Sen. Barbara Anne Washington’s Legislative Column for the Week of Sept. 27, 2021

Week of Sept. 27, 2021

Since August 28, many of the bills passed by the General Assembly and signed by the governor have become law and gone into effect. While there are dozens of new and important provisions being added to Missouri statutes this year, there are two bills in particular I want to highlight for my constituents this week.

The first is House Bill 432, which includes the Victims Security and Safety Act (VESSA). The VESSA provision of the bill requires employers with 20 or more employees to provide reasonable workplace safety accommodations and allow unpaid leave to survivors of domestic or sexual violence. The amount of unpaid leave required would be limited to one week for employers with fewer than 50 employees, and two weeks at larger workplaces. Reasons for unpaid leave include attending hearings, accessing the courts, addressing physical or mental health issues and finding new living quarters. I believe this new law will help support survivors of domestic violence as they navigate an incredibly difficult situation.

The second piece of legislation that is now law is Senate Bill 262, which increases Missouri’s motor fuel tax for the first time since 1996. Beginning in October 2021, the fuel tax will increase by 2.5 cents per gallon annually, until reaching a total of an additional 12.5 cents per gallon on July 1, 2025. Mindful of the impact a gas tax increase can have on some Missourians’ pocketbooks, SB 262 also includes a rebate provision, which allows Missouri drivers who keep gas receipts for passenger vehicles weighing less than 26,000 pounds to request a full refund of the additional taxes paid from the Missouri Department of Revenue.

Sen. Washington Receives Judicial Award

On Sept. 23, I was honored to be recognized by the Judicial Conference of Missouri for my legislative efforts to protect and promote a fair, efficient and independent judiciary. I was one of eight state lawmakers recognized by the Judicial Conference, which is an organization comprising of the state’s judges, at its annual meeting. As one of the few attorneys serving in the Missouri Senate, I take the responsibility of improving our justice system seriously and will do everything I can to ensure it fairly serves all Missourians.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Special License Plate

During the 2021 legislative session, lawmakers passed Senate Bill 189, which I sponsored. 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 on their website or by sending the museum a check upon sending in 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, all adult Missouri residents are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of occupation. 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.

COVID-19 vaccine walk-in appointments are available at Truman Medical Centers’ two hospital campuses (2211 Charlotte and 7900 Lee’s Summit Road) between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Children ages 12 to 15 are eligible for the vaccine with parental or guardian consent. Interested individuals may schedule a vaccine appointment at www.trumed.org or by calling 816-404-CARE (2273). Vaccine information, including free transportation info, is available at trumed.org/covid-19/covid-19-vaccine.

The YMCA of Greater Kansas in partnership with Truman Medical Centers/University Health is also providing COVID-19 vaccines at the Cleaver Family YMCA at the following times: Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 am – 3 p.m.; Thursday, 3 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.; the fourth Saturday of the month, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Vaccinations are available for anyone ages 12 and older. Those ages 12-17 will need consent from a parent or guardian prior to receiving the vaccine. Call 816-404-CARE to schedule an appointment time.

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 trumed.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 2021

Bill Number Description Status
Senate Bill 82 Authorizes a tax credit for urban farms located in a food desert Voted Do Pass by 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 Hearing Conducted in 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 Signed by governor
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 Informal Calendar for Senate Bills for Perfection
Senate Bill 440 Modifies provisions relating to juvenile detention Voted Do Pass by 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. Hearing Conducted by 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

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