Senator Bill White’s Capitol Report for Dec. 3, 2020
Senate Approves COVID-19 Supplemental Budget
The Missouri Senate reconvened in Jefferson City on Tuesday, Dec. 1, to conclude its work on the second extraordinary legislative session. The Senate overwhelmingly voted in favor of passing House Bill 14. In addition to providing vital services to struggling Missourians, HB 14 gives the state the ability to spend all available federal CARES Act funding before the end of the year. The extra session spending bill includes numerous programs designed to help Missouri continue to recover from the ancillary effects of the pandemic.
This week also marked the first day to pre-file bills for the 2021 legislative session. I have pre-filed 15 bills so far, some of which are similar in scope to what I filed last year, but weren’t able to cross the finish line due to the shortened session. The topics range from civil actions during emergencies to military affairs, corrections and coroners. Check my webpage in the coming days for more information on these and the other legislation that has been proposed for the upcoming session.
Purple Dome Honors National Adoption Month
From Nov. 20-22, the Capitol’s dome and Governor’s Mansion were both lighted purple to raise awareness of National Adoption Month and pay tribute to the countless families, like mine, who have benefited from transitioning children from the foster care system into permanent, loving homes.
Did you know that Missouri has 1,579 children and teens in its foster care system? These innocent byproducts of abuse and neglect desperately need the structure and unconditional love of families, so please consider adopting or fostering a child if you are able.
CDC to Launch COVID-19 Study in Missouri Schools
The CDC has launched a thorough study of Missouri schools, particularly the way they handle quarantine procedures where mask mandates have been in place. The stated goal of the study is to assess the effectiveness of current strategies to mitigate the transmission of the virus. Last month, the state loosened some of its protocols in an effort to decrease lengthy absences from school and disruptions in learning due to the 14 day minimum quarantining time frame. The study will compare the outcomes of two control groups; one will stay in school following a “close contact” with a person who tested positive, and the other group will adhere to traditional quarantine procedures. The results will be published by the CDC.
Missouri Launches COVID-19 Vaccine Website
A new, one-stop shop for all things related to the newly developed vaccines, covidvaccine.mo.gov, provides information on the evidence-based research, production, timeline for distribution and the safety and efficacy of the new medicines. The site also addresses frequently asked questions and debunks some of the misinformation that could possibly deter the vaccine’s success in combatting the spread of the virus.
DSS Modifies Child Care Eligibility Requirements
Another resource to help working families deal with the ongoing virus is greater access to child care assistance. Click here or dial 855-373-4636 to see if you qualify for a child care subsidy while students are learning remotely or while you look for employment.
MSSU’s Vice President of Student Affairs Retires
On Nov. 18, Rep. Lane Roberts and I presented courtesy resolutions to honor retiring Vice President of Student Affairs Darren Fullerton. His impressive 21 years of accomplishments will be well-remembered and enjoyed by future staff and students beyond his retirement at the end of the year from Missouri Southern State University.
Representative Roberts, Darren Fullerton and Sen. White pose with resolutions honoring his retirement from MSSU.