Another Busy Week in the Missouri Senate
It is hard to believe we are nearing the midpoint of my first legislative session. It has been a great learning experience, and I am thankful for my colleagues and their willingness to help me learn the ropes of being a state senator. This week was especially busy, and I wanted to take a moment and discuss it with you in this week’s column.
March 5 is National Dress in Blue Day for colon cancer awareness, and March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. On March 3, I asked legislators and staff to wear blue in honor of “Go Blue Day at the Capitol.”
The intent of “Go Blue Day” is to raise awareness about how important it is for everyone 50 years or older to be screened for colon cancer. It is one of the few cancers that can be prevented by being screened early, but it is also one of the leading causes of cancer-related death in the country. I would encourage you to talk to your doctor about scheduling a screening. I am hopeful “Go Blue Day” will raise awareness about colon cancer, the importance of early screening and that it has the potential to save lives in the process.
This week, my staff met with Karen McKay from the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) and discussed the organization’s legislative priorities as a part of their virtual Cancer Action Day. A few of their top priorities include ensuring access to quality health care and affordable, adequate health insurance; cancer prevention and early detection, with an emphasis on breast and cervical cancer as ACS CAN advocates to maintain $500,000 in state funding for the Show-Me Healthy Women Program; and reducing the use of tobacco products.
On March 3, I also participated in the Greater Missouri Leadership Challenge legislative panel. This organization brings women leaders together from numerous areas, including insurance, banking, government, nonprofit organizations, Boeing, Purina, Monsanto and Ameren UE to discuss state policy issues and leadership development, while facilitating meetings with industry leaders across the state. This program brings women together to provide them with the tools needed to achieve their professional goals. I spoke with this group of impressive women about my experiences running for office, being an elected official and the important policy issues affecting our state.
In honor of Women’s History Month, my fellow women senators and I took a photo to commemorate this historic General Assembly. There are now 11 women serving in the Missouri Senate. This historic moment comes nearly 50 years after Mary L. Jones Gant became the first woman to be elected to the Senate in 1972. I am proud to be a part of history in the making, and I am proud to serve with these incredible women.
Now, moving on to a vaccine update. I continue to encourage everyone to register to receive one of the COVID-19 vaccines at stlcorona.com. Even if you are not currently eligible, the St. Louis County Department of Public Health will contact you when you are eligible if you have pre-registered with them. I am planning to host a mass vaccination event soon, and I will provide further details as soon as the event is finalized.
Finally, next week on Tuesday, March 9, I am presenting Senate Bill 272 to the Senate General Laws Committee. This legislation prohibits the State Lottery Commission, its employees and any organization working with the lottery from publishing any identifying information about the winner of a lottery-sponsored contest. In some instances, lottery winners may be subject to harassment, and in more extreme situations, may face violence from individuals who want to take their prize money. I believe it should be up to the winner if they choose to announce their winnings publicly. If you are interested in this subject, the hearing will take place in Senate Conference Room 1 at 10:30 a.m., or after we recess from morning session. Please note that public seating in the hearing room will be socially distanced and limited. However, the audio from the hearing will be streamed online at www.senate.mo.gov/hearingsschedule/hrings.htm. If you would like to provide testimony for this bill and are unable to attend the hearing, you can submit written testimony at www.senate.mo.gov/senatewitnesssystem.
For more information on Sen. Walton Mosley’s legislative actions, visit her official Senate website at www.senate.mo.gov/Mosley.