January 14, 2011
The Missouri General Assembly began its second week of the 2011 legislative session.
The House conducted organizational hearings for its committees. The Senate revisited its “rebooting of state government” which began last session.
Five Senate groups met on Retirement, Social Programs, Tax Structure, Education and Public Safety.
The panels will report their recommendations to the full Senate next week.
Reports may be found at http://www.senate.mo.gov/rebootmo/.
The House is promoting a House resolution which encourages 20 other Attorney Generals to join a federal lawsuit against the federal healthcare act.
President Pro Tem Rob Mayer named his committee chairs and members on Wednesday at noon. Senate Committees and Chairmen are (in alphabetical order):
- Administration: Sen. Robert N. Mayer, R-Dexter
- Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources: Sen. Brian Munzlinger, R-Williamstown
- Appropriations: Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia
- Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment: Sen. Brad Lager, R-Maryville
- Education: Sen. David Pearce, R-Warrensburg
- Financial and Governmental Organizations and Elections: Sen. Kevin Engler, R-Farmington
- Fiscal Oversight, Ways and Means: Sen. Chuck Purgason, R-Caulfield
- General Laws: Sen. Jane Cunningham, R-Chesterfield
- Governmental Accountability: Sen. Jim Lembke, R-St. Louis
- Gubernatorial Appointments: Sen. Robert N. Mayer, R-Dexter
- Health, Mental Health, Seniors and Families: Sen. Luann Ridgeway, R-Smithville
- Jobs, Economic Development and Local Government: Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale
- Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence: Sen. Jack Goodman, R-Mt. Vernon
- Progress and Development: Sen. Victor Callahan, D-Independence
- Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics: Sen. Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles
- Small Business, Insurance and Industry: Sen. Scott Rupp, R-Wentzville
- Transportation: Sen. Bill Stouffer, R-Napton
- Veterans’ Affairs, Pensions, Urban Affairs and Emerging Issues: Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau
Committee member assignments were also announced today. For a full listing of assignments or to learn more about the role of each committee, visit www.senate.mo.gov.
The Governor will deliver his much anticipated State of the State on Wednesday, January 19th which will be carried on by local network stations at 7:00pm. the address, which will be streamed live at www.MO.gov, the Governor will release his budget and legislative priorities for the year.
News this week includes:
Senate Announces Seven Working Groups to “Reboot Government;” Citizens Can Submit Ideas Online
Continuing an effort started last year, the Senate announced seven working groups that will examine the state’s programs “to reduce costs and maximize efficiencies.” The groups include Courts & Public Safety; Education; General Government & Office Administration; Retirement & Employee Structure; Social Programs; Tax Structure & Economic Development; and Agriculture, Outdoors, Department of Natural Resources & Transportation.
The groups are collecting ideas from citizens on how to streamline government. To submit an idea, visit http://www.senate.mo.gov/RebootMO/RebootMOMain.html.
Senate Appropriations Committee Hearings Scheduled Next Week
On Tuesday, 1/18/11, the Senate Appropriations Committee will take testimony on Social Services, Health & Senior Services and Mental Health, as well as Judiciary, Public Defender, Corrections and Public Safety. The committee will reconvene on Wednesday 1/19/11 at 8 a.m. to discuss K-12 Education, Transportation, and Economic Development & Revenue, and on Thursday 1/20/11 at 8 a.m. to discuss Higher Education, Conservation, Agriculture, and other departments.
Those interested in testifying are asked to contact the appropriations staff at 866-475-6083 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org by TODAY, January 14, 2011. All hearings are held in Senate Committee Room 2.
House Appropriations Departmental Overviews Begin
House Appropriations on Health Mental Health, and Social Services will begin meeting next week to receive overviews of spending within the three related departments. The committee meets on Tuesday, 1/18/11 at 2:00 p.m. to receive a Department of Mental Health overview. The committee reconvenes on Wednesday, 1/19/11 at 2:00 p.m. to receive a Department of Social Services overview, and on Thursday, 1/20/11 at 8:00 a.m. for a Department of Health & Senior Services overview. All hearings are held in House Hearing Room 5.
Rebooting State Government Hearings Continue
The Senate Committees on Rebooting State Government began meeting this week to discuss suggestions for changes to state services and/or departments that were identified in 2010. The suggestions are available on the following link: http://www.senate.mo.gov/RebootMO/RebootMOMain.html
The Senate Committee discussed some of these recommendations this week, including suggestions to move more populations insured by Medicaid into managed care plans, consolidating state departments, charging for licensure services provided by the Department of Health & Senior Services, etc. The committee did not endorse these recommendations, but simply outlined them.
The Senate Committee on Rebooting State Government will continue the discussion on Wednesday 1/19/11 at 11:00 a.m. in Senate Committee Room 1. At that time, the Committee plans to have a presentation of the recommendations.
The Governor will announce the budget. It is not anticipated to be as disastrous as predicted. Instead of a $500-700 million deficit on top of last year’s $1 billion dollar shortfall, revenue projections from last week anticipate a $300 to $500 million dollar deficit.
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