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Manager Shares Issues Facing State Council

(Mike Frazier, Director of Community Awareness of SWI Webster County (formerly Web-Co Industries), has volunteered to represent workshops on the Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council (MODDC). He recently shared some of the activities and issues.)

Do you believe you have a special set of skills, talents and interests that could be of benefit to the Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council (MODDC)? What do you believe are the most important issues facing Missourians with developmental disabilities?

MODDC is a 23-member board, appointed by the governor and comprised of at least 60 percent by individuals with developmental disabilities and family members. Other members include individuals who represent various state agencies and organizations having a vested interested in persons with developmental disabilities.

Bring your skills, talents and interests and join us and assist MODDC with creating a Council and programming that promotes diversity, inclusion and progressive ideas! MODDC is welcoming applications from self-advocates, parents of individuals with disabilities and caregivers in all developmental disabilities regions to become Council members and help us achieve our goals as we aim to increase opportunities for independence, inclusion, integration, productivity and self-determination. Visit this webpage for more information: https://moddcouncil.org/.

Here are some updates regarding state and federal policy issues important to people with disabilities:

• HB 1540, which prohibits schools from banning recording of IEP/504 plan meetings, is moving quickly this session. This bill, sponsored by Representative Chuck Basye, passed unanimously out of the Elementary and Secondary Education and Rules-Administrative Oversight Committees. The next step is for this bill to go to the House floor for a floor vote, although it is not yet on the calendar. You can look up your representatives here to let them know how this bill would impact your families: https://house.mo.gov/default.aspx. Senator Cindy O’Laughlin has agreed to file the Senate companion bill, so stay tuned for more information.

• HB 1568, sponsored by Representative Dottie Bailey and one of the co-sponsors, Representative Ian Mackey, who has also championed this bill that addresses restraint and seclusion, was also passed unanimously from the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and has been referred to the House Rules-Administrative Oversight Committee.

• HB 1484 establishes multidisciplinary adult protection teams that are “trained in the investigation, prosecution, prevention, identification and treatment of abuse of vulnerable persons as defined in section 630.005, elderly persons as defined in section 192.2005, and persons with a disability and who are qualified to provide a broad range of services related to the abuse of elderly or dependent persons.” You can contact members of this committee to tell your stories and why this bill is important for Missouri.

• SB 644 modifies the law regarding service animals to add “mental health service dog” and provides penalties for people who knowingly misrepresent a dog as a service dog.

• Medicaid Expansion in Missouri: Missouri is one of 14 states that have not yet adopted Medicaid Expansion. There is a petition initiative in Missouri to expand Medicaid. Attached, please find an executive summary of a targeted analysis of the economic impact of an ACA Medicaid Expansion in Missouri, with an emphasis on the effects on the state budget. You can read the full report here: https://www.mhanet.com/mhaimages/HMAReport.pdf

• SJR 60 is a proposed constitutional amendment that would require “any medical assistance provided under Medicaid shall be subject to appropriations made by the General Assembly for that express purpose and no provisions in the Constitution shall convey any rights, expectations, or entitlements to such benefits in the absence of such appropriations.” If the state’s Medicaid Expansion initiative petition moves the state forward in getting Medicaid Expansion on the ballot, such an expansion would be subject to appropriations.

This amendment would also require “able-bodied adult Medicaid participants, ages 19 to 64, to participate in work and community engagement requirements.”

The next MODDC meeting was scheduled for late March.