Rick Francis

Representative Rick Francis, 145th District Representative

HB 126 would prohibit physicians from performing an abortion after a fetal heartbeat or brain function is detected, which is typically around 6-8 weeks gestational age.

Because similar provisions have been struck down in other states, the bill contains additional clauses to protect the lives of the unborn. Should the fetal heartbeat requirement not stand, Missouri law would prohibit all abortions past 14 weeks gestational age. If that provision doesn’t stand, the bill would implement a “Pain-Capable” standard that would prohibit abortions past 18 weeks gestational age.

The legislation also states it is the intent of the state of Missouri to prohibit all abortions in the state under any circumstances. The comprehensive ban on abortion would go into effect if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, or if changes are made at the federal level to empower states to further regulate abortion. The only exception to the abortion ban would be in the case of a medical emergency.

This bill is the strongest, most comprehensive pro-life bill in the nation Now, I hope it will withstand judicial scrutiny. The bill now moves to the Senate for discussion.

House Approves Legislation to Curb Opioid Epidemic (HB 239)

House members came together in a bipartisan fashion this week to approve legislation that would make it a felony to possess or distribute the potent synthetic opioid fentanyl and certain date-rape drugs.

The measure would make it a first- or second-degree felony to possess or traffic fentanyl — which can be up to 50 times more powerful than heroin. Penalties range from three years to life in prison, depending on the amount of the drug. The legislation would not apply to people with prescriptions for fentanyl.

More than 950 people died of opioid overdoses in 2017 in Missouri. I supported this bill because the opioid epidemic has been something that has plagued every town and every city across this state and across our nation. We're finding ways to combat the opioid epidemic and the very powerful drug of fentanyl. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

Fast-Track Legislation Heads to Senate (HB 225)

The legislation is now headed to the Senate that is meant to put thousands of Missourians on a fast track to develop the skills they need to obtain good-paying jobs. The bill would create a new state financial aid program known as Fast-Track that would address workforce needs by encouraging adults to pursue an industry-recognized credential in an area designated as high need.

Missouri has the seventh most diversified economy and ranks among the top 10 states in high school graduation rates, but lags in postsecondary degrees.  We have 755,000 Missourians that have some college experience but no degree, meaning there are thousands of individuals who could take advantage of the innovative Fast-Track program.

Fast-Track is a needs-based scholarship targeted at adults age 25 and older who are working toward a certification, undergraduate degree or industry-recognized credential for a high demand occupation.  To be eligible, a student must be at least 25 years of age, not have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher, and have an adjusted gross income of less than $40,000 for an individual and $80,000 for a married couple filing jointly. If approved, a Missourian could attend an approved Missouri postsecondary institution of their choice and have their tuition and fees paid for by the program. The program is a “last-dollar” program and will be applied after all federal non-loan aid, state student aid, and any other governmental student financial aid is applied.

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