absentee voting, I have pre-filed Senate Bill 696 to ensure all registered voters have access to the polls, regardless of why, when or where they choose to cast their vote. The pandemic certainly brought the urgency of this matter to the forefront, so I believe the time is right to enact this legislation and make voting more accessible, without sacrificing election security and integrity.
I will continue to pre-file bills before the 2022 session begins on Jan. 5 and provide more updates in my next report.
Addressing Emerging Issues in the St. Louis Region
During the interim, I was proud to chair the Senate Interim Committee on Greater St. Louis Regional Emerging Issues. The committee conducted four hearings and heard testimony from county executives, prosecuting attorneys, municipal leaders and law enforcement. The overarching issues reported by these stakeholders include reducing crime, improving the airport and modifying St. Louis political subdivisions. Other topics ranged from transportation and infrastructure to education and attracting new businesses, and I will share the link to the full report in the coming weeks. Because of the overwhelming response the committee received from regional civic leaders and the need for further discussions, I plan to ask Senate leadership to continue this work in the next interim.
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