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04 April 2010

Schupp: McCaskill visits Freshmen Dems' Caucus, House Action, Federal Healthcare Primer

It has been another intense week: "third reading and perfecting" a wide range of legislative ideas and proposals on the House floor.  It is always important to emphasize that votes taken at this point allow legislation to move forward but do not guarantee eventual passage.  Senate and House chambers exchange internally-passed legislation and any differences will be dealt with before a bill is finally passed and sent to the Governor's desk for signature or veto.   Continue to watch any legislation about which you are particularly passionate, including budget priorities, and continue your advocacy as these bills move through the process.

The minority caucus was fortunate to have had a personal visit from Senator Claire McCaskill this week so that she could walk us through the Federal Health Care Reform Legislation and provide some insight as to what to expect.  Whether you are a senior citizen or someone in your late twenties, a business owner or employee, you will find specifics that might be of interest to you, and we will also provide some web information to help you get questions answered.

As you might have read, March 30 was the filing deadline for a candidate to enter the race for State Representative, Senator and the Statewide offices that will be on the November 2010 ballot.  Aside from me, no one has filed to run for the 82nd District State Representative seat. With the possible exception of a write-in candidate, I am unopposed in the upcoming November election. I am grateful to be able to focus my time and energy on ensuring that we are well represented in the house going forward.  I am committed to working hard to hear your voices and make thoughtful decisions.

Please remember to vote this Tuesday, April 6.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve.



Attention:  Registered Voters!

Remember to vote this Tuesday, April 6!

The ballot will include school board and city council elections, local issues and the proposed Metro sales tax (Prop A.)  For more information, visit the St. Louis County Election Board's Website.

This week on the House floor


The Missouri House gave first round approval to a bill lowering the legal age for obtaining a permit to carry a concealed weapon from 23 to 21.  While college campuses weren't included in the legislation, most students receiving a four year degree remain on campus through age 22.  This legislation does not allow concealed weapons in areas, such as college campuses, which prohibit weapons.

HB 1787 would also employees of the General Assembly who hold such a permit to carry their weapons in the Missouri Capitol, a privilege already extended to lawmakers.  Somehow, this doesn't make me feel safer.
The measure would also expand the state's so-called Castle doctrine, which authorizes people to use deadly force against an intruder to their property or vehicle. The bill would clarify that the doctrine also applies to occupants of rental property. Furthermore, HB 1787 would disqualify a person convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence from obtaining a conceal-carry permit.


No April Fool's Day joke, members of the the Missouri House of Representatives voted 91-61 on April 1, even after receiving literally hundreds of letters in opposition from around the country and beyond, to approve legislation intended to allow horse slaughter facilities in our state. The measure passed despite concern over its effect on putting into place other legislation dealing with humane treatment of animals, as well as opposition to a provision that rice growers fear could invalidate an existing law prohibiting the growing of genetically modified rice.

The main provision of HB 1747 attempts to circumvent a de facto federal ban on slaughtering horses for human consumption. Congress has created this "ban" by pulling funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that would have allowed facility inspections. Without inspections, those facilities have been forced to close.

This new legislation would impose fees on horse processors that would cover the costs of state inspections. The main focus of this legislation is to allow horse meat to be processed in Missouri slaughterhouses for sale to foreign markets.

When reading further into the legislation, specifically under section 265.754,  Section 1. 1, it is written that,... "Agriculture which provides food, energy, and security is the foundation and stabilizing force of Missouri's economy. To protect this vital sector of Missouri's economy, it shall be the right of citizens to raise domesticated animals in a humane manner without the state imposing an undue economic burden on animal owners. No state law criminalizing or otherwise regulating crops or the welfare of any domesticated animals shall be valid unless based upon the most current industry standards and generally accepted scientific principles and enacted by the general assembly."...(emphasis mine)

The question this raises is whether this legislation is an attempt to work against an initiative petition that regulates dog breeding or "puppy mill operations" that is now in circulation.  Rice producers believe this legislation might serve to overturn some regulations about genetically modified rice that they currently favor.


Missouri lawmakers voted against legislation [HB1271] that would have honored Seaman, a dog who was made famous for having accompanied Lewis and Clark on their survey of the upper Louisiana Territory more than 200 years ago, as the official state historical dog.
Missouri currently has 26 official state symbols, including a state invertebrate (crayfish), a state dinosaur (hysibema missouriense) and a state tree nut (eastern black walnut).  This year, some lawmakers argued that the legislature needs to focus its attention on the state budget and job creation.

Committee News

Tax Reform

HB 2373 (Funderburk): As defined in the bill summary, "This bill allows any political subdivision that approved a tax increase after August 27, 2008, to levy a rate to collect substantially the same amount of tax revenue as would have been collected by applying the voter-approved increased tax rate ceiling to the total assessed valuation of the political subdivision on or before the election date, increased by the percentage increase in the federal Consumer Price Index; however, the rate cannot exceed the greater of the most recent
voter-approved rate or the most recent voter-approved adjusted rate."

Federal Healthcare Legislation

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

The information below was presented by Senator Claire McCaskill at our caucus meeting in the Missouri Capitol.

Some Immediate Benefits...Reforms that will occur this year:

  1. Children with pre-existing conditions will no longer be denied health insurance coverage.
  2. Plans will be required to provide preventive care without co-payments and deductibles. Beginning January 1, 2011, Medicare will be required to do the same.
  3. Young adults will be allowed to stay on their parents' insurance through the age of 26.
  4. Adults with a pre-existing condition will have access to more affordable insurance through a temporary subsidized high risk pool.
  5. For Medicare recipients, the threshold to enter the "donut hole" will be raised by $500.
  6. In 2010, for those Medicare recipients who hit the "donut hole," there will be a $250 rebate for their prescription drug coverage.
  7. Small businesses choosing to offer coverage will receive tax credits of up to 35% of premiums to help make employee coverage more affordable (when average salaries are less than $50,000 per year).
  8. Restrictive annual limits and lifetime caps on coverage are banned.
As you are, I am still reading about this historic legislation and trying to understand how it will impact all of us.  Please follow the links and look on sites listed below for more detailed information and analysis.  Wishing you the best of health.

Below are links to some fact sheets from the White House detailing the reforms in more depth:

Health Reform for American Families

Health Reform for Children

Health Reform for Young Adults

Health Reform for Early Retirees

Health Reform for Seniors

Health Reform for Women

Health Reform for Small Businesses

Constituent Spotlight

The Kinnison Family visits the Capitol

Rep. Schupp had a visit from the Kinnison Family on Thursday:
(Left to right) Ben, Lily, Rep Schupp, Matt and Mom Colleen

Resources for a Cure

Gateway to Hope; Cleaning for a Reason serve women with cancer

Gateway to Hope arranges comprehensive treatment for uninsured and underinsured individuals in Missouri diagnosed with breast cancer, as well as those genetically at high risk for the disease, who are not eligible for state or federally funded care. Services and equipment are donated, as is care by experienced breast care specialists, to treat patients in critical need of assistance.

For more information, contact (314) 569-1113, email GTH at info{at}gthstl{dot}org or visit

Cleaning for a Reason is an organization committed to helping women with cancer clean their homes for FREE.  Cleaning for a Reason partners with certain cleaning services in your area and offers to clean your home once a month for four months.  If you or someone you know is being treated for cancer, you can visit the Cleaning for a Reason Website for more information about the application process.

For those celebrating Holidays including Passover and Easter

We wish you and your family the best as you celebrate together!

Green Tip of the Week

By: Jenna Scavuzzo

Ditch the Drive-Through

When you're in a hurry and have many errands to run, going through the drive-through is thought to be the fastest way to get things done. The problem is while you are idling at the drive-through your car is putting out emissions and wasting gas.
Cars are not built to idle, they are built to run.  While sitting at the drive-through, your car is emitting more greenhouse gases than when you are moving.  Tailpipe emissions generated from idling cars contain toxic pollutants that adversely affect the environment and human health.   Idling for two minutes consumes the same amount of gas that you would use driving a mile. Every gallon of gasoline burned-for driving and idling-releases 20 pounds of carbon dioxide, making transportation responsible for about a quarter of overall US carbon dioxide emissions.

There is a solution to this problem that is helpful to you and the environment, park your car and walk inside. When you need to grab a quick bite to eat or pick up medicine at the pharmacy park and go for a little walk. By parking your car in the lot and walking you are giving your legs a stretch and giving your body a little exercise time. You are also cutting down on the toxins that an idling car puts into the air.

Events at Tappmeyer

Miniature Show

Sat, April 10th
Sun. April 11th

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
$2 per person

Tappmeyer House is located in Millenium Park behind Barnes West in Creve Coeur.

Save the Date: CAP Volunteer Fair

Sunday April 18, 2010
3:00 to 5:00 PM

Washington University, Mallinckrodt Center, Lower Level (The Gargoyle)

6445 Forsyth Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63130

3:00 to 3:30 PM-Hear Keynote Speaker, Rev. E.G. Shields, Sr., President, St. Louis Clergy Coalition
3:30 to 5:00 PM-Visit with agencies in need of volunteers, including:

  • Beyond Housing
  • Bi-Lingual International Assistance Services
  • Bread for the World
  • Catch A Falling Star
  • Center for Women in Transition
  • Gateway Greening
  • Gateway to Hope
  • Immigrant & Refugee Women's Program
  • International Institute
  • Jewish Family & Children's Service
  • Kids Place
  • Lead Prevention Coalition
  • Legal Services of Eastern Missouri
  • Lydia's House
  • Meals on Wheels
  • National Council of Jewish Women-St. Louis Section
  • Operation Food Search
  • Ready Readers
  • South Side Day Nursery
  • Voices for Children
Please bring a donation of food to benefit area food pantries
For more information, contact Gail Wechsler at 314-442-3894 or visit

CAP is a coalition of faith-based and civic organizations convened by the JCRC and dedicated to the goal of reducing poverty.   Co-sponsors include (partial list):
  • Alliance of Students Against Poverty at Washington University
  • Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Missouri
  • Interfaith Partnership/Faith Beyond Walls
  • International Institute
  • Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis
  • Jewish Family & Children's Service
  • Lutheran Family & Children's Services
  • Missouri Association for Social Welfare
  • National Council of Jewish Women-St. Louis Section
  • St. Louis Clergy Coalition
  • St. Louis Hillel at Washington University
  • Women's Voices Raised for Social Justice.

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