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THE EGGLESTON REPORT – THE GREAT NORTHWEST

Representative J. Eggleston (R-Maysville)

While we heard more bills in committees and on the House floor, the big event of the week was the best constituent-run reception we have at the capitol each year – Great Northwest Days.

Great Northwest Days is a convention of communities and projects from the 18 counties that make up the northwest corner of our state.  Throughout the year, these communities plan their booths to highlight their counties and their issues so legislators know what is important for our area.  The volunteers that put on the event come with great energy and ideas about how to improve our part of Missouri, and I applaud them for their efforts and sense of service.

For us legislators from the Great Northwest area, one of the joys of the event is seeing some friends from home at the capitol.  The folks who come down are happy to see us and we are definitely happy to see them.  It’s always nice to see a friendly face when we are so far from home.

For the legislators from other parts of the state, especially the urban parts, it is a great chance to become educated on our area and our issues and to network.  I have heard many of my fellow members comment on what they learned and how they felt enlightened to our concerns.  This interaction helps lay the groundwork for any legislation that we may put forward later in session.

I want to thank all of those whose months of hard work and planning helped make for a great event.  Great Northwest Days is regarded by all legislators as the best, can’t-miss event of the session.  It is these planners and all of our wonderful citizens that make the northwest part of the Show-Me state “The Great Northwest”.

Until next time, best wishes of safety, health and prosperity to you and your family.

 

PICTURES FROM THE CAPITOL

DeKalb County booth at Great Northwest Days

Gentry County booth at Great Northwest Days

 

OTHER NEWS FROM THE CAPITOL

 

Legislature Halts Activity Due to Winter Storm

Out of an abundance of caution due to the impending winter storm, the members of the Missouri General Assembly briefly paused their legislative activities for the week. Lawmakers held session and participated in public hearings Monday and Tuesday, but canceled scheduled floor sessions and hearings for Wednesday and Thursday. House leadership made the decision with the goal of keeping members and staff safe, as well as to ensure the safety of the many members of the public who travel to the Capitol to attend hearings. The House will return on Sunday, February 6 for a technical session and then will return to its normal schedule on Monday, February 7.

House Approves Bill to Improve Opioid Addiction Treatment and Prevention Services (HB 2162)

The General Assembly would have greater flexibility when appropriating funds to fight opioid addiction thanks to a piece of legislation now on its way to the Senate. House members approved HB 2162 to expand access to the Opioid Addiction Treatment and Recovery Fund to pay for opioid addiction treatment and prevention services.

The fund was originally created in anticipation of a settlement with opioid distributors. In July of 2021, the Missouri Attorney General announced the state had reached a settlement with Johnson & Johnson and multiple opioid distributors. If all municipalities in Missouri sign onto the proposed settlement, the state will receive just over half a billion dollars. These funds would be used for addiction treatment, recovery, and intervention programs.

The legislation approved this week modifies the Opioid Addiction Treatment and Recovery Fund so the legislature can allocate funds to all of the state departments and agencies that play a role in providing addiction treatment. Right now the General Assembly has the authority to appropriate the funds to the Department of Mental Health, the Department of Health and Senior Services, and the Department of Social Services. The legislation adds to that list the Department of Corrections, the Judiciary, and the Office of Administration.

The bill’s sponsor said, “We just want to make sure these funds are able to be utilized in the most appropriate way possible to help combat the effects of opioid misuse and abuse, which unfortunately we continue to see in our state and around the country. We hope that this will make a difference to that end for Missourians.”

The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.



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