Senior Legislative Wrap-Up
March 13, 2017 / news
The Missouri Legislature has officially ended its regular legislative session, and seniors won some key victories this year. There is still work to do, but here are some highlights from this session:
1. On Friday with 5 minutes to spare, the House passed the Senate amended HCB3. This bill establishes the Missouri Senior Services Protection Fund. Excess revenue from various funds will be “swept” into this Senior Fund. The Fund will be allocated as follows:
* Brain Injury Wavier- $500,000 MSSPF
* Level of Care for HCBS LOC of 21 points from MSSPF
* HCBS Provider rate -restores 1.5% of the Governors 3% cut from MSSPF
* AAA’s Increase-$1,325,907 MSSPF
* Alzheimer’s Grants-$500,000 MSSPF
* Naturalization Assistance $200,000 MSSPF
Please take a moment to thank Rep. Richardson and Rep. Fitzpatrick for bringing this to the floor for a vote. And, of course, please thank those who did support it.
The HCB 3 has been sent to the Governor for his signature. The Office of Budget and Planning will need to determine how much money is actually available from this “sweep”.
This amended HCB3 protected the “circuit breaker” renters’ tax credit program.
But, we know that this fight will come up again next year, unless and until, the state addresses the revenue side of the equation. There is speculation that the Governor will call a special session to look at Missouri’s tax policy.
Public hearings of the Governor’s Commission on Simple, Fair and Low Taxes begins this week, Thursday May 17th, in Maryville (full list of meetings is below). It’s critically important to have a broad array of sectors represented at each of the public hearings who collectively voice support for positive changes we could make to strengthen the state’s tax policy and avoid further cuts in services.