The Capitol Report | September 14th, 2017

Veto Session Comes to a Close

The members of the Missouri House of Representatives came together Wednesday afternoon to discuss the pieces of legislation that were approved by the General Assembly but vetoed by the governor. Of the handful of bills to consider, HCB 3 received all of the discussion. Members debated the merits of overriding the governor’s veto versus working together to find another funding solution to preserve in-home and nursing care for more than 8,000 disabled Missourians.

HCB 3 was approved by the House on the last day of the legislative session in an attempt to preserve nursing and in-home care services for some of Missouri’s most vulnerable citizens. In the days leading up to the conclusion of the session, House and Senate members had worked to find a solution that would keep the vital services intact. The House had passed a version of the bill that would end the renter’s portion of the senior citizens property tax credit in order to generate funds that would be used to protect the existing level of service. The Senate countered by passing a version of the bill that would raise the funds by “sweeping” the unexpended monies from several state funds associated with regulatory boards and commissions.

With the Senate being unwilling to negotiate and no other options on the table, the House then approved the Senate solution and sent it to the governor’s desk. The governor then vetoed the bill calling it a “one-time gimmick” that drained funds from programs to prevent child abuse and neglect, assist injured workers, and to train police officers and firefighters.

Therefore, while all House members agreed action was necessary to prevent the vital services from being cut off for Missourians in need, the majority of members voted against the attempt to override the governor’s veto. The motion failed by a vote of 49-106. Members instead favor finding a more responsible solution that will allow the more than 8,000 disabled Missourians to receive the care they need.

As House members discussed a possible veto override of HCB 3, Senate Leader Ron Richard and House Speaker Todd Richardson announced that their two chambers will work together to develop a funding solution that will preserve in-home and nursing care for more than 8,000 disabled Missourians. Also to be considered is restoring provider rate cuts including cuts to private duty nurses who administer in-home neonatal care. Richard and Richardson have asked Sen. Mike Cunningham and House Budget Chair Scott Fitzpatrick to work together, and to work with their colleagues from both parties, to formulate a fiscally responsible plan that will ensure services are maintained for some of the state’s most vulnerable citizens.

In other news, finding updated information about Missouri’s economy just got a lot easier thanks to State Treasurer Eric Schmitt. Today, Schmitt announced the launch of MissouriDashboard.com where citizens can easily track and monitor Missouri’s economic performance. This is the first economic dashboard in the nation to be launched by a state treasurer’s office. Treasurer Schmitt and his team will utilize the data collected by the dashboard to conduct a comprehensive audit of the state’s economy over the coming months.

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 House Convenes for Annual Veto Session

The members of the Missouri House of Representatives came together Wednesday afternoon to discuss the pieces of legislation that were approved by the General Assembly but vetoed by the governor. Of the handful of bills to consider, HCB 3 received all of the discussion. Members debated the merits of overriding the governor’s veto versus working together to find another funding solution to preserve in-home and nursing care for more than 8,000 disabled Missourians.

HCB 3 was approved by the House on the last day of the legislative session in an attempt to preserve nursing and in-home care services for some of Missouri’s most vulnerable citizens. In the days leading up to the conclusion of the session, House and Senate members had worked to find a solution that would keep the vital services intact. The House had passed a version of the bill that would end the renter’s portion of the senior citizens property tax credit in order to generate funds that would be used to protect the existing level of service. The Senate countered by passing a version of the bill that would raise the funds by “sweeping” the unexpended monies from several state funds associated with regulatory boards and commissions.

With the Senate being unwilling to negotiate and no other options on the table, the House then approved the Senate solution and sent it to the governor’s desk. The governor then vetoed the bill calling it a “one-time gimmick” that drained funds from programs to prevent child abuse and neglect, assist injured workers, and to train police officers and firefighters.

While all House members agreed action was necessary to prevent the vital services from being cut off for Missourians in need, the majority of members voted against the attempt to override the governor’s veto. The motion failed by a vote of 49-106. Members instead favor finding a more responsible solution that will allow the more than 8,000 disabled Missourians to receive the care they need.

Missouri Senate and House to Develop Funding Solution for In-Home and Nursing Care for Disabled Missourians

As House members discussed a possible veto override of HCB 3, Senate Leader Ron Richard and House Speaker Todd Richardson announced that their two chambers will work together to develop a funding solution that will preserve in-home and nursing care for more than 8,000 disabled Missourians. Also to be considered is restoring provider rate cuts including cuts to private duty nurses who administer in-home neonatal care. Richard and Richardson have asked Sen. Mike Cunningham and House Budget Chair Scott Fitzpatrick to work together, and to work with their colleagues from both parties, to formulate a fiscally responsible plan that will ensure services are maintained for some of the state’s most vulnerable citizens.

“It’s our job even in tough budget years to protect our most vulnerable citizens,” said Richard, R-Joplin. “Preserving funding for in-home and nursing care is important to both chambers, and together with the House, we can come up with a plan to keep those funds for senior services intact.”

“Finding a viable solution to preserve these critical services for disabled Missourians has been, and continues to be, a top priority for the Missouri House and for the General Assembly,” said Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff. “I’m confident that Rep. Fitzpatrick can work with Sen. Cunningham and with Republicans and Democrats in both chambers to find a fiscally responsible solution.”

Richard and Richardson said they are asking Cunningham and Fitzpatrick to develop a proposal over the course of the next three weeks. They said once they have an acceptable plan, they will discuss available options to put the proposal into effect.

State Treasurer Launches Website to Track State’s Economic Performance

Finding updated information about Missouri’s economy just got a lot easier thanks to State Treasurer Eric Schmitt. Today, Schmitt announced the launch of MissouriDashboard.com where citizens can easily track and monitor Missouri’s economic performance.

The Missouri Economic Dashboard gives the public a snapshot of the state’s economic climate and features key data on unemployment, state and national debt, exports, housing, education and more. County-by-county breakdowns are available for several of the dashboard’s indicators.

“This new tool gives Missourians an easy way to check on our state’s economic status without sifting through spreadsheets and boring government reports,” said Schmitt. “The Missouri Economic Dashboard will dramatically increase transparency in economic data and help keep the public, business leaders and lawmakers up to date with the latest information.”

The dashboard was designed by a team of economists and government accounting experts to prioritize the most important economic indicators found within publicly available datasets. Figures will be updated regularly as new reports are published by government agencies.

MissouriDashboard.com is the first economic dashboard in the nation to be launched by a state treasurer’s office. Treasurer Schmitt and his team will utilize the data collected by the dashboard to conduct a comprehensive audit of the state’s economy over the coming months.

House Members Celebrate Master Key Anniversary at State Capitol

House members and visitors to the State Capitol recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Capitol Commission Board’s acceptance of the master key and custody of the Missouri State Capitol building. The Friends of the Missouri State Museum and the Missouri State Capitol Commission sponsored a reception and silent auction to commemorate the anniversary on Wednesday, September 13.

On September 13, 1917, the State Capitol Commission Board received keys to the nearly-complete Missouri State Capitol, which were presented by David Aronberg, a representative of John Gill and Sons Company, the building contractor. transfer ended a stormy relationship between the two parties and enabled the Commission to closely inspect the building and supervise the final construction details before officially declaring the building complete.

Lawmakers and members of the public gathered in the rotunda on the third floor of the Capitol for the event. The silent auction featured 17 special prints of historic Capitol photographs from the Missouri State Museum’s collection. Proceeds from the auction will be used to benefit the conservation of the Museum’s diverse collection of artifacts.

The Missouri State Archives also displayed “Pillars of the State: The Centennial of the Missouri State Capitol.” The collection of photographs and information detail the construction and decoration of the Capitol building.

This special event served as the finale to a series of centennial events commemorating construction of the Capitol building.

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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