Senator Bill White’s Capitol Report for Jan. 28, 2021
Full Speed Ahead
With the end of the first month of the 2021 legislative session quickly approaching, I believe my colleagues and I are applying this old Navy term quite literally in the Missouri Senate. We may not have torpedoes to damn, but we certainly have many legislative irons in the proverbial fire. Committees are assigned, public hearings are scheduled, bills are being read and gubernatorial appointments are being confirmed. Not bad considering we have only convened for a little over three weeks.
In committee news this week, the Senate Seniors, Families, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee met on Jan. 27 and heard testimony on three bills, one of which was my military affairs legislation, Senate Bill 120. The measure includes several provisions, but I believe the most important ones pertain to supporting military families and adding veteran service questions to state forms. Many of our heroes do not utilize the benefits they earned, so I hope this small addition on applications will have a big impact on veterans connecting to needed services.
State of the State Address Sets Positive Tone for 2021
The governor made his annual State of the State Address on Wednesday, Jan. 27, outlining the priorities of his legislative agenda for the year. Brighter days ahead and the importance of early childhood education were mentioned during his inauguration speech, sentiments he further expounded during Wednesday’s Address. The speech was livestreamed to reach to a broader audience and help accommodate social distancing recommendations in the chamber’s gallery.
COVID Vaccine Plan Enters Phase 1B – Tier 2
Missouri has now entered Phase 1B –Tier 2 of the COVID vaccination plan. This level applies to people who are considered at high risk for contracting the virus, including those over the age of 65, adults with cancer and other chronic diseases, pregnant women and individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities. I encourage everyone to contact their primary physician to be put on a waiting list to receive the vaccine when it becomes available. Visit covidvaccine.mo.gov for additional information.
The Missouri Hospital Association also has an interactive COVID-19 dashboard on its website if you want specific information for Dade, Jasper or Newton counties.
Mental Health Resources to Cope with COVID-19
- COVID-19 Related Grief and Loss Support Group offers free virtual sessions on Tuesdays from 4:30-5:30 through February. The Offerings Support Group flyer is available on the Department of Mental Health’s website.
- Health care professionals impacted by COVID-19 may receive free behavioral health services. Visit the Missouri Crisis Intervention Team’s (CIT) website for more information.
Joplin Resident Appointed to State Board
On Jan. 21, I was honored to sponsor Chad Greer’s appointment to the Missouri Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Professional Land Surveyors and Professional Landscape Architects. His 20 + years of experience with project management, design and field coordination will be great assets to this board.
Joplin resident Chad Greer and Sen. White appear before the Gubernatorial Appointments Committee.