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There’s still work to be done

May 8th is Teacher Appreciation Day. I would like to take this opportunity to say thanks to all teachers.

After your students reach adulthood is when you will truly find out what a difference you made in their lives. You will find that at that point they can verbalize the respect they have for what you did for them. Also you will see all the success that your former students are having and know you at least played a small roll in it.

Recap of my Bills

SB 982 was passed out of committee this week and will be coming to the House floor. This is the Senate companion bill to my bill HB 2225. I will handle this bill on the floor. It is a great consumer protection bill. Anyone who has been frustrated with getting insurance to pay those unexpected emergency room and out of network bills will be very excited about this bill.

HB 2306 is now on SB 659. This bill was passed out of the House and is headed to the Senate. It allows the creation of a non-profit land trust for the purpose of managing contaminated land. The purpose is to allow the people of St. Francois County to access the $24.5 million in ASARCO funds. These are the funds from the settlement from lead contamination. The same funds that were used to purchase state parks in areas that were not affected by lead contamination. It is imperative we get these funds moving in the area they were intended for.

The budget must be complete by May 11. The House is now conferencing on the budget with the Senate. There are several differences in the two budgets. One major difference that will affect the children is funding for K-12 education. The House has full funding in its version. This would be the first time in the past 30 years that schools have received full funding two years in a row. The Senate version has a good funding level but puts more money in transportation and a few other services. Fully funding the formula would do more for all of our local schools. Funding that goes into transportation is part of the Governor’s withholding every year.

The State Capitol dome will be illuminated in blue for the month of May in honor of Missouri law enforcement officers who gave their lives in the line of duty. May is a month of tributes and recognitions of fallen officers and their survivors in Missouri and across the nation, including National Police Week and Peace Officers Memorial Day. Each May, Missouri honors the state’s fallen heroes at a candlelight vigil and the Law Enforcement Memorial Service.

HB 1554 changes the law regarding the use of hemp extract to treat intractable epilepsy to authorize the legal use of medical marijuana to treat terminal illnesses. This bill authorizes the Department of Health and Senior Services to issue medical cannabis registration cards to any Missouri resident, 18 years old or older, who can provide a statement signed by a doctor stating that the individual suffers from a terminal illness and may benefit from treatment with medical cannabis and that the individual has considered all other treatment options currently approved by the FDA and all relevant clinical trials conducted in Missouri. Parents of minor children suffering from intractable epilepsy or a terminal illness or condition can also obtain medical cannabis cards on behalf of their children. These registration cards will only be valid for one year but can be renewed.

The department will publish a list of debilitating diseases or conditions for which a medical cannabis or hemp extract registration card can be issued. The marijuana will only be in pill or oil form.

This bill was passed in the House this week. I really do not think it will pass the Senate this year. I did vote for the bill. The deciding factor for me was the communication I received from people in my district who have had loved ones suffer through terminal illnesses. The suffering and pain they endure and the intense drugs taken to control the pain are more than any person should have to go through.

Will continue to keep you informed as we move through these last few weeks of this Legislative Session.

Missouri 117th District House Representative Mike Henderson, R-Bonne Terre, files his Capitol report at the end of each week during the state legislative session.



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