Missouri Legislature

Covering state lawmakers, bills, and policy emerging from Jefferson City.

US Department of Education / flickr.com

Roughly one in five people have trouble reading, according to the International Dyslexia Association. A Missouri organization is supporting several bills in Jefferson City that would change the way students with reading disorders get help. 

Many public schools do not provide structured literacy or outside tutoring options to their students with reading disorders. The cost for a tutor – which becomes necessary once a student is falling behind – often comes out of parents’ pockets, and some just can’t afford that.

About 60 percent of the approximately 70,000 Missourians purged from the state’s Medicaid program in 2018 lost coverage because they failed to reply to a mailed renewal form, according to state data.

The Missouri Department of Social Services started using an automated system to determine residents’ Medicaid eligibility last year. If the system couldn’t find their information, the state mailed enrollees renewal forms to complete and return.

Some health experts and state officials are concerned people otherwise eligible for the program are living without insurance because they never received the mail.

Missouri has long been a conservative state in its outlook, no matter the party in charge. So in January, when legislative leaders celebrated the 100th General Assembly and the 100th anniversary of the Assembly meeting at the Capitol building in Jefferson City, there were no fireworks over the Missouri River or a grand gala.

Instead, there was a special joint session of the General Assembly and a reception with a “massive” cake in the rotunda.

Any member of the public can go to the debates in Missouri House or Senate. And in November, voters said the discussions about legislation and strategy that lawmakers have in emails and other documents should be public knowledge, too.

But some legislators are looking to once again shield those records from public view, a move that opponents say is a step backward for government openness and transparency.

A Missouri House committee gave the green light Tuesday to legislation that would alter how colleges and universities deal with accusations of sexual assault or harassment.

The initial passage of Rep. Dean Dohrman’s bill comes amid a heightened effort to overhaul what’s known as the Title IX process.

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