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This Week in the Missouri Senate for March 30, 2015

This week in the Missouri Senate was full of long days and late nights.

Sen. Onder with nursing students from
St. Charles Community College.

Monday evening kicked off with a debate of Senate Bills 63 & 111, commonly referred to as the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program legislation. Senators spent most of the evening debating the merits of the issue and offering amendments to the bill, many of which dealt with privacy protections. In the wake of recent data breaches that have caught the national spotlight and the sharing of information on concealed carry permit holders here in Missouri, I have serious concerns about centralizing this type of information into one database and assuming that the information will be kept safe. Though many of the amendments that were added to the bill during floor debate were to limit the information collected and who may access it, I do not feel that they went far enough and therefore chose to vote against the bill.

On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to present two bills to Senate Committees, one of which was Senate Bill 432. This legislation requires health carriers to release individual health benefit plan rates and designs no later than twenty-one days prior to the beginning of the open enrollment period. In recent years, insurance carriers have waited to release plan or network information until the week before, or even the day of, the open enrollment period, thereby giving consumers only days to sift through the many medical plan options and determine if their doctor was in network, where their medication fell on the formulary and compare the cost of copays, deductible and co-insurance. By setting a date on which information must be released, the insurance carriers are themselves protected from being forced to release on a date earlier than their competitors, yet required to provide more time for consumers to fully research their options and hopefully make more informed decisions.

That afternoon, I also had an opportunity to work with Senator Romine, R-Farmington, on Senate Bill 230 relating to telehealth services. Specifically, the bill lists the licensed individuals who may be considered eligible heath care providers and encourages expansion of telehealth services. Telehealth is a useful tool, most especially in the rural areas of our state where access to care is limited. I hope this bill will help to provide additional options to Missourians who need it most.

Sen. Onder with nursing students from
St. Charles Community College.

Much of our time on Wednesday was spent debating bills on the Senate’s formal calendar while Senators spent Thursday third reading those bills, thereby sending them to the House for similar consideration. 

On Thursday, I also had the pleasure of welcoming my wife, Allison, and our six children to the Capitol to visit for the day. My youngest children enjoyed the opportunity to serve as "pages for the day."

In addition to my family, I also welcomed numerous constituents from the Second Senatorial District to Jefferson City, including three groups of nursing students from St. Charles County Community College. The students spent the day advocating for issues they find important and learning how to effectively lobby their legislators. I was impressed with their insights into some of the most challenging issues facing our healthcare system.

This week, the Senate will spend much of its time considering the thirteen budget bills that set forth a spending plan for the fiscal year 2016 budget. While it’s hard to believe, with just six weeks left, we are nearing the final weeks of the 2015 legislative session.

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend. I look forward to providing you with an update of our work at the Capitol later this week.

Very Sincerely,

Sen. Bob Onder
2nd District

I appreciate your interest in our work here in Jefferson City, and am grateful for the opportunity to serve you.  Please do not hesitate to contact my office with questions about legislation, ideas for bills and any other matters we can assist you with.  

For scheduling and general questions, please contact my Scheduler and Deputy Legislative Director Sam Saffa at  

For constituent questions or concerns, please contact my Director of Constituent Services Theckla Spainhower at  

For questions pertaining to legislation, please contact my Chief of Staff and Legislative Director Jennae Neustadt a

You can reach my Capitol office at (573) 751-1282.  You can also e-mail me personally at

I would like to encourage you to sign up for my weekly capitol reports so we can inform you of our work each week.  Please email Sam Saffa at to be added to our mailing list.

Sen. Onder Serves a Portion of St. Charles County in the Missouri Senate.

Click the map above to view Missouri
Senate District 2.


Contact Information:

State Capitol Building, Rm. 226
Jefferson City, Missouri 65101
(573) 751-1282


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Sen. Onder's Legislative Report.


Elected to the Senate in 2014.