Senator Barbara Anne Washington's Legislative Column for April 28, 2023

Friday, April 28, 2023

- Week of April 28, 2023


Happy NFL Draft weekend, neighbors! Opening day gave visitors to Kansas City a glimpse of Chiefs Kingdom, the faithful fans who have made our town’s “sea of red” a national phenomena and our city’s warm hospitality and love for the game of football. It’s hard to fathom the time, planning, logistics and preparation that were involved with pulling off such an impressive event. Between the concerts, special guest appearances, autograph sessions with NFL superstars and interactive exhibits, our city has once again demonstrated its impeccable solidarity and unmatched flair for hosting events of such magnitude.

 Thousands attend opening day of the 2023 NFL Draft in Kansas City. Photo courtesy of Rob Collins from FOX 4.


As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I have similar feelings about the preparations that have gone into drafting our state’s operating budget. After months of hearings, countless meetings and skillful negotiations, I’m elated to report that on April 26, the Senate third read and passed the 14 appropriations bills that comprise its version of the operating budget for FY ’24. Since the House promptly refused to adopt our fiscal blueprint, a bicameral, bipartisan conference committee will hash out the differences next week and submit the final, agreed upon version to the governor before 6:00 p.m. on May 5.

The Senate’s recommendations differed from the House’s on multiple items. First of all, we restored the $4.5 million in funding to public libraries that had been stripped. Also, after a lengthy and lively 13-hour discussion on the floor, the Senate agreed to move the budget forward without the controversial Diversity, Equity and Inclusion language included in the House’s proposal that would have banned all state department spending on these initiatives.


Other highlights in the Senate’s budget include:

  •      Full funding for the Medicaid expansion voters approved in 2020.
  •      Additional investments in the Office of the Public Defender.
  •      An additional $2 billion to widen Interstate 70 from Blue Springs to Wentzville.
  •      Increased funding for childcare.
  •      A substantial raise for our hardworking teachers.
  •      $1.14 billion to the Department of Agriculture.
  •          $217 million to both the Natural Resources and Conservation state departments.


All told, the FY ’24 budget divides $50 billion dollars between the 18 different state departments. Passing a balanced budget is definitely a feat of great magnitude!

While I am thrilled to report the arduous budget process is nearing completion, I’m disappointed the Senate approved House Joint Resolution 43 on April 27. Pending voter approval, HJR 43 modifies the initiative petition process, making it more difficult to amend our Constitution. The reason we have the IP process in place is to enable citizens to take action on issues the Legislature does not or will not pass. I believe this policy is unwarranted and will further disenfranchise voters. This is a good time to remind you to fully educate yourself on the entire amendments that appear on ballots before you go to the polls to cast your vote!




Highlights from the 9th Senatorial District

Steve McClellan, from the Local Investment Commission, joins Sen. Washington and Reps. Johnson and Young during Community Partnerships Day at the Capitol.

Senator Washington attended the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council’s Family Fan & MU Resource Day and was able to see a lot of resources and information available to the community.

Help Spread the Word!

On June 24, I will host the annual Public Health and Safety Fair at the Urban Youth Academy, and we are now accepting submissions from vendors and sponsors. If you have a resource or product that would benefit our community, please sign-up today.

Below is a list of the bills I have sponsored in 2023. If you have questions or need additional information or assistance, please reach out.

Senator Washington’s Sponsored Legislation for 2023

Bill Number




Senate Bill 423

Modifies provisions relating to certification of juveniles for trial as adults.

Passed by Judiciary Committee and combined with SB 406

Senate Bill 424

Creates new provisions on discriminatory practices relating to hair.

Passed out of committee 4/5.

Senate Bill 425

Authorizes a tax credit for the purchase of certain homes.

Referred to Economic Development

Senate Bill 433

Authorizes a sales tax exemption for feminine hygiene products.

Referred to Economic Development

Senate Bill 434

Authorizes a tax credit for providing services to homeless persons.

Referred to Governmental Accountability

Senate Bill 435

Creates a Text-to-Donate program for homeless services in certain cities.

Referred to Governmental Accountability

Senate Bill 437

Authorizes a tax credit for providing housing to victims of domestic violence.

Referred to Governmental Accountability

Senate Bill 438

Creates a pilot program for incarcerated mothers to have access to their children.

Referred to Judiciary

Senate Bill 439

Creates the offense of unlawful possession of a handgun.

Referred to Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety

Senate Bill 440

Establishes the “Cronkite New Voices Act” to protect the freedom of press in school-sponsored media.

Placed on perfection calendar.

Senate Bill 441

Creates provisions relating to firearms.

Referred to Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety

Senate Bill 442

Modifies provisions relating to concealed firearms.

Referred to Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety

Senate Bill 443

Modifies provisions relating to medical marijuana program participants in family court matters.

Hearing conducted 4/5.

Senate Bill 444

Creates provisions relating to reporting requirements of law enforcement agencies.

Referred to Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety

Senate Bill 445

Modifies provisions relating to use of force by law enforcement officers.

Referred to Judiciary

Senate Bill 446

Modifies provisions relating to restitution for individuals who are actually innocent.

Referred to Judiciary

Senate Bill 447

Modifies provisions relating to criminal records.

Referred to Judiciary

Senate Bill 531

Modifies provisions relating to expungement.

Referred to Judiciary

Senate Bill 561

Modifies provisions relating to earned discharge from probation.

First Read

Senate Bill 562

Creates new provisions relating to state contracts for minority and women’s business enterprises.

First Read

Senate Bill 563

Creates a DWI diversion program.

First Read

Senate Bill 579

Modifies the Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review Board.

First Read

Senate Bill 580

Modifies provisions relating to the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development.

First Read

Senate Bill 581

Creates provisions relating to parole eligibility.

First Read

Senate Bill 582

Modifies provisions relating to terms of probation.

First Read

Senate Bill 583

Authorizes a tax credit for the purchase of electric vehicles.

First Read

Senate Bill 641

Modifies provisions relating to the certification of juveniles for trial as adults.

First Read

Senate Bill 643

Modifies provisions relating to offenses against employees of election authorities.

First Read

Senate Bill 675

Modifies provisions relating to legal representation for certain court proceedings involving children.

First Read

Senate Bill 676

Modifies provisions relating to the offense of filing false documents.

First Read

Senate Bill 713

Enacts provisions relating to health insurance coverage of maternity services.

First Read

Senate Bill 714

Establishes standards for demographic data collection by certain entities.

First Read

Senate Bill 715

Creates a health advocate program in the Department of Health and Senior Services.

First Read

Senate Bill 716

Enacts provisions relating to motor vehicle sales tax payment plans.

First Read

Senate Bill 722

Modifies provisions relating to tax increment financing.

First Read

Senate Bill 723

Relates to voter registration.

First Read

Senate Concurrent Resolution 14

Apologizes for the State of Missouri’s role in slavery.

Referred to Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics

Senate Joint Resolution 36

Places limits on increases of the assessment of certain properties.

Referred to General Laws

Senate Joint Resolution 40

Exempts from taxation real and personal property of citizens over the age of 65.

Referred to General Laws



It is an honor representing the great people of Kansas City’s 9th Senatorial District. If you need assistance navigating state government or understanding the legislative process, please contact me by calling 573-751-3158 or emailing My team is here for you!