Editor’s Note: Jim Hansen, who represents Pike County in the Missouri House, reports on his activities and the activities of the legislature.
By Rep. Jim Hansen
Jefferson City – I met with Director Anne Precythe from the Missouri Dept. of Corrections on Wednesday. We discussed the progress that has been made since the termination of the subcommittee I chaired that was created to deal with the issues plaguing prisons in Missouri. She told me that they are in a much better situation now in terms of leadership, both at the individual prison level and agency level as well, and that they have a clear path forward to continue making progress. When I compare where the DOC was before the subcommittee's work and Anne's nomination to now, the progress that has been made is tremendous for everyone involved. That work has been some of the most rewarding since I've been in Jefferson City.
I also met with Jamie Birch from the Public Service Commission to discuss my final bill, HB 2620. This is an intricate subject with many facets that will need to be explored, but with my remaining time, I will try to pursue PSC oversight to ensure ratepayers are treated fairly by municipal utilities.
[Editor’s Note: HB 2620, which was introduced by Hansen late last month, would require the Public Service Commission to review the rates offered to customers of a city-run electric utility if the municipal utiltiy receives revenues five percent higher than their wholesale costs of producing the electricity.]
Finally, I met with the Dental Hygienists' Association. They wanted to discuss a few bills dealing with oral health that are in committee. Overall it was a productive week, and I look forward to continuing the fight for eminent domain reform when the bill (HB 2033) is heard in the Senate.
A Missouri House panel this week heard from three doctors, including the director of the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), about how ready the state is for the coronavirus.
DHSS Director Randall Williams told lawmakers, “I believe we are very well prepared. Our motto is, ‘Hope for the best, prepare for the worst,’ and we think we are prepared for both.”
“If you’re sick, please stay at home. If you’re sick and need to go see a doctor please check in, tell them about your symptoms. Usually you’ll be given a mask if part of your symptoms are fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath, and please put on the mask,” said Dr. Whitt. “If you’re sick and do not need to be in the hospital or see a doctor just stay home, call in sick."
The committee will hold additional hearings on an as-needed basis.
Members of the Missouri House gave approval this week to legislation that seeks to improve the state’s efforts to assist individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.
Supporters of the bill noted that estimates predict that 20,000 more Missourians will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in the next 5 years. They say that a study has not been done for the last 10 years to look at the state plan to overcome Alzheimer’s. The bill would establish the “Alzheimer’s State Plan Task Force” in the Department of Health and Senior Services.
The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.
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