Speaker Tim Jones and the members of the Missouri House of Representatives gave overwhelming bipartisan support Thursday morning to legislation that would make life-saving oral chemotherapy treatments more affordable and accessible. The House approved SB 668 by a vote of 147-6 and sent it to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.Jones called the passage of the bill a huge win for Missourians who deserve affordable access to the best cancer-fighting treatments currently available.
“The current system has made these life-saving treatments cost prohibitive for many Missouri families and that is something we simply cannot allow to continue,” said Jones, R-Eureka. “I am extremely pleased with how Rep. Sheila Solon and my colleagues in both the House and Senate came together to address this pressing issue. With this much-needed change we can eliminate the cost barrier and put the emphasis on access to quality care.”
Jones emphasized the fact that an actuarial study confirmed that the change would have little to no effect on insurance premiums in Missouri. SB 668 would bring insurance coverage parity to both forms of chemotherapy – intravenous (IV) and pill form – by simply requiring plans to cover oral chemotherapy products if traditional chemotherapies are already covered. If signed into law by Governor Nixon, Missouri will join 28 other states that have already enacted oral chemotherapy access laws.
The Bootheel Regional Planning and Economic Development Commission will host six public meetings to discuss transportation planning. Transportation stakeholders and the general public are invited to attend these meetings to share their ideas for needed transportation projects. Meeting attendees will have an opportunity to offer ideas to address Missouri's entire transportation system - roads and bridges, transit, aviation, rail, waterways, pedestrian and bicycle needs.
During the meeting, attendees will be provided with information on the planning process and given an opportunity to submit projects for consideration. Between March 10 and March 24, the Bootheel Regional Planning and Economic Development Commission website will have a link to an online survey allowing participants to complete a values survey to assist the Bootheel Regional Planning and Economic Development Commission in their evaluation of transportation projects. The website address is www.bootrpc.com.
Meeting times and locations are as follows:
•· Thursday, March 13, 10:00 a.m. at the Bootheel Regional Planning Commission Conference Room located at 105 E. North Main, Dexter
• Thursday, March 13, 1:30 p.m. at the Malden Community Center Southeast Room located at 607 N. Douglas, Malden
• Monday, March 17, 2:30 p.m. at the Clara Drinkwater Library Public Meeting Room located at 105 E. Marshall, Charleston
• Monday, March 17, 6:00 p.m. at the Sikeston City Hall Council Chambers located at 105 E. Center, Sikeston
• Tuesday, March 18, 10:00 a.m. at the Lady Luck Casino Otis Henry's Restaurant Conference Room located at 777 E. Third Street, Caruthersville
• Tuesday, March 18, 1:30 p.m. at the Three Rivers Community College Room 102 located at 1002 Great West Drive, Kennett
For additional information contact the Bootheel Regional Planning and Economic Development Commission at (573) 614-5178.
Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones is calling on the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to investigate what he says is obvious harassment by the IRS of veterans’ organizations such as the VFW. Jones recently submitted a letter to U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, who chairs the committee, in which Jones points to audits targeted at the VFW post in Washington, as well as VFW and American Legion posts in Jackson, Sikeston and Wentzville. In his letter, Jones wrote that, “the Internal Revenue Service appears to be targeting Missouri’s veterans’ organizations with audits, aggressively demanding membership rosters and personal information on members dating back decades, and they have been threatening to revoke the nonprofit status of these groups if they do not comply.”
“I agree with the VFW Post Commander that this is an unwarranted and burdensome intrusion on a group of heroes who have made incredible sacrifices for the nation they love. For them to be treated this way by the nation they have fought to defend is simply unconscionable,” said Jones, R-Eureka.
Jones said the issue was first brought to his attention by concerned citizens who saw an article in the Washington Missourianconcerning the IRS audit of Washington VFW Post 2661. Jones said that, when combined with audits of the organizations in Jackson, Wentzville and Sikeston, it became obvious that the IRS is placing an “unnecessary strain on organizations which are cornerstones of their communities.”
Jones also wrote in his letter to Issa, “I know you would agree that elderly combat veterans should not be harassed by a bureaucratic agency that consistently demonstrates that it is too large, too powerful, and has too many employees with too much time on their hands. I hope that you will help to push for a stop to this needless targeting of veterans’ organizations.” In his letter, Jones also offered to make himself available to Congressman Issa or his staff in the event they require further information or assistance.
Representatives Stanley Cox (R-118) and Kenneth Wilson (R-12) announced yesterday that they have filed House Bill 1787—anti-methamphetamine legislation aimed at helping Missouri fight back against methamphetamine production. The bill, similar to legislation authored by Senator David Sater (R-29) and filed in the Senate earlier this year (SB 625), implements reasonable monthly and yearly limits on pseudoephedrine (PSE) sales in order to prevent its illegal diversion into methamphetamine. Additionally, the bill prevents “returns” of PSE-based products and blocks any person who has been found guilty of a drug felony offense from purchasing these medicines without a prescription.
“In Missouri’s ongoing fight against meth production and abuse, it is essential that we implement balanced and effective policies that give law enforcement officials the tools they need to do their job,” said Cox. “HB 1787 will do just that. By implementing practical purchasing limits and establishing a drug offender block list, this legislation will give much-needed leverage to the officials on the frontlines of this battle. In Oklahoma, lawmakers passed a similar meth-offender block list that has led to a 50 percent decline in meth lab incidents in that state. These policies are particularly important because they go after the criminals responsible for creating Missouri’s meth problem while maintaining the rights of law-abiding citizens who depend on basic cold and allergy medicine.”
“It is crucial that Missouri lawmakers design policies that are tough on meth crime,” said Wilson. “Yet we also must remember to protect the responsible choices of law-abiding citizens. House Bill 1787 accomplishes both of these tasks. It will be another critical tool for state officials in their effort to eradicate meth.”
Details of HB 1787:
• The bill lowers the monthly limit of pseudoephedrine-based medicines that an individual can purchase from 9 grams to 7.2 grams
• The bill adds the provision of a yearly purchase amount of 60 grams without a prescription
• The bill lowers the amount of pseudoephedrine a person can legally possess from 24 grams to 14.4 grams
• If pseudoephedrine is purchased and then returned to the pharmacy, it still counts towards an individual’s 7.2 gram total
A person who has been found guilty of any drug felony offense must obtain a prescription for any product containing pseudoephedrine
Route 21 in Carter and Ripley Counties will be reduced to one lane as contractor crews perform asphalt overlay and shoulder work. This section of roadway is located from US 60 in Carter County to US 160 in Ripley County. Weather permitting, work will take place Monday, March 31 through Saturday, Nov. 1 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., including weekends as necessary. The work zone will be marked with signs. Motorists are urged to use caution while traveling in the area.
Friday, March 7th at the Walgreens in Dexter from 1-5pm and the Dexter High School from 830am-230pm.
Saturday, March 8th at the Poplar Bluff Masonic Lodge #209 from 10am-2pm.
Monday, March 10th from 1-6pm at Campbell High School and Chaffee High School.
Monday, March 17th at the Slicer Street Church of Christ in Kennett from 2-6pm.
Wednesday, March 19th from 1-6pm at Malden High School and Halcomb High School.
In 2014, Missouri will forgo 2 billion in federal dollars that could have been used to improve the health of Missouri’s working poor according to US Sen. Christopher Bond during a panel discussion held yesterday in Jefferson City. He highlighted the importance of passing legislation that would allow Missouri to expand and reform its Medicaid system. Bond stated that by acting this yes, the state can put those dollars to work reforming Medicaid, protecting access to healthcare, and safeguarding our budget. During the panel, the economic impact was put into perspective.
2 billion is the annual food cost for 263,713 Missouri households.
2 billion also equal to the state’s annual sales and use tax collections.
2 billion is the value of all corn production in Missouri.
There is a strong business case for expanding Medicaid to allow Missouri to secure federal funding and extended health care coverage to 300,000 additional Missourians.
“Reforming our health system for the working poor would allow better access to care for uninsured Missourians, reducing absenteeism and increasing worker productivity,” stated Dan Mehan, Missouri Chamber president and CEO. “It would allow hard working Missourians who earn a low wage to stay on the job. Missouri is leaving a lot of money on the table in 2014. If the state doesn’t extend coverage to Missouri’s working poor this year, we’ll have another year where taxpayer dollars from Missouri go to other states to improve their health care system while the costs of the uninsured are shifted to businesses and individuals.”
Congressman Jason Smith announced the opening of the annual Eighth Congressional District Art Contest and invited high school students in Missouri’s Eighth Congressional District to participate in the contest. Contest entrees need to be submitted to one of Smith’s offices by Friday, April 25th.
Each spring, this nationwide high school art competition recognizes and encourages artistic talent. Since the competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated. Students in grades 9-12 can submit original paintings, drawings, collages, mixed media, computer-generated art, and photographs. A panel of art experts will select a winning work of art to represent Missouri’s Eighth District. The art will be displayed on Capitol Hill for one year. In addition, the winner of the Eighth Congressional District Art Contest will receive free airfare to attend a national recognition reception in Washington D.C. held in June.
“The Congressional Art Contest is a great way to recognize talented high school students in our Eighth Congressional District. In addition to being recognized locally, the winner of the contest will also be invited to Washington D.C. to attend a recognition ceremony and see their art displayed on Capitol Hill,” said Smith. “We hope to have participation from schools across our district. I encourage anyone who is interested in participating in the contest to contact my office.”
Entrees must be submitted to one of Smith’s offices by Friday, April 25th. Artwork can be dropped off at:
· Cape Girardeau Office: 2502 Tanner Drive, Suite 205, Cape Girardeau, MO 63703, 573-335-0101
· Farmington Office: 22 East Columbia Street, Farmington, MO 63640, 573-756-9755
· Poplar Bluff Office: 2911 North Westwood Blvd., Suite C, Poplar Bluff, MO 63907, 573-778-6679
· Rolla Office: 830A South Bishop, Rolla, MO 65401, Rolla, MO 573-364-2455
· West Plains Office: 35 Court Square, Suite 300, West Plains, MO 417-255-1515
For more information, students may contact Leslie Herbst at 573-335-0101 or email email@example.com. In addition, student can get more information by visiting: http://www.house.gov/content/educate/art_competition/
Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center is proud to partner with the American Heart Association to bring the HeartChase to Butler County. Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in our region, ranking above all forms of cancer. The fundraising event, which hopes to raise awareness of the importance of heart health, will take place Saturday, May 3rd at PBRMC’s Oak Grove Campus.
According to Tiffany Jenkins, Director of Marketing & Public Relations at PBRMC, this new fundraising event is one part scavenger hunt and another part obstacle course. "We wanted to have an event that was different and innovative," said Jenkins. "We wanted to have an event that wasn't just another walk or 5K run." The event is a team sport that is navigated through a smartphone app that all participants receive.
Every team will have a starting location at the hospital campus and then will use a map within the app to search and find checkpoints where they will complete challenges in the quickest time possible and gain points. Teams consist of 2-5 players. The team with the most points will be crowned the HeartChase champion. Jenkins said that the challenges can vary from something as serious as learning hands-only CPR to some funny type of team building challenge.
“It is our hope that this event will be a starting point in educating our community about heart health," Jenkins said. “With cardiovascular disease being the number one killer in our community, PBRMC feels it is a critical need to draw attention to heart health and be a part of creating a healthier community."
According to the American Heart Association, 31 percent of deaths each year in Butler County are the result of heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular disease. Jenkins hopes that this event will not only bring about awareness of this statistic but bring about some healthy behavioral changes as well.
Jenkins is hoping to have 40 teams participate and to raise $30,000. Sponsorship opportunities are also still available. Teams can register online at butlercoheartchase.org and are encouraged to set a fundraising goal as part of the mission in educating the community about heart health. For more information about sponsorship opportunities or team registration, contact Amber Palmer, HeartChase Event Chair, at 573-776-9356.