House Approves Change to Abortion Parental Notification Law (HB 1383)

HB 1383 would require that both parents be notified before a minor in Missouri can have an abortion.

Current Missouri law requires that a minor seeking an abortion and one parent or guardian of that minor give written consent before the procedure is performed. House Bill 1383 would require that the parent or guardian giving consent notify any other custodial parent or guardian in writing before the minor gives her consent. The bill contains exceptions for an emergency, or for custodial parents or guardians who have been found guilty of certain crimes, are listed on the sex offender registry, are the subject of an order of protection, have had parental rights terminated, or cannot be located.

I will be supporting this bill. To me it is a common sense measure. A custodial parent is notified of every major medical action taken on their minor child with the exception of an abortion procedure. The goal of the bill is to make all parents aware of the medical procedures being performed on their minor children. It contains protections so that a parent who is a bad actor does not need to be notified. The bill is meant to start a discussion and protect the young person who is making a life-altering decision.

Bills Moving to the Senate

I supported HB 1415 which would allow a teacher to count hours spent in a local business externship as contact hours of professional development. Supporters say the bill is meant to encourage teachers to engage in learning experiences with businesses in the community and bring real world skills back into the classroom. The bill would also provide students the opportunity to choose between the ACT WorkKeys assessment or ACT (including ACT Plus Writing) assessment. The ACT WorkKeys indicates that a student is career ready and provides an option for students that may seek vocational training rather than college.

HB 1350 would modify the laws regarding background check requirements of in-home service providers and home health agencies. I think this bill will increase the number of people who can work as an in-home service provider or personal care attendant and relieve burdensome paperwork requirements on the department because 75 percent of applicants are eventually given good cause waivers. This bill would stop applicants from being flagged for minor violations, like littering or writing a bad check, which also may have occurred several years ago.

One of my goals in Jefferson City is the expansion of broadband services to our rural communities. HB 1880 states the intent of the General Assembly to encourage agreements between various parties and rural electric cooperatives to expand rural broadband services. I believe the availability of Internet services is essential to Missourians’ daily lives, especially for individuals living in rural communities. For the aging population in particular, access to broadband is necessary for telehealth and communication. I spoke with the Director Chris Chinn this week about the MO Department of Agriculture continuing to support the expansion of internet services.

FFA State Officer Team Visits State Capitol

In what has become an annual tradition for lawmakers, the members of the FFA State Officer Team visited the State Capitol building this week to talk about the importance of agricultural education in Missouri. The group made the trip to Jefferson City in conjunction with Career and Technical Education Month to represent the more than 25,900 students around the state who participate in FFA. Their visit was highlighted by a speech made in the House Chamber by FFA President Abby Bertz. Bertz discussed the organization’s origins in Kansas City, and focused her comments on the importance of preparing the next generation of leaders. FFA prepares the next generation to meet the challenges of feeding a growing population by helping its members to develop their own unique talents and explore their interests in a broad range of career pathways through their experiences in agricultural education.

I am particularly proud of Isabel Legg from Perryville who is Vice President for the state of Missouri. Agricultural Education is in great hands with leaders like Isabel.

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