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Missouri 2022 Legislative Session: Week 5 Recap of AARP Missouri's Priorities


Missouri 2022 Legislative Session: Week 5 Recap of AARP Missouri's Priorities

Congressional Map Disagreement Shuts Down Senate
The Missouri State Senate was brought to a standstill this week by disagreements over the partisan make-up of the future Missouri Congressional Delegation.  The map approved by the House of Representatives last month received a cool reception from both the seven members of the Conservative Caucus and the 11 members of the Minority Caucus.

While both caucuses filibustered the new maps, their concerns are in direct conflict with each other.  The Minority Caucus is mostly concerned with ensuring that African American/Black communities in the major metropolitan areas are represented, while the Conservative Caucus is seeking a partisan breakdown of 7 conservative seats and 1 progressive seat in St. Louis, a move that would require weakening AA/B representation.

Throughout the over 30 hour filibuster, Senate Leadership seemed to be looking for ways to appease both groups, but their efforts have failed so far.  Tempers and tensions are high, going into a weekend where the Senate is expected to keep meeting until a final decision can be made. 

Workplace Retirement Savings Headed to House Floor
The House Rules Committee held a hearing on House Bill 1732, sponsored by Rep. Michael O’Donnell (R-St. Louis County), the Workplace Retirement Savings bill.  After a quick discussion, the committee passed the bill by a unanimous vote. 

While HB 1732 has yet to be placed on the floor calendar, it is expected to move to the floor in the coming weeks where it faces little to no opposition.

Meanwhile, the week-long filibuster over Congressional Redistricting in the Senate has kept Senator Lauren Arthur’s (D-Kansas City) version of the bill, SB 1125, from being referred to committee, in fact, most Senate committees were cancelled this week.

Supplemental Budget Passes the House
The House of Representatives passed their version of Governor Mike Parson’s first Supplemental Budget, HB 3014.

Budget Chairman Cody Smith’s (R-Carthage) version of the Supplemental Budget includes a $12 per hour base wage – rather than the Governor’s $15 – and an increase in State Spending on Medicaid, where the Governor had used federal funds.

While the House overwhelmingly passed the Supplemental Budget, it is expected to be a much more difficult exercise in the State Senate where amendments to prevent funding for contraceptives or services offered by Planned Parenthood are expected. 

Originally, Governor Parson asked that this first Supplemental be sent to his desk by February 1st, a deadline that even the incredibly efficient House was unable to achieve in their own body.  The Federal Funding for schools included in the bill must be appropriated no later than March 24th, or the State of Missouri will lose out on more than $2 billion in education funding.

Lifting Restrictions on Nurses
This week, the House Committee on Professional Registration held a hearing on House Bill 2434, sponsored by Representative Derek Grier (R- Chesterfield) that would allow Advanced Practice Nurses to continue practicing medicine as they have since the start of the Pandemic. 

When Governor Parson signed the emergency order for the COVID-19 Pandemic, he also signed an executive order that would lift restrictions on scope of practice for APRNs.  Prior to that order, Missouri had the most restrictive scope of practice rules in the nation.

Since that order has been in effect, tens of thousands of Missourians have been seen by APRNs in every county in Missouri and quality and satisfaction metrics actually increased during a timeframe that stressed every part of the healthcare system.

In our own recent Caregiver Survey, over 80% of rural Missourians reported that they or their loved ones received care from an APRN and over 80% had a very good or excellent experience.

The Professional Registration Committee meeting ran long and so physician groups asked that the hearing continue next week to allow them to voice their opposition.  The hearing resumes on Wednesday, February 16th.

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