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Politics

Lawmakers Begin Pre-Filing Legislation

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/lawmakersb_77.mp3

Today is the first day lawmakers can pre-file bills. The legislation will be considered during the upcoming legislative session, which begins January 5. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports on proposals that will be pre-filed by Springfield's senator.

DURING A PRESS CONFERENCE TUESDAY AT THE SOUTHSIDE SENIOR CENTER IN SPRINGFIELD, SENATOR NORMA CHAMPION SAID SHE'LL FILE A BILL THAT INCREASES THE AMOUNT OF MONEY SENIORS CAN HAVE AND STILL QUALIFY FOR MEDICAID.

RIGHT NOW, THE STATE LIMITS SINGLE SENIORS TO ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS AND COUPLES TO TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS.

SHE SAYS SHE WANTS TO RAISE EACH OF THOSE BY ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS.

SOME SENIORS SPEND THEIR MONEY UNTIL THEIR BANK ACCOUNTS ARE BELOW THE LIMIT.

CHAMPION SAYS BY RAISING THE LIMIT, SENIORS WILL BE ABLE TO KEEP MORE OF THEIR MONEY WHILE STILL QUALIFYING FOR MEDICAID.

CHAMPION SAYS SHE ESTIMATES HER PROPOSAL WOULD COST TAXPAYERS ABOUT EIGHT POINT THREE MILLION DOLLARS.

BUT SHE SAYS IT WILL SAVE TAXPAYERS' MONEY IN THE LONG RUN.

LAWMAKERS HAVE CONSIDERED SIMILAR BILLS IN PREVIOUS SESSIONS BUT NONE OF THOSE HAVE PASSED.

CHAMPION SAYS SHE ALSO PLANS TO PRE-FILE A BILL TODAY THAT WOULD BAN A MERCURY-BASED PRESERVATIVE FROM VACCINES GIVEN TO CHILDREN.