Mazzie Boyd – Capital report May 30, 2023

To the Great Constituents of District 2,

 “Success is not final, failure is not fatal:  it is the courage to continue that counts.”

-Winston Churchill

The legislative session adjourned a little over two weeks ago and the work continues.  I have been busy making my way around the district.  Below I have highlighted some of the things that are happening now.

Second Supplemental Budget Bill Provides Aid to K-12 Education

Two weeks removed from the end of the legislative session, and the work done by the Missouri General Assembly is just starting to take the final steps to truly become law. Missouri lawmakers gave their final approval to a state operating budget with a total price tag coming at $51.5 billion. The record-setting state budget provides $3.6 billion in state aid to our K-12 public schools, while also fully funding school transportation costs with $233 million. With education always a top priority, the Missouri General Assembly worked hard to give our invaluable educators a much-needed boost in their pocketbooks, as the budget includes $29 million to raise the minimum public school teacher salary to $38,000. Last week, Governor Mike Parson signed House Bill 15, a supplemental budget bill for the 2023 fiscal year, into law. HB 15 adds more than $2 billion in critical funding to ensure the continued operations of state government through June 30, 2023. The funding provided in the second supplemental bill of the 2023 legislative session appropriates money for a variety of vital programs, including K-12 education, public safety, higher education, transportation, health and mental health, among many others.

Millions of these dollars will go directly to our schools, with $75 million in state aid going to charter schools, $217 million being given to school nutrition programs, and another $3 million headed to career and technical education programs in our K-12 schools. The more than $2 billion package includes $427 million in general revenue, $1.45 billion in federal funds, and $176 million in other funds. Governor Parson did issue one line-item veto on $25,000 to the Missouri Department of Transportation for audit costs, saying it was not recommended as an emergency appropriation, and therefore doesn’t fit the requirements to which a supplemental appropriation is held.


New St. Louis Circuit Attorney Named

Last week Governor Mike Parson announced his selection of attorney Gabriel Gore as the next City of St. Louis Circuit Attorney. The news comes following the departure of the former Circuit Attorney, Kim Gardner. Gore has served as a partner at Dowd Bennett LLP since 2010 and has more than 23 years’ experience in private law practice. He has also served as a member of the Office of Special Counsel John C. Danforth’s Waco Investigation, tried federal prosecutions as an Assistant U.S. Attorney – serving as a member of the Organized Crime Drug Task Force and Violent Crime Unit -, and clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. He was also appointed by former Governor Jay Nixon to serve on the Ferguson Commission. Gore is set to be sworn in and take over the office by the end of the month.

Leaders of the House and Senate issued a statement, thanking the local prosecutors in the region for their bipartisan and truly regional approach to address the St. Louis region’s most notorious issue – crime – by coming together and offering to be of assistance to the Circuit Attorney’s Office, the Governor, and Attorney General. Dean Plocher, Speaker of the House, and Caleb Rowden, Pro Tem of the Senate, pledged their support and stated that they would make it a top priority to secure supplemental appropriations to reimburse these prosecutors and the Attorney General in their efforts to assist the region and ensure a smooth transition.  “We hope it will result in a cooperative effort that will last among the newly appointed St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office and regional prosecutors to bring crime under control.”


A Closer Look at the 2021 Legislative Session

With session ending on Friday, May 12th, Missouri lawmakers managed to put together a long list of legislative accomplishments meant to address the needs of Missouri citizens. Many of these issues passed by the legislature grabbed headlines across the state and even the nation, but several of these important policy changes are less familiar to Missourians. Below is a list of a few other provisions approved by the General Assembly that now await the governor’s signature to become law.


HB 402 is a multi-faceted piece of legislation which carries several provisions aimed at bettering the access for healthcare in Missouri. This legislation changes how we define hospitals so that rural emergency hospital that comply with Medicare conditions of participation are considered to be in compliance with our standards for hospital licensure. Furthermore, HB 402 will reduce the barriers currently in place for our advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) and will allow them to practice to the full extent of their education and training. By backing this with nurse practitioners and hospitals, we can help patients get better access care, especially in rural areas. In addition to that, HB 402 also establishes the Health Professional Loan Repayment Program, which offers forgivable loans for to pay off existing student loans and other education expenses for health care, mental health, and public health professionals.

The bill also includes provisions to create the Missouri Parkinson’s Disease Registry Act, which allows the University of Missouri and other medical research universities in partnership with MU to collect data (with the consent of patients) in order to locate commonalities and further the research and treatment of as we search for a cure to Parkinson’s disease. All of this work removes restrictions and increases opportunities so that we can address the current healthcare provider shortages. By passing this bill, the Missouri General Assembly is decreasing the burden on our healthcare providers and allowing rural Missouri to get the access they need without traveling hundreds of miles to the nearest city with a major hospital.


HB 131 allows the salaries of state employees to be paid in biweekly installments, as designated by the Commissioner of the Office of Administration. Supporters say the bill allows for changes in pay structure by state agencies, giving those employees struggling to pay their bills each month more flexibility. The bill is common sense and promotes fiscal responsibility, helping state agencies and employees.


SB 28 serves to protect Missouri’s most vulnerable in a variety of manners. SB 28 provides an easy avenue forward for the victims of domestic violence or abuse in the event that they need their birth certificate. This legislation waives any required fees for the issuance or copy of a birth certificate if the request is made by a victim of domestic violence or abuse and if the victim provides documentation signed by an employee, agent, or volunteer of a victim service provider, attorney, or health care or mental health professional. SB 28 also protects children’s private and identifiable information. Under this act, any personally identifiable information regarding any child receiving childcare from a provider or applying for or receiving any services through a state program shall not be subject to disclosure, except as described in the act.


HB 447 would bring Missouri in line with more than 20 other states in regard to education provisions and resources regarding deaf and hard of hearing children. The legislation, called “LEAD-K” or “language equality and acquisition for deaf kids” seeks to give parents of children living with hearing issues some much needed resources to address the tendencies which some deaf and hard of hearing children have with delayed language acquisition. Because there is no standard process for assessing children with hearing issues under the age of 5, this often means that these children arrive in kindergarten not knowing as many words as they should at that age. By passing this bill, we can help provide more resources to parents, and ensure that these children are starting kindergarten with a foundational knowledge of either English or American Sign Language. In addition to that, HB 447 also establishes requirements for the State Board of Education to adopt and implement standards in regard to the current one-half credit hour of health education. This course would be renamed “Health and Family Education” starting with the 2024-2025 school year. The bill also transfers the requirement for operating four adult high schools across the state from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to the Department of Social Services. As such, the Department of Social Services will further expand the program to include a fifth adult high school, furthering the mission of ensuring that all Missourians are given the access they need to a good, quality education.


MoDOT Construction Season is Underway, and State Budget Could Mean Even More Work to Begin

The Missouri Department of Transportation is preparing for one of their busiest road construction seasons they’ve ever had, with more than $3 billion of work under contract. Drivers across the state may find themselves navigating more construction zones than before, as a number of construction projects are set to begin. Some of the biggest construction projects are along I-270 in St. Louis, the Buck O’Neil in Kansas City, Rocheport in central Missouri, along with some of the low volume roads around the state. Heavy reconstruction is going on between St. James and Rolla on I-44, and a bridge replacement underway between Joplin and Springfield on I-44. But the passage of Missouri’s operating state budget could mean even more work could start.

In his original budget proposal, Governor Mike Parson called on the legislature to appropriate $859 million to be used to expand Interstate 70 to six lanes between St. Louis and Kanas City. But Missouri’s legislature took it even farther, citing the growing need to expand our state’s most heavily used highway as the need for interstate commerce continues growing. Instead, the final version includes $2.8 billion to allocate funds to widen Interstate-70 to at least three lanes in both directions from Blue Springs near Kansas City to Wentzville near St. Louis, using $1.4 billion in general revenue and $1.4 billion in bonds. The appropriations bills are currently being vetted by the Governor’s office and await Governor Mike Parson’s signature. If signed, then the operating budget would take effect starting in July, with some estimations for the I-70 project pointing to a start date as soon as this fall or early winter.


Apply for Digital Driver’s Licenses

The Missouri Department of Revenue announced this week that it is launching a Mobile ID (aka digital driver’s license) application. Mobile ID (mID) is a voluntary, highly secure, digital version of your driver’s license or state-issued ID available in a free app on your smartphone. With Mobile ID, Missourians will have another convenient alternative to show their identity. The mID does not replace the physical card and is secured by use of a secure pin or face capture from your mobile device.  Once the user has securely accessed their mID, they control what information will be displayed or shared with the help of privacy view options. This allows users to verify their age at participating locations without exposing other sensitive data such as height, weight or address. In addition, Revenue is continuing to look into and develop a new secure remote renewal process.  The remote renewal option will be available to Mobile ID enrolled users who meet eligibility requirements and are 21 to 49 years of age; and certify meeting vision examination requirements within the preceding 12 months.   This remote renewal process is being updated to allow local license offices to examine and finalize the remote transactions. More information and a list of FAQ’s specific to these new applications is available at


Remembering Our Brave and Fallen

And as we head into the Memorial Day Weekend, we are reminded of the great sacrifices made by those who have gone before us. Memorial Day stands as a day of remembrance for each and every American, when we reflect on what has been given, and what has been lost. We all know that for the freedoms we enjoy every day, there has been a terrible cost, and a debt we can never repay. But as we take this weekend to spend time with our loved ones, let us all be mindful of the sacrifices made by those brave men and women, and take time to reflect on the gift they have given to us. Let us honor those who died in service of our country because they died to protect the greatest achievement of mankind in the modern era: freedom. Freedom and democracy are still relatively new concepts in the lifespan of our world, and across almost every continent, freedom struggles to develop amid the non-democratic regimes of the older world. The contribution that our servicemen and women have made goes beyond our lives here in America. They have earned a place in history for their role in protecting freedom. To give one’s life for the greatest advancement of civilization in our time is to serve mankind as a whole. So, to all of our men and women serving, let’s take the time to make sure they know and feel our appreciation. We live free today because of the services and sacrifices they have made. Let us recognize the valor of all our servicemen and women, those that we know and those we do not, those who are gone and those who are still with us today. Let us praise them for their selfless decision to give their lives so that our nation may grow and prosper and let us continue living our lives in a free and democratic world, forever in their debt, but forever striving to honor them by living our lives to the fullest.

All my Best,

Mazzie Boyd, State Representative for District 2