The House anticipates resuming session on Monday, April 6. My office is still available to assist you with questions you may have about state government or legislative issues via email. Please be patient with our response time as we are experiencing an influx of emails due to the concerns about COVID-19. If you are unable to reach me, my assistant Brian Farmer is ready to help you.
In this newsletter, I've tried to compile the most recent information available regarding Covid-19 in my district. However, please note that due to the different circumstances this information can change rather quickly.
Feel free to forward this email to your friends and family who want to know the latest information about what is happening in the Capitol and how it will impact Missourians.
Yours in Service,
HELP IS ON THE WAY
As I'm sure that many of you have heard, the federal government has passed a recent stimulus package that will provide assistant to people in need who are suffering through this economic crisis. While there are many components of the stimulus package, I just wanted to highlight a few key features of the bill. I do encourage everyone to read this New York Times article
which answers many questions that you may have about your stimulus eligibility, unemployment benefits, student loans, and retirement. Also to get an idea of what you could be receiving from the federal government, please review this article
from Washington Post that has a stimulus payment calculator. Please reach out to my office if you have any questions.
- Most adults would get a one-time payment of $1,200, although some would get less. For every qualifying child age 16 or under, the payment would be an additional $500.
- The amount varies based on certain criteria. Please see article
- You DO NOT need to apply to receive payment. IRS has your info and will Direct Deposit.
- Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he expected most people to get their payments within three weeks. However, it could take up to two months.
- Those on Social Security, Disability and currently unemployed will also get a stimulus payment.
- The new bill would wrap in far more workers than are usually eligible for unemployment benefits, including self-employed people and part-time workers.
- Gig workers, freelancers, and independent contractors would be newly eligible.
- If you have Covid-19 or care for a family member who does have it, and are unemployed then your covered.
- If your ordered by a health care provider to quarantine, then you would be covered
- If your employer has shut down due to the Coronavirus and you are unable to work, you're covered.
- This bill leaves out people who are able to work from home, currently receiving paid sick leave/family leave, new entrants to the workforce.
- If your currently receiving unemployment benefits then those benefits would be extended 13 weeks.
- If unemployment benefits have recently run out then you can reapply.
Is there any relief for renters in the bill?
Yes. The bill would put a temporary, nationwide eviction moratorium in place
Please see the article for more information.
for any renters whose landlords have mortgages backed or owned by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and other federal entities. This will last for 120 days after the bill passes, and landlords also can’t charge any fees or penalties for nonpayment of rent.
Important to Note
These are changes that Democrats have fought for that are in the revised bill:
These remain as before:
- Expanded unemployment insurance for people who are furloughed, gig workers, and freelancers, with an increase in the payments by $600 dollars per week for four months on top of what states provide as a base unemployment compensation.
- The appointment of an inspector general and a five-person congressional panel to oversee the spending/allocation of the $500,000,000,000 to corporations.
- $1200 for individuals earning up to $75,000
- $2400 for married couples earning up to $150,000; an additional $500 per child
Voting and Election Reminders
Elections Moved From April 7th to June 2nd
in Response to COVID-19
Governor Parson signed an Executive Order 20-03 ordering all Missouri municipal elections previously scheduled for April 7, 2020, to be postponed to June 2, 2020. Voters who have attained the age of 18 by April 7 will be allowed to cast a ballot.
The Executive Order states:
- Closing date to register to vote in this election remains March 11.
- Deadline to apply for an absentee ballot shall be May 20th.
- Absentee ballots may be cast until 5 p.m. on June 1st.
Military and overseas voters must request a ballot from an election authority by 5 p.m. on May 29, and the deadline for local election authorities to make ballots available to such voters is April 18. Military and overseas ballots must be received by the election authority by June 5.
Local election authorities are also directed to post information on their website, use social media if available, issue press releases, conduct public appearances, and directly contact stakeholders such as candidates.
CANDIDATE FILING FOR STATE OFFICES CLOSES MARCH 31
Candidates filing for the Aug. 4 primaries closes at 5 p.m. on Tuesday,
March 31 and is continuing despite state buildings being mostly closed to the public due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Candidates for statewide executive branch office, state Senate, state representative or one of Missouri’s eight congressional seats are required by law to file in person at the Secretary of State’s Office in Jefferson City. The deadline for filing as a write-in candidate for office remains March 27 at 5 p.m.
In a news release, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said his office’s elections division has created protocols to maintain social distancing during the filing process. Those with questions about candidate filing are encouraged to call (800) 669-8683
or (573) 751-2301
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Kansas City, Independence, and Raytown
If you would like to receive updates about what the City is doing in response to the coronavirus, text COVIDKC to 888777.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is operating a hotline
for residents and health care providers to call for information and guidance about COVID-19.
The statewide hotline number is 877-435-8411
. The hotline is being operated by medical professionals and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
During this urgent and unprecedented public health crisis, the United Way of Greater Kansas City wants to remind you of the referral services available through 211, a one-stop resource for community relief – food, financial help, utility assistance, tax services and more. Through 211, callers are connected to more than 8,000 programs run by nonprofit organizations and government agencies throughout the 23-county United Way 211 service area. For assistance, visit 211kc.org
or dial 211
Kansas City, Missouri Health Department (KCHD)
Kansas City, Mo. Health Department: 2400 Troost Ave.Kansas City, MO 64108
- Call (816) 513-6008 for general help and information:
- Email at: email@example.com.
- Visit in person, Monday - Friday, 7:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Jackson County Health Department
Kansas City Regional COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund
The Greater Kansas City Community Foundation is housing the Kansas City Regional COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, which will collect donations to make grants to nonprofit organizations that have experience supporting impacted communities – particularly those that are disproportionately affected by this global pandemic and its economic consequences.
Click Here for more information or Contact United Way 211 by dialing 211
has a good website that has a list of local resources and home preparedness fact sheets.
Grocery Stores and Local Businesses Hours for Seniors
Hy-Vee: Between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., an hour which is now set aside for those 60 and older, pregnant women and those who consider themselves at high-risk for COVID-19.
Dollar General: First hour of business each day will be dedicated to Senior Customers.
Hen House Markets: The first hour Hen House Markets are open are reserved for shopping by seniors and guests with disabilities. Normal store opening hours are still in place, but all stores around the Kansas City metro will close at 8 p.m.
Target: They are reserving the first hour of shopping every Wednesday to allow elderly shoppers and those with underlying health concerns easier access to groceries and other household items in its stores
Whole Foods Market: Stores in the Kansas City and nationwide will service customers who are 60 and older one hour before opening to the general public, under the new adjusted hours posted on the store’s web page. For example, if a store’s new hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., customers who are 60+ can shop starting at 8 a.m.
Cosentino's Price Chopper: 7-8 a.m.
Meals on Wheels: Located in: North Kansas City Hospital
Address: 2800 Clay Edwards Dr, Kansas City, MO 64116
Phone: (816) 691-5322
KANSAS CITY PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT
KANSAS CITY SCHOOLS LUNCH PROGRAM
Kansas City Public Schools, which remains closed until at least April 6, plans to provide sack lunches and meal kits for KCPS students. Students will need their school ID to pick up food and meals.The meals will be distributed at these times and sites:
Monday, March 30 and Wednesday, April 1 from 7-11 a.m. and from 1-6 p.m.
- Northeast High School, 415 Van Brunt Boulevard;
- Central High School, 3221 Indiana Ave.;
- East High School, 1924 Van Brunt Boulevard;
- African-Centered College Preparatory Academy-Lower Campus, 6410 Swope Parkway.
KCPS families who need direct delivery of food should contact the district at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 816-418-3663
INDEPENDENCE SCHOOL DISTRICT
Independence School District is providing grab-and-go meals through Friday, March 27 to all children under the age of 18. The meals are available from 11 a.m.-12:45 p.m. at the following locations and will be delivered to your car:
James Bridger Middle School 18200 E. M78 Highway
Truman High School 3301 S Noland Rd
Van Horn High School 1109 S Arlington Ave
William Chrisman High School 1223 N Noland Rd
Salvation Army 14700 E Truman Rd
Graceland University 1401 W Truman Rd
Independence Station 301 S Sue Ellen Ave
Community of Christ Auditorium 1001 W Walnut St
Saint Clair Park S Farley Terrace
Highland Manor 17311 E US Hwy 40 from 11-11:20 a.m.
CVS 4750 Lees Summit Rd from 11:30-11:50 a.m.
Old Time Pottery 14221 E US Hwy 40 from 12-12:30 p.m.
RAYTOWN C2 SCHOOL DISTRICT
Raytown C2 School District is providing meals that will be delivered to your vehicle between 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday - Friday at the following locations:
Raytown High School 6019 Blue Ridge Blvd
Raytown South High School 8211 Sterling Ave
Raytown Middle School 4900 Pittman Rd, KCMO
Raytown South Middle School 8401 E 83rd St
Raytown Central Middle School 10601 E 59th St
Raytown Community Food Ministry is also providing a bag of groceries per week per family on Tuesdays from 4-6 p.m. at Raytown Christian Church (6108 Blue Ridge Blvd). First come, first served.
ESSENTIAL CHILD CARE
The YMCA is offering child care for children of essential employees during this state of emergency at several locations in the metro. The program is available to anyone who has essential employment and must leave their home to work during the “stay at home” order, including first responders, health care workers, grocery store employees and others providing important services. We are working to add more sites, including locations in Johnson County.
THE CITY OF KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI
Please Visit KC City Hall website to COVID-19 for Coronavirus FAQ's
The City encourages everyone to watch public meetings online or on Channel 2 and submit public comments by email.
THE STATE OF MISSOURI
24-hour hotline: 877-435-8411 or
Missouri Department of Health Coronavirus Website
Kansas City Claims Center: 816-889-3101 or
Missouri Unemployment Website
Saturday, March 28th, 2020
GOVERNOR PARSON RELUCTANT TO SHUT DOWN STATE OVER COVID-19
While leaders in many Missouri cities and counties, including its most populous, have instituted orders closing most businesses and mandating, with limited exceptions, that people stay home in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Mike Parson remains reluctant to impose such restrictions statewide, as governors in other states have done.
As the COVID-19 crisis has unfolded in recent weeks, the Republican Governor has supported local leaders’ actions but stressed that such decisions should be made locally based on local circumstances. In particular, he’s asserted that urban areas are better equipped to deal with communitywide shutdowns than rural areas.
“It is much harder to go into a rural community and start mandating businesses to shut down when they don’t have the infrastructure, the resources or the plan in place that an urban area does,” Parson said at his March 19 press briefing. He stuck to that position during subsequent briefings.
Parson did later order the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to limit gatherings throughout Missouri to no more than 10 people as of March 23. That same day, he also closed the Capitol and all other state office buildings to both the public and most employees. Only those whose jobs require them to be physically present to perform their duties, such as prison workers, are excluded.
Also on March 23, the Missouri State Medical Association sent Parson a letter stating that “a statewide ‘shelter-in-place’ order is the only way to curb the exponential spread of COVID-19 in Missouri.”
“If things progress as is, COVID-19 patients will deplete the state’s available hospital beds, ventilators, and precious personal protection equipment,” the letter said. “Any additional time without a ‘shelter-in-place’ requirement wastes crucial healthcare resources, including manpower.”
Most counties in the Kansas City and St. Louis metro areas have instituted stay-at-home orders, as have Boone, Cole, and Greene counties, among others. Several cities around the state, including Branson, Columbia, Kansas City, St. Joseph, St. Louis and Springfield, have also issued such orders.
On March 25, Parson requested that the Trump administration approve a major disaster declaration for the entire state to provide federal assistance for state and local COVID-19 response efforts.
LEGISLATIVE SESSION UNLIKELY TO RESUME ANYTIME SOON
Although the governor has urged lawmakers to return to the Capitol as soon as possible to pass a supplemental budget bill including new spending authority to address the COVID-19 pandemic, that won’t be happening until at least the first full week of April, and maybe not even that soon.
The House of Representatives is scheduled to hold a procedural session on March 30 in which only a handful of lawmakers will be present and no votes will be taken. However, House Speaker Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield, informed House members and staff on March 25 that the chamber would not be in session at all for the remainder of the week.
The Senate held a brief procedural session on March 26 and adjourned to what could be another procedural session on April 3. When either chamber returns for full session remains uncertain as legislative leaders try to minimize the spread of COVID-19, which has already infected one lawmaker – state Rep. Joe Runions, D-Grandview. Runions was hospitalized for more than a week before being allowed to go home, where he continues to recover.
The House passed its version of the supplemental budget bill on March 18 before starting its scheduled spring recess. House Bill 2014 contains new spending authority for various aspects of state government for the remainder of the 2020 fiscal year, which ends June 30. Although the bill’s Republican sponsor included $33 million in emergency spending authority to help address the current crisis, that amount is far less than what House Democrats argued will be needed and what Governor Parson, also a Republican, is likely to ask the Senate to provide.
With many Missouri businesses closed and many thousands of people suddenly out of work due to COVID-19, the state budgets for both FY 2020 and FY 2021 are expected to take major hits. Governor Parson likely will be forced to impose budget withholdings for the current fiscal year to reflect the sharp decline in revenue collections. Implementing midyear budget cuts will be all the more difficult since only about three months remain in the fiscal year and the bulk of the state budget for the year has been spent.
During his March 24 press briefing, Parson acknowledged that the FY 2021 budget proposal he submitted to lawmakers in January will have to be substantially cut. While his proposal expected state general revenue to grow 1.9 percent next fiscal year, collections instead will likely go down. The question yet to be answered is by how much?
“There is no doubt the budget we proposed is going to change,” Parson said. “None of the numbers we proposed in January are now realistic.”
The House Budget Committee passed on its version of the FY 2021 budget bills on March 15 in expectation of passing them prior to the House adjourning for spring break. However, Republican leaders ended up shelving the budget debate by the full House until it returns from its now-extended break.
To reflect the new financial reality, the House might have to completely rewrite the budget before sending it to the Senate. Lawmakers face a May 8 constitutional deadline to grant the final passage to the budget bills. The 2021 fiscal year begins July 1.
Important Medical Information
Children’s Mercy- Adele Hall Campus
2401 Gillham Rd, Kansas City 64108
Emergency ................................................................................(816) 234-3430
Volunteer Services ....................................................................(816) 234-3496
North Kansas City Hospital ....................................................(816) 691-2000
2800 Clay Edwards Dr, Kansas City 64116
Emergency ................................................................................(816) 691-2098
Research Medical Center - Brookside Campus.....................(816) 276-7000
6601 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City 641314
4401 Wornall Rd, Kansas City 64111
Pharmacy ..................................................................................(816) 932-2107
Nurse Line .................................................................................(816) 932-6220
Samuel Rodgers ......................................................................(816) 474-4920
2701 E 31st, Kansas City 64128
Truman Medical Center............................................................(816) 404-7000
7900 Lee’s Summit Rd, Kansas City 64139
Transportation ............................................................................(816) 404-3375
Veterans Hospital Medical Center...........................................(816) 861-4700
4801 E Linwood Blvd, Kansas City 64128