This week, my fellow senators and I returned to the State Capitol after our legislative spring break. We have just under eight weeks of session remaining, and I am ready to get back to work for the people of the 13th Senatorial District. This session has had a slow start, but I am confident we can refocus our attention and pass legislation that will improve the lives of all Missourians.
Expanding SNAP Benefits
Last month, I presented Senate Bill 798 to the Senate Seniors, Families, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee. This legislation requires the Missouri Department of Social Services to establish a “Restaurant Meals Program” as part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This program would allow households with elderly, disabled or homeless individuals to use their SNAP benefits to purchase hot and ready-to-eat meals from private establishments that contract with the department. Expanding SNAP benefits to include the purchase of these items will give participating households more options for meal preparation and alleviate part of the stress of deciding what to have for dinner. I had the opportunity to present this bill on the Senate floor this week and begin debate on the issue. While we did not ultimately pass this legislation, I am looking forward to further discussion on this important topic.
State Senate Redistricting
Earlier this month, the Judicial Redistricting Commission released their tentative map for the new state Senate districts and submitted it to the secretary of state, who then approved this map and the map for the newly drawn Missouri House of Representatives districts. This process is an extremely important aspect of our democracy because it only happens every 10 years. For the most part, the 13th Senatorial District remains the same, and I am thankful that our community will largely stay intact so that I can continue to meet with you and learn more about how I can better serve you in the Missouri Senate.
Giving Back to Schools
Over the break, I had the pleasure of meeting with Diamond and Zakee Branch, William C. Harris, Kelvin Baucom and several of my Missouri House of Representatives colleagues, including Rep. Jay Mosley and Rep. Alan Gray, to discuss our initiative to support schools in our community. Each of us are committed to doing everything we can to help the elementary schools in our district and provide them with the resources they need to succeed.
The Covering House
I also had the pleasure of meeting with Sherrita Allen, the director of The Covering House, an organization that provides recovery services for survivors of child sex trafficking. Ms. Allen came to the State Capitol to meet with legislators to advocate for these survivors and ask for funding to continue to help children who are exploited and abused. The Covering House is also hosting the Dine for Dignity gala on April 2 to provide updates on the children they have helped, speak about the future of the organization and honor those who have assisted them in their fight against sex trafficking. I was thankful for the opportunity to meet with Ms. Allen and learn about how I can best help the organization in their mission.
Celebrating Missouri’s Brilliant Young Artists
Every year, students from each of the state’s 34 senatorial districts submit their artwork for the annual Senate Art Exhibit Contest, which is co-sponsored by the Missouri Alliance for Arts Education, the Missouri Art Education Association and the office of the lieutenant governor. Each senator then selects one piece of art to represent their district. I was proud to choose Lakyia Bell-le’Sueuer’s artwork to represent the 13th Senatorial District this year. Lakyia is a fourth grade student at Moline Elementary, and her art teacher, Terry Hederman, submitted her artwork to the contest. The artwork chosen for each senatorial district is displayed in the State Capitol.
On March 23, I had the distinct pleasure of presenting Lakyia with a resolution celebrating her talent and the beautiful artwork she created. I was proud to choose her piece to represent the immense artistic talent we have in our community.
Remembering Cora Faith Walker
Like many of you, I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former state representative Cora Faith Walker. She was a pillar in our community and dedicated her life to social justice, public safety and equitable access to health care and was a fierce advocate for women’s rights, social justice and the underserved residents in our community. Her public service impacted countless lives, and we will never forget her passion for helping others. She will be greatly missed, and I am keeping her family and friends in my prayers.
For more information on Sen. Walton Mosley’s legislative actions and community resources, visit her official Senate website at senate.mo.gov/Mosley.