FROM MISSOURI HOUSE PRESS RELEASE
State Rep. Steven Roberts said he is committed to finding funding and policy solutions that would protect more than 20,000 disabled and elderly Missourians from proposed cuts to their health care benefits. Roberts said the budget plan unveiled by the governor would tighten eligibility requirements for Missourians who qualify for MO HealthNet services due to a physical or mental impairment, disease or loss that keeps them from working in any job within their skill level for 12 months or longer.
Roberts said the governor’s proposed budget would eliminate state aid for nursing home and in-home care services for approximately 20,000 disabled and elderly Missourians.
“I was raised to believe it is important to be a Good Samaritan, and not just ignore the helpless, but to care for them. I have heard from several St. Louis organizations that care for the disabled, and my constituents have shared with me about how these cuts would affect them personally and their quality of life,” said Roberts, D-St. Louis. He added, “We need to remember Medicaid provides coverage to people we know and care about – our family, neighbors, and individuals who would otherwise have no health care coverage.”
Roberts noted there are approximately 60,000 Missourians who currently receive state aid for nursing home and in-home care services. The governor claims his proposed cut would save about $52 million.
Roberts said, “The governor has tried to shift the blame for rising Medicaid costs on former President Barack Obama when the truth is that Missouri did not expand eligibility for Medicaid and has instead simply seen an increase in Medicaid costs. There are many factors behind the rising cost of Medicaid, but cutting services to the elderly and disabled is not the answer. These cuts will have consequences for Missourians all across the state. It will also have a significant impact on the nursing home industry since Medicaid pays for 61 percent of all nursing home care in the state. “
WHAT ‘S NEW IN WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
House Bill 680 established three adult high schools to be operated by Missouri Human Services Nonprofits organizations. The adult high school will allow those over 21 years old the option to earn a high school diploma. These high schools will be licensed by the Department of Secondary Education(DESE)
House Bill 799 focuses on teachers professional development allowing alternatives for continuing education credits through externships- real world work experience. This strengthens the relationship believe academia and the business community.
YOUR VOICE MATTERS!!!
I have created a survey to get your view on the many issues facing our state so that I can better serve District 77. It is one effective way for me to learn your stance on the potential legislation. Thank you in advance for filling out the survey.
HOUSE APPROVES SLASHING UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
The House of Representatives voted 100-56, on legislation that would decrease the maximum length of unemployment benefits in Missouri from 20 weeks to 13 weeks. Missouri is one of just eight states that provides fewer than 26 weeks of benefits.
Under House Bill 288, the maximum duration of unemployment compensation would be based on the statewide unemployment rate during the previous year. If the statewide unemployment rate is below 6 percent, maximum benefits would be 13weeks. If the statewide unemployment rate is 9 percent or higher maximum benefits would be 20 weeks.
Missouri’s statewide unemployment rate has remained under 6 percent for more than two years. It stood at 4.4 percent in December, the last month for which information is available.
HB 288 now goes to the Senate for further consideration. Republicans attempted to enact similar legislation – House Bill 150 – over a gubernatorial veto in 2015, but the Missouri Supreme Court later ruled its passage invalid because GOP leaders failed properly to follow constitutional procedures.
HOUSE TAKES THE FIRST STEP ON REAL ID, SENATE TAKES PASS
The House of Representatives on Feb. 21 gave preliminary approval to legislation that seeks to bring Missouri drivers’ licenses and non-driver identification cards into compliance with the federal Real ID Act. One day later, however, the Senate set aside a similar bill after three hours of debate and isn’t immediately expected to return to it.
The 2005 federal law sets minimum standards that state identification cards must meet to be used to enter a federal building or military base or to board a plane. Many states initially resisted complying with the law, and the federal government repeatedly delayed enforcement. Missouri is one of five states that remain noncompliant, and the federal government plans to enforce the law next year.
Even with the looming possibility that Missourians may soon be prohibited from boarding a plane unless they have a compliant alternative form of ID, such as a U.S. passport, many Republican state lawmakers remain steadfastly opposed to Real ID, saying it violates personal privacy and states’ rights.
The House version, House Bill 151, needs a second vote to advance to the Senate. Even though majority Republicans hold 116 seats in the House, support from Democrats likely will be required to reach the minimum 82 votes necessary for final passage.
Don’t Forget to Vote on Tuesday, March 7th
Resources for elections
Federal Election Commission 1800 424-9530
State Election Services (573) 751-2301
Missouri Ethics Commission (573) 751-2020
St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners (314) 622-4336
Absentee Voter Inquiries (314) 622-3230
League of Women Voters of St. Louis (314) 961-6869