Senator Bill White’s Capitol Report for Oct. 1, 2020
Legislature Likely to Reconvene this Month
The General Assembly wrapped up its extra and veto sessions on September 16. Shortly after adjournment, the governor announced that he will more than likely call another extra session in October so that lawmakers can further discuss the supplemental budget and allocate resources to the pretrial witness protection fund that was passed in House Bill 66.
State’s COVID-19 Dashboards Recently Expanded
State departments and stakeholders have collaborated to expand the user-friendly dashboards to include charts, maps and current initiatives. Check out the latest data on Missouri’s cross-agency “Show Me Strong Recovery Plan” as the state mitigates COVID-19’s impact on public health, social wellbeing and economic recovery.
Red Dome Honors Fallen Firefighters
As our country prepares for National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend, Missouri honored firefighters’ sacrifice and service by lighting the Capitol’s dome and the Governor’s Mansion red from Sept. 27 – Oct. 3. I would also like to take this opportunity to personally thank the firefighters who fearlessly protect lives and property in the communities that comprise the 32nd Senatorial District.
Some Visitation Restrictions Lifted at Long-Term Care Facilities
The Department of Health and Senior Services has updated its visitation guidelines for long-term care facilities to re-unite families. The new guidance will establish an Essential Caregiver Program and allow indoor/outdoor visits in homes that have not had any COVID-19 cases for 14 days. Each resident may designate five visitors, but only two at a time will be able to make a visitation appointment. Face coverings, social distancing and proper hygiene are required. Individual nursing homes will determine which types of visits they deem appropriate to keep residents healthy and safe. Prevention strategies are necessary to avoid the spread of the virus, but I believe that personal contact and time spent with loved ones is also important.
Missouri job seekers have until Oct. 31 to take advantage of free online Coursera classes. Browse through the nearly 4,000 courses available on the Return Strong website to learn more about the skills needed for in-demand fields like business and technology. Courses must be completed before Dec. 31, and a select few provide an accompanying certification.
Local Conservation Agent Rakes in Awards
Congratulations to one of Jasper County’s conservation agents, Corporal Will Carr, for being selected for regional, state and national honors last month. He was named Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Southwest Regional Outstanding Agent of the Year for 2020, MDC’s Missouri Outstanding Agent of the Year and the Shikar-Safari Club International Wildlife Officer of the Year.