District 151 Capitol Report - Tila Hubrecht
BY REPRESENTATIVE TILA HUBRECHT, MO. DISTRICT 151
As you might expect, things are getting even more busy at the Capitol. Work days begin very early and end very late. Committee meetings are busy as well to discuss the bills that have been filed, the goal in the new committee structure is to look at the bills thoroughly to ensure that the only legislation that is brought to the floor is legislation that will be beneficial to Missouri. Following is a summary of this week…
House Sends Unemployment Reform Bill to Senate
With the goal of preserving the state’s unemployment system so that it can continue to provide benefits to out-of-work Missourians, the House passed legislation this week that will implement some much-needed, common sense reforms. The bill we approved strikes a balance to ensure Missourians have access to unemployment benefits when they are out of work while also protecting Missouri’s job creators from excessive taxes and fees.
What some may not realize is that our system of unemployment has been forced to borrow money from the federal government in order to pay its unemployment insurance claims. In fact, Missouri is the only state in the nation that has been forced to borrow money from the federal government in each of the last five recessions. The result has been not only that our state has taken on debt, but also that employers have been forced to pay millions in interest on the borrowed funds.
To keep the fund solvent so that it can continue to be an effective safety net for unemployed Missourians, the bill we approved would tie unemployment benefits to the unemployment rate so that those out of work would have additional weeks of benefits when times are tough and less when the unemployment rate is lower. In addition, the bill we approved would require the unemployment fund to have more cash on hand, and employers to contribute more until it reaches the higher level, so that it can afford to pay out benefits even when there is a dramatic spike in the number of unemployed. Finally, the bill requires the state to seek solutions other than borrowing money from the federal government when the fund becomes insolvent.
These are common sense changes meant to keep our state out of debt, and to keep our unemployment system solvent so that it can continue to help Missourians when they need it most. The bill now moves to the Senate, which approved similar legislation last year.
HB 774 Filed by Representative Hubrecht
I filed HB 774 this week, it will change the laws regarding abortion. It will require one parent to give consent for a minor to have an abortion. This is such an important decision and one that has possible long term health outcomes on the young girl. Whether or not to have an abortion is one that should not be made lightly and if an abortion is performed on a young girl, the parents of this girl should know in order to monitor her health and well being. There are many risks associated with any medical procedure and without the parent’s knowledge of what to watch for could put the young girl at great risk. I will work to see this bill goes through committee quickly and is heard on the floor as soon as possible.
Update on HB 705
This bill that I filed last week has been referred to the House Committee on Health and Mental Health Policy. I have requested that this bill be heard in committee and look to see it on the committee calendar soon. This bill will allow managed care companies contracting with the State of Missouri to reward citizens on Medicaid with useful items that will benefit them and their families when they engage in healthy behavior. Examples of the items that will be included in this bill are car seats, play pens, diaper bags with diaper supplies, and safety gates. Children are important to all of us and the safety of children is something that should be promoted.
Governor Releases Funding for Vital State Services
Our state received some good news this week as we learned our revenues are growing at a steady rate. So far this year we have seen revenues grow by nearly 5 percent when compared to revenue collections from last year at this time. This growth puts us on pace to meet our revenue growth estimates for the year.
Unfortunately, according to our governor, the growth is not enough to prompt him to release the approximately $700 million in funding for vital state services he is still withholding. This has been a source of frustration for many of my colleagues as they have concerns that many of these withholds are unnecessary.
However, even as the governor argued that revenues were not high enough to release some of these funds, the state reached a settlement in its lawsuit against Standard & Poor’s that produced an unexpected $21.5 million. The governor has since released funding to several important programs including $1.5 million for the state’s cyber crimes task forces that were in the midst of a funding crisis.
Some of the other key funding items restored by the governor include:
- $8 million for the state’s seven veterans homes;
- $500,000 for sheltered workshops, which provide employment for Missourians with disabilities;
- 500,000 for grants to domestic violence shelters to provide services for victims of sexual assault, including counseling and emergency housing;
- $500,000 for Alzheimer’s Grants that provide respite and other services for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families; and
- $400,000 for grants to Area Agencies on Aging to provide services to seniors, including meals.
I was most pleased to see these releases as they will benefit many in our district.
Rep. Hubrecht Named to House Majority Whip Team
Hubrecht will serve as House Floor Whip for the 2015 Legislative Session
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Rep. Hubrecht, R-Dexter, will play a key role in helping the House Majority Caucus achieve its legislative priorities for the 2015 session. Hubrecht was named this week to serve on the Whip Team by Majority Whip, Rep. Delus Johnson, R-St. Joseph.
“After just a couple of weeks in observing the work ethic, commitment and dedication, it seemed imperative to select Tila to serve on the whip team,” stated Rep. Johnson.
Rep. Hubrecht will serve as one among an elite few selected to serve in this capacity. As part of the Majority Whip team, Hubrecht will be responsible for assisting the majority whip in rounding up votes on critical issues, communicating policy positions to other members, and overseeing that parliamentary rules of the House are followed.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to play a much greater role in the legislative process,” said Rep. Hubrecht. “This position offers me a great opportunity to better represent the interests of the 151st district. I look forward to working to help ensure the passage of legislation that will be of great benefit to the people in our area as well as the entire state of Missouri.”
Rep. Hubrecht added that her new post allows her to become more involved in a wider variety of legislative matters.
In District News:
The Regional Healthcare Foundation (in Dexter) is hosting a Marketplace Health Insurance Counseling on Friday February 6th from 9am to noon and then 1pm to 4pm. Bring your Social Security Card, W-2s, and any current health insurance plans.
Free Tax Preparation is available at Cox’s Corner (in Dexter) from 8am to 3pm on Mondays and Wednesdays. This is offered by the Missouri Extension Service.
Don’t forget the Rotary Student’s Fundraisers this Saturday: Bell City: Pancake Breakfast at the Bell City School
Dexter: Taco Lunch at Sacred Heart Church 10am – 1pm
Upcoming In-District Schedule:
02/06/15 11am -1pm Meeting with Semo Port Authority
02/07/15 8am Bell City Rotary Students Pancake Breakfast Bell City School
02/07/15 10am Dexter Rotary Students Taco Lunch Sacred Heart Church
02/09/15 6:30pm speaking at Republican Club Meeting @ Hickory Log in Dexter
If you would like to set up an appointment to meet with me while I am In-District on the weekends, please call my office at (573)751-1494 or my cell at (573)820-6052. I will be glad to arrange a meeting with you or a group of people!
Information Regarding the Capitol Report
The Capitol Report I send out is meant to help the people of our district remain informed of legislative events happening at the state capitol and within the 151st district. I also would like to keep everyone informed of other ways my office can help the citizens in our district.
Anyone in the district should feel free to contact my office for any issues relating to state government. We have already had the opportunity to assist people with veterans affairs, social services, and state employment issues. We are also more than happy to make courtesy resolutions for any important events such as sporting achievements, retirements, career milestones, anniversaries, or volunteer efforts. If there is an event in your community, organization, business, etc. that you would like me to attend, please feel free to call and we will do our best to make the scheduling work.
You can reach my office by the contact information listed below or by going to my House Web Page. I also encourage recipients to have family and friends sign up for our Capitol Report so more people can stay informed on Missouri state government.