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Representative Yolanda Young's Newsletter

January 15, 2021


Contact me at: 
201 W. Capitol Avenue, Room 102
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Phone: (573) 751-3129
Email: yolanda.young@house.mo.gov


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Dear Neighbors,
 
I want to first thank you for giving me another opportunity to serve you. Representing the people of the 22nd District is an honor, and I will work hard over the next two years to lift up all of your voices here in Jefferson City.
 
We had our swearing-in ceremony on January 6th, marking the first day of the 2021 legislative session. Unfortunately, our swearing-in was overshadowed by an insurrection at our nation’s Capitol building in Washington D.C. While we were standing on the House floor, celebrating the beginning of our legislative session, armed rioters were storming the U.S. Capitol—breaking into the Senate chamber, attacking police officers, damaging property, and obstructing our democratic process. What started as a rally to oppose the results of the election, ended with the death of five people and the destruction of our Capitol. While I am thankful that Congress and their staff were kept safe, I am concerned about the implications of last week’s riots.
 
The right to protest and advocate for change in our government is an essential part of our democracy. One of the best ways to change our government, one that is guaranteed by our Constitution, is to vote. On November 3rd, millions of us cast our ballots for President of the United States, and President-elect Joe Biden won. His election, whether you voted for him or not, should bring us all hope.

Each time we elect a new president, there is an opportunity to improve our nation. The people elected Joe Biden in a free and fair election. Now we can come together and move forward as a nation. Despite this new opportunity for change, there are some people who continue to undermine our election results. As inauguration day draws closer, I encourage all of you to be safe and continue to remember that now is the opportunity for our country to come together, not to be further torn apart.
 
I am hopeful that this new legislative session will act as an opportunity to improve our state and our nation. 2020 raised a lot of challenges for all of our communities, but we are stronger because of it. Thank you all again for trusting me to represent you in Jefferson City as we navigate this difficult time together. If there’s anything I can do for you, please don’t hesitate to call my office at 573-751-3129.
 
Yours in Service,
 
Yolanda Young
Pre-filed bills 2021
Prior to the start of the 2021 first regular session, I was able to pre-file three pieces of legislation, two bills and one resolution.
 
HB 324 requires election authorities to have at least one electronic voting machine for the blind or visually impaired.
HB 483 requires the Missouri Department of Revenue to include educational material on stops and searches by law enforcement in the Missouri Driver Guide.
HJR 19 allows those who are legally incapacitated (i.e. have been appointed a power of attorney or are in a mental institution) to exercise their right to vote. This resolution would be subject to the approval of Missouri voters.    
 
I hope to file more bills as session continues, and I will keep you updated as my legislation is considered.
Governor Parson Inaugurated For a Full Term
Nearly two thousand guests joined the General Assembly at the Capitol this week for the bicentennial inauguration of five of our newly elected statewide officials. Governor Mike Parson, Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe, State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick, Secretary of State John R. Ashcroft, and Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who all won re-election in November, took their oaths of office on the steps of the Missouri Capitol on Monday. While most of the traditional Inauguration Day activities, including the inaugural ball, were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were all able to celebrate our 200th year as a state by gathering on the Capitol lawn. We heard remarks from the president of the state historical society, a performance from the Missouri State University Choir, and listened to music from the 135th Missouri Army National Guard Band. 

It was a nice (but cold) ceremony that I was honored to attend. I wish all of our newly elected statewide officials luck and hope to be able to work with them to improve our state throughout this legislative session. 
Unemployment Extensions Come to Missouri
With the passage of the third federal coronavirus relief package, Missourians who rely on unemployment benefits will once again be offered extended benefits. Self-employed workers, independent contractors, and gig workers will continue to receive PUA payments and all qualifying unemployed workers affected by the pandemic will receive an extra $300 a week. The Division of Employment Security has already begun processing these payments. If you have been receiving benefits, check you Uinteract account for more information.

To apply for unemployment benefits or to view the unemployment guidelines, visit the Department of Labor's website. For additional assistance with your unemployment claim, please call my office at 573-751-3129.  
Parson Releases $126.9 Million in Withheld Funding
On January 6th, Governor Parson released $126.9 million in state spending authority for the current state fiscal year that he previously withheld, including $25.9 million for the Missouri Department of Higher Education.
 
Governor Parson imposed $449 million in unilateral budget cuts for the 2021 fiscal year, in July to keep state spending in balance amid an expected decline in revenue collections due to the negative economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. In a news release, Parson said revenue collections had improved sufficiently to allow some of the withheld funding to be released. The FY 2021 fiscal year runs through June 30, and the construction of our FY 2022 budget is underway. 
COVID-19 Update
While vaccines are becoming available to Missouri’s healthcare workers, most of us will not have the opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccine for several months. Until then, we all need to continue to take precautions to protect ourselves, our friends, and our neighbors from the coronavirus. This week our state reached 431,957 cases of COVID-19 and 6,201 deaths. Across our nation we surpassed 23 million cases of COVID-19 and 383,351 deaths. Until the CDC says that the coronavirus is under control, we all have to do our part to slow the spread of the virus. Wash your hands, maintain social distancing, and continue to wear a mask. If you are sick, stay home. Call your doctor if you believe you may have COVID-19 or have been exposed to the virus.

For more information or to find a COVID-19 testing center near you, call the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services' COVID-19 hotline at 877-435-8411. The hotline is being operated by medical professionals and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


For more information on getting the COVID-19 vaccine, visit Missouri's Stronger Together website. 
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. 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
kaylee.bauer@house.mo.gov 
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