Like every other entity, state governments and their leaders started 2020 with plans and goals of what they wanted to accomplish. This all changed in March when everyone had to shift their focus to address risks posed by COVID-19.  Overnight, millions of people lost their jobs, business and government revenues plummeted. Concerned with spreading the virus, state legislatures adjourned for weeks. Missouri and Kansas legislators returned to their state capitols in May to conclude their work—much of which was not what they planned to do when their sessions began.  Here are the outcomes you need to know in Kansas and Missouri. 

  1. Missouri Foster Care System Improvements (Win!)
    This legislation is intended to protect young people by modernizing the state’s foster care system and making it more accountable, as well as making system data more transparent.

  2. Vaping Products Banned in Missouri Schools and Postpartum Depression Care Act Established (Win!) 
    The use of vapor products is prohibited in any indoor area of a public school or school bus. This bill covers many health policy matters, including the establishment of the "Postpartum Depression Care Act". All hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers that provide labor and delivery services are required to provide information about postpartum depression. This bill also extends Medicaid health coverage for 12 months postpartum for new moms with postpartum depression or related mental health diagnoses.

  3. Medicaid Work Reporting Requirements Did Not Pass in Missouri (Win!)   
    While the task of securing twice the number of signatures needed to put Medicaid expansion on the Missouri ballot was being completed by supporters throughout the state, efforts were underway in the legislature to impose work reporting requirements should voters approve the constitutional amendment on August 4. The legislative effort to add the work reporting requirements was not approved. If the ballot measure wins, 230,000 more Missouri residents will have health care coverage. 

  4. Medicaid Expansion Fails Again in Kansas (Loss)
    Medicaid Expansion did not pass in the Kansas Legislature again this year, which would have covered an additional 150,000 Kansans.

  5. MO Remains the Only State without a PDMP (Loss)
    The legislature was again unable to pass a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP), which is believed to be a good tool to combat the prescription drug abuse. Missouri is the only state without such a program, although more than 85 percent of the state is currently covered by St. Louis County's PDMP.

Although regular sessions of the state legislatures have concluded until January, Kansas Governor Kelly is calling the Legislature back into special session on June 3, and it is possible Missouri Governor Parson may also call a special session. Stay tuned for more updates!

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