Senator Barbara Anne Washington's Legislative Column for Jan. 20, 2023

Monday, January 23, 2023

- Week of Jan. 20, 2023

This has been a productive week in the Missouri Senate. We’ve held our first committee hearings, welcomed public testimony and listened to the governor’s annual State of the State address. On Jan. 18, the Senate Health and Welfare Committee heard two bills on the topic of extending postpartum MO HealthNet coverage for new moms from 60 days to one full year following the birth of her child. Advocates who testified shared some startling statistics that exacerbate the urgency and importance of passing this legislation. Missouri is ranked 42nd out of 50 states for maternal mortality rates, a public health crisis that disproportionately affects African American and low-income women. With proper health care coverage, many of these untimely deaths could have been prevented. This commonsense policy is fully funded by American Rescue Plan Act for the first five years, indicative of its lifesaving capability and impact on young families. I wholeheartedly support these measures and hope the committee passes them soon.

“We are not done yet” was the overarching theme of the governor’s State of the State address. I was pleased to hear him tout about last year’s successes and this year’s goals to increase funding for education, child care, broadband service, early childhood programs and workforce development initiatives. He has proposed a robust $51 billion budget for fiscal year ’24, so my colleagues and I who serve on the Senate Appropriations Committee have our work cut out for us as we gather funding requests from the various state departments, evaluate each line item and decide how your tax dollars will be distributed.

If you know a graduating female senior who would benefit from $1,000 for college, encourage her to apply for a scholarship from the Women Legislators of Missouri. Candidates will be selected for their excellence in leadership, academics, community service and a 500-word essay answering the question, “If you were a state legislator, what is one specific goal you would hope to achieve and why?” The deadline to submit an application is March 1.

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.

First Read

Senate Bill 424

Creates new provisions on discriminatory practices relating to hair.

First Read

Senate Bill 425

Authorizes a tax credit for the purchase of certain homes.

First Read

Senate Bill 433

Authorizes a sales tax exemption for feminine hygiene products.

First Read

Senate Bill 434

Authorizes a tax credit for providing services to homeless persons.

First Read

Senate Bill 435

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

First Read

Senate Bill 437

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

First Read

Senate Bill 438

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

First Read

Senate Bill 439

Creates the offense of unlawful possession of a handgun.

First Read

Senate Bill 440

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

First Read

Senate Bill 441

Creates provisions relating to firearms.

First Read

Senate Bill 442

Modifies provisions relating to concealed firearms.

First Read

Senate Bill 443

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

First Read

Senate Bill 444

Creates provisions relating to reporting requirements of law enforcement agencies.

First Read

Senate Bill 445

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

First Read

Senate Bill 446

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

First Read

Senate Bill 447

Modifies provisions relating to criminal records.

First Read

Senate Joint Resolution 36

Places limits on increases of the assessment of certain properties.

First Read


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!