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MASCA Legislative Report 1/7/2018


NEW Statewide Poll (source: MissouriScout)

Key Updates:

  1. Start of Legislative Session: The 2018 legislative session kicked off last week on Wednesday, January 3 and lawmakers will convene weekly in Jefferson City until Friday, May 18, 2018. Last week was a short week that was largely ceremonial with speeches and administrative functions. The House began referring some bills to committees, as public hearings will start in the House over the next few days. The Senate is still shuffling around their committee structure and is expected to start assigning bills to committee tomorrow. Lawmakers have until March 1st to file new bills in the House and Senate.

  2. Work Comp Fee Schedule: The Senate has not yet referred any legislation, but we expect the bill that would implement a workers compensation fee schedule to be referred to the Small Business and Industry Committee, which is chaired by Sen. Doug Libla (R-Poplar Bluff). We have also heard that Rep. Bruce DeGroot (R-Chesterfield) may file a companion bill in the House. Although the overall likelihood that anything of substance passes through the Senate this year, it is critical we jump on this issue early with strong messaging to avoid a recurring annual debate. I have been talking to ASCA, MO Hospital Association, MO State Medical Association and other provider groups to collect the best data we can that highlights the issues associated with workers compensation fee schedules. I will send a follow up email regarding a plan of action and specific steps that you and your centers might be able to take in helping us defeat this legislation.

  3. Adverse Determinations: Rep. Bill White (R-Joplin) filed legislation that would require health insurance companies to reimburse the state’s department of insurance IF a determination is appealed and overturned. He introduced the same legislation in 2017 and a public hearing was held in the Insurance Policy Committee, but they did not vote on the measure. White’s wife is a neurosurgeon in Joplin and he is a lead candidate to run for State Senate in Joplin after Senate President Pro-Tem Ron Richard (R) terms out after this year. Link to legislation (House Bill 1718).

  4. Senator Silvey Vacancy: The first week of session was dominated by debate about Governor Greitens’ recent appointments. The Senate confirmed Senator Will Kraus (R-Lee’s Summit) to the State Tax Commission and Senator Ryan Silvey (R-Kansas City) to the Public Service Commission. Kraus vacated his seat over the summer and former Rep. Mike Cierpiot (R-Lee’s Summit) was sworn into his Senate this seat after winning a special election in November. Silvey resigned from his Senate seat this week, meaning a special election will determine his replacement. The Republican nominee is expected to be Rep. Kevin Corlew (R-Platte County) and Rep. Lauren Arthur (D-Kansas City) is the Democratic frontrunner at this point. While it is a 58% Democratic district, Silvey, a moderate Republican, won convincingly in 2012 and 2016, meaning it is a toss-up seat. The rest of this week’s debate was about frustration over Greitens’ appointments to the State Board of Education.

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