|Week of March 21, 2022|
Senate Passes Congressional Redistricting Bill
Following months of debate, the Senate voted on March 24 in favor of a plan to redraw Missouri’s eight congressional districts, however, the bill faces an uncertain reception when it returns to the House of Representatives.
The Senate action came just five days before candidate filing for the Aug. 8 congressional primaries is set to close on March 29. However, there is still no guarantee the new districts will be in place by that time as it is unclear if the House will accept the Senate’s version. Although many believe the Senate map maintains the same partisan split as the House’s initial proposal, its district boundaries are much different from those the House approved in January.
There is also the question of when the redistricting measure, House Bill 2117, can take effect since bills passed during the regular legislative session normally take effect Aug. 28. In the latest version of the bill, the Senate voted to attach an emergency clause allowing the bill to become law immediately upon being signed by the governor, but a similar provision was rejected by the House earlier in session.
If the House refuses to accept the Senate version, the two chambers can try to negotiate a compromise bill. If lawmakers are unable to agree, the possibility of a court drawing Missouri’s new congressional districts, as happened in 1972 and 1982, becomes increasingly likely.
Senate Approves Protections for Sexual Assault Survivors
One week after the Missouri Supreme Court unanimously ruled unconstitutional a “Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights” enacted in 2020, the Senate on March 22 granted first-round approval to legislation creating a new version of the law. A second vote is needed to advance it to the House of Representatives.
The high court said the previous law’s requirement that defense attorneys must provide certain information and disclosures to sexual assault victims put them in the position of advocating for the victim and created a conflict with their professional duty to represent their client. As a result, the court ruled it violated the free speech rights of defense attorneys and the due process rights of criminal defendants.
Senate Bill 775 would largely repeal the version of the bill of rights invalidated by the court and replace it with new language that omits imposing any requirements on criminal defense attorneys. The bill would grant survivors the right to consult with a rape crisis center, have a sexual assault forensic examination, be provided a shower and change of clothing and request that medical examinations or police interviews be conducted by someone of the gender of the survivor’s choosing. The measure also contains other provisions relating to sexual offenses.
Judicial Commission Finalizes New State Senate Districts
On March 15, a panel of state appellate judges finalized the new state Senate districts that will be used for the next decade, just two weeks before the close of candidate filing for the Aug. 2 party primary elections.
Missouri’s legislative districts must be redrawn every 10 years to reflect population shifts under the most recent U.S. Census. The Judicial Redistricting Commission took over the process in late January after a previous commission was unable to reach an agreement on a new plan for Missouri’s 34 Senate districts. The judicial commission consists of six judges of the state Court of Appeals appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court.
The judicial commission’s plan makes few dramatic changes and mostly just shifts the borders of the previous Senate map, which had been in use since 2012, to ensure the new districts have roughly equal populations under the 2020 Census and comply with other constitutional requirements.
Without new districts in place when candidate filing opened Feb. 28, candidates filed under the outdated 2012 Senate map. Because district lines subsequently changed, some filed candidates now will live in different districts. Under the state constitution, however, the standard in-district residency requirement for candidates is relaxed this year since the new Senate map was finalized less than one year prior to the Nov. 8 general election.
Because the four-year terms of senators are staggered, only the 17 even-numbered districts are on the ballot this year. The senators from the 17 odd-numbered districts will continue to serve from the 2012 version of those districts through 2024, when elections first will be held for those seats under the new map.
House Passes Bill to Legalize Sports Wagering in Missouri
On March 23, the House of Representatives voted 115-35 in favor of a bill seeking to legalize sports wagering in Missouri. House Bill 2502 would authorize sports wagering through Missouri’s 13 casinos and also allow betting through mobile apps. The measure would levy an 8 percent tax on a licensed sports book’s gross recipients. The measure now heads to the Senate.
KCMO Police Chief Community Listening Sessions
Through a series of listening sessions, 15 local organizations want to make sure the voices of community members are heard before a new Kansas City police chief is selected. The discussions will be future-focused, centered on the desired priorities for and possible qualifications of the next KCMO Chief of Police. The findings from the community sessions will be presented to the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners at an upcoming police board meeting. All are welcome to attend.
- Tuesday, March 29, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Northland Neighborhoods Inc., 5340 NE Chouteau Trafficway
- Saturday, April 2, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Center, 3700 Blue Parkway
- Saturday, April 2, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Evangel Church, 1414 E. 103rd St.
- Wednesday, April 6, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Mattie Rhodes Cultural Center, 1701 Jarboe St.
- Thursday, April 7, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, 2657 Independence Ave.
- Thursday, April 14, 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. at the KC Chamber Board Room, 1st floor of Union Station
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 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.
|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||On Senate Consent Calendar|
|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||Voted Do Pass by 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||Hearing Conducted by Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee|
|Senate Bill 1130||Modifies provisions relating to earned compliance credits for probation||Hearing Conducted 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||Hearing Scheduled with Senate Progress and Development Committee|
|Senate Bill 1146||Modifies provisions relating to organ donation||Second Read and Referred to 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||Hearing Conducted 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||First read in the Senate|
|Senate Bill 1230||Modifies provisions relating to expungement of criminal records||First read in the Senate|
|Senate Concurrent Resolution 35||Establishes the third full week in September as “Sickle Cell Awareness Week”||Hearing Scheduled with Senate Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics 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|
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