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Capitol Report                        April 13, 2020
Dear Neighbor,

I would like to thank everyone on the frontlines and all essential workers in this battle to defeat COVID-19.  Thank you for putting yourself in harms way to save the public.  This is what it means to be a hero.  You are my hero!

Gov. Mike Parson announced Thursday that public and charter schools in Missouri will remain closed for the remainder of the academic year. However, schools are expected to continue providing on-line instruction and other forms of distance learning through the remainder of their regularly scheduled school year.

Many of you have written or emailed me about sponsoring legislation to permit absentee balloting for everyone in Missouri.  The Executive Committee of the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus met recently via conference call with Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft and proposed such an initiative.   Gov. Parson thus far has ruled out changing state law to authorize voting by mail or early voting as a way to reduce the number of people crowding into polling places to vote in person.

COVID-19 Stimulus checks are almost here. The first checks will start to go out this week, arriving either in your bank account if you set up direct deposit with the IRS for past refunds during tax season, including prepaid cards, or in the mail at your registered address. 

If you would like to set up direct deposit to receive your payment directly to your bank account, the IRS will have an online tracker portal you can use to set up and track electronic payments by April 17. 

While we know when to expect the first checks, we don't know how long it will take for the IRS to complete the process for every entitled taxpayer, of which there could be more than 100 million. 

The House and Senate will not meet this week. Given the uncertainty regarding the impact of the COVID-19 on state revenues, it is very likely that there will be   significant changes to the budget plan considered last month by the House Budget Committee.

The governor may call a special session in June to finish next year's budget. He could also ask legislators to consider action on other priorities specified in the call for the special session.


Please be safe as I continue to wish for your good health and  I thank you for the opportunity to serve you. 

Yours in Service,

Rich
COMING THIS WEEK - TRACK MY STIMULUS CHECK
Rx Outreach Expands Eligibility

Below is a memo from a trusted non-profit:

As a non-profit, mail-order pharmacy, Rx Outreach is uniquely positioned to help stop the spread of COVID-19 for people who are quarantined and those who may be afraid to travel outside of their homes to the clinic or pharmacy.

 Rx Outreach lifted its income guidelines during this crisis so that anyone, regardless of income, can participate in their program.

 Rx Outreach medication prices are generally 70-80% below retail and are transparent. Shipping is free.


Visit https://rxoutreach.org/covid19/ for more information.
COVID-19 Food Stamp Information
Happy Bottoms KC Diaper-Bank
Harvester's Community Food Network
Student Loans - COVID-19
When and How to Use Masks
Missouri Governor - Michael L. Parson
Office of Communications
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2020

Governor Parson Announces Implementation of $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program, Workers’ Compensation for First Responders
 
(JEFFERSON CITY, MO) – In today’s COVID-19 briefing, Governor Mike Parson announced that the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations’ (DOLIR) Division of Employment Security (DES) has received its first operational guidance related to the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020.

The FPUC does not include any provisions or benefits for eligible self-employed workers. Late Sunday, DOLIR received federal guidance on that provision, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program.

The FPUC provides that those eligible for at least one dollar ($1 US) of unemployment compensation benefits during the week will receive an additional $600 per week as a federal supplement. The DES expects FPUC payments to begin going out to eligible recipients as early as the week of April 12, 2020, after the technology updates and procedures are implemented.

“COVID-19 has had a serious impact not only on public health, but also our economy. Business operations have been limited, and many people have lost their jobs. Over 100,000 people have filed for unemployment this past week,” Governor Parson said. “This federal assistance is critical to supporting unemployed Missourians and their families during this challenging time.”
The $600 federal supplement for those that are unemployed will be effective the week beginning March 29, 2020, for those filing their unemployment payment request for that week.

•             Payments will be made retroactively for claims filed on or after March 29, 2020.
•             The last payable week for the $600 supplement will be the week ending July 25, 2020.
•             During the FPUC program period, claimants who are eligible to receive regular unemployment weekly payments will receive the additional $600 FPUC payment.

Missouri’s regular unemployment insurance program continues to be in effect. Under Missouri unemployment law, most people who are currently employed and quit are not eligible for unemployment benefits.

•             If an employer offers sick leave and/or other leave options to address COVID-19 in lieu of layoffs, then a person who quits on his/her own volition would not qualify for unemployment benefits.
•             At this point, no federal legislation changes this part of Missouri’s program eligibility for unemployment.

Governor Parson also announced at today’s briefing that he has directed DOLIR to implement an emergency rule that will help ensure first-responders who contract COVID-19 are covered through workers' compensation.

“Our law enforcement officers, firefighters, and EMTs are tireless public servants who compromise their own safety to ensure the safety of others,” Governor Parson said. “They risk themselves each and every day, and because of their duties, our first responders are more likely to be exposed to COVID-19 while on the job.”

This emergency rule will create a presumption that first responders who contract COVID-19 did so in the line of duty and allow them to make a claim under the Missouri Workers’ Compensation law to cover the expenses incurred.

Officer Jeremy Bowman, President of Jefferson City Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 19, and International Association of Fire Fighters 2nd District Vice President Mark Woolbright attended today’s briefing to discuss the importance of this action for law enforcement officers, firefighters, and EMTs across the state.

Unemployed workers are encouraged to file their unemployment claims online at uinteract.labor.mo.gov as soon as they are separated from their employer. For convenience, the UInteract website is available 24/7 and mobile-friendly. Over 90 percent of initial claims are now filed online.

For questions and answers related to the coronavirus and unemployment, as well as other effects on employment, visit labor.mo.gov/coronavirus frequently for updates.
I returned to the capitol last week for the first time in two weeks due to the building's closure because of individuals working in the capitol being exposed to the Coronovirus inside the building.  Donna and I continue to work from home to assist the residents of District 27 and the state of Missouri. All capitol employees will continue to be on administrative leave until April 24th.
The Missouri General Assembly met briefly last week to pass a supplemental appropriations bill that will give the state the legal authority to spend incoming federal money to address the COVID-19 pandemic during the final three months of the 2020 fiscal year, which ends June 30.
I am pictured casting my YES vote to authorize Missouri the authority to spend the federal funds to fight COVID-19 in our state.  All legislators voted individually in order to maintain social distance for the well being of each other.

Resources for Unemployed Workers and Employers

As employment decisions are being made, the Missouri Department of Labor created a Frequently Asked Questions webpage that includes information on shared leave programs to help prevent loss of wages during layoffs, and information about filing claims for unemployment.

A legislative request was made asking the Missouri Department of Labor to waive the waiting week for unemployment benefits so that Missouri workers who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19 receive unemployment benefits in a timely manner. An official decision to waive the week of waiting has not been made at this time.

Unemployed workers could get more than 100% of their paycheck under the coronavirus bill


KEY POINTS
  • The coronavirus relief bill, formally the CARES Act, gives jobless workers an extra $600 a week in unemployment benefits.
  •  
  • The goal is to provide the average out-of-work American with 100% wage replacement.
  •  
  • Some people, primarily those making low and moderate incomes, could make more while unemployed than while working. 
Wash Your Hands - Cover Your Cough - Stay Home If You Are Sick
Coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline is open and can be reached at 877-435-8411. It is being operated by medical professionals and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Coronavirus and sex:
What you need to know

Deadline extended for Missouri driver's license, plate renewals

Extensions for driver license, nondriver license and noncommercial instruction permits applies for those where the date falls between March 1 and April 30.

This includes those needing a vehicle safety and emission inspection. 

Drivers who have expiring license will be given two-month extensions and will be allowed to continue driving on Missouri roads without penalty until they can apply for renewal

As of the time I have sent this mailing, there have been
60 homicides in the Kansas City metro area in 2020.

In Kansas City, Missouri, 43 people have been killed.

Click here for the Homicide Tracker.

COMMUNITY NEWS AND HAPPENINGS

Spring Curbside Leaf & Brush Collection Starting

Residents who live in SOUTH Kansas City (from 63rd Street, south to the city limit, as well as all residents who live east of Blue Ridge Cutoff) will receive curbside leaf and brush collection from April 6th – April 10th. Curbside collection will take place on your regularly-scheduled trash day.

Residents who live in CENTRAL Kansas City (from the Missouri River, south to 63rd Street, but not including residents who live east of Blue Ridge Cutoff) will receive curbside leaf and brush collection from April 13th – April 17th. Curb

A Special No-tag Trash Week added April 13-17 

Staying at home means you'll likely find that your trash bins will fill faster than normal so we want to help ease that burden by offering an extra no-tag week of trash collection.

KCMO Solid Waste division, in coordination with contract partner WCA Waste Corporation (WCA), is having a special No-tag Week April 13-17.

Normally the city does this twice a year, but this additional event is needed to help residents cope with the City of Kansas City, Missouri’s Stay-At-Home order and the cancellation of many previously-scheduled neighborhood clean-up events due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We realize with so many working from home and also conducting Spring cleanings this time of year, it was important to help ensure everyone’s trash is removed properly,” said Michael Shaw, KCMO solid waste division manager.

During No-tag Week , residents may place up to 12 bags at the curb. Regular trash rules apply. No hazardous waste, bulky items or leaf and brush will be collected. Meanwhile, Shaw still encourages everyone to continue recycling.

“Unfortunately, about 70 percent of what we pick up now could be recycled,” he said, “and, unlike the normal two bag trash limit, there’s no limit on recycling pick-up.”

If your leaf and brush pick-up week is the same as the ‘no tag’ trash period, please make sure you leave separate piles- one for trash and one for leaves and brush. Please do not combine them.

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The reward has been raised to
$30,000 for Dominic

GREATER KANSAS CITY CRIME STOPPERS
816-474-TIPS HOTLINE
 
PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
FROM:           Det. Kevin Boehm, Crime Stoppers Coordinator
 
SUBJECT:    Reward Increase – 9 Year Old Dominic Young Homicide
 
KANSAS CITY, MO ---  The Kansas City, Missouri Police Department and the Greater KC Crime Stoppers TIPS Hotline continue to seek information in the January 20, 2018 homicide of 9 year old Dominic Young Jr. at 71 Highway and Emanuel Cleaver II Blvd.
 
  Dominic Young Jr. was apparently hit by a stray gunshot while occupying a vehicle driven by his father and died as a result of his injuries.  Dominic, his father and brother were en route to Grandview at the time.  The vehicle driven by Dominic’s father was hit by gunshots from other vehicles apparently engaged in a gunfight according to statements.
 
  KCPD found a possible crime scene near the intersection where the father said the shooting happened.  When the father arrived home in Grandview, Dominic was not responsive.  Grandview police initially responded to the father’s home and found the boy in critical condition. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

 A number of community leaders and organizations including State Representative Richard Brown, Mayor Pro Tem Kevin McManus, former City Councilmen Scott Taylor, Scott Wagner, John Sharp; the City of KCMO and Concord Fortress of Hope Church (Pastor Ron Lindsay) have come forward to increase the existing reward in the case up to $30,000.00.  Those leaders are available for comment in regard to the case.
 
  Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers Greater Kansas City TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477), TIPS may also be submitted electronically at www.KCcrimestoppers.com, or by downloading our NEW mobile app, P3TIPS, on Google Play or the Apple iOS stores for FREE.  Information leading to an arrest and/or filing of charges could be eligible for up to $30,000.00 in reward money.  ALL INFORMATION IS ANONYMOUS. 
* A program of the KC Metropolitan Crime Commission
My office in Jefferson City is available to assist you with questions you may have about state government or legislative issues. Please call, email or write anytime. If you are unable to reach me, my assistant, Donna Gentzsch is ready to help you. If you are in Jefferson City, come by my Capitol office in room 109-G, and introduce yourself. The door is always open and I encourage you to visit.
Please forward this email to your friends and family who want to know how what is happening in Jefferson City will impact them here at home.



Rep. Richard Brown
MO House of Representatives
201 West Capitol Avenue
Room 109G
Jefferson City, MO  65101
Phone
573-751-7639
Email:
richard.brown@house.mo.gov
Please don't hesitate to contact me with any feedback, questions or ideas!​
 
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Missouri House of Representatives · 201 W. Capitol Ave. · Jefferson City, MO 65101 · USA

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