|Week of April 18, 2022|
Senate Committee Advances FY 2023 State Operating Budget
With just over two weeks until the constitutional budget deadline, the Senate Appropriations Committee on April 20 approved the bills that make up the state operating budget for the 2023 fiscal year. The full Senate could begin debating the bills as early as April 25.
Once the bills pass the upper chamber, final negotiations can begin with the House of Representatives, which has approved a version of the budget calling for $46.52 billion in spending, while leaving at least $1.8 billion in available revenue unallocated. The total amount of spending authority provided in the Senate version wasn’t immediately clear, but is expected to be well in excess of $47 billion.
One key Senate change is to provide an additional $214 million to fully fund the state’s share of local public school districts’ student transportation costs, something the state hasn’t done in three decades. The Senate also approved a plan requested by the governor, but rejected by the House, to increase minimum public school teacher pay to $38,000 a year.
Lawmakers must grant final passage to the budget bills by 6 p.m. on May 6. The 2023 state fiscal year begins July 1, 2022.
Senate Passes Compromise on Charter School Funding
On April 20, the Senate approved legislation that would change how charter schools are funded. The bill returns to the House of Representatives, which approved a different version of it more than a month ago.
As passed by the lower chamber, House Bill 1552 would have redirected millions of dollars in state funding from the Kansas City and St. Louis school districts to the charter schools in their jurisdictions. The Senate compromise would modify the statutory formula for distributing state funding to local schools so that charter schools would receive additional funding without reducing the amount of money going to the local districts. The Senate version also includes reforms to how charter school operate, including that they be run by a nonprofit entity and require board members to be Missouri residents. In addition, the bill also includes changes to how online virtual schools must operate.
The House can grant final passage to the Senate version of HB 1552 or seek to negotiate an alternate version of the bill. Charter schools are public schools that operate independently of their local school district and are exempt from many state education regulations. At present, they are allowed to operate only in Kansas City and St. Louis.
House Plan to Give $1 Billion in Tax Credits Heads to Senate
On April 21, the House of Representatives voted in favor of legislation to provide $1 billion in tax breaks to Missourians.
Supporters of House Bill 3021 claim it would give eligible taxpayers a one-time credit of up to $500 for an individual and $1,000 for a married couple against their state income tax liability. The way the bill is structured, however, no taxpayers would likely receive the full amount. The Missouri Division of Budget and Planning estimates top recipients would get no more than $378 for an individual or $757 for a married couple.
House leaders unveiled HB 3021 just a week earlier and days after the chamber voted down a plan that sought to provide $1,000 payments narrowly targeted for low- and moderate-income households. House Bill 3021 faces an uncertain future in the Senate, since the Appropriations Committee has allocated much of the general revenue surplus HB 3021 would have used for tax breaks toward the state operating budget.
Senate Approves Two Amendments to Limit Property Taxes
On April 21, the Senate passed a pair of proposed constitutional amendments aimed at limiting property taxes. The measures now advance to the House of Representatives. If approved by both chambers, they automatically would go on the Nov. 8 ballot for separate voter consideration.
Senate Joint Resolution 39 would give the Legislature the authority to limit the amount by which the tax assessment on residential property increases over the prior assessment. Senate Joint Resolution 41 would allow each county, plus the City of St. Louis, the ability to adopt local ordinances exempting those age 65 or older from paying property tax increases on their homes.
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Special License Plate
During the 2021 legislative session, lawmakers passed Senate Bill 189, which I was proud to sponsor. This legislation creates a special license plate for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Anyone interested in supporting this Kansas City gem can apply for the license plate by following these steps:
- Make a $10 donation to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
- Donations can be made directly to the museum or by sending the museum a check upon submitting your application. Be sure to get a receipt for your contribution.
- Complete the 1716 form to apply for the specialty license plate. This form can be found at mo.gov/motor-vehicle/plates/personalized-specialty.html.
- When completing the form, select “other” and fill in that you are applying for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum plate.
- Send your application, along with your $10 museum donation (or the receipt for your donation), and your $15 standard plate application fee to the museum at 1616 E. 18th St., KCMO 64108.
As of April 9, 2021, anyone age 5 and up is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Please contact your local pharmacy or health care provider for information on how best to receive one of the available vaccines. For more information about the vaccine in Missouri, please visit covidvaccine.mo.gov.
University Health is now providing Pfizer, Moderna and J & J booster shots for COVID-19. The CDC approved a booster shot for any adult who received their first two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago, or for any adult who received a single dose of the J & J vaccine at least two months ago. If you are eligible, you can schedule an appointment by calling 816-404-CARE or walk in to University Health (2211 Charlotte St., KCMO 64108) or University Health Lakewood Medical Center (7900 Lee’s Summit Road, KCMO 64139). The COVID-19 vaccine is available for children ages 5-12 at these two locations as well. Patients may make an appointment with their child’s provider at the Med/Ped’s clinic at UHTMC or the Family Medicine Clinic at UHLMC. Additional vaccine information, including free transportation info, is available at www.universityhealthkc.org/covid-19/covid-19-vaccine/.
The Jackson County Health Department also has numerous vaccine and testing clinics available. For more information, please visit jacohd.org.
The Center for COVID Recovery is open to treat patients who experience long-term effects from the virus. For more information, visit universityhealthkc.org/covid-19/center-for-covid-recovery; please share this information with anyone who continues to struggle after a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
Thank you for your vote of confidence to serve the people of the 9th District in the Missouri Senate. In an effort to keep you up-to-date with my legislation or other proposed measures, please feel free to visit my website at senate.mo.gov/Washington. I appreciate your active interest in your community and encourage your participation in the legislative process. Should you need assistance with state matters, please feel free to contact my office at (573) 751-3158.
|Senate Bill 717||Authorizes a tax credit for urban farms located in a food desert||Voted Do Pass by Senate Economic Development Committee|
|Senate Bill 718||Designates the third week of September as “Historically Black College and University Week” in Missouri||Hearing Conducted by House Higher Education Committee|
|Senate Bill 719||Authorizes a tax credit for the purchase of certain homes||Second Read and Referred to Senate Ways and Means Committee|
|Senate Bill 793||Creates provisions relating to expungement for certain marijuana offenses||Second Read and Referred to Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee|
|Senate Bill 794||Modifies provisions relating to medical marijuana program participants in family court matters||Voted Do Pass by Senate Seniors, Families, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee|
|Senate Bill 795||Modifies provisions relating to law enforcement officer use of force||Second Read and Referred to Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee|
|Senate Bill 854||Modifies provisions relating to reporting requirements of law enforcement agencies||Second Read and Referred to Senate Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety Committee|
|Senate Bill 855||Establishes the “Cronkite New Voices Act” to protect the freedom of press in school-sponsored media||Second Read and Referred to Senate Education Committee|
|Senate Bill 856||Modifies provisions relating to the expungement of records||Second Read and Referred to Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee|
|Senate Bill 896||Modifies provisions relating to probation and parole for certain offenders||Second Read and Referred to Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee|
|Senate Bill 897||Authorizes a sales tax exemption for feminine hygiene products||Second Read and Referred to Senate Ways and Means Committee|
|Senate Bill 898||Allows a museum property tax levy to be used for certain museums||Second Read and Referred to Senate Local Government and Elections Committee|
|Senate Bill 994||Creates new provisions prohibiting discrimination based on hairstyles||Formal Calendar for Senate Bills for Perfection|
|Senate Bill 995||Modifies provisions relating to parole eligibility||Second Read and Referred to Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee|
|Senate Bill 1094||Modifies provisions relating to wrongful convictions||Voted Do Pass by Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee|
|Senate Bill 1130||Modifies provisions relating to earned compliance credits for probation||Voted Do Pass by Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee|
|Senate Bill 1145||Establishes the third full week in September as “Sickle Cell Awareness Week” in Missouri||Voted Do Pass by Senate Progress and Development Committee|
|Senate Bill 1146||Modifies provisions relating to organ donation||Voted Do Pass by Senate Progress and Development Committee|
|Senate Bill 1147||Requires the MO HealthNet Division to conduct an annual review of services available for enrollees with sickle cell disease||Voted Do Pass by Senate Health and Pensions Committee|
|Senate Bill 1172||Modifies provisions relating to sales tax revenues for certain transportation authorities||Second Read and Referred to Senate Local Government and Elections Committee|
|Senate Bill 1193||Modifies provisions relating to electric vehicle tax credits||Second Read and Referred to Senate Economic Development Committee|
|Senate Bill 1194||Modifies provisions relating to voter registration||Second Read and Referred to Senate Local Government and Elections Committee|
|Senate Bill 1195||Modifies provisions relating to the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development||Second Read and Referred to Senate Education Committee|
|Senate Bill 1196||Modifies provisions relating to a tax credit for providing services to homeless persons||Second Read and Referred to Senate Economic Development Committee|
|Senate Bill 1205||Modifies provisions relating to the certification of juveniles for trial as an adult||Second Read and Referred to Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee|
|Senate Bill 1230||Modifies provisions relating to expungement of criminal records||Second Read and Referred to Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee|
|Senate Concurrent Resolution 35||Establishes the third full week in September as “Sickle Cell Awareness Week”||Hearing Scheduled in House Health and Mental Wellness Policy Committee|
|Senate Joint Resolution 42||Places limits on increases of the assessment of certain properties||Second Read and Referred to Senate Ways and Means Committee|
|Senate Joint Resolution 43||Places limits on increases of the assessment of certain properties||Second Read and Referred to Senate Ways and Means Committee|
# # #