Senator Barbara Anne Washington's Legislative Column

Friday, February 10, 2023

- Week of Feb. 10, 2023

Welcome back to my Capitol update and legislative column. What an electric time this is to be in Missouri, and an even better time to be in Kansas City! The Plaza is lit red, Chiefs flags adorn porches and vehicles, storefronts are decorated with regalia and every media outlet is focused on the big game. If the Super Bowl could be decided by fans’ intensity and stadium decibel levels, the Chiefs would bring home the Lombardi Trophy every year! Even non-Chiefs fans can attest this is an amazing team, time and opportunity for our beloved city. I join the cheers from the metro area and state’s sea of red and send my loudest, most heartfelt GO CHIEFS to the entire kingdom and organization.

This has also been an eventful week in Jefferson City. On Feb. 8, we gathered in the House Chamber to listen to the chief justice’s State of the Judiciary address. During the delivery, he simply stated the function of the judiciary, “We resolve disputes.” In fact, Missouri courts settle an average of 750,000 cases per year, most of which occur in local circuit courts. The chief justice also boasted about a successful collaboration between the Department of Corrections and the Department of Mental Health, the Missouri Justice Reinvestment Initiative. This is a tailored approach to give those entangled in our criminal justice system the tools they need to stay out of prison, address underlying mental and behavioral health issues and reduce parole and probation violations, and in turn, recidivism. He closed his address with blessing our state and “Patrick Mahomes’ right ankle!”

In addition to attending this annual address to a joint session, members of the Senate have been busy with committee hearings. One of the committees I proudly serve is on is Appropriations. Tasked with drafting our state’s operating budget for the next fiscal year, members of this committee primarily listen to funding requests from all of the state departments while the House Budget Committee conducts hearings and advances proposals based on the governor’s recommendations. The Senate will start this process after the House approves their version of the budget. Click here to learn more about the FY ’24 budget.  

I’ll close with a small tribute to Black History Month and a quote from my favorite poet and activist, Maya Angelou. “Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.” I try to heed this advice at our State Capitol and in my personal life every day. Since most ignorance is based on fear of the unknown, I take a great deal of pride in educating my colleagues about systemic racism and the issues impacting communities of color. I believe Missouri can be better and do better with a little more knowledge and understanding, and less discord. 

I realize most of you are booked this weekend, but please make plans to attend my town hall meeting next Saturday to share your thoughts and voice your concerns. I would also appreciate you sharing this flyer on your social media channels to help spread the word. The more I know about our community’s needs, the better I can represent you in the Missouri Senate.


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 Bill 531

Modifies provisions relating to expungement.

First Read

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 Joint Resolution 36

Places limits on increases of the assessment of certain properties.

First Read

Senate Joint Resolution 40

Exempts those who are 65 and older from paying real and personal property taxes.

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!