Senator Rusty Black's Legislative Column for the Week of April 22, 2024

Friday, April 26, 2024

Legislative Column for the Week of April 22, 2024


Deadlines are rapidly approaching as we head into the last three weeks of the legislative session. The first is the deadline to pass the Fiscal Year 2025 state operating budget is May 10 and the second deadline, May 17 at 6 p.m., is the last day of this legislative session.


In my opinion, the General Assembly still has a lot of work that needs to be accomplished. Starting with Senate Joint Resolution 74, which — if approved by voters — would require all proposed constitutional amendments to receive a majority of the votes cast statewide, as well as a majority of the votes cast in a majority of the state’s eight congressional districts. This joint resolution is currently awaiting a final vote in the Senate or a conference committee between the Missouri House and Senate to work out the differences between the two chambers.


Senate Joint Resolution 71, a resolution that I filed, would ask voters to enshrine into the state’s constitution that sheriffs play a crucial role in the administration of justice, which would ensure a robust retirement fund for sheriffs as they approach the end of their careers. This resolution currently awaits a final vote in the Missouri House of Representatives.


Additionally, there are a few childcare bills that are still working their way through the process, including Senate Bill 1111, which has a two provisions in it. First, SB 1111 would allow for medically complex children who are currently receiving private nursing services through Medicaid to receive that same treatment in a daycare setting, so long as the daycare agrees to participate in this program. This would allow parents the opportunity to go back to work, would allow nurses to assist more than one child and allow the child to socialize with children within the daycare. Moreover, SB 1111 includes a provision that would increase the number of before- and after-school programs while keeping youth safe when their parents are at work. It would also expand physical space licensing exemptions for programs serving only school-age youth. Senate Bill 1111 is currently waiting for a third read vote in the Missouri House of Representatives.


The appropriation bills were passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee earlier this week and the Senate should be able to debate these bills on the Senate floor next week. A few provisions that I supported or asked to be in the budget include specialized treatment for veterans and first-responders who are suffering from PTSD, and making sure that the low-volume road fund is replenished.


Earlier this week, the Missouri General Assembly sent to the governor a bill that would defund clinics like Planned Parenthood. House Bill 2634 would not allow for any public funds to be dispersed to an abortion facility, or affiliate thereof, including reimbursement from MO HealthNet. House Bill 2634 is currently awaiting the governor’s signature.


As always, please feel free to call, email or write with your ideas or concerns. My Capitol office number is 573-751-1415, my email is and my mailing address is
 201 W. Capitol Ave., Room 331, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.