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22 March 2010

Schaefer: Legislation Sent to House, Gubernatorial Appointment Sponsorship

Since returning from Spring Break, there has been a flurry of activity both in the Legislature and in my office. Several bills received the Senate's approval this week and the Senate announced an innovative plan to consider citizens' ideas on how to streamline state government.

Sponsored Legislation Sent to the House

On Thursday, Senate Bill 887 was given final approval in the Senate by a 26-5 vote. This bill places spice cannabinoids (commonly known as "spice" or "K2") on the state's list of Schedule I controlled substances. In addition, Senate Bill 855, which creates Heritage Birth and Marriage Certificates, was also sent to the House of Representatives on Thursday for similar consideration.

Bills Considered In Committee

I also presented multiple bills in committees this week. On Tuesday, I presented Senate Bill 917 to the Small Business, Insurance, and Industry Committee. This bill would establish standard criteria for measuring the quality of health care providers. 

In addition, I presented Senate Bill 918, which would establish provisions regarding pharmacy benefit managers (PBM), to the Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment Committee. This bill would prohibit PBM's from automatically enrolling a pharmacy in a contract or modifying an existing contract without permission from the pharmacy. A PBM would also be prohibited from reassigning a prescription that has been presented in one pharmacy to another pharmacy in the PBM's network. When the PBM contacts the prescribing health care practitioner to confirm or modify the original prescription, the prescription must be filled at the in-network pharmacy of the patient's choice.

On Wednesday, I present Senate Bill 999 to the Jobs, Economic Development and Local Government Committee. This bill introduces a job creation measure aimed at developing 21st century manufacturing jobs. As data centers and other technology-focused jobs are created in the United States, Missouri (especially central Missouri) is in a position to lead the way in new and developing economic fields. The average data centers could employ up to 200 full-time permanent jobs and create thousands of construction jobs for the 19th district.

Gubernatorial Appointments

This week I sponsored one gubernatorial appointment. Michael Warrick (at right) was appointed to serve as a member of the Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan Board of Trustees. The board is charged with maximizing the health care purchasing power of public entities in our state. In addition, the board is responsible for the general administration and operation of the plan covering medical expenses of various participants, in charge of the financial viability of the trust, establishes all eligibility and participation requirements for members wishing to join the plan, and develops all rules and regulations necessary to efficiently operate the plan.

Streamlining State Government

The Senate took a major step this week to address how to best deal with our state's declining revenues while still remaining fiscally responsible. My colleagues and I will set aside a full day to work in groups and review more than 500 ideas that have been submitted to the Senate's "Rebooting Government" website. This site allows citizens to submit their ideas on how to reboot Missouri state government, whether it be through more control, alterations, or deletions.

Eight groups of four senators will be assigned with coming up with five ideas they agree on that will either be introduced in legislation or implemented through the budget process. Groups will meet to examine ideas in the following categories:
  • Agriculture/Outdoors/Department of Natural Resources
  • Courts/Legal/Department of Public Safety
  • Education
  • General Government/Office of Administration
  • Retirement
  • Social Programs
  • Tax Structure
  • Transportation
I will participate in the Agriculture/Outdoors/Department of Natural Resources groups with Sen. Frank Barnitz, D-Lake Spring; Sen. Dan Clemens, R-Marshfield; and Sen. Wes Shoemyer, D-Clarence. Public notices will be posted regarding the location where each group will be meeting. Public testimony will not be taken at these meetings; however, all working groups will be open to the public.

Missourians can continue to submit their ideas by visiting the Senate's Rebooting Government website ( Submissions may be anonymous and ideas will continue to be accepted throughout the legislative session.

Notes from the District

I would also like to extend my congratulations to two basketball teams from my district that have excelled this season. I will present a resolution to the Moberly High School Spartans and Lady Spartans for their winning seasons.

Thank you for your continued interest in the issues that affect the citizens of Boone and Randolph counties. If you have any questions or concerns involving state government, please contact my office.

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