Mississippi, Utah, and many other states are lining up and have already passed language to protect our kids and teens. The Save Adolescents from Experimentation (S.A.F.E) Act is a priority for my constituents, and it is a priority for me. In fact, this was the top priority for my constituents who filled out my constituent survey at our district’s Lincoln Day Banquet. Last week, this bill to protect children from gender transition surgeries and chemical castration came to the Senate floor. Debate was shut down by Republican leadership on Tuesday to attend an awards ceremony to honor the Minority leader. The following day, Wednesday, debate began again and a vote was taken within the Republican Caucus to continue debate through Thursday or to close down debate each evening. I was disappointed that not only did we shut down debate Wednesday evening, but the decision by leadership was made to shut down a day early for spring break. Due to the shock of seeing the unwillingness within our party to continue discussion, a letter was drafted and signed by those who wanted to convey their commitment to this issue. My expectation and hope is that this issue will be a priority when we come back from spring break. The decision to shut down early was a surprise to all of us. Protecting our kids is not a Democrat or Republican issue, it is an American issue.
Medicaid Expansion turned Medicaid Reform
In this podcast with Senator Bill Eigel and Senator Ben Brown, I discuss my vote and negotiations on SB 45. I voted against this bill in committee but was able to work with the bill sponsor to address my concerns. This bill passed the Senate and will be sent over to the House. Senator Nick Schroer hosts the second half of the podcast which you can listen to here.
Defending the Second Amendment Preservation Act
Last week, a United States District Judge ruled that the Second Amendment Preservation Act is unconstitutional. I signed a letter, along with some of my colleagues, encouraging Attorney General Andrew Bailey to defend SAPA and appeal this decision.
Homeschool Activities – Opportunity to Play Act
This week, I presented SB 230 before the Education and Workforce Development Committee alongside Senator Ben Brown and several inspiring homeschool students from my district. My SB 230 and Senator Brown’s SB 411 would allow homeschool students the opportunity to participate in co-curricular and extracurricular activities offered through their local public school district. Eight-year old Melody came all the way from Joplin to present some fantastic testimony to the committee. Judah, Jonah, Sierra, Matthew, and Lydia, all homeschool students from my district, also drove over three hours to come testify at the early morning hearing. There was no testimony in opposition. You can watch my presentation and their testimony here.
Gubernatorial Appointment Chris Williams
I had the privilege of sponsoring Chris Williams’ appointment to the Missouri Mining Commission. Chris Williams has a wealth of experience in mining and a record of service to his nation. For the last sixteen years, Chris has worked in below ground and above ground limestone mining operations and has served as the Vice President of operations at two Missouri limestone companies with operations all over the state. Before entering the limestone industry, Chris served as a Marine in Iraq and I am glad he will have the opportunity to serve our state on the Mining Commission. Chris will be the first active miner in one of the commission’s two slots for miners since 2013.
I signed a remonstrance along with every single Republican Senator in Missouri urging Saint Louis Prosecuting Attorney Kimberly Gardener to resign. Senate Remonstrance No. 1 can be seen with all the Senators’ signatures as well as read in its entirety here.
Legislation Recently Passed by the Missouri Senate
In the last few weeks, the Senate has Third Read and passed several pieces of legislation. Below, I link to these bills.
- SB 20: Modifies terms of active employee members of the Board of Trustees of the Missouri Department of Transportation and Highway Patrol Employees’ Retirement System
- SB 24: Missouri First Responder Mental Health Initiative Act
- SB 94: Film Tax Credits
- SB 47: Modifies provisions relating to licenses issued by the Department of Revenue
- SB 28: Modifies provisions relating to access to public records of the Missouri highway patrol
- SB 23: Requires motor vehicle dealers to collect and remit sales tax on motor vehicles the dealer sells
- SB 70: Counseling Interstate Compact
- SB 103: Modifies provisions relating to court operations, including court automation, compensation for court reporters, and court surcharges for expungement petitions
- SB 119: Modifies provisions relating to first responders
- SB 101: Enacts provisions relating to lender-placed insurance
- SB 13: Modifies provisions relating to financial institutions
- SB 75: Modifies provisions relating to public school retirement systems, including retirement allowance multiplier, working after retirement, and increases for members in domestic partnership with reduced monthly payments
- SB 82: Modifies provisions relating to public assistance
- SB 41: Modifies provisions relating to the administration of vaccines by pharmacists
- SB 45: Modifies provisions relating to MO HealthNet
- SB 187: Commercial Financing Disclosure Act
- SB 186: Modifies provisions relating to criminal offenses involving teller machine
- SB 34: Authorizes school districts to offer elective social studies courses on the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament
- SB 72: Modifies provisions relating to judicial privacy, including establishing the Judicial Privacy Act
- SB 96: Modifies provisions relating to votes in political subdivisions
- SB 131: Establishes provisions relating to tax relief
- SB 127: Enacts provisions relating to the designation of infrastructure
- SB 139: Establishes the “Stars and Stripes Historic Region of Missouri”
Weekly Update on Bill Progress
SB 84: Freedom to Farm Act – Awaiting hearing in Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources Committee
SB 85: Local Control School Districts SCS voted Do Pass 2/7/2023 – Education and Workforce Development Committee
SB 86: Raw Milk – Awaiting Executive Session – Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources Committee
SB 164: Missouri Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act – Combined with SB 49, heard on the floor last week, and set to be heard as soon as the legislature comes back from spring break.
SB 165: Save Women’s Sports Act – Awaiting Executive Session – Emerging Issues Committee. SB 39, which I have cosponsored, is a somewhat similar bill and is on the Informal Calendar for Perfection.
SB 166: Religious Liberty – Schools – Awaiting hearing – Education and Workforce Development Committee
SB 230: Home School Sports and Activities – Awaiting Executive Session – Education and Workforce Development Committee
SB 232: Immunizations – Awaiting hearing – Emerging Issues Committee
SB 364: Property Tax – Schools – Second Read and referred to Education and Workforce Development Committee
SB 428: Religious Liberty – HRA – Second Read and Referred S Governmental Accountability Committee
SB 429: Drag Queen – Second Read and Referred S Emerging Issues Committee
SB 430: ESG Contracts – Second Read and Referred S Governmental Accountability Committee
SB 436: ESG Pensions – Second Read and Referred S Veterans, Military Affairs and Pensions Committee
SB 454: Gas Tax Repeal – Second Read and Referred S Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety Committee
SB 518: CPL Ben Cooper Memorial Bridge – Added to SB 127, approved by the Senate, and Second Read in the House
SB 671: Vaccine Discrimination – Prohibits availability of public funds to health care facilities that refuse treatment based on COVID-19 vaccination status – First Read
SB 672: Library Rule – First Read
SJR 28: Ratification Reform – Voted do pass, but not called out of committee by the Senate President – Local Government and Elections Committee
SJR 29: Parental Rights – Awaiting hearing – Education and Workforce Development Committee
SJR 42: Constitutional Sheriffs – First Read, cosponsored by six other Senators
You can listen to my weekly interview with KNEO Radio here