Southwest Missouri lawmakers are meeting with voters, talking about the issues getting traction at the capitol.

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SOUTHWEST MISSOURI — Southwest Missouri lawmakers are meeting with voters, talking about the issues getting traction at the capitol.

It’s everything from Medicaid expansion and mental health issues to banning lobbyist gifts and redistricting.

Missouri State Senator Bill White, R, said, “But there again, it’s all bipartsan, it’s all out in the open. There’s accountability for it – it’s very transparent. I think you’re going to get a lot better district.”

State Senator Bill White detailed the bill called Clean Missouri which would affect ethics laws and how legislative districts are drawn.

It would completely eliminate lobbyist gifts and reduce the maximum political donation.

And if voters approve, it would trade a state demographer for a bipartisan committee to draw future political districts.

Potential Medicaid expansion is also in the spotlight, along with mental health issues at school.

State Representative Ann Kelly wants to change part of the state requirement for teachers.

Missouri State Representative Ann Kelly, R, said, “Making two of those hours be suicide prevention – which is happening in some school districts but it’s not happening in all of them.”

Adding more charter schools in Missouri is also under discussion.

But it’s a change State Representative Lane Roberts is concerned about.

Missouri State Representative Lane Roberts, R, said, “The majority of our students will remain in traditional public schools which means that anything we might harm those traditional schools, harm our students 212 and no one has been able to show me yet how we’re going to go about expanding charter schools without harming traditional public schools.”

They’re also working on tweaking the budget for 2021, a spending plan expected to total about $30 billion.

Lawmakers say it’s still early in the process, but they expect to see additional funding for K-12 education.

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