|Week of May 30, 2022|
Supreme Court Hears Case on Collective Bargaining Rights
The Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments on May 24 in a case challenging whether a 2018 law modifying the merit system for hiring and firing state government employees unconstitutionally interferes with unionized workers’ collective bargaining rights.
Just over a year ago, a Cole County circuit judge ruled the governor’s administration violated the constitutional rights of unionized state employees when it stopped adhering to valid labor contracts after the passage of Senate Bill 1007. Under SB 1007, most state workers now are “at-will” employees who “may be discharged for no reason or any reason not prohibited by law.”
After the law took effect, the governor’s administration stopped following the terms of labor contracts in place with three unions representing employees at several state agencies. The unions subsequently sued to enforce their members’ collective bargaining rights under the Missouri Constitution.
The circuit judge ruled that nothing in SB 1007 restricts the collective bargaining rights of state workers or supersedes negotiated labor agreements. However, the judge said the governor’s administration violated the constitution by acting as if it did and ordered the state to resume good-faith negotiations with the state employee unions.
The Supreme Court will issue a ruling in the state’s appeal at a later date. The case is American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, et al., v. State of Missouri.
Attorney General Again Sues Public Schools Over Mask Rules
On May 19, the attorney general filed another round of lawsuits against schools. He sued about four dozen public school districts earlier this year, claiming they have no legal authority to impose mask requirements to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, despite the fact that state law specifically empowers schools to take steps to protect against communicable diseases. None of the lawsuits made much progress and all but a few have been dismissed in recent weeks as cases sharply declined throughout Missouri.
However, with cases again increasing with the spread of the highly contagious omicron subvariants, some districts have reinstated mask requirements, prompting the attorney general to again go to court. The six districts he is suing are Clayton, Webster Groves, Mehlville, Maplewood, Ladue and the St. Louis County Special School District. He had previously sued, and dismissed, cases against all six districts, which are located in St. Louis County.
During the recent legislative session, senators removed a requested $500,000 spending increase for his office from the FY 2023 state operating budget as retaliation for the earlier lawsuits. The funding bump was not restored to the final budget bills sent to the governor.
Governor Hints at Possible Veto of $500 Million Tax Rebate
On May 18, the governor signaled he might veto a proposal to provide $500 million worth of rebates to certain taxpayers, saying any such tax break should apply to all taxpayers. He made his comments at a news conference in response to questions about the FY 2023 state operating budget.
During the recent legislative session, lawmakers authorized $500 million in general revenue for income tax rebates to individuals earning less than $150,000 a year, or $300,000 annually for a married couple. Although the plan promises rebates of up to $500 for an individual, or $1,000 for a married couple, since the total amount of rebates are capped at $500 million, the actual amount people would receive could be substantially less.
The rebate authorization is in House Bill 2090, which includes various other provisions relating to the administration of state government, including prohibiting most state agencies, except for medical facilities, from requiring workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. The budget appropriation for the rebates is contained in House Bill 3020.
Ethics Panel Obtains Quorum
The Missouri Ethics Commission can function again after the governor appointed two new members to the panel, which handles complaints against elected officials over alleged campaign finance violations or conflicts of interest.
The commission is supposed to have six members, but had been down to just two in recent months. This left the commission without a quorum necessary to conduct business. Since state law requires it to act on complaints no later than 90 days after they are filed, the lack of a quorum forced the commission to dismiss several complaints without acting on them. Those complaints can be refiled.
With the appointment of former state Rep. Kathie Conway and Houston pastor William Villiapiano, the commission now has four members, the minimum needed to do business.
Upcoming Town Hall
Registering to Vote Information
If you are a Kansas City resident, please visit the Kansas City Election Board website for more information on how to vote or where to register to vote. If you a resident of Jackson County, but not a Kansas City resident, please visit the Jackson County Election Board website for more information.
|City Clerk’s Office||414 E. 12th St., 25th Floor
Kansas City, MO, 64106
|Kansas City Election Board||30 W Pershing Road
Kansas City, MO, 64108
|Kansas City MO Health Department||2400 Troost Ave, Ste. 4000 Kansas City, MO, 64108||8am-5pm Mon.-Fri.||816-513-6008|
|State Building||615 E 13th St, 1st Floor Kansas City, MO, 64106||8am-5pm Mon.-Fri.||816-889-3193|
|Central Library||14 W. 10th St.
Kansas City, MO, 64105
|NAACP Headquarters||1601 E 18th St., Ste. 250 Kansas City, MO, 64108||9am-5pm Mon.-Fri.||816-421-1191|
|900 E Linwood Blvd.
Kansas City, MO, 64109
|5pm-8pm every 1st Mon. of the month
5pm-9pm every 1st Tues. of the month
10am-4pm every 1st Sat. of the month
11am-4pm every 3rd Sat. of the month
|L.H. Bluford Branch Library||3050 Prospect Ave.
Kansas City, MO, 64128
|10am-8pm Mon.-Thurs.; 10 am-5pm Fri.-Sat.; 1pm-5pm Sun.||816-701-3482|
|Plaza Library||4801 Main St.
Kansas City, MO, 64112
|9am-9pm Mon.-Fri.; 10am-6 pm Sat.; 1pm-6pm Sun.||816-701-3481|
|Northeast Branch Library||6000 Wilson Road
Kansas City, MO, 64123
|9am-8pm Mon.-Thurs.; 9am-6pm Fri.; 10am-5pm Sat.; 1pm-5pm Sun.||816-701-3485|
|Southeast Branch Library||6242 Swope Parkway Kansas City, MO, 64130||10am-7pm Mon.-Thurs.; 10am-5pm Fri.-Sat.; 1pm-5pm Sun.||816-701-3484|
|Blue Ridge Branch Library||9253 Blue Ridge Blvd. Kansas City, MO, 64138||9am-9pm Mon.-Thurs.; 9am-6pm Fri.; 9am-5pm Sat.;||816-761-3382|
|Raytown City Hall||10000 E 59th St.
Raytown, MO 64133
|Mid-Continent Public Library||6131 Raytown Road Raytown, MO 64133
10am-6pm Sat.; 1pm-5pm Sun.
|Vocational Rehabilitation||8800 E 63rd St., Ste. 260
Raytown, MO 64133
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||Truly Agreed To and Finally Passed|
|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”||Voted Do Pass by House Rules – Administrative Oversight 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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