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Representative Yolanda Young's Newsletter

May 07, 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,

The last two weeks of session each year are some of the busiest weeks of the year for the legislature. Not only are we trying diligently to get our bills passed, but we are also constitutionally required to pass the budget by May 7th at 6 pm. 

At the start of the week, the House spent several hours discussing a bill that would make it a felony for people to protest in the streets of our state without a permit. Many say this bill, SB 26, is a direct attack on the Black Lives Matter movement and protests in our cities over police violence. Over 100 amendments to the bill were filed, yet nothing could be done to cover up the fact that the bill was simply a way to silence the voices of Missourians who have taken to the streets. While I did support many of the amendments that made it on the bill, such as those that ban police choke holds and allow people in prison to seek parole, I could not support a bill that would criminalize protesting in our communities. 
You can watch my remarks on Senate Bill 26 here. 
In addition to the emotional conversations that we had during Tuesday's debate on SB 26, we also passed our state budget in which we vastly underfunded public education and chose not to fund Medicaid expansion- against the will of Missouri voters. We also passed a bill that would make January 12 each year, 'Rush Limbaugh Day' to honor the radio personality who is known for his often racist, homophobic, sexist, and other divisive rhetoric. 
While there were some tough debates on the floor, my week did have several bright spots. On Monday, the Governor and First Lady hosted a legislative BBQ for legislators and their families. It was great to be able to have my husband, Alan, in Jefferson City for this event. 

Later in the week I was able to pass my House Bill 1012 as an amendment to Senate Bill 72 that would mark the third week in March each year as Victims of Coronavirus Memorial Week. This bill would encourage Missourians to pause each year to acknowledge our collective sacrifices throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and to honor healthcare and essential workers who have kept us going through it all. 
I also received word this week from the Department of Transportation that we were successful in our efforts to designate a portion of I-435, running from State Highway 350 (Exit 66) continuing to Raytown Road (Exit 63C), as the Joe Delaney Memorial Highway. For those of you who don't know, Joe Delaney was an exceptionally talented running back for the Chiefs until he heroically lost his life in an effort to save three drowning children.  I would like to thank all of you who signed the petition to designate the highway and to Mr. Adam Jassey, who lead the project. 

Remember, my office is here to help you. If you or someone you know needs any assistance, please don't hesitate to call my office at (573) 751-3129.

Yours in Service,

Yolanda Young
Lawmakers Pass State Budget,
Nix Medicaid Expansion
Just hours before the constitutional deadline, Missouri lawmakers on May 7 granted final approval to the nearly $35.1 billion state operating budget for the 2022 fiscal year. Governor Parson has until the new fiscal year starts on July 1 to sign the various appropriations bills that make up the budget into law and make any line-item vetoes of spending authority he opposes.
 
This year’s budget is most notable for what isn’t included: full funding of a constitutionally mandated expansion of the state’s Medicaid program that will take effect July 1 when an estimated 275,000 additional Missourians will become eligible. Lawmakers long opposed to expansion refused to fully fund the program even though Missouri voters ratified a constitutional amendment last year requiring the state to provide Medicaid services to the expanded population.
 
Despite previously opposing Medicaid expansion, Governor Parson consistently has promised to implement it after last year’s vote. The governor asked lawmakers to provide full funding, and his administration earlier this year submitted its implementation plan with the federal government. The plan cannot easily be withdrawn without jeopardizing the state’s existing federal funding. In recent weeks, however, Parson has been circumspect about whether he still intends to follow through on expansion or force a lawsuit on the matter.
 
Under the federal Affordable Care Act, the federal government will pay 90 percent of the cost of expansion – about $1.4 billion for FY 2022. In addition, implementation will secure Missouri an additional $1.5 billion under the latest federal COVID-19 relief package. Such an influx of spending would create an estimated 80,000 jobs and spark economic growth.
 
On education, the budget includes an $8.5 million increase to the $3.56 billion formula for distributing state funding to local public schools districts. Although that bump is sufficient to claim “full funding” of K-12 schools, that’s only because lawmakers changed the law a few years ago to drastically reduce the amount of new money required each year to do so. In addition, the budget shortchanges funding for local student transportation costs by about $165 million from what state law says should be allocated.
 
After years of either flat appropriations or deep cuts to higher education, the budget provides increases of at least 3.7 percent to the core operating budgets of Missouri’s public colleges and universities. In another budget highlight, the state’s chronically underfunded public defender system is slated for a $3 million increase that will enable it to hire 53 additional attorneys to represent indigent defendants. Supporters hope the increased funding will help alleviate caseloads and avoid a constitutional showdown over whether the state is violating defendants’ rights to adequate representation.
Private School Tuition
Vouchers Win Final Approval
The Senate on May 6 voted 20-13 to grant final approval to a controversial bill creating state tax breaks to provide vouchers for students to attend private K-12 schools. The legislation initially would cost the state up to $50 million a year in lost revenue, an amount that eventually could increase to $75 million annually.
 
When the House of Representatives originally approved the bill in February, it received the bare minimum number of votes necessary for passage. The measure then languished in the Senate for months, causing speculation that it had insufficient support. In the end, it passed with just two more votes than needed to clear the Senate.
 
House Bill 349 would allow people to donate to private organizations that in turn would provide scholarships on a first-come, first-serve basis to qualifying students to partially pay for private school tuition. Donors would receive a tax credit for the full amount of their contribution, meaning the donor would be out no money, while the amount of tax revenue the state collects for public education and other services would be reduced.
 
While supporters said the legislation would provide opportunities for students to escape struggling schools, opponents questioned whether low-income families would actually benefit since they might not be able to afford the remaining tuition not covered by the partial scholarships. Although the bill originally would have applied statewide, in order to win support from rural lawmakers it was amended to allow only students in more populous cities and counties to apply for the scholarships.
House Republicans Say No to Walter Cronkite and Yes to Rush Limbaugh
Immediately after rejecting a proposal to declare a commemorative day honoring Missouri native and respected veteran television newsman Walter Cronkite, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted 94-49-2 on May 6 to grant a similar honor to controversial radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh III, also a Missouri native.
 
Cronkite was born in St. Joseph in 1916 and died in New York in 2009. During his nearly two decade tenure as anchor of the CBS Evening News, Cronkite earned a reputation as “the most trusted man in America.”  Limbaugh, by contrast, pioneered a bombastic style of conservative commentary during more than three decades helming his eponymous daily radio talk show and earned frequent criticism for making racist, sexist, xenophobic and homophobic comments. He was born in Cape Girardeau in 1951 and died last February in Palm Beach, Florida.
 
Republican leaders shut down debate on the Limbaugh proposal as Democratic lawmakers lined up to read some of Limbaugh’s many offensive comments. The Limbaugh provision was added to another measure, Senate Bill 72, containing numerous commemorative designations. The bill now returns to the Senate.
Bills on Policing and Crime
Headed to Final Negotiations
Stop Senate Bill 26 Rally in St. Louis, Missouri.
Susan Sneed // Metro Congregations United
The House of Representatives has approved a pair of wide-ranging Senate bills relating to crime and policing that, among other things, collectively include provisions seeking to crack down on anti-police protesters while providing officers with additional legal protections that would make it more difficult to hold them accountable for alleged crimes or violating the constitutional rights of citizens.
 
Since both measures are significantly changed from their original Senate versions, legislative negotiators will need to resolves any differences in order for either or both bills to be brought to final votes before the 2021 legislative session ends at 6 p.m. on May 14.
 
The House spent more than six hours debating Senate Bill 26 – and loading it up with dozens of amendments – on May 5 before approving it on a 98-50 vote. The measure includes a so-called “law enforcement officers bill of rights” that critics says will make the already difficult task of disciplining or prosecuting police for on-duty misconduct. It also would bump the possible charge for blocking a roadway as part of a protest to a felony. In addition, it would restrict the ability of local governments to reduce police budgets, even if necessary to keep budgets in balance due to declining revenue collections.
 
The next day, the House voted 138-11-4 in favor of Senate Bill 53, which contains provisions similar to those in SB 26, along with a variety of other changes relating to law enforcement. One provision would largely prohibit police from using respiratory chokeholds, such as the one that resulted in the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last year that sparked protests nationwide, including in Missouri, over excessive force by police.
June 26 Town Hall 
I invite you to mark your calendars for the next virtual town hall event, broadcasting live from District 22 at the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Center, on June 26 at 1pm. 

At this event, I will have the opportunity to present a resolution to an outstanding citizen in our district— someone who is putting in the work to make our community the best it can be. If you know someone who is deserves to be recognized for their work in our community, please complete this form to nominate them for the District 22 Outstanding Citizen Award. 
COVID-19 Vaccine 
Truman Medical Center is now offering walk-in vaccinations at their our 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 www.trumed.org or by calling 816-404-CARE. 

Beginning April 9, ALL Missourians will be eligible to receive the vaccine. If you are interested in receiving the vaccine when it become available, I encourage you to be put on the wait-list at any of the locations listed below. 

If you have not been able to get vaccinated, I encourage you to visit the COVID-19 map to find a vaccination site near you. I have been told that the following places are currently offering vaccines in Kansas City: 
If you register at more than one location, be sure to call to remove your name from other lists and free your spot for someone else who wants the vaccine.
Hope Faith Homeless Assistance
The Hope Faith Homeless Assistance Campus is looking for donations of new socks to pass our to the homeless population here in Kansas City. If you are able to help, drop off socks at 705 Virginia Ave or purchase items from their Amazon wishlist and have them mailed to the facility. You can also make a monetary donation on their 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. 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
kaylee.bauer@house.mo.gov 
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State Representative Yolanda Young · 201 W Capitol Ave · Jefferson City, MO 65101-1556 · USA

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