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Senator Elaine Gannon’s Capitol Report for May 16, 2022

Senator Elaine Gannon’s Capitol Report for May 16, 2022

Another Legislative Session Is in the Books

The final gavel fell on May 12, drawing the 2022 legislative session to a close for the Missouri Senate. While I am disappointed my proposal to extend Medicaid coverage to one year for postpartum women hit a roadblock in the Senate, I am pleased with the 66 bills we Truly Agreed To and Finally Passed this session, especially the omnibus education legislation, Senate Bill 681. This measure establishes the Get the Lead Out of School Drinking Water Act, to address our older schools’ aging potable water systems, and the Show-Me Success Diploma Program, to provide an alternative pathway to graduation. SB 681 requires all school districts to facilitate reading success plans, and it contains a provision from my Senate Bill 999 allowing retired teachers to teach up to four years without losing their pension, doubling the current two-year max.

Senator Gannon discusses legislation with a colleague in the Senate chamber.

Another education-related bill that passed establishes the Workforce Diploma Program to assist high school students with obtaining a diploma and gainful employment through campus-based, blended or online modalities. The measure also creates a task force to study, expand and enhance computer science courses and permits student athletes to earn compensation for their name, image and likeness. Finally, my legislation to designate the second full week in March as Pet Breeders Week, passed with other provisions in House Bill 2627.

The final bill passed by the upper chamber this session was the congressional redistricting map contained in House Bill 2909. Agreeing on this map was a contentious topic throughout the session as several senators vied for more conservative seats in Washington D.C.; however, the final map conforms to the mandates of our constitution and the Voting Rights Act. In the newly redrawn map, all of Jefferson County shifts to the 3rd Congressional District, and District 8 picks up Pulaski, Laclede and a portion of Taney County.

Count Me In!

Thank you for entrusting me to be your voice in the Missouri Legislature. During the interim, I transition from a full-time Jefferson City lawmaker to an in-district senator. Attending civic engagements and community events helps me learn about our community’s unique needs and decide which legislation to sponsor next year. If you are planning an event that doesn’t conflict with my schedule, please count me in!