Senator Rusty Black's Legislative Column for the Week of Jan. 30

Friday, February 3, 2023

It is my privilege to serve the people of the 12th District in the Missouri State Senate and keep you informed on the latest developments in our state government. In this edition, I would like to share some of the important work that has been happening at the Missouri State Capitol. More bills have made their way onto the Senate Calendar and are poised for debate in the coming weeks. Senate Bill 39, titled “Save Women’s Sports,” would allow only biologically-born females to participate in women’s sports. It would allow for trans women to play in co-ed sports or on the boy’s teams. Men and women are biologically different, and a study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggests transgender women maintain an athletic advantage over their peers even after a year of hormone therapy.


A bill listed as a priority for the Senate majority caucus this year, Senate Bill 45, should also be debated and receive a vote in the coming weeks. Senate Bill 45 would extend postpartum coverage for Medicaid recipients from 60 days to one year. Currently, Missouri ranks 42nd in the nation for worst morality rates. A post-partum woman is four times more likely to die without insurance from pregnancy and 82 percent of pregnancy-related deaths are considered preventable.


This past week, the Missouri Senate sent to the Missouri House of Representatives Senate Bill 51, which has been discussed at length for years. Simply put, this bill would remove unnecessary and burdensome regulations for physical therapists and save patients time and money. Senate Bill 51 will now be considered by the Missouri House of Representatives.


Senate Bills 3 & 69 were perfected by the Missouri Senate earlier this week. This bill would cut down on significant barriers to entry for many would-be small business owners, entrepreneurs and innovators trying to develop new products for the market. Currently, Missouri has more than 113,000 regulations that the state imposes on its citizens and businesses, in addition to federal and municipal regulations. This act would create a Regulatory Relief Office to identify laws and regulations that could be waived for new small businesses and would also create a webpage where small business owners and entrepreneurs could identify and petition for further regulation easing.


The Fiscal Year 2024 state operating budget continues to take shape. The Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee has heard testimony regarding the governor’s supplemental budget and recommendations, as well as testimony from the public defenders, Department of Transportation, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Commerce and Insurance, Department of Mental Health, and the Department of Corrections. There is a lot of time between now and the first Friday in May, when the budget has to be passed, and the committee continues to work diligently to make sure taxpayer money is spent wisely and conservatively.


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.