Big issues progress in Missouri legislature

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Some big issues moved forward in the Missouri legislature this week.

And the debate continues around other key pieces of legislation.

School choice, redistricting, and a prescription drug monitoring program are just some of the issues lawmakers are deciding.

During the sixth week of the legislative session – parents testified before a house committee regarding House Bill 1733.

It would create scholarship accounts for parents wanting to send their kids to the school of their choice.

The money would come from tax credits.

Supporters say the current education system is failing.

Opponents say the state should send more money to public schools to improve education.

Missouri could become the final state to adopt a prescription drug monitoring program.

A final house vote is expected in the coming week.

The measure received preliminary approval with a house vote on Wednesday.

It’s not clear if a PDMP program will pass in the senate.

Re-districting continues to be an issue dividing lawmakers.

In 2018 voters approved a plan known as Clean Missouri.

The plan is designed to make legislative districts more competitive.

Republican leaders have called the plan flawed and have now passed their own redistricting plan in the senate.

If the house approves the plan as well, it will go to the voters to decide.

Senate Minority Leader Gina Walsh, (D) Bellefontaine Neighbors, said, “I truly believe that that they stated what they wanted when it was on the ballot before and I think that it will be born out that they were right the first time.”

Re-districting happens once every ten years following the census and 2020 is a census year.

Senate Majority Floor Leader Caleb Rowden, (R) Columbia, said, “I don’t think that chancing it for a ten-year period is in the best interest of the state. So there was a timeliness element of it to it given that if we don’t do it this year then we have to live with that reality it’s a reality that I think is damaging for the state.”

House democrats plan on holding a news conference Monday to discuss Medicaid enrollment.

They believe the state should expand the program.

Republican leadership has opposed expansion.

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