Congressional District Map Discussion Topic – Boonville Daily News

I’m sure many of you followed with interest the proceedings in the Missouri Senate last week. I hope they can come together as a group, ignore all political rivalries, and work with us to pass the legislation needed by Missourians.

As I type the first part of this report, the Senate is still grappling with a filibuster. The subject of the filibuster is whether the Missouri congressional district map should be drawn to favor seven Republicans to one Democrat (7/1) or six Republicans to two Democrats (6/2). Missouri has eight (8) congressional districts and the task of dividing them has proven to be not only controversial, but downright difficult.

The nuances of the process and the pros and cons of one or another card are too numerous to write. Feel free to ask me if you would like to have a discussion on this subject. From sitting outside the Senate, looking inside, it seems to me that the map will eventually be drawn by the courts. I hope I’m wrong and the Senate ignores the politics and personal divisions between them and gives the state a good congressional card, 7/1 or 6/2.

Supplementary Budget Bill Receives House Approval (HB 3014)

We in the House just sent a supplemental spending plan to the Senate that will provide vital funding for K-12 schools and the state’s Medicaid program, as well as an increase in the pay plan across the board. of State. HB 3014 authorizes nearly $4.6 billion in funding for use in the current fiscal year ending in June.

The bill includes more than $2.8 billion in funding for K-12 schools in Missouri. This total includes nearly $1.8 billion in K-12 education relief funds that are allocated to local education agencies. This money includes 90% of the ESSER III funds that the schools have been waiting for and is paid directly to the schools. With this, school districts in Missouri are fully funded. The bill also includes more than $444 million for the Children’s Bureau for stabilization services.

Additionally, the plan allocates $75 million to the Close the Gap grant program. The Close the Gap program is a new program to reimburse Missouri families for learning loss.

HB 3014 also includes more than $1.5 billion in funding for the state’s MO HealthNet program. The funds are needed to avoid a funding shortfall in the program due to the growing Medicaid population. This bill will fully fund the Medicaid program, including expanded individuals, using federal dollars. These federal dollars are expected to last three to five years and when this well runs out, we the citizens need to have a serious discussion.

The bill allocates more than $91 million for a pay raise for all state employees. The plan ensures that state employees working in direct care agencies would receive either a 5.5% wage increase or an hourly wage increase of $15 per hour, whichever is greater. high. Employees of other state agencies would receive a 5.5% wage increase or a raise to $12 an hour, whichever is greater.

The bill is now sent to the Senate for consideration.

House Approves Reform Initiative Petition (HJR 79)

We approved a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow voters to decide whether the current threshold for changing the state constitution is too low. If approved by both houses and voters, HJR 79 would change the requirements for motion petitions to amend the state constitution.

We have one of the easiest processes in the country to change our constitution. Since the last constitution was written in 1945, our constitution has been amended more than 60 times. By comparison, the United States Constitution has only been amended 17 times since 1791.

Currently in Missouri, a proposed constitutional change requires the support of a majority of voters to be approved. Under this bill, a constitutional amendment would require the approval of a two-thirds majority to pass. Rep. John Simmons, my neighbor upstairs in the House bedroom, put it this way. He is in favor of a higher threshold for adoption, since the constitution should only deal with the structure of government and the rights and freedoms enjoyed by citizens.

As always, if you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact me at (573) 751-0169 or you can contact my legislative aide, June, at June.Cardwell@house.mo.gov.

Jessica C. Bell