A long-promised Republican alternative to Medicaid expansion was filed in the Missouri House Tuesday. It’s being touted as “market-based Medicaid."
Under the bill, private insurers would compete to provide coverage for Medicaid recipients, and those recipients could get cash incentives for taking care of their health and avoiding costly medical procedures.
The bill is sponsored by GOP House Member Jay Barnes of Jefferson City.
The Missouri Senate spent several hours Tuesday night working on a wide-ranging tax credit bill, which they gave first-round approval to around 3:20 Wednesday morning. The Senate bill would drastically cut incentives for Historic Preservation and low income housing.
Historic Preservation tax credits would be capped at $45 million a year, instead of the current $140 million, and low income Housing incentives would be capped at $50 million a year.
The bill is sponsored by Republican Senator Eric Schmitt of St. Louis County.
Medicaid expansion is dead for now in the Missouri House. Two separate House committees voted down efforts on Monday to expand Medicaid to 259-thousand Missourians next year and 41,000 more in later years.
A Missouri statehouse committee heard testimony Monday on a bill that would redefine what constitutes workplace discrimination. If passed, workplace discrimination would have to be a motivating factor, not just a contributing one, in any wrongful action taken against a worker by an employer, which is the current federal standard.
Attorney Rich AuBuchon spoke in favor of the bill on behalf of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce. He says the state’s current definition of discrimination is hurting Missouri’s economy.
The Missouri House has passed legislation that would revive three benevolent tax credit programs that expired last year, but there were a couple of dissenters who had a problem with incentives going to crisis pregnancy centers.
Democrats Judy Morgan of Kansas City and Stacey Newman of St. Louis County cast the only “no” votes. Newman said the pregnancy centers in question are operated by anti-abortion groups that are spreading false information about the issue.
Supporters and opponents of legislation that would make Missouri a right-to-work state crowded into a hearing room Wednesday at the State Capitol.
The bill would forbid workers from being forced to join unions or pay union dues as a condition of employment.
Greg Hoberock, national chair of Associated Builders and Contractors, testified in favor of the measure.
“I don’t think this bill excludes union membership, I think it give the employee the right to make their own choice to further (their) income and to have a job and to do what they want to do,” said Hoberock.
Legislation has been filed in the Missouri Senate that would create a temporary sales tax dedicated to funding transportation needs statewide.
The proposed constitutional amendment would create a one-cent sales tax that would expire after 10 years. It’s co-sponsored by GOP Senator Mike Kehoe of Jefferson City. He says the one-penny tax would not be levied on groceries, prescription medicine or fuel.
The Missouri Senate spent more than two hours debating legislation that would keep the state’s ailing Second Injury Fund alive.
The proposal being considered would raise fees that businesses currently pay into the fund while placing restrictions on future claims. Democrat Maria Chappelle-Nadal of St. Louis County said in floor debate that raising the cap on businesses was a good move, but expressed concern that people with pre-existing conditions would be left out.
A St. Louis-area State House member is proposing legislation that would lessen penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana in Missouri, and would allow for some misdemeanor criminal records to be expunged.
A group of advocates for Medicaid expansion delivered 1,500 letters to the head of one of the House subcommittees working on Missouri’s budget for next year.
John Bennett is a retired Disciples of Christ minister from Jefferson City. He gave the letters to Republican Sue Allen, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee on Health, Mental Health, and Social Services.
Republicans in the Missouri House are making another attempt to pass legislation that would require voters to show photo identification at the polls.
Everyone who testified either opposed requiring photo ID’s for voting or were neutral. It would allow anyone who does not have a photo ID to vote with a provisional ballot, which would not be counted until the voter’s identity is verified.
John Scott with the Secretary of State’s office says that would still disenfranchise Missouri voters.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon pitched a nearly $26 billion budget to the state of Missouri during Monday’s State of the State Address. It includes spending increases for K-12 schools, higher education, and the proposed Medicaid expansion he’s been calling for since late November.