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January 9th was the official swearing in for the 100th Legislative Session. Last Session, we were able to pass many outstanding pieces of legislation and it is imperative that we keep government functioning as it should.

I have been appointed to serve on three committees. I will be vice-chair of the Workforce Development Committee. I will also serve on the Insurance Committee and the Corrections Committee. I am very excited about all three assignments.

Items of Importance this Legislative Session will be:

• Internet sales

There will be discussion if we should tax all online sales not just those that have a physical presence in Missouri.

• Infrastructure

We will continue to try and find ways to repair and upgrade our roads and bridges.

• Workforce Development

We will try and help with the development of a ready for work workforce. We all know that not every student needs to go to college to earn and good family sustaining living. We need to help prepare students for the well-paying vocational jobs that will be there for them.

• Pay for state workers

Missouri ranks 50th in state worker pay. We need to continue to try and raise our workers pay up; especially those working for the Department of Corrections.

• Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

It is the time to finally pass a statewide Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

• Online Gambling

There will be a great amount of discussion about allowing online sports betting in Missouri.

Legislation I have filed:

HB 324 attempts to keep up with changing technology. It makes it illegal to fly a drone over a correctional institution. The offense of unlawful use of an unmanned aircraft near a correctional center is a class A misdemeanor unless the person uses the unmanned aircraft for the purpose of:

(1) Delivering a weapon or other article that may be used in such a manner to endanger the life of an offender or correctional center employee, in which case it is a class B felony;

(2) Facilitating an escape from confinement, in which case it's a class C felony; or

(3) Delivering a controlled substance, in which case it is a class D felony.

HB 492 This bill will prohibit health carriers from only allowing health care providers to be reimbursed using methods requiring the health care provider to pay a fee or reduced reimbursement rate in order to receive such reimbursement. If a health carrier changes reimbursement methods, they must notify the health care provider if any fee, discount or other remuneration required to redeem the reimbursement amount. For new or renewed contracts after August 28, 2019, health carriers must offer an alternative reimbursement method which has no such fees.

If a Health Care provider must pay a fee to get paid, the only choice they have is to pass that cost along to consumers. Unfortunately, that will drive up the health care cost for everyone.

HB 493 Currently, under the Comprehensive Emergency Medical Services Act, health carriers and managed care plans are required to pay benefits directly to any ambulance service when an insured requests services from an ambulance service. This bill limits the direct payment to ground ambulance services.

The idea of this bill is to limit air ambulance ability to charge any amount and know they get paid first. This bill would require that a free market negotiation take place. The hope is that Air Ambulance Services will become cheaper and possibly part of your current health insurance.

To access any information regarding the Missouri House of Representatives, go to www.house.mo.gov. It is an honor to serve as your State Representative.

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