MoALPHA Legislative Report

Week Ending January 6, 2017 Wednesday, January 4th, marked the start of Missouri’s 2017 legislative session. Both the House and Senate chambers met to hear opening remarks from the re-elected Speaker of the House Todd Richardson and the Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard. Outgoing Secretary of State Kander addressed the House of Representatives concerning the body’s intentions surrounding the issue of voter ID laws in Missouri. Kander spoke to the legislature about using their power appropriately now that Missouri has become a trifecta state run by a Republican House, Senate, and Governor. Speaker Richardson addressed the House of Representatives outlining his policy objectives for the upcoming session. Ethics, regulatory reform, tort, education, and right to work will all be high priorities. During his speech, Richardson stressed that Missouri must become a right to work state, clearly outlining it a one of his top objectives this year. In addition to labor reform, the Speaker has tasked House committees with an overview of the state’s regulations and licensing requirements to ultimately make it easier for ride-sharing companies, such as Uber and Lyft, to operate in Missouri. This would also apply to home-sharing companies such as Airbnb. Additionally, Richardson touched on Missouri now being a supermajority State, saying now more than ever it is important to be professional and treat everyone’s viewpoints with respect. In the Senate, President Pro Tem Richard told the members of the body that he was not big on long speeches. Instead of outlining an agenda for 2017, he said he would rather set a tone. He spoke of restoring civility to the Senate and upholding the values of being a Senator. Legislators have already filed over 500 bills, and this number will continue to grow as session progresses. See Members Only Document Drawer for list of bills of potential interest to MoALPHA. Greitens separates for State of the State and Proposed Budget Governor Elect Greitens officially takes office on January 9th, 2017. His State of the State address State to the Missouri General Assembly will be at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 17, 2017. However, unlike the ceremonial “norm” his speech will not include the release of a proposed budget for the next fiscal year. The proposed budget will be unveiled at a later date. The governor is required to submit a proposed budget to the General Assembly 30 days after the start of the legislative session, which gives him a February 3rd, 2017 deadline. House Committees The Republicans have named their committee assignments, the list is located in the Document Drawer. Look for Democrats to make their assignments soon. Additional News of Interest: Congressional Resolution Kicks Off ACA Repeal On the first day of the new session of Congress, a resolution has been introduced in the U.S. Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It is sponsored by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), who chairs the Senate Budget Committee. Enzi issued a media statement with a summary of the resolution. Republican congressional leaders want to have a bill to repeal the ACA enacted and ready for presidential approval soon after Donald Trump is inaugurated on Friday, Jan. 20. Medicaid Bulletin Reviews Vaccines For Children Program MO HealthNet has issued a provider bulletin on the Vaccines for Children Program, which furnishes the administration of vaccines at no cost to eligible children. Participation is required to receive Medicaid reimbursement of vaccine administration costs. The bulletin also announces the availability of influenza vaccine through the program.     Next week: On Monday, January 9th Eric Greitens will be sworn in as the new Governor of Missouri. Inauguration Day at the Capitol begins with a prayer breakfast in the morning and ends with an Inaugural Ball that will go late into the evening. Beginning on January 10th visitors to the Capitol will be subject to search. X-Ray conveyors and walkthrough magnetometers will be operated by law enforcement officers and security personnel to ensure firearms and other dangerous items do not enter the building. Protocols: There will two search entrance points, the first floor carriage tunnel and the first floor west entrance. This policy will apply to contract employees, special guests, members of the media and lobbyists. If you will recall that the Capitol previously had a system in place after 911 for a session. However, eventually the security check was abandoned.