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Sen. Barbara Anne Washington’s Legislative Column for the Week of April 5, 2021

This week, the General Assembly moved one step closer to creating a statewide prescription drug monitoring program, with the Senate passing Senate Bill 63. This legislation creates a taskforce, headed by health care professionals, which will work with a third-party vendor to implement a program to track narcotic prescriptions  throughout the state. Once established, the prescription drug monitoring program can help physicians and pharmacists across Missouri identify troubling prescription habits and assist patients with addressing any potential substance abuse issues. Missouri is currently the only state in the country without a statewide prescription monitoring program, although some places like Kansas City and Jackson County participate in a similar program operated out of St. Louis County. If signed into law, the program implemented under SB 63 would supersede and replace all other prescription drug monitoring programs operating in the state.

As the Senate discussed SB 63, protecting patients’ privacy has been a top concern for many. To address this issue, the bill states that HIPAA laws apply to the program, and that prescription histories can only be accessed by physicians, pharmacists and other medical professionals directly involved in the care of the patient. The bill also prohibits law enforcement agencies from accessing the information or using it for warrants. In an additional step to protect patient data, SB 63 requires a routine purge of information older than three years.

At the end of the day, I view SB 63 and the program it creates as another tool in the toolbox to address substance abuse and the opioid epidemic in our state. By helping doctors and medical professionals detect prescription issues early on, I hope we can curb substance abuse and save lives. Senate Bill 63 now heads to the Missouri House of Representatives for further consideration.

The American Jobs Plan

Recently, the president announced an ambitious plan to invest in our nation’s aging infrastructure system known as the American Jobs Plan. It devotes more than $600 billion to transform our nation’s infrastructure, including $115 billion to repair our country’s roads and bridges. The proposal also looks to modernize public transit systems across the country through an $85 billion investment. Looking beyond transportation infrastructure, the American Jobs Plan also includes $100 million to expand reliable, high-speed internet coverage across the country; $111 billion to ensure every community has access to clean drinking water; and $200 billion to increase access to affordable housing. You can learn more about the American Job Plan here.

Each week I will provide updates on COVID-19 information. As of April 9, all adult Missouri residents are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of occupation. Please contact your local pharmacy or health care provider for information on how best to receive one of the available vaccines. For more information about Missouri’s vaccine distribution plan, please visit covidvaccine.mo.gov.

Vaccinations are already underway in our community. For instance, Truman Medical Centers is currently focusing on reaching out to eligible patients to schedule vaccine appointments, starting with those who are 65 and older as doses become available. As they vaccinate these individuals throughout the community, they are asking for the public’s continued patience. Please feel free to contact them by visiting their website or by calling (816) 404-2273.

Additionally, Spalittos’ Pharmacy located at 3801 Independence Ave., Kansas City, MO 64124, is also providing COVID-19 vaccinations. Currently, Spalittos’ Pharmacy has vaccine appointments throughout the day on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. There are specific times reserved for vaccine appointments on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. To register for a COVID-19 Vaccine, call 816-231-4717 or visit the pharmacy’s website.

Thank you for your vote of confidence to serve the people of the 9th District in the Missouri Senate. In an effort to keep you up-to-date with my legislation or other proposed legislation, please feel free to visit my website at senate.mo.gov/Washington. I appreciate your active interest in your community and encourage your participation in the legislative process. Should you need assistance with state matters, please feel free to contact my office at (573) 751-3158.

Senator Washington’s Sponsored Legislation for 2021

Bill Number Description Status
Senate Bill 82 Authorizes a tax credit for urban farms located in a food desert Hearing Conducted in Senate Ways and Means Committee
Senate Bill 83 Designates the third week of September as “Historically Black College and University Week” in Missouri Second read and referred to Senate Education Committee
Senate Bill 84 Authorizes a tax credit for the purchase of certain homes Hearing Conducted in Senate Ways and Means Committee
Senate Bill 145 Creates new provisions of law relating to discriminatory practices Voted Do Pass by Senate Small Business and Industry Committee
Senate Bill 146 Modifies provisions relating to landlord- tenant actions Second read and referred to Senate Small Business and Industry Committee
Senate Bill 147 Modifies provisions relating to tax increment financing Second read and referred to Senate Ways and Means Committee
Senate Bill 189 Creates a Negro Leagues Baseball Museum special license plate Voted Do Pass by House Rules – Administrative Oversight Committee
Senate Bill 190 Creates provisions relating to expungement for certain marijuana offenses Second read and referred to Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee
Senate Bill 191 Creates new provisions relating to the counting of inmates for the purpose of redistricting Second read and referred to Select Committee on Redistricting
Senate Bill 357 Modifies provisions relating to medical marijuana program participants in family court matters Hearing Conducted by Senate Seniors, Families, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee
Senate Bill 419 Relating to use of force by law enforcement officers Second read and referred to Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee
Senate Bill 420 Relating to reporting requirements of law enforcement agencies Second read and referred to Senate Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety Committee
Senate Bill 434 Establishes the “Cronkite New Voices Act” to protect the freedom of press in school-sponsored media Senate Formal Calendar for Senate Bills for Perfection
Senate Bill 440 Modifies provisions relating to juvenile detention Voted Do Pass by Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee
Senate Bill 441 Establishes the Missouri Food Security Task Force Voted Do Pass by Senate Seniors, Families, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee
Senate Bill 446 Modifies provisions relating to the certification of juveniles for trial as an adult Second read and referred to Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee
Senate Bill 509 Creates and modifies provisions relating to the expungement of records. Second read and referred to Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee
Senate Bill 542 Creates new provisions relating to the recovery of employment security benefits. Second read and referred to Senate Small Business and Industry Committee
Senate Bill 543 Establishes standards for demographic data collection by certain entities. Second read and referred to Senate Health and Pensions Committee
Senate Joint Resolution 17 Places limits on increases of the assessment of certain properties Second read and referred to Senate Local Government and Elections Committee

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