PHOTO ID – Nancy Copenhaver
Photo ID has passed the House and the Senate but in different versions, so must go to conference—and maybe fiscal review. Please respond to the Action Alert sent recently.
Both House and Senate passed the budget bills on May 5 and sent them to the Governor.
HEALTH/MENTAL HEALTH – Lael Von Holt
Only a few days remain to settle major issues of mental health, MO HealthNet, insurance exchanges, drug testing for TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), prevention of risk to children, transitioning state facility residents to the community, and the MoRx program.
The process has been one of slow advance or stalling for the following bills previously noted in the Legislative Bulletin:
SCS HCS#2 HB 609 (Molendorp) establishes the Show-Me Health Insurance Exchange Act, as mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. SCS reported Do Pass in the Senate on April 27th. On the Informal Calendar since May 2nd. League supports.
HCS HB 411 (Wyatt) and HB 421 (Stream) require the transitioning of state facility residents for the developmentally disabled to community care. Defeated in House on April 7th by a vote of 67/87. Companion bill, SB 56 (Rupp), was Voted Do Pass in the Health, Mental Health, Seniors and Families Committee on March 29th. No action since. League did not support these bills because of fiscal uncertainty and lack of family support.
HCS HB 236 (Kelly) extends the expiration date for federal reimbursement allowances, including MO HealthNet, from 9-30-11 to 9-30-16. Passed in the H Budget Committee by 25/0, and referred to the Rules Committee on February 8th. No action since.
SCS SBs 7, 5, 54, 169 (Goodman) creates the TANF Child Protection and Drug Free Home Act, requiring drug testing of work eligible applicants or recipients, with penalties. This is a significant but controversial bill. Debate centers around the prevention of risk to children, denial of certain payments, treatment requirements, reporting of possible child abuse, and third party payees. This bill is currently on the S Informal Calendar, S Bills for Perfection for May 5th. Companion bill is SS SCS
HCS HB 73 & 47, reported back to the House on April 28th, and currently on the Calendar for H Bills with Amendments. The important issues here for LWVMO, protection of children and the family safety net, are settling and qualify for support.
HB 40 (Lampe) regards the identification, assessment and education of children within the Autism Spectrum Disorders. It was referred to the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee on February 10th. No progress.
On the federal level, the Supreme Court has recently denied the fast track for litigation challenging the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Appeals Court process has started, but the health benefits and requirements of the federal law remain in place.