Representative Yolanda Young's Newsletter

August 13, 2021

Contact me at: 
201 W. Capitol Avenue, Room 102
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Phone: (573) 751-3129

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Dear Neighbors,

Tuesday, August 10, marked the 200th anniversary of the day in 1821 that President James Monroe signed a congressional resolution making Missouri the 24th state admitted to the Union. Throughout the celebrations of our state's bicentennial, I was reminded of our collective history and thought I would share what I've learned. While we celebrated two centuries of our state's triumphs on Tuesday, the day was also marked with the reality that our state did not join the Union under the most favorable circumstances- which are now seen as a major contributing factor to the Civil War. 
By the time Missouri applied for statehood in 1818, the United State's Congress was already heavily divided between pro-slavery and anti-slavery ideals. Abolitionist Congressmen were (rightfully) worried that if Missouri were allowed to enter the Union under our own terms, slavery would further expand West and upset the balance of power in Congress, making it almost impossible to end slavery. Southern proponents of slavery argued that Missouri should be allowed to choose its status as either a free or slave state, knowing full well that if given the chance Missouri would choose to be a slave state. In an effort to keep the peace, Congress reached the Missouri Compromise. Missouri had expected to achieve statehood a year earlier after Congress enacted the Missouri Compromise on March 6, 1820. To this day, Missouri’s official state seal still says “1820.” Under the compromise, Missouri was to be the last state slave admitted north of the 36° 34’ parallel, and Maine, a former province of Massachusetts, was admitted as a free state to maintain a numerical balance between free and slave states, a practice that continued for 30 years.
Missouri had expected to achieve statehood a year earlier after Congress enacted the Missouri Compromise on March 6, 1820. To this day, Missouri’s official state seal still says “1820.” However, statehood was delayed over a provision of Missouri’s newly ratified constitution that required the General Assembly to pass laws “to prevent free negroes and mulattoes from coming to, and settling in, this state under any pretext whatsoever.” Since the privileges and immunities clause of U.S. Constitution requires states to grant full rights to the citizens of other states, Missouri’s provision attempting to exclude free Blacks was unconstitutional.

Nearly a year later, Congress passed a resolution on March 2, 1821, granting Missouri admission to the Union on the condition the General Assembly pass “a solemn public act” declaring that it would never enforce the exclusion provision nor enact legislation pursuant to it. The state legislature did so on June 26, 1821. With the condition met, President Monroe signed the admission resolution about six weeks later.
Slavery continued in Missouri until the state enacted an ordinance ending it on Jan. 11, 1865 – about 11 months before 13th Amendment was finally ratified in December 1865 to abolish slavery nationwide. However, Missouri’s action came more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared slavery ended in states that had seceded but didn’t apply to slave states, like Missouri, that remained in the Union.
Preview of the Missouri Bicentennial Quilt
Remember, we are always here to help you with anything you may need. For assistance, call my office at (573) 751-3129 or email me at

Yours in Service,

Yolanda Young
Public School Reopening Resources
Kansas City Public Schools 

As school is starting on August 23, these departments are here to help:

Everyone entering a KCPS building will be required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status. For more information about COVID-19 safety at KCPS, please visit the district's reopening information webpage. 
Independence Schools 

The Independence School District will reopen on August 23. For questions regarding your student, contact: 
Everyone entering an ISD building will be required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status. For more information about the district's safety protocol, please visit their website
Raytown Schools

K-12 students in the Raytown School district will return to school on August 23 and early childhood classes will begin August 24. For information on the district's Back to School resources, visit their online information database. For questions regarding your student, contact: 

In accordance with Jackson County policy, everyone over the age of 5 entering a Raytown School building will be required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status. For more information about the district's safety protocol, please visit the district's in-person instruction plan
KC Public Libraries Offering
Free COVID-19 Vaccines
As the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus continues to spread throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area, the Kansas City Public Library is partnering with KC CARE Health Center to increase access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Beginning August 3, 2021, anyone in need of a COVID-19 vaccine can receive one for FREE from KC CARE Health Center at the following Library locations:

Tuesdays, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.

Wednesdays, 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Waldo Branch, 201 E. 75th St.

Thursdays, Noon - 6 p.m.
North-East Branch, 6000 Wilson Ave.

Anyone hoping to get a vaccine can walk in to one of the Library clinic sessions as long as supplies last. No registration is required. Available for ages 12 and older. There is no cost to get the vaccine -- it is completely free.

The full schedule of vaccine clinics at Library locations can be found on the Library’s online calendar.
Judge Orders State to
Implement Medicaid Expansion
At a rally in Jefferson City, Mo., in April to support Medicaid expansion. Voters approved the expansion last year, but that was not the end of the story.Credit...Liv Paggiarino/The Jefferson City News-Tribune
Medicaid expansion finally took effect in Missouri on August 10 after a Cole County circuit judge ordered the state Department of Social Services to allow newly eligible Missourians to enroll in the health care program. The judge’s order came almost three weeks after the Missouri Supreme Court upheld the validity of a voter-approved constitutional amendment mandating Medicaid expansion and nearly six weeks after that amendment was supposed to take effect on July 1.
In an August 6 hearing before Judge Jon Beetem, attorneys representing the state had asked for a two-month delay in implementation, which plaintiffs countered was unnecessary and harmful to the estimated 275,000 additional Missourians who are now eligible for the program. Beetem opted against further delay and enjoined the state from refusing to enroll newly eligible people in Medicaid or discriminating against them, retroactive to July 1.
In a news release issued a day after Beetem’s order, Governor Parson said his administration will implement expansion. However, the release also said it would take up to 60 days to do so, even though Beetem declined to grant the administration a delay. Those determined to be eligible for Medicaid, known in Missouri as MO HealthNet, between now and then could later be reimbursed for medical expenses incurred during that period, the release said.
“My administration is always going to follow the law and yesterday's court order is no exception,” Parson said. “The necessary funding to cover the health care costs of the expanded population remains the issue. We will continue to work with the General Assembly and DSS to chart a path forward to comply with the court order and keep the MO HealthNet program solvent.” 
The expanded eligibility covers those earning less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level – or about $18,000 a year for a single person. Under the federal Affordable Care Act, the federal government will pay 90 percent of the cost of serving the expanded population.
Expansion is expected to bring about $1.4 billion in additional federal Medicaid spending into the Missouri for FY 2022, plus secure the state another $1.5 billion under the latest federal COVID-19 relief package. The additional economic activity from pumping billions more in federal spending into Missouri, along with the savings resulting more Missourians having access to preventative care, is expected to provide sufficient new revenue to pay for the state’s share of expansion. The case is Doyle v. Tidball.
Statehouse Redistricting
Begins with Partisan Fight
A House redistricting commission evenly split between Democrats and Republicans deadlocked for nearly eight hours on August 10 over which party should wield the chairman’s gavel as the process for drawing new statehouse districts gets underway. This partisan fighting clearly illustrated what could have been avoided had the nonpartisan redistricting process voters approved in 2018 remained in place. 
Republican commissioners insisted one of their members should be chair since a Republican is governor. Democrats said a fairer method would be to determine the chairmanship by a coin flip. The state constitutional provisions creating the commissions don’t specify how the chair and other leadership posts should be chosen.
After deadlocking all day on a series of 10-10 votes, the commission finally agreed to elect Republican Jerry Hunter of St. Louis as chair, with Democrats Keena Smith of St. Louis and Mark Schaeperkotter of Owensville respectively being chosen and vice-chair and secretary. The parties also agreed that Hunter and Smith would share authority.
For decades, commissions consisting of equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans had first crack at drawing new state House and Senate districts every 10 years. However, those commissions typically deadlocked, kicking the job to a separate commission of six state appellate judges.
In an effort to minimize partisanship in the redistricting process, Missouri voters ratified a constitutional amendment in 2018 that granted the responsibility for drawing new legislative districts to a nonpartisan state demographer. The measure passed with 62 percent of voters in support, and the new system was supposed to be used for the first time this year.
However, Republican lawmakers, fearing the new system would loosen their legislative dominance, placed a second constitutional amendment on the 2020 ballot to largely repeal the 2018 changes. Voters narrowly ratified it with 51 percent in support.
While the House commission spent hours sparring, the Senate commission quickly elected its leadership, choosing Republican attorney Mark Ellinger of Jefferson City as chair; Democrat Susan Montee, a former state auditor, as vice-chair; and Democrat Nicole Greer as secretary.
The redistricting process won’t begin in earnest until after the U.S. Census Bureau provides the precinct-level data needed to draw new maps, which currently is expected to occur in September. The House and Senate commissions each have scheduled six meetings around the state in October and November to take public testimony.

You can watch the video from the hearing here
Group Drops Attempt to
Force Public Vote on Gas Tax
A conservative anti-tax group has abandoned its attempt to force a statewide vote on a fuel tax increase Governor Parson signed into law this summer, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on Aug. 3. The path is now clear for the law to take effect as scheduled on Aug. 28.
Senate Bill 262 gradually will increase the state fuel tax from its current 17 cents per gallon to 29.5 cents per gallon as of July 1, 2025. The first of five 2.5-cent increases will kick in on Oct. 1, with the remaining four following on each subsequent July 1. Missouri’s fuel tax last was increased in 1996 under legislation enacted in 1992.
Shortly after lawmakers passed SB 262 in May, Americans for Prosperity Missouri filed a referendum petition seeking to stop the bill from taking effect unless approved by voters at the November 2022 general election. The group needed to collect signatures from a minimum of about 110,000 registered Missouri voters to force the issue onto the statewide ballot. Although the group didn’t specify why it ended its effort, considering did so with about month to go before the Aug. 28 deadline for submitting signatures indicates the signature-gathering process wasn’t going well.
The referendum petition is the rarely attempted cousin of the more widely used initiative petition. However, instead of bypassing lawmakers to independently propose legislation, as the initiative petition does, a referendum petition takes a bill passed by the legislature and signed by the governor that would otherwise become law and blocks it from taking effect unless approved by Missouri voters.
In nearly four decades, a referendum petition has only been successfully employed once. That effort blocked a so-called “right-to-work” bill passed by the General Assembly in 2017 from taking effect. Missouri voters overwhelmingly defeated the measure, with 67.5 percent against it, in 2018.
COVID-19 Vaccine Lottery
To encourage people to get vaccinated in Missouri, the Governor announced that the Department of Health and Senior Services will be hosting a vaccine lottery. From now until October, vaccinated Missourians will have the chance to win $10,000 just by proving that you are vaccinated. 

For those 18 years or older, 800 Missourians will be chosen to win $10,000 cash. For those 12 to 17 years of age, 100 people will be chosen to win a $10,000 educated savings account, to be used to pay for school. 

For a chance to win $10,000 visit or call (877) 435-8411 to enter. To win, you must be able to prove your Missouri residence and your vaccination status. 
Additional COVID-19 Vaccine Resources
Truman Medical Center is offering walk-in vaccinations at their two hospital campuses (2211 Charlotte and 7900 Lee’s Summit Road) 7am to 2pm Monday through Friday.  In addition, you can schedule a vaccine at or by calling 816-404-CARE. 

ALL Missourians are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. If you have not been vaccinated, I encourage you to visit the COVID-19 map to find a vaccination site near you. The following places are currently offering vaccines in Kansas City: 
State government can be hard to navigate. If you need assistance with a state department or with unemployment, Medicaid, food stamps, or other state benefits call my office at (573) 751-3129. We can also guide you to community resources such as rent and utility assistance, food distribution, and COVID-19 related issues. My staff and I are here to help in any way we can. 
District 22 Staff

Kaylee Bauer
201 W. Capitol Avenue, Room 102
Phone: (573) 751-3129 
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State Representative Yolanda Young · 201 W Capitol Ave · Jefferson City, MO 65101-1556 · USA

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