Lady Bobcats Visit the Capitol
It was an honor this week to host the Bowling Green Lady Bobcats Class 2 Softball Team, State Champions, to the Missouri Capitol with Head Coach Dean Streed and Assistant Coach JaCee Hickerson. The Lady Bobcats visited us on Tuesday, March 12, to receive an official House resolution and be introduced on the House floor. This is the second time I have had the privilege of honoring their championship win. I would like to wish the players and coaches all the best for the future!
Session Mid-Point Highlights
As the legislative session reached its mid-point, House members were able to celebrate a long list of accomplishments that include most of the Speaker’s legislative priorities. In total, the House has sent nearly 70 bills to the Senate and the two chambers have worked together to see one bill already passed and signed into law by the governor.
I am pleased to announce that House Bill 303, which I sponsored, was among the bills passed and sent to the Senate by the House. HB 303 expands the inmate canteen fund for the Department of Corrections.
I also have two other bills in the works that have gained traction in the legislature: House Bill 299, which provides state tax credits for teachers, and House Bill 941, which changes provisions relating to ambulance services.
The Missouri House’s first legislative priority when we return from Spring Break will be working on the state budget. The Budget Committee will submit to the General Assembly their recommendations for the state budget, which will be reviewed. Each aspect of the budget will be carefully examined by House members to adjust in the form of amendments that may reallocate funds from one portion of the budget to another. These changes must be revenue neutral – if one area is to have funds added to it, another area must have its funds reduced. I will be monitoring this process closely.
Governor Parson’s Priorities
During the first half of the legislative session, members worked on priorities of the governor. These included workforce development initiatives such as Fast-Track (HB 225), Missouri One Start (HB 469), and Missouri Works (HB 255).
Since January, Missouri legislators have also passed bills to protect the unborn (HB 126), fight sex trafficking (HB 397), and reform the criminal justice system (HB 113). HB 126 would prohibit physicians from performing an abortion after a fetal heartbeat or brain function is detected, which is typically around 6-8 weeks gestational age. HB 397 is meant to protect underage victims of sex trafficking from prosecution by ensuring that young people who are forced into prostitution don’t face criminal charges. And HB 113 would give judges greater discretion when sentencing non-violent offenders.
My colleagues and I have also worked on bills that address the opioid epidemic, such as the Narcotics Control Act (HB 188). The bill would require the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to establish and maintain a program to monitor the prescribing and dispensing of all Schedule II through Schedule IV controlled substances.
Last week I had the privilege of presenting House Bill 941 to the Committee on Insurance. This bill would bring health insurance providers to the table with air ambulance companies to develop contracts on what would be covered for these services provided by air ambulances. Then the insured would know what kind of coverage they have and what could be paid for these services.
During the week of March 18, the Missouri House is on Spring Break. I look forward to meeting and visiting with constituents in the 40th District during this time. When my colleagues and I return from our break, I hope to work diligently the second half of the legislative session on priorities that will improve the lives of all Missourians. Many long days and nights are likely ahead, but I look forward to the chance to work for you! As always, it is an honor to serve.
Thank you for your continued support.
Working on your behalf,
Representative Jim Hansen
Proudly Serving the 40th House District
Lincoln, Monroe, Pike, & Ralls Counties
Missouri House of Representatives
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