|Week of March 22, 2021|
This week, the Missouri Senate debated legislation directly impacting the Kansas City region. Senate Bills 53 & 60 would lift the city residency requirements for Kansas City police officers and allow them to live within 30 miles of the nearest city limit, so long as they remain in Missouri. Now, I believe residency requirements are a valuable tool that help connect police officers and the communities they are sworn to protect. By having police officers be members of the very communities they police, residency requirements can help build trust and understanding – essential components of safe, strong communities. For these reasons, I would have preferred to see Kansas City’s residency requirement remain unchanged, but I believe the bill as currently written reflects a reasonable compromise made by those on both sides of the debate.
Although I have concerns about the residency requirements in the legislation, the bill does contain several police reform measures that I believe will have a positive impact throughout our state. For starters, the bill bans the use of respiratory chokeholds unless deadly force is authorized. Senate Bills 53 & 60 works to prevent officers who have been discharged from one department for wrongdoing from simply moving to another department. The bill also requires police use-of-force data from law enforcement agencies across the state be reported to the Department of Public Safety and published annually. In my view, the accountability and transparency measures included in this legislation are a step in the right direction toward improving the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
The Senate also discussed a bill regarding an important Medicaid funding mechanism. Senate Bill 1 extends the sunset of Missouri’s federal reimbursement allowances (FRA) program from September 30, 2021, to September 30, 2022. The FRA program works to draw down federal dollars, which are then used to fund a significant part of MO HealthNet, our state’s Medicaid program. Because of its large financial impact on our state, it is essential for the FRA program to be extended before it expires later this year. While SB 1 originally focused on extending the FRA’s sunset, an amendment has been attached to the bill that prevents MO HealthNet from covering certain family planning drugs and devices. There are concerns this amendment could take Missouri out of compliance with federal rules and ultimately jeopardize federal funding for MO HealthNet. Senate Bill 1, as amended, has yet to receive approval from the Senate.
Ivanhoe Farmers’ Market Receives Farmers’ Market Promotion Grant
Recently, the Missouri Department of Agriculture announced that Ivanhoe Farmers’ Market was one of the recipients of the Farmers’ Market Promotion Matching Grant Program. This competitive grant awards up to $1,000 for the reimbursement of expenses associated with raising community awareness about the farmers’ markets in a specific area. I want to congratulate Ivanhoe Farmers’ Market for receiving this grant and for all they do to serve and nourish our community.
Each week I will provide updates on COVID-19 information. As of March 15, COVID-19 vaccinations are being provided to individuals who are eligible under the following phases of the state’s vaccine distribution plan:
- Phase 1A – patient-facing health care workers as well as residents and staff in long-term care facilities.
- Phase 1B Tier 1 – first responders, emergency services workers and non-patient facing health care workers.
- Phase 1B Tier 2 – high-risk individuals, such as anyone age 65 and older and adults with cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, heart conditions, weakened immune system due to organ transplant, severe obesity (BMI >40), pregnancy, Sickle Cell Disease, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus or individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities such as Down Syndrome.
- Phase 1B Tier 3 – Teachers, faculty and staff in public, private and nonprofit pre K – 12; faculty and staff in a DHSS or DSS-licensed facility providing basic care to children; employees of certain food production and processing facilities, including grocery and convenience stores; and others providing essential services.
If you fall into any of these categories, 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 Missouri’s vaccine distribution plan, please visit covidvaccine.mo.gov.
Vaccinations are already underway in our community. For instance, Truman Medical Centers is currently focusing on reaching out to eligible patients to schedule vaccine appointments, starting with those who are 65 and older as doses become available. As they vaccinate these individuals throughout the community, they are asking for the public’s continued patience. Please feel free to contact them by visiting their website or by calling (816) 404-2273.
Additionally, Spalittos’ Pharmacy located at 3801 Independence Ave., Kansas City, MO 64124, is also providing COVID-19 vaccinations. Currently, Spalittos’ Pharmacy has vaccine appointments throughout the day on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. There are specific times reserved for vaccine appointments on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. To register for a COVID-19 Vaccine, call 816-231-4717 or visit the pharmacy’s website.
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 legislation, 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 82||Authorizes a tax credit for urban farms located in a food desert||Hearing Conducted in Senate Ways and Means Committee|
|Senate Bill 83||Designates the third week of September as “Historically Black College and University Week” in Missouri||Second read and referred to Senate Education Committee|
|Senate Bill 84||Authorizes a tax credit for the purchase of certain homes||Second read and referred to Senate Ways and Means Committee|
|Senate Bill 145||Creates new provisions of law relating to discriminatory practices||Voted Do Pass by Senate Small Business and Industry Committee|
|Senate Bill 146||Modifies provisions relating to landlord- tenant actions||Second read and referred to Senate Small Business and Industry Committee|
|Senate Bill 147||Modifies provisions relating to tax increment financing||Second read and referred to Senate Ways and Means Committee|
|Senate Bill 189||Creates a Negro Leagues Baseball Museum special license plate||Referred to House Rules – Administrative Oversight Committee|
|Senate Bill 190||Creates provisions relating to expungement for certain marijuana offenses||Second read and referred to Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee|
|Senate Bill 191||Creates new provisions relating to the counting of inmates for the purpose of redistricting||Second read and referred to Select Committee on Redistricting|
|Senate Bill 357||Modifies provisions relating to medical marijuana program participants in family court matters||Hearing Conducted by Senate Seniors, Families, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee|
|Senate Bill 419||Relating to use of force by law enforcement officers||Second read and referred to Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee|
|Senate Bill 420||Relating to reporting requirements of law enforcement agencies||Second read and referred to Senate Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety Committee|
|Senate Bill 434||Establishes the “Cronkite New Voices Act” to protect the freedom of press in school-sponsored media||Senate Formal Calendar for Senate Bills for Perfection|
|Senate Bill 440||Modifies provisions relating to juvenile detention||Second read and referred to Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee|
|Senate Bill 441||Establishes the Missouri Food Security Task Force||Voted Do Pass by Senate Seniors, Families, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee|
|Senate Bill 446||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 509||Creates and modifies provisions relating to the expungement of records.||Second read and referred to Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee|
|Senate Bill 542||Creates new provisions relating to the recovery of employment security benefits.||Second read and referred to Senate Small Business and Industry Committee|
|Senate Bill 543||Establishes standards for demographic data collection by certain entities.||Second read and referred to Senate Health and Pensions Committee|
|Senate Joint Resolution 17||Places limits on increases of the assessment of certain properties||Second read and referred to Senate Local Government and Elections Committee|