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Starting Nov. 1, you can log in to, fill out an application and enroll in a 2019 Marketplace health plan. Enroll by Dec. 15, 2018, and your coverage starts Jan. 1, 2019. Plans and prices for 2019 will be available to preview before Nov. 1.

Here are some ways to get ready to apply for 2019 coverage:

There are several ways to learn more about the Affordable Care Act or the federal Health Insurance Marketplace:

  • Call the Marketplace Call Center: 1-800-318-2596 or TTY: 1-855-889-4325,
    someone is available to assist you 24/7.
  • Visit for live chat assistance.
  • Visit for Spanish.

On Nov. 6, 2018, all 114 counties and the city of St. Louis will hold elections. Below you will find information

from the secretary of state's website on voter registration, the new photo voter ID law and a few helpful links to make sure you know when and where to go and what you will need to bring on Election Day.


Important: If you are in line at 7 p.m., you have the right to cast your vote.


Find out where you are registered to vote.


Effective June 1, 2017, the following forms of ID are acceptable for voting purposes in Missouri:

  • Nonexpired Missouri driver's license;
  • Nonexpired or nonexpiring Missouri nondriver's license;
  • Nonexpired document containing the voter's name and photograph and issued by the U.S. or the state of Missouri; or
  • Nonexpired or nonexpiring military ID card containing a photograph.

You may also use these forms of ID and sign a statement provided by the election judge at your polling place:

  • ID issued by the state of Missouri, an agency of the state or a local election authority of the state;
  • ID issued by the U.S. government or agency thereof;
  • ID issued by an institution of higher education, including a university, college or vocational and technical school, located within the state of Missouri; or
  • A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check or other government document that contains the name and address of the voter.

If you do not possess any of these forms of ID, but are a registered voter, you may still cast a provisional ballot. Your provisional ballot will be counted if you return to the polling place and show a valid photo ID or if the signature on the provisional ballot envelope matches the signature on your voter registration record.

View a sample list of acceptable forms of ID.


If you need a photo ID to vote and do not have one, click on the link below and complete the form to get started. The secretary of state's office will receive your information and help you obtain the needed documents.

Request Help Here


Missouri no longer allows the "straight party" ticket option. You must mark your ballot individually for each candidate you choose.


  • Know how to properly use your voting equipment to cast your ballot.
  • Ask for a demonstration or assistance from an election judge if you need additional assistance.
  • Read the instructions posted in your polling place.
  • Second Chance Voting — if you accidentally over-vote your ballot (mark more candidates for a race than to be elected), you will have the opportunity to correct your ballot.


Curbside Voting: Voters with limited mobility can vote "curbside," or outside the polling place. Go to your polling place and ask someone to go in and ask a poll worker to bring a ballot to you. They should bring you a ballot within a reasonable period of time.

Accessible Polling Places: If you have physical disabilities and your polling place is not accessible, you may request a different polling place assignment so that you may vote at a more accessible polling place. You may also vote at a central location. Simply contact your local election authority to make this request. Find your local election authority here or by calling 1-800-NOW-VOTE.

Accessible Voting Systems: Every polling place must have an accessible voting system for individuals with disabilities including audiovisual accessibility. Accessible systems include an audio ballot or the ability to enlarge text so that you can read the on-screen ballot with ease.

Permanent Absentee Voting: If you have a permanent physical disability, you may request to be placed on a designated list so that your local election authority can automatically mail an absentee ballot application directly to you prior to each election. You will need to make this request directly to your local election authority who will send you further information regarding the process.


Registered Missourians who expect to be prevented from going to their polling place on Election Day may vote absentee, beginning six weeks prior to an election. Absentee voters must provide one of the following reasons for voting absentee:

  1. Absence on Election Day from the jurisdiction of the election authority in which such voter is registered to vote;
  2. Incapacity or confinement due to illness or physical disability, including a person who is primarily responsible for the physical care of a person who is incapacitated or confined due to illness or disability;
  3. Religious belief or practice;
  4. Employment as an election authority, as a member of an election authority or by an election authority at a location other than such voter's polling place;
  5. Incarceration, provided all qualifications for voting are retained; or
  6. Certified participation in the address confidentiality program established under sections 589.660 to 589.681 because of safety concerns.

Voters can request absentee ballots from their local election authority in person or by fax. Faxed absentee ballot requests should be submitted to the appropriate local election authority. Relatives within the second degree (spouse, parents and children) may complete an absentee ballot application, in person, on behalf of the voter who wishes to vote absentee. Do not send absentee ballot applications to the secretary of state's office. Absentee ballot applications must be sent to the appropriate local election authority by the deadline in order to be valid. Contact information for local election authorities and an absentee ballot application form may be found at the links below.

Mailed or faxed absentee ballot requests must be received by the election authority no later than the 5 p.m. on the Wednesday prior to any election. Voters can vote by absentee in the office of the local election authority until 5 p.m. the night before the election.

Voters requesting an absentee ballot by mail who have registered by mail and have not voted in person are required to submit a copy of their personal ID unless they provide a copy with their registration application. Examples of acceptable ID are:

  1. ID issued by the state of Missouri, an agency of the state or a local election authority of the state;
  2. ID issued by the U.S. government or agency thereof;
  3. ID issued by an institution of higher education, including a university, college or vocational and technical school, located within the state of Missouri;
  4. A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that contains the name and address of the voter; or
  5. Other ID approved by the secretary of state under rules promulgated pursuant to Missouri law.

This ID requirement, as well as the notary requirement for absentee ballots, does not apply to overseas voters, those on active military duty or members of their immediate family living with them or voters who are permanently disabled and their caregivers.

Additional information for military and overseas voters may be found on the secretary of state's website. For questions regarding elections in Missouri, contact the secretary of state’s office by calling 1-800-669-8683.

Your Vote Counts: 2018 Ballot Initiatives

Amendment 1: Redistricting

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:

  • Change the process and criteria for redrawing state legislative districts during redistricting;
  • Change limits on campaign contributions that candidates for state legislature can accept from individuals or entities;
  • Establish a limit on gifts that state legislators and their employees can accept from paid lobbyists;
  • Prohibit state legislators and their employees from serving as paid lobbyists for a period of time;
  • Prohibit political fundraising by candidates for or members of the state legislature on State property; and
  • Require legislative records and proceedings to be open to the public. 

State governmental entities estimate annual operating costs may increase by $189,000. Local governmental entities expect no fiscal impact.

Proposition B: Minimum Wage


Do you want to amend Missouri law to:

  • Increase the state minimum wage to $8.60 per hour through an 85 cents per hour increase each year until 2023, when the state minimum wage would be $12.00 per hour;
  • Exempt government employers from the above increase; and
  • Increase the penalty for paying employees less than the minimum wage. 

State and local governments estimate no direct costs or savings from the proposal, but operating costs could increase by an unknown annual amount that could be significant. State and local government tax revenue could change by an unknown annual amount ranging from a $2.9 million decrease to a $214 million increase depending on business decisions.

Amendment 2: Medical Marijuana Licensing

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:

  • Allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes and create regulations and licensing/certification procedures for marijuana and marijuana facilities;
  • Impose a 4 percent tax on the retail sale of marijuana; and
  • Use funds from these taxes for health and care services for military veterans by the Missouri Veterans Commission and to administer the program to license/certify and regulate marijuana and marijuana facilities. 

This proposal is estimated to generate annual taxes and fees of $18 million for state operating costs and veterans programs and $6 million for local governments. Annual state operating costs are estimated to be $7 million.

Proposition C: Qualifying Medical Condition

Do you want to amend Missouri law to:

  • Remove state prohibitions on personal use and possession of medical marijuana with a written certification by a physician who treats a patient diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition;
  • Remove state prohibitions on growth, possession, production and sale of medical marijuana by licensed and regulated facilities and a facility's licensed owners and employees;
  • Impose a 2 percent tax on the retail sale of medical marijuana; and
  • Use funds from this tax for veterans' services, drug treatment, early childhood education and for public safety in cities with a medical marijuana facility. 

State government entities estimate initial and one-time costs of $2.6 million, annual costs of $10 million and annual revenues of at least $10 million. Local government entities estimate no annual costs and are expected to have at least $152,000 in annual revenues.

Amendment 3: Medical Marijuana Taxes

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:

  • Allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes and create regulations and licensing procedures for marijuana and marijuana facilities;
  • Impose a 15 percent tax on the retail sale of marijuana and a tax on the wholesale sale of marijuana flowers and leaves per dry-weight ounce to licensed facilities; and
  • Use funds from these taxes to establish and fund a state research institute to conduct research with the purpose of developing cures and treatments for cancer and other incurable diseases or medical conditions. 

This proposal is estimated to generate annual taxes and fees of $66 million. State governmental entities estimate initial implementation costs of $186,000 and increased annual operating costs of $500,000.

Amendment 4: Bingo Regulations

Do you want to amend the Missouri constitution to:

  • Remove language limiting bingo game advertising that a court ruled unenforceable; and
  • Allow a member of a licensed organization conducting bingo games to participate in the management of bingo games after being a member of the organization for six months instead of the current two years. 

State and local governmental entities estimate no costs or savings from this proposal.

Proposition D: Motor Fuel Tax

Shall Missouri law be amended to fund Missouri state law enforcement by increasing the motor fuel tax by two and one half cents per gallon annually for four years beginning July 1, 2019; exempt Special Olympic, Paralympic and Olympic prizes from state taxes; and establish the Emergency State Freight Bottleneck Fund. 

If passed, this measure will generate at least $288 million annually for the State Road Fund to provide funding for law enforcement and $123 million annually to local governments for road construction and maintenance.



While civic engagement comes in many forms, last month registered voters had the opportunity to demonstrate their support for the working people of Missouri by voting against Proposition A, a ballot initiative that would have formally adopted Senate Bill 19 into Missouri law. In 2017, this bill was passed by the Missouri General Assembly, prompted public debate on whether or not Missouri should become a Right-To-Work state. Following the passage of this legislation, supporters of working families rallied together and collected 321,467 signatures to petition to have the veto referendum placed on the ballot during the 2018 election.

In today’s political landscape, voting has never been more important. This policy decision would have changed the lives of thousands of Missourians across the state. I truly believe Proposition A was an attack on workers’ wages, rights and job protections. The public debate and research surrounding Right-To-Work continuously proved that the legislation would have lowered wages and reduced the ability of workers to stand together as a union. I was proud to see that through the efforts of organized labor and the people of Missouri, the initiative overwhelmingly failed by 67% during the August 2018 primary election.

As a retired member of the Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local #1 and President of the Missouri State Building and Construction Trades Council, I’ve worked all my life on behalf of working families. Missouri's working class is a vital part of our state's sustainability and should be afforded the opportunity to earn a good wage, the ability to provide a middle-class standard of living for their families, and retire with dignity. Without a qualified workforce, the reputation of our state's skilled workers and the value of our state's construction projects would diminish. I will continue to be a strong voice for working families and all Missourians who support protecting the livelihood of the middle-class citizens.

Sen. Gina Walsh, D-Bellefontaine Neighbors, and Paul Granberry III, of St. Louis, appointed as the student representative of the Missouri Western State University Board of Governors. Granberry is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in political science.  He is the Assistant Director of External Relations for the Student Government Association and serves as a Resident Assistant on campus.



During the 2018 legislative session, the governor vetoed Senate Bill 894, which proposed modifications to the education curriculum involving science and technology.

The legislation would require the Department of Elementary and Secondary to create a Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Awareness Program, while offering students the opportunity to take one computer science course to fulfill one of their math, science or practical arts classes required for graduation from high school.

In addition, the governor also vetoed Senate Concurrent Resolution 50, which requested for the United States Congress to replace the statue of Thomas Hart Benton in the Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol with a statue of Harry S. Truman, as well as several budget line items.

However, at the conclusion of the veto session, lawmakers did not override any of the governor's vetoes. The governor and the Legislature will continue to work toward a balanced budget, and we plan to address the vetoed budget items in a supplemental budget early in the 2019 legislative session.




As lawmakers gathered in Jefferson City for the extraordinary session called by the governor, the Senate Democratic Caucus filed a Senate Resolution calling on Missouri's attorney general to protect the health and safety of 2.5 million Missourians with preexisting health conditions by withdrawing from the Texas-led health care lawsuit, Texas v. United States, No. 4: l 8-cv-00167-O (N.D. Tex.).

“Too many Missourians will be hurt if the attorney general wins his lawsuit,” said Senate Democratic Leader Gina Walsh. “Right now, Missourians with preexisting conditions cannot be denied health insurance."

In Missouri, an estimated 2.5 million Missourians have a preexisting health condition, including more than 332,000 children and nearly 600,000 seniors, according to the Centers for American Progress.

The federal lawsuit would potentially eliminate health care protections such as the ability for young people to stay on their parents health insurance plan until the age of 26, ban on annual lifetime limits and the discrimination of women, a small business credits.

"If the attorney general wins his lawsuit, Missourians could lose their health insurance within a year. Our Senate Resolution makes it clear: the attorney general can support Missourians with preexisting conditions or he can support his lawsuit, but he can’t do both.”

For more information on Senate Resolution 10, please visit


Constituents of the 13th Senatorial District are encouraged to take advantage of several upcoming fun and free events, hosted by the Missouri Department of Conservation. There are several upcoming events that will be held at the Columbia Bottom Conservation Area, near the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. Reservations can be made any time Wed. through Fri., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call

(314) 877-6014 to reserve your spot now.

Evening Stroll: Autumn Sunset and Harvest Moon at Columbia Bottom   

Register by Sept. 20

Date: Friday, Sept. 21, 2018

Location: Columbia Bottom Conservation Area

Time: Sept. 21, 2018 6:30 - 8 p.m.

All ages are welcome to participate in the event.

Backyard Birds: Beginning Birding

Register by September 28

Date: Saturday, September 29, 2018

Location: Columbia Bottom Conservation Area

Time: 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Discover Nature: Dutch Oven Cooking

Register by October 18

Date: Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Location: Columbia Bottom Conservation Area

Time: 11:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Discover Nature: Hunter's Moon Owl Prowl

Register by October 22

Date: Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Location: Columbia Bottom Conservation Area

Time: 5:30 -  7:30 p.m.


The first week of the school year can be just as overwhelming for the students as it is for the parents. For parents, making sure the students have their backpacks, school clothes, school supplies and of course scheduling appointments for school immunizations are just a few things at the top of the to-do list. On the other hand, your child has their own list of things to do to get ready for a new school year. Teach Hub magazine, published by the K-12 Alliance, has provided a list of recommendations to help you and your child get back into the swing of things:

1. Get back into your sleep routine. To help eradicate those stressful school mornings, set up a regular bedtime and morning routine to help prepare your child for school. Begin your usual school sleep routine about a week or so before school starts.

2. Shop for school supplies together. To get your child excited about starting a new grade, shop for supplies together. Allow them to pick out their own backpack, lunchbox, etc. This is a great way to give them a little bit of responsibility too!

3. Re-establish school routines. Have your child practice getting back into the rhythm of their daily school routine. You can do this by having them wake up at the same time every day and eat around the same time they would at school. About a week or so before school starts, plan a few outside activities where your child will have to leave and come home around the same time they would if they were in school.

4. Set up a homework station. Sit down with your child and together designate a time and place where they can do their homework each day. This can be somewhere quiet like the den, or even in the kitchen while you are preparing dinner. Make sure to choose a time where you are available in case your child needs your help.

5. Prepare for the unexpected. Working parents know that it can be difficult to find a sitter when your child is sick. Before school even begins, it’s a good idea to have a sitter already lined up in case you get that phone call from the nurse saying your child is ill.

6. Make an after-school game plan. Make a plan for where your child will go after school each day. Depending upon the age of your child, figure out if they will go to a neighbor’s house, an afterschool program or be allowed to stay home by themselves. This will help eliminate any confusion during the first few weeks.

7. Turn off the TV and video games. For a lot of children, summer time is filled with endless video games and TV programs. Children are usually in shock when they begin school and realize that six hours of their day is spent learning and not playing games and watching TV. Ease your child into the learning process by turning off the electronics and encouraging them to read or play quietly.

8. Review school material and information. For most parents, schools send home a packet with a ton of information regarding their child’s new teacher, important dates to remember, emergency forms and transportation routines. Make sure that you read through this information carefully and mark down all important dates on your calendar.

9. Get organized. The best way to prepare for back to school time is to be organized. With school comes a massive amount of paperwork which can consume your household. Designate a spot in your house for homework, permission slips and any other school-related papers. This can help eliminate paper clutter and make your life less stressful.

10. Get your child’s yearly checkup. School and germs go hand in hand, so it’s best to get your child’s yearly checkup before school even starts. Get any required vaccinations and ask your pediatrician the best ways your child can stay healthy throughout the school year.


  • Enter homes only if you are with a trusted adult, only visit well-lit houses.
  • Never accept rides from strangers.
  • Avoid trick-or-treating alone, walk in groups or with a trusted adult.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street, use established crosswalks wherever possible.
  • Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.
  • Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them, limit the amount of treats you eat.

  • Eat only factory-wrapped treats and avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.
  • Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. Always WALK and don't run from house to house.
  • Swords, knives and other costume accessories should be short, soft and flexible.
  • Wear well-fitting masks, costumes and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips and falls.