Capitol Report April 1-12th edition

State Rep. Steven Roberts recognizes the need for criminal justice reform in the state of Missouri. He co-sponsored HB 274 by Rep. Schroer, which would require children under the age of 18 to be prosecuted for most criminal offenses in juvenile courts unless the child is certified as an adult.

Current Missouri law defines an adult as a person 17 years of age or older, and a child as any person under seventeen years old. HB 274 changes the legal age of an adult to 18 and clarifies the language within current statutes.

“Almost 6,000 youth are incarcerated in adult prisons and jails nationally. It is time for reform of our criminal justice system on the federal and state level,” said Roberts. “As a prosecutor, I realized the need for criminal justice reform. I was prosecuting youth who looked a lot like me. But by the time they made it to the courtroom, it was too late for me to provide assistance. I witnessed far too many youths become entangled in the legal system. My office has received several calls and emails over the last few weeks about juveniles and justice.”

Roberts stated he co-sponsored HB 274 because it provides an opportunity for rehabilitation in Missouri’s youth.

HB  327 Establishes the Missouri Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program to provide low-income seniors with fresh, Missouri-grown produce

I co-sponsored a bill that establishes the Missouri Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. The Department of Health and Senior Services, through a federal grant program with the USDA Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, will provide low-income seniors at least 60 years of age or older with vouchers from county designated distribution sites that may be exchanged for eligible foods at

farmers’ markets, roadside stands, and community-supported agricultural programs.

Keep reading for more information about bills I sponsored or co-sponsored.



Last month Missouri House Republicans voted 102-41 against a Democratic proposal to expand Medicaid, which would extend health care access to roughly 300,000 Missourians. Under Affordable Care Act, states can expand their Medicaid eligibility threshold to 138 percent of the federal poverty level and the federal government will pay for at last 90 percent of the cost in perpetuity.

The House vote came one day after Republican Gov. Eric Greitens said: “We’re not going to expand Obamacare here in Missouri, and the fact is that we still need to repeal and replace Obamacare,” according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

However, Greitens assessment is at odds with that of U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, who due to lack of support among his fellow Republicans canceled a planned March 24 vote on his bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. Because of the intraparty impasse, Congress has no plans to revisit the issue. “We are going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future,” Ryan said, according to The Washington Post.


The House of Representatives on March 29 gave first-round approval to legislation to statutorily bar local governments from operating traffic enforcement camera systems. However, under a trio of 2015 Missouri Supreme Court rulings, governments essentially are already prohibited from using automated systems to issue traffic tickets.

Use of traffic cameras to catch red-light or speeding violations was common in Missouri until 2013 when a string of state Court of Appeals decisions called their constitutionality into question, prompting many local governments to suspend their use of traffic cameras. Most of the remaining holdouts followed suit two years later when the Supreme Court issued its rulings declaring local traffic camera ordinances to be in conflict with state law and unenforceable.

While the high court left the door open for the General Assembly to enact legislation authorizing the use of traffic to enforce cameras, House Bill 275 would slam that door shut and expressly prohibit their use. A second vote is required to send the bill to the Senate.


Republicans voted 89-60 to advance legislation that would repeal Missouri’s prevailing wage law.  House Bill 104, now goes to the Senate, where at least one Republican senator hopes to seek a compromise under which prevailing wage is preserved with modifications.

Existing law requires contractors and subcontractors hired for taxpayer-funded public construction projects to pay a fair wage based on local standards. Under HB 104, they would only be required to pay minimum wage.

Although he said changes are needed in how local prevailing wages are calculated under the law, state Sen. Wayne Wallingford, R-Cape Girardeau, said prevailing wage helps to ensure “quality craftsmanship” on public works projects, the Southeast Missourian reported on March 30. “My goal is to fix it, not just throw it away,” Wallingford told the paper.



Missouri has resisted complying with the REAL ID Act for more than a decade, and in 2009 went so far as enacting a law explicitly prohibiting state agencies from taking action to comply with the federal law.

Compliance has taken on new urgency this year, however, as beginning, next year state-issued identification that doesn’t meet the REAL ID requirement won’t be allowed to be used to board commercial flights or enter federal buildings.

The House of Representatives on March 30 voted 99-40-8 for legislation that would bring Missouri driver’s licenses into compliance with the federal REAL ID Act of 2005. The bill now advances to the Senate, where it faces an uncertain future.


The House of Representatives on March 29 voted 109-40 to grant first-round approval to legislation to establish a statewide prescription drug monitoring program. Missouri is the only state that hasn’t enacted such a program, which is intended to combat prescription narcotics abuse by tracking patients who obtain multiple prescriptions from different doctors.

Missouri has continued to holdout due to fierce opposition from a group of conservatives who see prescription monitoring as an unwarranted government intrusion into patient privacy. A second vote is required to send the measure, House Bill 90, to the Senate, which approved a far more limited drug monitoring program four weeks ago.

Opinion CountsThe 77th District legislative survey (only for residents within the 77th legislative district) will contain questions on topics including appropriations, civil rights, law enforcement, transportation infrastructure, corrections, public defenders, economic development, telecommunications, and weapons. The online version of the survey can be found on my official House page For more information or to request a mailed copy, constituents can contact my office at (573) 751-1400 or by email at

Deadline for Survey 04/24/2017


MED Week Awards Program

The MBDA National MED Week Awards Program is designed to celebrate and recognize the outstanding achievements of minority entrepreneurs, as well as individuals and organizations that have demonstrated leadership and commitment in advancing global minority business enterprise.

The MBDA Awards are commemorative and will be given in the following categories:


* Minority Construction Firm of the Year

Presented to a minority-owned business that has achieved outstanding success in private or public sector construction projects and has exhibited revenue and job growth over a sustained period.

* Minority Export Firm of the Year

Presented to the minority-owned firm that has achieved outstanding success in penetrating domestic and global markets.

* Minority Manufacturing Firm of the Year

Presented to a minority-owned firm that has achieved significant success in employing new and innovative techniques that led to a large increase in market share, job growth, and customer satisfaction.

* Minority Energy Firm of the Year

Presented to the minority-owned firm in the energy industry whose goods and services promote energy efficient projects achieving notable success resulting in improvement of the environment, proficiency, and customer satisfaction.

* Minority Health Products And Services Firm of the Year

Presented to a minority-owned firm that has improved the quality and delivery of healthcare through innovation.

* Minority Technology Firm of the Year

Presented to a minority-owned firm that has achieved outstanding success in promoting the use of technology in new and innovative ways, leading to greater efficiency and higher productivity.

* Minority Marketing and Communication Firm of the Year

Presented to a minority-owned firm who has achieved notable success in the marketing and communication industry by demonstrating creativity and impact.

* Minority Professional Services Firm of the Year

Presented to minority-owned firmed that has achieved outstanding success in professional, scientific and technical services.

* MBDA Minority Business Enterprise of the Year

Presented to a minority business enterprise that has exceeded industry standards and achieved phenomenal business success leading to significant growth, and job creation, while showing a commitment to social responsibility and strong community involvement.

Eligible nominees include but are not limited to, business owners, business executives, nonprofit organizations, for-profit firms and institutions, universities and colleges, and representatives of local, state and federal governments.  These awards are reserved for presentation to a minority business.


* Access to Capital Award

Presented to an individual or organization who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the financial community by providing traditional and alternative working or investment capital to minority-owned businesses.

* Advocate of the Year Award

Presented to an individual or organization that has demonstrated significant accomplishment in promoting minority business enterprise as an economic force in the global economy.

* Distinguished Supplier Diversity Award

Given to the organization or individual whose business practices have had a significant impact on the growth and development of minority-owned firms.

These awards are open to qualified nominees without regard to without regard to ethnicity.


* Abe Venable Legacy Award for Lifetime Achievement

This award celebrates high standards of excellence, dedication, and accomplishment over a sustained period.  The award is granted to an individual who has played an integral role in the creative, technical or professional progress of minority business development over the course of his/her life.

* Ronald H. Brown Leadership Award

This award is inspired by the outstanding leadership of the late U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Ronald H. Brown. As the first African-American to serve as the Department’s Secretary, he was a staunch advocate for diversity and business expansion. The Award recognizes individuals who have achieved significant results in creating diversity, expanding minority business enterprise and who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in the public or private sector.

These awards are open to qualified nominees without regard to without regard to ethnicity.


How do I submit my nomination?


Nomination period is open; visit to submit a nomination.

Key Timeline

Nomination Deadline: Monday, May 1, 2017

Award Recipients Announced: July 2017

The presentations of the MBDA National MED Week Awards Program will take place at a ceremony to be held during 2017 National Minority Enterprise Development Week.

Who should I contact if I have questions about the MED Week Awards Program?

Please contact Antavia Grimsley at 1-202 482-7458 or via email at (

How will the winners be notified?

MBDA will contact winners by phone and may post their names, pictures, and biographies on the Agency website ( ( ), the MED Week Conference website ( ( ) and social media channels.


Rep. Steven Roberts to Hold Town Hall Meeting


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – State Rep. Steven Roberts will hold a Town Hall meeting on  April 22, 2017. The meeting will be held at the Julia Davis Branch of St. Louis Public Library.

Rep. Roberts will be giving an update to his constituents on the legislative session so far, and his work on committees to create jobs and reform the criminal justice system.

“It is an honor and privilege to serve you, the people of the 77th Legislative District, and be your voice in Missouri state government. I want to extend a personal invitation to you to attend and be a part of a town hall meeting on workforce development,” said Roberts, D-St. Louis. “This is an opportunity for me to update you on important issues. Town hall meetings allow me the chance to hear from you. Your opinions are vital to my being able to represent you, and I look forward to this opportunity to meet and talk with the people of our district.”


Who: Representative Steven Roberts

What: Public Town Hall Meeting

When: April, 12:00 PM

Where: Julia Davis Branch of the St. Louis Public Library, 4415 Natural Bridge Ave., St. Louis, MO 63115

For further information, contact Representative Robert’s office at 573-751-1400.



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