Dear Citizens: The House has sent a funding bill (HB 21) to the Senate that would provide resources to help Missouri’s most vulnerable citizens. The legislation appropriates more than $342 million in funding to support seniors in nursing homes, provide care for the developmentally disabled, expand mental health programs, add public defenders to the criminal justice system, and boost K-12 school transportation funding
For Fiscal Year 2022, House Bill 21 would:
- Provide skilled nursing homes with $88.2 million in new reimbursement, approximately $10.00 a day for each bed
- Provide public K-12 schools an additional $15.5 million for formula transportation funding
- Provide developmentally disabled providers an additional $19.7 million in reimbursement
- Provide Home and Community Based Services (in-home care), including Consumer Directed Services (CDS), with an additional $19,711,680 in state and federal funds (bringing the total increase in the House version of the FY22 budget to $166,378,997)
- Provide $2 million in funding for a workforce diploma program (adult high schools) to help adults earn a diploma, plus another $1.8 million in new funds for existing adult high schools
- Provide an additional $588,000 for the recruitment of families to participate in the foster care system (Missouri has more than 13,500 kids in the system)
- Add funding to the Public Defenders’ Office to hire 15 additional attorneys for the purpose of eliminating the wait list for legal services (combined with the increase of 12 attorneys in House Bill 12, the total increase now equals 27 new public defender attorneys)
- Provide $2.9 million to establish a pilot program with pediatric hospitals to train family members to become certified home health aides (that will lead to savings for in-home care)
- Provide for the expansion of several mental health programs across the state, including community mental health liaisons (that assist law enforcement) and crisis stabilization centers
- Add an additional $250,000 to the Jobs for America’s Graduates program so that more high schools can participate in this workforce development program
The bill also sets aside $500 million for potential future Medicaid costs. The Budget Chairman noted the cost of the Medicaid program continues to increase. He also said $35 million of the funding can be used to implement new ideas, including a move to a value-based payment model for the program, thus ensuring the program provides good health care outcomes and quality of care.
Other bills going to the Senate:
HB 991 exempts federal economic impact payments from state income tax. Supporters say the bill will reduce the tax burden for taxpayers by waving the tax on direct economic stimulus payments from the federal government that certain individuals received last year. Supporters said that this is not the first time that such a wavier has happened as a result of direct payments from the federal government.
HB 570 allows motor vehicles to turn left on red light when turning onto a one-way street. Supporters say most other states have this rule which is just as safe as the right turn on red rule given the configuration of one way streets specified in the bill.
For more information, contact Representative Patricia Pike at [email protected] or call 573-751-5388.