Below is the January 28th, 2010 Capitol Report from Clay County State Representative Bob Nance. Lots of updates on Missouri legislation here.

CAPITOL REPORT

“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”

Alexis de Tocqueville

Committee Actions

The House Special Standing Committee on Health Insurance held a hearing on HB 1311 and HB 1341. Both bills require health benefit plans to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders.

• The House Special Standing Committee on Workforce Development and

Workplace Safety voted do pass a committee substitute for HB 1544, which extends the state’s eligibility to receive federal extended unemployment benefit money to provide unemployed individuals compensation beyond the current unemployment benefit period.

• The House Job Creation and Economic Development Committee held a hearing on HB 1512, which establishes provisions to encourage the investment in and the development of technology-based early stage Missouri businesses.

In late December, the governor’s tax commission raised taxes on Missouri farmers by almost 29 percent. This devastating blow comes after one of the worst farm income years since 1945. Missouri farmers are currently carrying some of the highest debt load in the nation and simply cannot afford to pay a property tax increase at this time.

By a vote of 140-15, HCR 3, 7 and 17 passed, speaking out against the tax increase on agricultural land.

In late December, the governor’s tax commission raised taxes on Missouri farmers by almost 29 percent. This devastating blow comes after one of the worst farm income years since 1945. Missouri farmers are currently carrying some of the highest debt load in the nation and simply cannot afford to pay a property tax increase at this time.

Uninsured Children

I have two bills filed this session that try to address the uninsured children in the state. According to Citizens for Missouri’s Children, it is estimated that 132,000 children are uninsured in Missouri and about 87,000 are eligible to receive public health care coverage.

HB 1467 requires the Department of Social Services to identify eligible children who are not participating in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) by distributing to all public school districts written information regarding eligibility criteria and application procedures for the program which is to be given to parents and guardians when a student enrolls in school. The department must also cross-check databases to identify low-income families participating in other public assistance programs but who are not currently participating in the program. This would be presumptive eligibility.

HB 1625 allows Revenue to have a check-off box on the Missouri tax return. If a filer claims a dependent child, they are asked if the child has health insurance. If not, the Department of Revenue will forward information to enroll the child in the S-CHIP program. This is not an expansion of the program, but it identifies and facilitates children that already qualify for the program. An annual report would be sent to the Governor with the number of children enrolled through the effort.

A healthy start in life improves a child’s chance of developing into a healthy adult.

In the District

Saturday I attended a ceremony honoring Brandon and Kevin Pemburlin as they each achieved their goal of Eagle Scout at the United Methodist Church in Richmond. They are members of Troop 324.

Visitors

Visiting for Sheltered Workshops was Jerry Tindall, an Excelsior Springs resident with Vocational Services Inc. of Liberty.

In your service

Bob Nance

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