Senator Bill White’s Capitol Report for Dec. 10, 2020
My Legislative Priorities for 2021
On Dec. 1, policy makers unofficially started the upcoming legislative session by pre-filing bills to be considered during 2021. Although these tallies change daily, at the time I am writing this report, nearly 300 different pieces of legislation have been pre-filed in the Missouri Senate, along with 22 Senate Joint Resolutions. I have pre-filed 16 pieces of legislation, many of which pertain to three main subjects: legal liability, health care and the military.
A topic that is currently garnering more and more attention is COVID-19 liability. Senate Bill 42, a measure I have pre-filed, provides some much-needed protections for health care workers and other professionals who are on the pandemic’s frontlines and helping people that are struggling with the virus. The benefactors of these protections from civil actions include health care providers, persons associated with pandemic-related products and certain property owners. I am confident that this legislation will be fast-tracked when we reconvene in January.
Additionally, I have pre-filed several bills relating to health care coverage and benefits. Senate Bill 43 will require health benefit plans to match what is covered by MO HealthNet, Senate Bill 121 changes requirements related to managed care organizations and Senate Bill 173 deals with accessibility to antipsychotic drugs for MO HealthNet participants.
On the military front, Senate Bill 120 designates a statewide Military Family Month, establishes school-based Purple Star Campuses, modifies the definition of surviving spouses in the merit system, adds data-collecting veteran questions to applicable state forms and extends protections of motor vehicle insurance. Senate Bill 258 classifies Missouri National Guard members as state employees for the purpose of operating state owned vehicles for official business.
Settling Into New Leadership Role
While I work with my colleagues to advance these measures through the legislative process, I truly look forward to transitioning into my new role as assistant majority floor leader this session as well. The Missouri Senate will welcome eleven newly elected members when it convenes the 101st General Assembly on Jan. 6, and I suspect this session will also be atypical as extra COVID-19 precautions are put in place to maintain safety for staff and visitors to the Capitol. One of these precautions is the cancellation of the Inaugural Ball which traditionally follows the swearing-in of statewide elected officials in January. I will keep you abreast of other important changes and notices on my social media outlets and in future Capitol Reports.
Amidst all the COVID-19 induced chaos, uncertainty and calamity, one thing remains constant, my dedication to the people of the 32nd Senatorial District. As I look toward my third year serving as your state senator, I am optimistic that this session will yield some important, life-changing policies to benefit the residents of our great Show-Me state.
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