The Capitol Report | November 22nd, 2017

Job Growth Increases Across Missouri

As Missourians celebrate Thanksgiving, they can also be thankful for continued job growth in the Show-Me State. The Missouri Department of Economic Development recently released numbers for the state’s unemployment rate in October and it was good news for the state. Missouri’s unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent in October, which is the lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate the state has seen since July 2000.

In comparison, the state unemployment rate was at 4.6 percent the same time last year, and the current national rate for the month of October is at 4.1 percent. Missouri’s seasonally adjusted rate has now been below the comparable national rate for 31 consecutive months. In total for the year, Missouri has seen nonfarm payroll employment increase by 30,700 jobs.

thanksgiving-images-clip-art-happy-thanksgiving-imagesAs we celebrate Thanksgiving, it is our obligation not to forget the origins of this holiday or the reason it has persisted as an important moment of thankful contemplation each and every year. From the trying times faced by the colonists, to the strife this nation endured during the Civil War, to the many other events and moments that have tested our national resolve, our country has endured and persevered against overwhelming odds. As citizens of this great nation, we must be thankful for the many blessings and freedoms that go hand in hand with being an American.

Regardless of the difficulties or setbacks we may face in our personal lives, we continue to be part of something truly remarkable as we live in a land where dreams can and do come true. I hope on this Thanksgiving, as you spend time with family and friends, that you also can find a few moments to appreciate the fact our nation is a land of bountiful opportunity and unparalleled freedom. Happy Thanksgiving!

You may read in more detail about what is happening at your State Capitol below.

As always, I will work diligently for you as your State Representative.

-Jason

 

 

 

Missouri Receives Good News with Latest Employment Statistics

As Missourians celebrate Thanksgiving, they can also be thankful for continued job growth in the Show-Me State. The Missouri Department of Economic Development recently released numbers for the state’s unemployment rate in October and it was good news for the state. Missouri’s unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent in October, which is the lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate the state has seen since July 2000.

In comparison, the state unemployment rate was at 4.6 percent the same time last year, and the current national rate for the month of October is at 4.1 percent. Missouri’s seasonally adjusted rate has now been below the comparable national rate for 31 consecutive months. In total for the year, Missouri has seen nonfarm payroll employment increase by 30,700 jobs.

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month in Missouri

It’s during November that people in Missouri and around the world pause to recognize Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month to highlight the need for greater awareness, funding, and research for pancreatic cancer. It was in 2013 that the state legislature passed HB 68 to designate the awareness month in Missouri to encourage citizens to participate in activities and events to increase awareness of pancreatic cancer, which is incurable and has a low rate of survival due to the advanced stage of the disease when symptoms typically present themselves.

Pancreatic cancer begins when abnormal cells within the pancreas grow out of control and form a tumor. The pancreas is a gland in the abdomen that lies behind the stomach and in front of the spine, with two main functions: digestion and blood sugar regulation. Every day, more than 1,000 people worldwide will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Of that, an estimated 985 will die from the disease.

Additionally, pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate among all major cancers, and in nearly every country it is the only major cancer with a single-digit five-year survival rate.

There is currently no screening test or early detection method for pancreatic cancer, and though research is being conducted in these areas, knowing the symptoms and risks remains the key to early diagnosis. Research shows that patients diagnosed in time for surgery are more likely to live five years and beyond. To learn more about the symptoms and risks, visit http://www.worldpancreaticcancerday.org

Happy Thanksgiving

thanksgiving-images-clip-art-happy-thanksgiving-imagesThe first “Thanksgiving” took place in 1621 when the Plymouth colonists held an autumn feast as a show of thanks to the Wampanoag Indians, who had helped the colonists survive in the new world. Thanksgiving meals went on to become an annual occurrence in the New England states and then throughout the country. It was finally in 1863 that President Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving an official national holiday in a proclamation that called on Americans to ask God to “commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” of the Civil War, and to “heal the wounds of the nation.”

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, it is our obligation not to forget the origins of this holiday or the reason it has persisted as an important moment of thankful contemplation each and every year. From the trying times faced by the colonists, to the strife this nation endured during the Civil War, to the many other events and moments that have tested our national resolve, our country has endured and persevered against overwhelming odds. As citizens of this great nation, we must be thankful for the many blessings and freedoms that go hand in hand with being an American.

Regardless of the difficulties or setbacks we may face in our personal lives, we continue to be part of something truly remarkable as we live in a land where dreams can and do come true. I hope on this Thanksgiving, as you spend time with family and friends, that you also can find a few moments to appreciate the fact our nation is a land of bountiful opportunity and unparalleled freedom.

I am committed to serve the constituents of the 120th District, so please feel free to contact my office anytime at 573-751-1688. Your District 120 Capitol Office is 201 W Capitol Ave, Rm 415-B, Jefferson City, MO 65101. If you wish to unsubscribe from this report, please email Dylan Bryant at dylan.bryant@house.mo.gov

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The Capitol Report | November 16th, 2017

Stabilizing Missouri’s Health Insurance Markets

A newly-formed group of lawmakers will spend the rest of the year looking at the direction health care should take in Missouri. House Speaker Todd Richardson recently created the Interim Committee on Stabilizing Missouri’s Health Insurance Markets for the purpose of gaining a better understanding of what changes at the federal level will mean to markets in the state.

The committee will extensively look at how the rollback of the Affordable Care Act will alter the health insurance climate in Missouri. Committee members will also work to determine if Missouri should pursue a federal waiver to sidestep requirements of the ACA and allow the state to have greater flexibility and stability for the health insurance market. Reviewing the state’s Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements law and looking at measures to stabilize small employer and individual insurance risk pools will also be priorities for the committee.

In other news, last Sunday, Governor Eric Greitens returned from his first trade mission to the nation of Israel. The Governor met with business, government, and military leaders in an attempt to build education and public safety partnerships and gain more jobs for Missourians. While overseas, the Governor toured Israel and visited with members of the Israeli military.

In meetings with public safety leaders, the Governor discussed the possibility of an exchange program to share best practices in policy, strategy, and operations between Missouri’s first responders and their Israeli counterparts.

Also, it was a privilege for me to be at the St. James Veterans Home, along with colleague and Veterans Commission member Rep. Steve Lynch, to honor our heroes during their Veterans Day celebration last week. Thanks again to all of our veterans!

You may read in more detail about what is happening at your State Capitol below.

As always, I will work diligently for you as your State Representative.

-Jason

 

New Interim Committee to Seek Solutions to Stabilize Missouri’s Health Insurance Markets

A newly-formed group of lawmakers will spend the rest of the year looking at the direction health care should take in Missouri. House Speaker Todd Richardson recently created the Interim Committee on Stabilizing Missouri’s Health Insurance Markets for the purpose of gaining a better understanding of what changes at the federal level will mean to markets in the state.

The committee will extensively look at how the rollback of the Affordable Care Act will alter the health insurance climate in Missouri. Committee members will also work to determine if Missouri should pursue a federal waiver to sidestep requirements of the ACA and allow the state to have greater flexibility and stability for the health insurance market. Reviewing the state’s Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements law and looking at measures to stabilize small employer and individual insurance risk pools will also be priorities for the committee.

As the chair of the committee said, “In the wake of President Trump’s Executive Order, states have more flexibility in addressing the challenges created by the Affordable Care Act. The individual insurance market carries the highest burden of risk for insurers and the relating costs have sent it into a death spiral. The small employer insurance market is not far off from suffering the same fate. This committee will give us a great opportunity to thoroughly assess our current situation and then develop solutions that will give us a long-term plan to address health care financing concerns in Missouri.”

The committee began its work this week and will produce recommendations for the legislature to consider by the end of the year.

Governor Returns from Trade Mission in Israel

Last Sunday, Governor Eric Greitens returned from his first trade mission to the nation of Israel. The Governor met with business, government, and military leaders in an attempt to build education and public safety partnerships and gain more jobs for Missourians.

While overseas, the Governor toured Israel and visited with members of the Israeli military. In meetings with public safety leaders, the Governor discussed the possibility of an exchange program to share best practices in policy, strategy, and operations between Missouri’s first responders and their Israeli counterparts. The governor also visited the Iron Dome, Jordan Valley, Golan Heights, sat down with Shayetet 13, Israel’s version of the Navy SEALs, and met with top government, military, and public safety leaders in Israel. The main topic of discussion was the potential for training partnerships between Israeli first responders and Missouri’s fire departments, police, National Guard, and cyber security teams.

Finally, last week, the governor met with the CEO of HackerU, a training center dedicated to IT professions and others, who desire an education and training relating to information security and malicious hackers. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Missouri and HackerU in an effort to create higher education partnerships—training Missouri’s next generation of cybersecurity leaders and creating more opportunities for quality jobs.

District Visit

St James Vet HomeIt was a privilege to be at the St. James Veterans Home, along with colleague and Veterans Commission member Rep. Steve Lynch, to honor our heroes during their Veterans Day celebration last week.

I am committed to serve the constituents of the 120th District, so please feel free to contact my office anytime at 573-751-1688. Your District 120 Capitol Office is 201 W Capitol Ave, Rm 415-B, Jefferson City, MO 65101. If you wish to unsubscribe from this report, please email Dylan Bryant at dylan.bryant@house.mo.gov

The Capitol Report | November 9th, 2017

Dyslexia Recommendations & Diabetes Awareness

A Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia has completed its work and released recommendations for having Missouri public school students screened for dyslexia. The task force’s report to legislative leaders and the governor recommends that all students in kindergarten through grade three be screened for dyslexia and related disorders beginning in the 2018-19 school year.

Next Tuesday, November 14th an event will be held at the Capitol to raise awareness for World Diabetes Day. More than 747,370 Missourians suffer from the consequences of diabetes, and the cost to the state surpasses $4.8 billion annually. However, the debilitating consequences of diabetes and its cost can be mitigated with Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES), and Missouri is part of a national effort to provide this education to people with diabetes.

Veterans-Day-2016Also, this Saturday is Veterans Day. It is a time to give thanks to those who have done so much to make our nation a shining beacon of hope for the rest of the world. We are a great nation because of the dedication, passion, and patriotism of the heroic individuals who have stood in defense of the American dream. They have risked their lives on foreign soil, spent long months away from family and friends, and helped forge peace in even the most hostile lands. It is because of their dedication and love of country that we have the many blessings we enjoy today. Happy Veterans Day!

You may read in more detail about what is happening at your State Capitol below.

As always, I will work diligently for you as your State Representative.

-Jason

 

Task Force on Dyslexia Issues Recommendations

A Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia has completed its work and released recommendations for having Missouri public school students screened for dyslexia.

The task force’s report to legislative leaders and the governor recommends that all students in kindergarten through grade three be screened for dyslexia and related disorders beginning in the 2018-19 school year.  It also recommends that students who have not been previously screened, and who have been identified as “struggling” in literacy, be screened.

Representative Kathy Swan, chair of the task force, said early identification of reading difficulties is key to helping children get the education they need. She added, “By identifying and addressing this reading failure, students will not only be successful in school but successful in life.  If our children do not learn to read they will, and cannot, read to learn. This small investment today will have long-term benefits for not only students and families but for the economic and social benefits of our communities and for our state.”

The task force also recommends that schools require two hours of in-service training in assessing reading difficulties.  Currently schools are required only to offer such training. The task force also says it is important that Missouri colleges’ and universities’ teacher education programs address dyslexia characteristics, identification, and intervention. As one task force member said, “It’s critically important that this content is delivered and infused in our teacher preparation courses at the colleges and universities in Missouri.” The final report also says the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) should recommend a process for universal screening that includes a multi-tiered support system.

The Task Force was created with the passage of House Bill 2379 in 2016.

World Diabetes Day

In recognition of World Diabetes Day, leading experts in the field of community-based diabetes health care will discuss the devastating impact of the disease on individuals, both personally and financially, as well as the significant financial costs to the state. The event is scheduled to take place Tuesday, November 14 in the State Capitol.

More than 747,370 Missourians suffer from the consequences of diabetes, and the cost to the state surpasses $4.8 billion annually. Unmanaged diabetes is the cause of blindness, kidney failure and amputations in adults, and a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. People with diabetes spend 2.3 times more on health care costs than others without the disease. African-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans are nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes as Caucasians.

However, the debilitating consequences of diabetes and its cost can be mitigated with Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES), and Missouri is part of a national effort to provide this education to people with diabetes. DSMES teaches patients about, and assists them with, setting goals for proper nutrition, physical activity, regular check-ups with their physicians, glucose monitoring and consistent medication use. DSMES training for persons with diabetes improves their health and quality of life, and helps avoid the complications of the disease. Such training can reduce the chances of the most serious consequences by 8 percent and cut the chance of dying from the disease by 2.3 percent. High-risk persons or those with pre-diabetes are 11 percent less likely to develop the disease.

Legislators in Missouri are working to bring attention to the personal costs to Missourians with diabetes as well as the cost to the state. The DSMES project is focusing on rural and underserved communities in Missouri as well as the Medicare age population. Nearly one-third of persons 65 years and older have diabetes. About 13 percent of persons age 20 and older in the U.S. have diabetes, according to the National Institutes of Health.

I am committed to serve the constituents of the 120th District, so please feel free to contact my office anytime at 573-751-1688. Your District 120 Capitol Office is 201 W Capitol Ave, Rm 415-B, Jefferson City, MO 65101. If you wish to unsubscribe from this report, please email Dylan Bryant at dylan.bryant@house.mo.gov

The Capitol Report | November 2nd, 2017

New Jobs Coming to Missouri

Recently, Governor Eric Greitens traveled to London to meet with executives from WPP and announce that VML, a global marketing agency, plans to create a minimum of 120 new jobs in Kansas City over the next six years. VML is part of WPP, the world’s largest communications services group. According to the company, VML has already experienced staffing increases of more than 50 people since the beginning of the year, bringing their Kansas City facility to nearly 600 people.

In other news, as Veterans Day approaches, several events across the state will soon start to take place. As an official kickoff for “Veterans Week”, the Lt. Governor Mike Parson is inviting all veterans, law enforcement, and emergency personnel to the Capitol this Saturday, November 4th at 10 AM for a day full of celebratory events. The ceremony will feature performances by the Monticello Singers and displays by the Missouri National Guard and State Highway Patrol. Special recognition will be given to all attending World War II and Korea veterans as well as veterans currently serving in law enforcement, firefighters, and emergency personnel. Motorcycles and patrol cars are welcomed and encouraged.

Every year lawmakers and staff where blue and green at the State Capitol in April to promote organ donation awareness. However, organ donation occurs year-round; therefore, I would like to take a moment this week to share some interesting information about organ donation.

According to Donate Life America, 95 percent of Americans are in favor of being a donor, but only 54 percent are registered. Across the nation, approximately 118,000 men, women, and children currently await lifesaving organ transplants. Roughly 8,000 deaths occur each year because organs are not donated in time. Just one person registering as a donor has the potential to save up to 8 lives.

Last session, House members moved to support organ donation in Missouri by giving approval to a bill that would continue the organ donor program fund tax checkoff on state income tax returns. The checkoff is set to expire on December 31, 2017. The bill approved by the House would remove the sunset entirely and allow the checkoff to continue indefinitely.

If you are interested in being an organ donor or would like to learn more, visit: https://www.dmv.org/mo-missouri/organ-donor.php

You may read in more detail about what is happening at your State Capitol below.

As always, I will work diligently for you as your State Representative.

-Jason

 

 

Global Marketing Agency to Create 120 New Jobs in Kansas City

Recently, Governor Eric Greitens traveled to London to meet with executives from WPP and announce that VML, a global marketing agency, plans to create a minimum of 120 new jobs in Kansas City over the next six years. The governor said, “We are proud to have VML headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri as companies continue to thrive in our state.”  “We’re always fighting to help companies like VML create more jobs and higher pay for Missourians,” stated Governor Grietens.

VML is part of WPP, the world’s largest communications services group. According to the company, VML has already experienced staffing increases of more than 50 people since the beginning of the year, bringing their Kansas City facility to nearly 600 people. VML is a lead marketing agency that transforms brands through a consumer experience by providing a broad range of services including strategy and intelligence, marketing and advertising, and platforms and experience. VML’s high-profile clients include Bridgestone, Colgate-Palmolive, Electrolux/Frigidaire, Ford, the Kellogg Company, Kimberly-Clark, New Balance, PepsiCo, Sprint, and Wendy’s.

“We’re extremely proud to be celebrating our 25th anniversary – and doing so right here in Kansas City where our company was founded,” Jon Cook, global CEO said. “VML has seen tremendous momentum, particularly in the past few years, including being recognized as one of the Top 5 advertising agencies in the nation in Advertising Age’s Agency A-List.”

Last year, the company announced a long-term lease to maintain its global headquarters in Kansas City at the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport. With the lease lasting over 10 years and VML celebrating its 25th anniversary, the creation of 120 new jobs over the next six years is a further testament to the company’s commitment for growth in Missouri.  Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, VML joined the world’s largest communications services group, WPP, in 2001. According to VML, the company has more than 3,000 employees with principal offices in 33 locations across six continents.

The announcement was part of the Governor’s second trade mission of the year, in which he promoted Missouri’s strong business climate and opportunities to expand economic ties between Missouri and Europe.

Veterans Kickoff Week

Also, as Veterans Day approaches, several events across the state will soon start to take place. As an official kickoff for “Veterans Week”, the Lt. Governor Mike Parson is inviting all veterans, law enforcement, and emergency personnel to the Capitol this Saturday, November 4th at 10 AM for a day full of celebratory events. The ceremony will feature performances by the Monticello Singers and displays by the Missouri National Guard and State Highway Patrol. Special recognition will be given to all attending World War II and Korea veterans as well as veterans currently serving in law enforcement, firefighters, and emergency personnel. Motorcycles and patrol cars are welcomed and encouraged.

Organ Donor Awareness

Every year lawmakers and staff where blue and green at the State Capitol in April to promote organ donation awareness. However, I would like to take a moment this week to share some interesting information about organ donation.

According to Donate Life America, 95 percent of Americans are in favor of being a donor, but only 54 percent are registered. Across the nation, approximately 118,000 men, women, and children currently await lifesaving organ transplants. Roughly 8,000 deaths occur each year because organs are not donated in time. Just one person registering as a donor has the potential to save up to 8 lives.

Last session, House members moved to support organ donation in Missouri by giving approval to a bill that would continue the organ donor program fund tax checkoff on state income tax returns. The checkoff is set to expire on December 31, 2017. The bill approved by the House would remove the sunset entirely and allow the checkoff to continue indefinitely.

If you are interested in being an organ donor or would like to learn more, visit: https://www.dmv.org/mo-missouri/organ-donor.php

Pro-Life Legislation Becomes Law (SB 5)

A new law takes effect this week that is meant to better ensure the health and safety of women by putting common sense safety requirements in place for abortion clinics. Approved by the legislature during a special session held in June, the bill is also designed to protect pregnancy resource centers from a city ordinance the governor says has made St. Louis an abortion sanctuary city.

The bill that now becomes law contains several provisions to protect the health and safety of women. Some of the main provisions of the bill will:

  • Allow the attorney general to prosecute violations of state abortion laws with no obligation to first inform local prosecutors;
  • Require the physician who is to perform an abortion to inform the woman orally and in person of the immediate and long-term medical risks associated with the proposed method of abortion 72 hours prior to the procedure;
  • Allow the Department of Health and Senior Services to adopt rules governing complication plans to ensure patients undergoing abortions induced by drugs or chemicals have access to safe and reliable care;
  • Prevent abortion clinic staff from requesting emergency responders to alter their normal response procedure by turning off lights or sirens;
  • Require an abortion facility to provide affirmative evidence that each person authorized to perform abortions is a physician currently licensed to practice in Missouri;
  • Allow the state health department to adopt separate rules to apply to ambulatory surgical centers and to apply to abortion facilities;
  • Permit the health department to make an unannounced on-site inspection of any abortion facility at least annually;
  • Strengthen penalties for abortion clinics and hospitals that do not comply with the requirements for submitting fetal tissue after an abortion; and
  • Require that all tissue removed at the time of abortion be sent to a pathologist within five days for examination.

The stronger safety regulations are meant to address a court ruling that struck down Missouri’s previous law that required abortion providers to abide by the same regulations imposed on ambulatory surgical centers. The court also did away with a law that required a doctor providing an abortion to have privileges at a nearby hospital. Supporters say the regulations are necessary to ensure the safety and health of women using the facilities. They note that the Planned Parenthood facility in St. Louis has had to call an ambulance 58 times in the last seven years with 23 of the calls made to respond to hemorrhages as a complication of abortion. They also point out that the St. Louis facility was cited by the Department of Health and Senior Services more than 100 times from 2009 to 2016 for failure to provide a safe and sanitary environment.

Standing up to a recent court challenge is the provision in the bill that requires the doctor who will perform an abortion to give information about the procedure to the woman 72 hours before it is performed. Missouri had allowed any “qualified professional” to discuss the information with the patient. Planned Parenthood filed suit saying the new requirement would place “extreme and unprecedented” requirements on women seeking abortion and would “unduly restrict” their access to the procedure. However, this week, a Jackson County judge rejected the challenge to the new law, saying it was “at best a moderate modification of the informed consent restraints already in place.” With that, the provision will take effect along with the rest of the bill.

The provision in the bill that addresses the St. Louis city ordinance will protect the rights of pregnancy resource centers. The St. Louis ordinance was put in place by the city to prevent employers and landlords from discriminating against women who have had an abortion, use birth control, or are pregnant. The governor has said the ordinance makes it so organizations like pregnancy care centers can’t work the way they’re supposed to. As the governor said, local politicians have tried to make it illegal for pro-life organizations to say that they just want to hire pro-life Missourians. The new law acknowledges and protects the right of an “alternatives to abortion” agency to operate freely and engage in speech without governmental interference, and the right of a person not to be compelled by the government to participate in abortion contrary to his or her religious beliefs or moral convictions.

I am committed to serve the constituents of the 120th District, so please feel free to contact my office anytime at 573-751-1688. Your District 120 Capitol Office is 201 W Capitol Ave, Rm 415-B, Jefferson City, MO 65101. If you wish to unsubscribe from this report, please email Dylan Bryant at dylan.bryant@house.mo.gov

The Capitol Report | October 26th, 2017

Long-Term Care Funding Solution

Since Veto Session in September, a bipartisan group of House and Senate members have been working to find funding for Medicaid recipients who were receiving in-home care or in long-term care facilities. A funding shortfall was thought to have put some of those receiving services at risk of losing them. House and Senate leaders arrived at several workable solutions, which included changes to the circuit breaker property tax credit. The governor’s office has been made aware of the range of proposals that could restore permanent funding to this population.

However, during the process, information from the Department of Health and Senior Services has made it clear that very few Missourians are losing services at this time. According to the department, of the 1008 participants who have been evaluated under the new level of care standard, only 30 people have had their services altered. The change was initially projected to cause more than 8,000 people to see their services reduced, but the initial round of reassessments indicate the number will be far lower.

“Those numbers are pretty astonishing, but there is still going to be a funding problem moving forward and we will need to address this either in a special session or early next session. I am happy that this group came up with several ways to save the money necessary to fund these services and we will move forward with them as soon as the legislature is back in session,” said House Speaker Todd Richardson.

“The House has presented multiple solutions to this problem since this budget was passed last session and we will continue to work with our colleagues in both chambers to implement a plan to dedicate a revenue stream to fund long-term care for our seniors,” Budget Chairman Scott Fitzpatrick.

Both Speaker Richardson and Rep. Fitzpatrick also stressed the need to include funding for healthcare providers and caregivers for this vulnerable population in the final solution.

As a final reminder, I will be hosting four town hall meetings next week in Cuba, Bourbon, Steelville, and St. James. These town hall meetings will be free and open to the public. I hope everyone comes out and participates in this great opportunity to ask questions and to find out more about what is happening at your state capitol.

The four town hall meetings will be held on the following dates:

  • Monday, October 30th at 9 AM
    Cuba City Hall Council Room (202 N Smith St., Cuba, MO 65453)
  • Monday, October 30th at 2 PM
    Bourbon Area Community Center (575 Elm St., Bourbon, MO 65441)
  • Tuesday, October 31st at 9 AM
    Steelville Community Center (101 W. Keysville, Steelville, MO 65565
  • Tuesday, October 31st at 2 PM
    James Municipal Center/City Hall Meeting Room (100 S. Jefferson, St. James, MO 65559)

You may read in more detail about what is happening at your State Capitol below.

As always, I will work diligently for you as your State Representative.

-Jason

 

 

 

Legislature Continues to Look for Long-Term Care Funding Solution

Since Veto Session in September, a bipartisan group of House and Senate members have been working to find funding for Medicaid recipients who were receiving in-home care or in long-term care facilities. A funding shortfall was thought to have put some of those receiving services at risk of losing them.

House and Senate leaders arrived at several workable solutions, which included changes to the circuit breaker property tax credit. The governor’s office has been made aware of the range of proposals that could restore permanent funding to this population.

However, during the process, information from the Department of Health and Senior Services has made it clear that very few Missourians are losing services at this time. According to the department, of the 1008 participants who have been evaluated under the new level of care standard, only 30 people have had their services altered. The change was initially projected to cause more than 8,000 people to see their services reduced, but the initial round of reassessments indicate the number will be far lower.

“Those numbers are pretty astonishing, but there is still going to be a funding problem moving forward and we will need to address this either in a special session or early next session. I am happy that this group came up with several ways to save the money necessary to fund these services and we will move forward with them as soon as the legislature is back in session,” said House Speaker Todd Richardson.

“The House has presented multiple solutions to this problem since this budget was passed last session and we will continue to work with our colleagues in both chambers to implement a plan to dedicate a revenue stream to fund long-term care for our seniors,” Budget Chairman Scott Fitzpatrick.

Both Speaker Richardson and Rep. Fitzpatrick also stressed the need to include funding for healthcare providers and caregivers for this vulnerable population in the final solution.

Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia Set to Reveal Recommendations

A legislative task force charged with making recommendations to improve the level of services offered to students with dyslexia will unveil its report at the end of the month.

The task force was created in 2016 to study and make recommendations for a statewide system to address the needs of students with dyslexia. The 21-member task force includes four lawmakers as well as educators, therapists and citizens with experience with dyslexia.

The final report produced by the task force is the result of public testimony, discussions and deliberations. The report includes three major recommendations for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education regarding screening, classroom supports, and professional development for teachers. Additional recommendations are included for evidence-based reading instruction, intervention systems, teacher certification, and the reporting of data.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education must develop guidelines for appropriate screening of students for dyslexia and related disorders and for necessary classroom support by December 31, 2017.Public schools will begin screening students, provide reasonable classroom support for students, and offer in-service training for teachers in the 2018-19 school year.

As the chair of the task force said, the final report “contains some simple yet impactful changes that schools can implement to ensure that our Missouri children with dyslexia receive the assistance and the resources they need to succeed in the classroom.”

Upcoming Town Hall Meetings

As a final reminder, I will be hosting four town hall meetings next week in Cuba, Bourbon, Steelville, and St. James. These town hall meetings will be free and open to the public. I hope everyone comes out and participates in this great opportunity to ask questions and to find out more about what is happening at your state capitol.

The four town hall meetings will be held on the following dates:

  • Monday, October 30th at 9 AM
    Cuba City Hall Council Room (202 N Smith St., Cuba, MO 65453)
  • Monday, October 30th at 2 PM
    Bourbon Area Community Center (575 Elm St., Bourbon, MO 65441)
  • Tuesday, October 31st at 9 AM
    Steelville Community Center (101 W. Keysville, Steelville, MO 65565)
  • Tuesday, October 31st at 2 PM
    James Municipal Center/City Hall Meeting Room (100 S. Jefferson, St. James, MO 65559)

I am committed to serve the constituents of the 120th District, so please feel free to contact my office anytime at 573-751-1688. Your District 120 Capitol Office is 201 W Capitol Ave, Rm 415-B, Jefferson City, MO 65101. If you wish to unsubscribe from this report, please email Dylan Bryant at dylan.bryant@house.mo.gov

The Capitol Report | October 19th, 2017

New Jobs Coming to Missouri

Governor Greitens recently announced that 800 new jobs will soon be coming to Missouri. The new jobs will come from an increase in Missouri’s National Guard. The new jobs will include transportation units, military police units, and cyber units and have an estimated economic impact of $15 million.

The new jobs include a new Transportation Battalion in southeast Missouri’s Fredericktown and a new Transportation Company in southwest Missouri’s Anderson and Monett. The new units also include the 1231st Transportation Company in Bridgeton and Columbia and the 1136th Military Police Company in Lebanon and Rolla.

In addition, by the end of 2019, the new 1251st Transportation Company in Farmington and Perryville is expected to be in place, along with the 529th Trial Defense Team in Jefferson City and the 1135th Maintenance Company in Kansas City.

In other news, Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union have recently sued Missouri over a portion of a new law put in place by the legislature and the governor during one of the special sessions held this summer. Specifically, the two organizations are trying to block a provision of Senate Bill 5 that would require the doctor who will perform an abortion to give information about the procedure to the woman 72 hours before it is performed.

Current Missouri law allows any “qualified professional” to discuss the information with the patient. Planned Parenthood and the ACLU believe the new requirement would place “extreme and unprecedented” requirements on women seeking abortion and would “unduly restrict” their access to the procedure.

Only time will tell how the courts will respond and then, ultimately, what direction the legislature will take.

You may read in more detail about what is happening at your State Capitol below.

As always, I will work diligently for you as your State Representative.

-Jason

 

800 New National Guard Jobs Coming to Missouri

Governor Eric Greitens recently joined Missouri National Guard Adjutant General Stephen Danner to announce hundreds of new jobs coming to Missouri. The two officials held a press conference at the Jefferson City Memorial Airport to reveal plans to grow the Guard with 800 new jobs. The new jobs include transportation units, military police units, and cyber units. Some of the units are being transferred from other states into Missouri. The governor says the new jobs are expected to have an economic impact of $15 million.

The new jobs include a new Transportation Battalion in southeast Missouri’s Fredericktown and a new Transportation Company in southwest Missouri’s Anderson and Monett. The new units also include the 1231st Transportation Company in Bridgeton and Columbia and the 1136th Military Police Company in Lebanon and Rolla. In addition, by the end of 2019, the new 1251st Transportation Company in Farmington and Perryville is expected to be in place, along with the 529th Trial Defense Team in Jefferson City and the 1135th Maintenance Company in Kansas City.

Missouri currently has approximately 9,300 Army National Guard soldiers.

Planned Parenthood Continues to Challenge Missouri’s Pro-Life Laws

Despite Missouri being a strongly pro-life state with an overwhelmingly pro-life legislature, organizations like Planned Parenthood continue to file lawsuits to challenge the laws put in place to protect the lives of the innocent unborn and the health of women. Most recently, Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union sued the state over a portion of the new law put in place by the legislature and the governor during a special session held this summer.

The two organizations are trying to block a provision of the bill (SB 5) that would require the doctor who will perform an abortion to give information about the procedure to the woman 72 hours before it is performed. Current Missouri law allows any “qualified professional” to discuss the information with the patient. Planned Parenthood and the ACLU believe the new requirement would place “extreme and unprecedented” requirements on women seeking abortion and would “unduly restrict” their access to the procedure.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley has said his office will vigorously defend the law. His office said the new law enacts “sensible regulations that protect the health of women in Missouri.” The challenged provision is one of several stronger safety regulations included in the bill that are meant to address a court ruling that struck down Missouri’s previous law that required abortion providers to abide by the same regulations imposed on ambulatory surgical centers. The court also did away with a law that required a doctor providing an abortion to have privileges at a nearby hospital. Supporters say the new regulations are necessary to ensure the safety and health of women using the facilities.

Lawmakers will now wait to see what happens with the lawsuit. The previous laws that were struck down by the courts have already paved the way for Planned Parenthood to seek licensing to perform abortions in Columbia, Springfield, and Joplin. For years Missouri has had only one abortion-providing facility in St. Louis. The Attorney General is now contesting this ruling as well in an effort to prevent the expansion of abortion providers throughout the state.

Upcoming Town Hall Meetings

As a reminder, I will be hosting four town hall meetings later this month in Cuba, Bourbon, Steelville, and St. James. These town hall meetings will be free and open to the public. I hope everyone comes out and participates in this great opportunity to ask questions and to find out more about what is happening at your state capitol.

The four town hall meetings will be held on the following dates:

  • Monday, October 30th at 9 AM
    Cuba City Hall Council Room (202 N Smith St., Cuba, MO 65453)
  • Monday, October 30th at 2 PM
    Bourbon Area Community Center (575 Elm St., Bourbon, MO 65441)
  • Tuesday, October 31st at 9 AM
    Steelville Community Center (101 W. Keysville, Steelville, MO 65565)
  • Tuesday, October 31st at 2 PM
    James Municipal Center/City Hall Meeting Room (100 S. Jefferson, St. James, MO 65559)

I am committed to serve the constituents of the 120th District, so please feel free to contact my office anytime at 573-751-1688. Your District 120 Capitol Office is 201 W Capitol Ave, Rm 415-B, Jefferson City, MO 65101. If you wish to unsubscribe from this report, please email Dylan Bryant at dylan.bryant@house.mo.gov

The Capitol Report | October 12th, 2017

REAL ID Update & Technology Grants

Recently, the Missouri Department of Revenue has contacted the legislature to provide an update on the implementation of REAL ID. As you may remember, during the 2017 legislative session, the Missouri General Assembly approved legislation to allow residents to obtain a photo ID that is compliant with the federal REAL ID Act. With the legislation approved this year, the federal government granted an extension to allow Missourians to continue to use their existing IDs as a valid form of ID until January 22nd, 2018. However, in regard to travel after that date, the Department of Homeland Security has yet to announce an extension. I will provide an update on this issue when more details are released.

In other news, full-time classroom teachers in public or private PreK-12 schools located in CenturyLink’s residential service areas and core corporate locations (St. Louis County, MO) may apply for a Teachers and Technology Grant for the 2017-18 school year. Applicants do not have to be CenturyLink customers in order to apply for these grants. Applications will be accepted from now until January 12, 2018. For more info, visit: http://www.centurylink.com/teachersandtechnology

As a reminder, I will be hosting four town hall meetings later this month in Cuba, Bourbon, Steelville, and St. James. These town hall meetings will be free and open to the public. I hope everyone comes out and participates in this great opportunity to ask questions and to find out more about what is happening at your state capitol.

The four town hall meetings will be held on the following dates:

  • Monday, October 30th at 9 AM
    Cuba City Hall Council Room (202 N Smith St., Cuba, MO 65453)
  • Monday, October 30th at 2 PM
    Bourbon Area Community Center (575 Elm St., Bourbon, MO 65441)
  • Tuesday, October 31st at 9 AM
    Steelville Community Center (101 W. Keysville, Steelville, MO 65565)
  • Tuesday, October 31st at 2 PM
    James Municipal Center/City Hall Meeting Room (100 S. Jefferson, St. James, MO 65559)

You may read in more detail about what is happening at your State Capitol below.

As always, I will work diligently for you as your State Representative.

-Jason

 

 

CenturyLink PreK-12 Teachers and Technology Grants

CenturyLink recently announced that they will be awarding over $1.4 million in technology grants in the spring of 2018. The CenturyLink Clarke M. Williams Foundation’s Teachers and Technology grants are designed to help fund projects that advance student success through the innovative use of technology in the classroom. Grants will range from $500 to $5,000.

Full-time classroom teachers in public or private PreK-12 schools located in CenturyLink’s residential service areas and core corporate locations (St. Louis County, MO) may apply for a Teachers and Technology Grant for the 2017-18 school year. Applicants do not have to be CenturyLink customers in order to apply for these grants. Applications will be accepted from now until January 12, 2018. For more info, visit: http://www.centurylink.com/teachersandtechnology

REAL ID Update for Missourians Planning to Travel in 2018

Most recently, the Missouri Department of Revenue has contacted the legislature to provide an update on the implementation of REAL ID. As you may remember, during the 2017 legislative session, the Missouri General Assembly approved legislation to allow residents to obtain a photo ID that is compliant with the federal REAL ID Act. With the legislation approved this year, the federal government granted an extension to allow Missourians to continue to use their existing IDs as a valid form of ID until January 22nd, 2018. However, in regard to travel after that date, the Department of Homeland Security has yet to announce an extension. I will provide an update on this issue when more details are released.

World Mental Health Day

October 10 marked World Mental Health Day, which is meant to raise awareness about mental health issues around the world. The day is also meant to help encourage and organize efforts to support mental health. The theme for this year is mental health in the workplace with an emphasis on looking at ways to improve the workplace experience to promote mental health and wellbeing.

Around the world more than300 million people suffer from depression, and 260 million suffer from anxiety disorders. Astudythe World Health Organization found that such disorders cost the global economy $1 trillion in lost productivity each year.

Some statistics of note regarding how mental health issues affect Americans include:

  • 1 in 5 (or 8 million) adults experience mental illness in a given year.
  • 1 in 25 (or 10 million) adults experience a serious mental illness.
  • 1 in 100 (or 4 million) live with schizophrenia.
  • 6% (or 6.1 million) of Americans have bipolar disorder.
  • 9% (or 16 million) suffer from severe depression.
  • 1% (or 42 million)live with an anxiety disorder.
  • 90% of those who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness.

Despite the prevalence of mental illness, only 41%of adults with a mental health condition received help and less than 50%of children 8-15 received mental health services. Furthermore, only 36.9%of those suffering from anxiety receive treatment, and less than 20%of Americans with moderate depressive symptoms sought help from a medical professional.

Despite less than encouraging statistics, there are a number of ways to get help if an individual or a loved one is struggling with a mental health condition. This year, a depression screening test appears alongside search results for depression-related queries. Many companies offer Assistance Programs, which provide support or benefits to employees with personal and/or work-related issues. Additionally, the National Alliance on Mental Illness provides a number of ways to support, including helplines, programs, and sheets. For more information, visit http://www.nami.org.

In Missouri, the legislature appropriated $157 million in funds for the Excellence in Mental Health Pilot Project. Missouri is one of a handful of states participating in the program to increase access to community mental health and substance abuse treatment services. The effort is part of the federal Excellence in Mental Health Act that was signed into law in 2014 to put certified community behavioral health clinics on a more equal footing with other health centers.

Upcoming Town Hall Meetings

As a reminder, I will be hosting four town hall meetings later this month in Cuba, Bourbon, Steelville, and St. James. These town hall meetings will be free and open to the public. I hope everyone comes out and participates in this great opportunity to ask questions and to find out more about what is happening at your state capitol.
The four town hall meetings will be held on the following dates:

  • Monday, October 30th at 9 AM
    Cuba City Hall Council Room (202 N Smith St., Cuba, MO 65453)
  • Monday, October 30th at 2 PM
    Bourbon Area Community Center (575 Elm St., Bourbon, MO 65441)
  • Tuesday, October 31st at 9 AM
    Steelville Community Center (101 W. Keysville, Steelville, MO 65565)
  • Tuesday, October 31st at 2 PM
    James Municipal Center/City Hall Meeting Room (100 S. Jefferson, St. James, MO 65559)

I am committed to serve the constituents of the 120th District, so please feel free to contact my office anytime at 573-751-1688. Your District 120 Capitol Office is 201 W Capitol Ave, Rm 415-B, Jefferson City, MO 65101. If you wish to unsubscribe from this report, please email Dylan Bryant at dylan.bryant@house.mo.gov