Representative Rebecca Roeber’s Capitol Report
September 16, 2017
Missouri House Convenes for Annual Veto Session
The members of the Missouri House of Representatives came together Wednesday afternoon to discuss the pieces of legislation that were approved by the General Assembly but vetoed by the governor. Of the handful of bills to consider, HCB 3 received all of the discussion. Members debated the merits of overriding the governor’s veto versus working together to find another funding solution to preserve in-home and nursing care for more than 8,000 disabled Missourians.
HCB 3 was approved by the House on the last day of the legislative session in an attempt to preserve nursing and in-home care services for some of Missouri’s most vulnerable citizens. In the days leading up to the conclusion of the session, House and Senate members had worked to find a solution that would keep the vital services intact. The House had passed a version of the bill that would end the renter’s portion of the senior citizens property tax credit in order to generate funds that would be used to protect the existing level of service. The Senate countered by passing a version of the bill that would raise the funds by “sweeping” the unexpended monies from several state funds associated with regulatory boards and commissions.
With the Senate being unwilling to negotiate and no other options on the table, the House then approved the Senate solution and sent it to the governor’s desk. The governor then vetoed the bill calling it a “one-time gimmick” that drained funds from programs to prevent child abuse and neglect, assist injured workers, and to train police officers and firefighters.
While all House members agreed action was necessary to prevent the vital services from being cut off for Missourians in need, the majority of members voted against the attempt to override the governor’s veto. The motion failed by a vote of 49-106. Members instead favor finding a more responsible solution that will allow the more than 8,000 disabled Missourians to receive the care they need.
Missouri Senate and House to Develop Funding Solution for In-Home and Nursing Care for Disabled Missourians
As House members discussed a possible veto override of HCB 3, Senate Leader Ron Richard and House Speaker Todd Richardson announced that their two chambers will work together to develop a funding solution that will preserve in-home and nursing care for more than 8,000 disabled Missourians. Also to be considered is restoring provider rate cuts including cuts to private duty nurses who administer in-home neonatal care.
Richard and Richardson have asked Sen. Mike Cunningham and House Budget Chair Scott Fitzpatrick to work together, and to work with their colleagues from both parties, to formulate a fiscally responsible plan that will ensure services are maintained for some of the state’s most vulnerable citizens.
“It’s our job even in tough budget years to protect our most vulnerable citizens,” said Richard, R-Joplin. “Preserving funding for in-home and nursing care is important to both chambers, and together with the House, we can come up with a plan to keep those funds for senior services intact.”
“Finding a viable solution to preserve these critical services for disabled Missourians has been, and continues to be, a top priority for the Missouri House and for the General Assembly,” said Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff. “I’m confident that Rep. Fitzpatrick can work with Sen. Cunningham and with Republicans and Democrats in both chambers to find a fiscally responsible solution.”
Richard and Richardson said they are asking Cunningham and Fitzpatrick to develop a proposal over the course of the next three weeks. They said once they have an acceptable plan, they will discuss available options to put the proposal into effect.
I want to make sure that you know that my door is always open to you if you have any questions, concerns or comments. You are always welcome to visit, call or email me. My office telephone number is 573-751-1456 or you can email me at Rebecca.Roeber@house.mo.gov. My office address is MO House of Representatives 201 West Capitol Avenue Room 102 BA. To sign up for my capitol report please email me.