Sen. Barbara Anne Washington’s Legislative Column for the Week of Feb. 21, 2022

Week of Feb. 21, 2022

Senate Moving Forward

After several weeks of stalled activity on the Senate floor due to filibustering, legislation has once again begun to move through the state Legislature’s upper chamber.

On Feb. 24, the Senate voted to send Senate Bill 672 to the Missouri House of Representatives for further consideration. The bill deals with the Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant Program, which helps individuals 25 years and older pursue a certificate, degree or industry-recognized credential in an area designated as high-need. The program is currently slated to expire later this year, but SB 672 would extend Fast-Track through August of 2029. The bill also expands the program to cover eligible apprenticeships and training programs as well as removes financial penalties if students do not meet certain conditions. A priority for the governor, this bill aims to help strengthen our state’s workforce.

In addition to moving forward with the Fast-Track legislation, the Senate also sent to the House a proposed constitutional amendment, which, if approved by voters, prevents the state’s income tax rate from exceeding 5.9%.

Lawmakers Grant Final Approval to $4.6 Billion Spending Bill

On Feb. 24, the Missouri House of Representatives voted 133-12 to grant final passage to a nearly $4.6 billion supplemental appropriations bill, House Bill 3014. The supplemental budget includes billions of dollars in federal pandemic relief for local public school districts, a 5.5% pay raise for state workers and support to fully fund the state’s Medicaid program for the rest of the 2022 fiscal year, among other spending allocations. The House action came one day after the Missouri Senate approved the bill on a 25-7 vote. The governor signed HB 3014 into law shortly after its passage.

House Advances Proposal to Alter Medicaid Expansion to Senate

On Feb. 24, the House of Representatives voted to advance to the Missouri Senate a proposed constitutional amendment to allow the state not to fund voter-approved Medicaid expansion. House Joint Resolution 117 would empower the Legislature to block services to the expanded population by withholding funding. If the proposal clears both chambers of the Legislature, it would go on the Nov. 8 statewide ballot for voter ratification.

House Gives Initial Approval to Proposal Raising Ballot Initiatives Thresholds

On Feb. 24, the House of Representatives granted first-round approval to another proposed constitutional amendment raising the requirements to amend the Missouri Constitution through the initiative petition process. It marked the second time in as many weeks that the chamber endorsed legislation to modify the ability to enact legislation independently of the General Assembly.

The latest attempt, House Joint Resolution 91, would more than double the minimum number of signatures of registered voters required to place a proposed constitutional amendment on the statewide ballot. It also would require some proposals that qualified for the ballot to be approved by two-thirds of voters in order to be ratified, while others could still win ratification with a simple majority. A second vote is required to send HJR 91 to the Senate. If passed by the upper chamber, the measure would go the Nov. 8 statewide ballot and require just a simple majority for ratification.

Judge Upholds New Law Providing Raises to County Sheriffs

A Cole County judge on Feb. 22 ruled that a new state law providing automatic, annual pay increases to county sheriffs was constitutionally enacted. Lawmakers passed the challenged provision last year as part of Senate Bill 53, wide-ranging legislation that also limits police use of respiratory chokeholds and eliminates the residency requirement for Kansas City police officers, along with other provisions.

The County Commissioners Association of Missouri filed the lawsuit in November 2021, arguing that lawmakers violated state constitutional provisions prohibiting bills from being changed from their original purpose or containing multiple subjects or provisions that aren’t clearly reflected in the bill’s title. As originally filed, SB 53 was a single-page bill prohibiting Kansas City police officers from being required to reside in the city. An appeal in the case is expected.

Women Legislators of Missouri Scholarship

The Women Legislators of Missouri Caucus is sponsoring one-time $1,000 scholarships for young women graduating from high school in Missouri. Applicants must be a female Missouri resident who is currently a high school senior and will be graduating from a public high school, private high school or home school in Missouri this year. The deadline for submission an application is March 24, 2022. More information can be found online myscholarshipcentral.org.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 to children 5-12 at these two locations as well. Established 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.

Senator Washington’s Sponsored Legislation for 2022

Bill Number Description Status
Senate Bill 717 Authorizes a tax credit for urban farms located in a food desert Hearing with Senate Economic Development Committee Cancelled
Senate Bill 718 Designates the third week of September as “Historically Black College and University Week” in Missouri Motion to Pass Bill as Consent Taken and Adopted by Senate Progress and Development 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 Second Read and Referred to 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 Second Read and Referred to Senate Progress and Development Committee
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 First read in the Senate
Senate Bill 1130 Modifies provisions relating to earned compliance credits for probation First read in the Senate
Senate Bill 1145 Establishes the third full week in September as “Sickle Cell Awareness Week” in Missouri First read in the Senate
Senate Bill 1146 Modifies provisions relating to organ donation First read in the Senate
Senate Bill 1147 Requires the MO HealthNet Division to conduct an annual review of services available for enrollees with sickle cell disease First read in the Senate
Senate Bill 1172 Modifies provisions relating to sales tax revenues for certain transportation authorities First read in the Senate
Senate Bill 1193 Modifies provisions relating to electric vehicle tax credits First read in the Senate
Senate Bill 1194 Modifies provisions relating to voter registration First read in the Senate
Senate Bill 1195 Modifies provisions relating to the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development First read in the Senate
Senate Bill 1196 Modifies provisions relating to a tax credit for providing services to homeless persons First read in the Senate
Senate Concurrent Resolution 35 Establishes the third full week in September as “Sickle Cell Awareness Week” First read in the Senate
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

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