“Well done, is better than well said.”
— Benjamin Franklin
We have sent over 30 bills over to the Senate for the first half of session. I will be highlighting the bills we voted on this week in two capitol reports.
Open Enrollment for Public Schools - HB 253 would establish the Public School Open Enrollment Program to improve quality instruction and increase parental involvement, provide access to programs and classes, and offer opportunity by allowing students to attend a public school in a nonresident district. The bill would allow districts to opt in as a receiving district and cap the number of students who may transfer out of a district at 3 percent of the previous year’s enrollment. Lastly, this would require the schools to follow MSHAA guidelines in regards to transferring for sports.
Supporting Law Enforcement - HBs 702, 53, 213, 216, 306 & 359 will take the politics out of policing by placing the St. Louis Police Department under the control of a state-appointed board of commissioners, which will stabilize the department so it can perform the basic job of law enforcement. The bill also specifies that the board must appoint and employ a permanent police force of no less than 1,313 patrolmen. Additionally, the bill requires the board to increase annual salaries for officers by at least $4,000 by July 1, 2024.
HJR 37 is a proposed constitutional amendment that would require the State Road Fund to be subject to appropriation by the General Assembly, rather than standing appropriated without legislative action. The sponsor of the resolution said, “We are changing nothing else about the constitution as it relates to transportation and this just confirms the legislature’s role as the body with the authority of oversight of the people’s money just like we do with every other department in the state.”
Supporting Rural Hospitals - HB 402 modifies the definition of hospital to include facilities designated as rural emergency hospitals by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for the purposes of hospital licensing law. Supporters say the bill will allow for access to critical federal funding for rural hospitals. Several rural hospitals have already closed in Missouri in recent years, with more at risk of closure as well. By allowing rural hospitals to meet certain standards to access federal funds, the bill provides an avenue for financial security.
It’s a pleasure to serve and as always if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to my office at 573-751-4285 or email me at Mazzie.Boyd@house.mo.gov.