SOUTHWEST MISSOURI — Southwest Missouri lawmakers are updating voters on everything from privacy issues to what happens to federal aid payments to prison inmates.
What’s topping the legislative agenda?
Lawmakers are entering the last month of the 2021 session. And that means long days trying to narrow down which issues will reach the governor’s desk, could include the safety of fido or spot.
MO. Sen. Bill White, R, said, “For a lot of people, their pets are like their children.”
And protecting that extension of your family is the goal of the Pet Order of Protection.
Senate Bill 71 would affect cases where juveniles abuse an animal as a possible precursor to attacks on humans. And it would focus on suspects hoping to get to you through your pet.
“You can’t tamper with a witness. But they can threaten to kill your dog if you’re going to talk or testify or report them or things like that.”
The debate also continues on what actions to take after voters approved an expansion to Missouri Medicaid last fall. House budget Chair Cody Smith says with no way to pay for the 2-300 million dollar expansion addressed in the ballot measure, any extra funding should reinforce services for the current Medicaid population like seniors, the blind and disabled.
MO. Rep. Cody Smith, R, said, “Instead of expanding Medicaid with those working aged, able bodied, we’re taking those resources to help those who can’t help themselves.”
And another measure would protect your privacy if you win the Lottery. Right now if your numbers are called, your name is made public as part of the award presentation.
MO. Rep. Bob Bromley, R, said, “If you had a bunch of relatives as most of us do, everybody would know you won. And so there was a bill a gentleman put up this week that allows you to keep your personal information personal – and I’m hoping I’m one of those candidates this week that wins that lottery.”
There’s barely a month left for lawmakers to make up their minds about this and many, many more bills. The legislative session ends on May 14th.