02/28/22 - Missouri Mondays - Take action to protect Medicaid Expansion, initiative petitions, more!
Welcome to another Missouri Mondays and another busy week of important actions! Thanks for all you do to make a difference!
TELL YOUR STATE SENATOR TO VOTE NO ON HJR 117 OVERTURNING MEDICAID EXPANSION!
Rep. Cody Smith’s proposed constitutional amendment HJR 117 would give Republicans the ability to overturn the will of Missouri voters who passed Medicaid Expansion and would undermine the Missouri Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Missourians’ vote. Medicaid expansion led to 275,000 Missourians becoming eligible for affordable healthcare.
CALL TO ACTION!
HJR 117 is now in the MO Senate after passing in the House. Tell your State Senator to respect the will of Missourians and to ensure that a quarter of a million Missourians continue to be eligible for affordable healthcare.
Find your State Senator using the Legislator Lookup here: https://www.senate.mo.gov/LegisLookup/Default.aspx
Read more about HJR 117 targeting Medicaid Expansion here: https://www.flatlandkc.org/news-issues/parson-signs-4-6b-spending-plan-house-approves-bill-targeting-medicaid-expansion/ Flatland - Missouri Independent Feb 25 2022
TELL YOUR STATE ELECTEDS TO REJECT MO GOP ATTACK ON INITIATIVE PETITIONS!
HJR 79 was passed in the House and is now in the Senate Local Government and Elections committee. “This bill attacks the citizen initiative process in Missouri by making it harder to place proposed amendments on the ballot, and increasing the threshold for passage to near impossible levels.” -Missouri Voter Protection Coalition For example, the minimum signatures needed for a proposed constitutional amendment would skyrocket from about 172,000 under current law to roughly 434,000.
CALL TO ACTION! TELL YOUR STATE SENATOR TO VOTE NO HJR 79! Leave the Initiative Petition Process alone and reject any changes! The MO GOP should not be trying to silence the people’s voice by making the initiative petition process harder.
Find your senator using the Legislator Lookup here: https://www.senate.mo.gov/LegisLookup/Default.aspx
House Joint Resolution (HJR) 91 Modifies the initiative petition process for amendments to the constitution
“The House on Thursday advanced its third plan within a week to diminish voters’ ability to change the state’s constitution through initiative petitions. A proposal sponsored by Rep. J. Eggleston, R-Maysville, would raise the bar for passage of constitutional amendments from a simple majority to a two-thirds majority. However, voters could still repeal previously approved constitutional amendments by a simple majority, Eggleston said. Lawmakers gave the measure first-round approval on a voice vote. “Today we saw the clearest illustration of what this is about,” said Rep. Peter Merideth, D-St. Louis. “We had this bill pass that was very carefully crafted to make it harder for people to pass things at the ballot but still made it so that there’s an easier way to undo Medicaid expansion.”
TELL YOUR STATE REP TO VOTE NO ON HJR 91! Leave the Initiative Petition Process alone and reject any changes! The MO GOP should not be trying to silence the people’s voice by making the initiative petition process harder.
Full story on HJR 91 here: https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/another-effort-to-restrict-missouri-s-initiative-petition-process-advances/article_357bb4ff-07f7-5414-87cd-ceea75a5e77e.html St. Louis Post-Dispatch Feb 25 2022
MO GOP CONTINUE PUBLIC EDUCATION ATTACKS
HCS HJR 110 (Christofanelli) known as the Parental Bill Of Rights is on the House calendar for perfection this week. If approved by voters, the resolution would cause sweeping changes regarding curriculum, open enrollment, and a host of other matters. Like similar bills this session, this amendment would ban the teaching of certain historical information and any contemporary controversial issues.
TELL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TO LEAVE OUR SCHOOLS ALONE! VOTE NO ON HCS HJR 110! The MO GOP must respect and trust Missouri Public Schools.
Find your representative using the Legislator Lookup here:
HEARINGS ON SIMILAR PUBLIC EDUCATION BILLS THIS WEEK
The MO House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee meets at 8:00am Tuesday March 1 to consider the following bills:
HB 1484 (Kelly), HB 1835 (Wiemann), HB 2189 (Coleman) all deal with limiting the curriculum a school district may teach. While they purport to be anti-racist, in reality they seek to limit the use of historical and current curricular materials and deny that racism exists or has ever existed in our country.
Tell members of the House Elementary and Secondary Education committee to respect the ability of teachers and districts to use appropriate curricular materials and to address student and teacher needs.
SUBMIT WRITTEN TESTIMONY FOR THE COMMITTEE HERE:
GOVERNOR PARSON SIGNS $4.6B SUPPLEMENTAL BUDGET BILL
“The first bill sent to Gov. Mike Parson from this year’s legislative session includes a pay raise for state employees, money to fund Medicaid through the end of the fiscal year and federal COVID-19 recovery funding for schools. The Missouri House on Thursday voted 133-12 to pass the $4.6 billion supplemental spending bill approved Wednesday evening in the state Senate. Lawmakers missed the Feb. 1 target set by Parson for enacting the pay raises but acted in time to prevent the state from losing $1.9 billion in federal education funding. The governor signed the bill soon after it reached his desk. School superintendents and other education lobbying groups have been pressuring lawmakers to pass the bill before the March 24 deadline, state Rep. Peter Merideth, D-St. Louis, noted. “They need this money, they need it yesterday, they need it a month ago,” Meredith said. A short time later, the House GOP majority showed it is only grudgingly paying the state’s Medicaid bill, increased due to Medicaid expansion to include adults from 19 to 64.”
Full story here: https://www.flatlandkc.org/news-issues/parson-signs-4-6b-spending-plan-house-approves-bill-targeting-medicaid-expansion/ Flatland - Missouri Independent Feb 25 2022
Missouri Schools to finally get $1.9 billion in COVID relief funding
“The first Missouri bill to be signed into law this year contains nearly $2 billion of federal COVID relief funding for public schools. After the Senate approved the legislation Wednesday evening by a vote of 25-7, the House accepted the Senate’s changes Thursday morning by a vote of 133-12. Gov. Mike Parson’s office announced Thursday afternoon that he had signed the bill. The proposal is a supplemental budget bill meant to distribute additional funding for the last few months of the fiscal year, which ends June 30. It also contains Medicaid funding, as well as money for state employee raises that Parson had hoped to provide by Feb. 1. Other education-related funding in the budget includes nearly $100 million for private schools and $219 million for school food programs, according to a press release from Parson’s office. The bill’s passage is a relief for local school districts, which had urged the legislature to appropriate most of the money before a March 24 deadline.”
Full story here: https://thebeacon.media/stories/2022/02/25/missouri-schools-get-covid-relief%EF%BF%BC/ The Kansas City Beacon Feb 25 2022
MISSOURI REDISTRICTING NEWS
“Judges must produce Missouri Senate map before candidate filing closes March 29. Failure of citizens commission leaves uncertainty on district lines for August 2022 primary”
“Local election officials want new state Senate district maps as soon as possible, Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller told the Judicial Redistricting Commission Friday. But when the panel’s public hearing on Feb 25 was over, no one would say when it must be finished. Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s office provided clarity a few hours later – the maps are due before filing closes on March 29. The Missouri Constitution gives the judicial commission 90 days after the discharge of the 20-member Senate Independent Bipartisan Citizens Commission, which could not agree on a plan before its constitutional deadline. The citizens commission notified Ashcroft’s office on Dec. 23 that it was “unable to meet the constitutional deadline for the filing of a tentative plan, and final plan, and so does stand discharged.” Counting Dec. 24 as the first day, that makes March 23 the 90th day. Ashcroft’s office did not provide a specific date.”
Full story here: https://missouriindependent.com/2022/02/25/judges-asked-to-move-quickly-on-missouri-senate-district-map/ Missouri Independent Feb 25 2022
CRISIS IN UKRAINE - HOW YOU CAN HELP
“A humanitarian crisis is now unfolding in Ukraine, with Russia attacking airports and military headquarters and troops and tanks rolling into cities in the northeast. Civilians are being forced to flee to escape the fighting and reports of casualties already mounting. Our hearts are with the 44 million Ukrainian people, including the thousands of Ukrainians who have left the country and the estimated 100,000 who are now internally displaced after fleeing their homes.”
HOW TO HELP
UNICEF - UNICEF is currently on the ground in Ukraine, helping children with water, health and education services. You can give a one-time or recurring donation here: https://www.unicefusa.org/stories/unicef-children-are-bearing-brunt-intensifying-crisis-ukraine/39481
RED CROSS - The International Committee of the Red Cross is supporting the Ukrainian Red Cross right now. The groups are supporting food-producing initiatives, repairing infrastructure, and helping hospitals, schools, mental health facilities and community centers. You can make a one-time donation or a monthly contribution here: https://www.icrc.org/en/donate
DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS - American-based nonprofits as well as international organizations are collecting donations for supplies such as first aid backpacks, clothes, diapers, food, cots and other necessities. Donate here: https://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/what-we-do/countries/ukraine
HEART TO HEART INTERNATIONAL - “Heart to Heart International has provided humanitarian aid to Ukraine in the past, and we will be watching events closely and coordinating with our partners and partner organizations to determine when and how we may provide support to the people of Ukraine.” Donate here: https://secure.touchnet.com/C25068_ustores/web/store_main.jsp?STOREID=31&SINGLESTORE=true
Find more information and resources to offer support to Ukraine here: https://www.kshb.com/news/national/crisis-in-ukraine-heres-how-you-can-help
KSHB 41 Feb 25 2022
Russian invasion of Ukraine in pictures https://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2022/feb/24/russian-invasion-of-ukraine-begins-in-pictures The Guardian Feb 24 2022
PRESIDENT BIDEN NOMINATES JUDGE KETANJI BROWN JACKSON FOR U.S. SUPREME COURT
“President Biden sought a candidate with exceptional credentials, unimpeachable character, and unwavering dedication to the rule of law,” the White House said in a statement. If confirmed by the Senate, Jackson, 51, will be the first Black woman and first former federal public defender to serve on the court. Born in Washington, D.C., she grew up in Miami. She currently serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. She would replace Justice Stephen Breyer, who is retiring this summer. Both Biden and Jackson are expected to deliver remarks at the White House on Friday. Her confirmation would not shift the court’s ideological 6-3 makeup favoring conservatives. But it represents a historic choice by Biden, who vowed during his presidential campaign he would place a Black woman on the high court.”
https://missouriindependent.com/briefs/biden-to-tap-judge-ketanji-brown-jackson-for-the-u-s-supreme-court-reports-say/ Missouri Independent Feb 25 2022
YOUR VOTE IS YOUR VOICE! MAKE SURE YOU ARE READY!
Check the 2022 Missouri Election Calendar for important election dates and deadlines for registering to vote HERE: https://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/calendar/2022cal
Check your voter registration HERE: https://s1.sos.mo.gov/elections/voterlookup
Find your local election authority HERE: https://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/goVoteMissouri/localelectionauthority
Once you find your local election authority CHECK THEIR WEBSITE FOR YOUR SPECIFIC VOTING AND ELECTION INFORMATION!
Last day to register to vote in April 5, 2022 General Municipal election is March 9
MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR THESE UPCOMING ACTIONS AND EVENTS
TAKE ACTION WITH THE MISSOURI VOTER PROTECTION COALITION (MOVPC)
TO PROTECT THE RIGHT TO VOTE
Join the next MOVPC meeting
MONDAY FEB 28 at 10 AM
Text “MOVPC” to 66866 or register HERE: https://wustl.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYoceyuqTsqGN1NlXOMKb88rSExyr-kWjbt
Help protect the right to vote in Missouri with the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition! The Missouri Voter Protection Coalition (MOVPC) is a nonpartisan statewide network working to protect the right to vote in Missouri, promoting access to the ballot and working to remove barriers to voting.
FEBRUARY IS BLACK HISTORY MONTH
Celebrate Black History Month through the Lens of Black Health & Wellness
National Museum of African American History & Culture
NMAAHC Museum website: https://nmaahc.si.edu
"Black History Month is a time to celebrate the fullness of African American history and culture, but that cannot be contained in one month alone. As the world's largest African American museum, we have a responsibility to humanize history and objects through the lives, tragedies, and triumphs of everyday people. This February, we celebrate the theme of Black health and wellness by creating a space that highlights Black pioneers' trailblazing contributions to Western medicine, addresses health disparities facing our communities, and encourages healing through education." Discover these Black pioneers and trailblazers online here: https://nmaahc.si.edu/explore/initiatives/black-history-month
1950 Without Consent - Henrietta Lacks’ Immortal Cells (HeLa)
Henrietta Lacks was diagnosed and treated for cervical cancer by gynecologist Dr. Howard Jones at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, in January 1951. He discovered a large malignant tumor on her cervix and took a sample of the cancer cells without her consent. Jones sent the cells to Dr. George Grey, who discovered that her cells remarkably doubled every 20 to 24 hours. Unbeknownst to Henrietta Lacks at the time of her death in 1951, doctors used her cells for research that ultimately impacted the study of the human body. The HeLa cells, named for the first two letters of her first and last names, were used to develop the polio vaccine, in vitro fertilization, and cloning; to study the human genome, immunology, and infectious disease.Mrs. Lacks' samples were even taken to space to determine the effect zero gravity on human cells. Even today, HeLa cells were used to develop the COVID-19 vaccine. Henrietta Lacks's children were not made aware that their mother’s cells were taken until decades after her death. Her story is one of many examples of the medical malpractice African Americans experience while seeking healthcare. It has raised ethical debates over consent and the role race plays in the care and treatment African Americans receive.
MORE UPCOMING ACTIONS AND EVENTS
Find more upcoming actions and events here:
MISSOURI COVID UPDATE
The Kansas City Beacon COVID Data Dashboard – A new dashboard for Covid data in the Kansas City Metro area has been developed by The Kansas City Beacon. The Beacon reports that they “decided to release our own data compilation after reporters found that certain critical metrics used to assess the omicron and delta surges were not readily available elsewhere for the Kansas City area.” You can check the Kansas City Beacon’s COVID Data dashboard here: https://thebeacon.media/stories/2022/02/02/kansas-city-beacon-covid-data-dashboard/
Free at-home COVID tests to be handed out to Medicare beneficiaries this spring https://missouriindependent.com/briefs/free-at-home-covid-tests-to-be-handed-out-to-medicare-beneficiaries-this-spring/
Free rapid at-home tests may be ordered (started on Jan. 19) at COVIDtests.gov
The state of Missouri is also providing free at-home PCR tests. Order your test kit here: https://picturegenetics.com/covid19?c=MOPROMO
FIND COVID-19 Vaccines in Missouri here: https://covidvaccine.mo.gov/find
MORE COVID-19 RESOURCES AND INFORMATION HERE: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1i1vCikZiGfMulA8tFCDSJbEKV5N37S1JU_TSlgs699A/edit?usp=sharing
Missourians Vaccinated - as of Sun Feb 27 The New York Times
65% of Missourians have received at least one dose - (76% have received at least one dose in the U.S.)
55% of Missourians are fully vaccinated - (65% are fully vaccinated in the U.S.)
Total COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in Missouri
1,121,879 confirmed cases and 15,235 confirmed deaths and a 7-Day testing positivity rate of 7.3% –data 2/16/22 thru 2/22/22 MO Dept of Health and Senior Services
1,411,732 total reported cases and 19,045 deaths as of Sun Feb 27 The New York Times
THANK YOU! for answering the Missouri Mondays CALL TO ACTION!
Invite your friends and neighbors to join us and sign up for Missouri Action Alliance and this Missouri Mondays email at moactionalliance.com/signup