Network Connection
April 2019
Hello from Jefferson City!
I’d like to begin this month’s letter to the Network with a huge THANK YOU to all who participated in Missouri CAN's 2019 Network Advocacy Day in March.

We at Missouri CAN appreciate you taking a day away from your agency work to join us in showing our legislators that Missouri Community Action Network is a force for all low-income citizens of our state, that Community Action is in every county of Missouri, and not only are we their individual constituents, we also bolster the local economies in the regions we serve as employers and business owners. On top of that, we are helping people and changing lives every day. Thank you again for being a Community Action advocate!

Earlier in March, before our state legislative visits, a handful of Missouri Community Action staff attended the National Community Action Foundation’s Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. I want to also thank those who helped represent Missouri’s CAAs on Capitol Hill. After much bragging on all the great work we do here in Missouri, we requested Congressional support by asking them to sign on as a sponsor for additional dollars for CSBG and WAP during appropriations this coming year. We then briefly spoke of the CSBG Reauthorization (HR 1695), for which NCAF has some initial support, and hope to see the bill voted in during the 2021 FFY. If that occurs, it would be the first reauthorization for CSBG since 1998.  

As if the state and federal legislative visits aren’t keeping us busy enough, we have also shifted into high gear at Missouri CAN with planning and finalizing details for the 2019 Annual Conference. If you haven’t already seen the slate of workshops and speakers, I encourage you to check it out and register to attend this amazing professional development opportunity. I am impressed by what staff have been able to secure and offer to the Network this year, and I’m so looking forward to attending my inaugural Annual Conference with Missouri CAN please join me!  
In Community, 
Dawna Fogarty
Executive Director, Missouri CAN
Network Capacity - Helping you help others
Register for the 2019 Missouri CAN Annual Conference

Reserve your spot today for this engaging professional development opportunity on May 21-23, 2019 at Hilton Kansas City Airport in Kansas City, MO.

This year's conference includes 25 conference sessions, 2 pre-conference sessions, a special guided tour session, and two exciting keynote speakers: Doug Luffborough and Mark Shriver—author and son of Sargent Shriver!
CAPS Re-Cap: Kansas City
We had a wonderful group of 74 participants from across the United States for our two-day Community Action Poverty Simulation Facilitator Training in Kansas City on March 18-19. Thank you to everyone who attended and for your passion and commitment to ongoing education and awareness of poverty by facilitating the Community Action Poverty Simulation.
SAVE THE DATE! Poverty Simulation Facilitator Training Opportunity

July 22-23, 2019 - University Plaza Hotel, Springfield, MO 
Come experience the Community Action Poverty Simulation as a participant, plus learn tips and tricks to conduct a successful simulation.  Registration will open April 16 . If you are a current employee of a Missouri Community Action Agency, there will be no cost for this training if you register before the early-bird deadline on May 28. More information to come! 
Upcoming Trainings from Missouri CAN

Missouri CAN will be providing several trainings in July and August:

  • Introduction to CSBG
  • Introduction to ROMA
  • Case Management 201
  • Coaching for Success

If your agency is interested in any of these trainings, submit the appropriate training and technical assistance request form to Andrea Davis, and we will schedule a phone call to further discuss your training needs.
Missouri CAN Capacity - Helping us help you
Participant Success Story: The Difference SkillUP Can Make
This is Gerald Doss.
Gerald is married.
He’s the father of two children.
He lives in rural Southwest Missouri.

Gerald was receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), unemployed, and having difficulty finding employment—even in the fast food industry. He went to Economic Security Corporation’s Neosho office seeking utility assistance and met with Case Manager Gail Callahan. 

As a SNAP recipient, ESC staff determined that Gerald was qualified and eligible for the SkillUP program. Gerald wanted to find a job so he would be able pay his bills and obtain health insurance for his family. While discussing employment goals with Gail, Gerald mentioned he has a Class B Commercial Driver’s License and some experience driving box trucks. 

Gail contacted Crowder College to discuss what was involved in obtaining a Class A Commercial Driver’s License, as this would add to Gerald's skills and open up more employment opportunities. Gail assisted Gerald with submitting the application online for the transport training program at Crowder College, and he was accepted.

The SkillUP program was able to cover the price of the transport training program, which cost $4,310. This was extremely helpful to Gerald as the program did not accept financial aid, and he did not have the means to pay for the training. Gerald also received additional assistance that helped him and his family cover basic needs while he attended the month-long training program.

The Salvation Army of Neosho assisted Gerald in paying a water bill. He also received assistance through Economic Security Corporation’s Energy Assistance and Energy Crisis Intervention Program for shut-off notices for both his gas and electric bills. The SkillUP program was able to cover the cost of his CDL permit, mileage reimbursement to and from training, and a mortgage payment.  

Gerald completed the 25-day training program on March 22, 2019 and obtained his Class A Commercial Driver’s License. A few days after graduation, Gerald was hired for a position at Land O’ Lakes, Inc. with a starting salary of $52,500 annually, plus a hiring bonus of $1,000. His new position also comes with benefits including healthcare, life insurance, and long-term disability. With his determination and the resources from several area agencies to lend a hand, Gerald’s future looks very bright.  
Want to Read More Stories Like This? We Do!
Missouri CAN is collecting stories from the 19 agencies across the state to share as part of its ongoing advocacy and storytelling efforts. Simply submit information here to share a success story from your agency. We’d love to share the impact you are making on Missourians!

While we are collecting agency stories of all sorts on an ongoing basis, we are particularly interested in stories pertaining to the importance of SNAP to Missouri families, especially as we advocate for low-income Missourians and AGAINST Missouri Senate Bill 4 (scroll down for a summary of the bill).
Upcoming Events for Missouri Community Action Network
With several Professional Alliance meetings this month, it's the perfect time to get involved in one of these professional groups to network and learn with peers from other agencies. Register for the meetings via the links below.
Missouri CAN Annual Report available now!
The FY 2018 Missouri Community Action Network Annual Report is available! As a token of our appreciation, annual reports were mailed directly to individual members. If you have not received a copy of the report, be sure to pick up one next time you visit the Missouri CAN office. Bundles of reports for agencies are also available when visiting the Missouri CAN office. Just let us know you'd like to take some with you!
MCAN On the Road: Agency Visits in March

Mary Mullins and Chad Courter visited East Missouri Action Agency on March 18 for MIS training.

Brian Valentine and Mary Mullins met with program directors at Community Action Partnership of North Central Missouri on March 20 to discuss areas of agency support from Missouri CAN.

Andrea Davis visited Missouri Ozarks Community Action's Board of Directors meeting on March 28 to present information about trainings offered by Missouri CAN.
Advocacy - A voice for low-income Missourians
Developing Movement Makers: 2019 Network Advocacy Day

On March 26, our Network held its 2019 Advocacy Day at the state capitol building in Jefferson City. As Missouri CAN aims to strengthen our advocacy initiatives and grow advocates both within and outside our Network, this year’s theme was “Developing Movement Makers”. 

Many thanks to the employees, board members, and community partners who came out in full force to commemorate 55 years of advocating for low-income families and ensuring that all Missourians have a voice in matters that affect them. As Janice Robinson, Chair of the Missouri CAN Board Advocacy Committee and Deputy Director for Community Services at NECAC, said in her comments during our rally:

“At its simplest, I believe a ‘Movement Maker’ is someone who puts his or her words into action so the collective voice of our Network and of Missourians living in poverty can be heard far and wide. So today, we’re asking each of you to be a Movement Maker. To honor the values of our movement that we all just professed in the Community Action Promise. To raise your voices on behalf of your fellow Missourians. And to listen to those you may not agree with, which is how we all find common ground.”

Each of you who attended Advocacy Day answered this call to action by doing just as Janice encouraged you to do.

In addition to Janice, another crowd favorite was keynote speaker  Tara Raghuveer , an organizer and researcher whose work has focused on housing, immigration, and voting rights. A Kansas City native, Tara has studied eviction in the five-county KC metro area for five years. Her research on eviction and poverty in Kansas City is cited in the Pulitzer Prize-winning book  Evicted.  In her keynote address, Tara mobilized our Community Action crowd with remarks like these:

“Movements don’t just happen. As Frederick Douglass famously said, ‘Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has and it never will.’ Movements REQUIRE movement makers, the people whose stories and passion drive them into existence and into success. In Kansas City, we are building a little team of movement makers, but we can’t do it alone. We will need the same energy across the state to make the systemic change we need to see here in Missouri and across the country.”
2019 Network Advocacy Day in the News
Legislative Action Related to the Five Elements of Poverty

The First Regular Session of the 100 th Missouri General Assembly is now more than half over. With just six weeks remaining in this legislative session, time is short to move bills past the finish line. Conventional wisdom dictates that if a bill hasn’t passed at least one of the two chambers by spring break (held the week of March 18), it is unlikely the proposal will be “Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed” by the session’s end. 

Missouri CAN has testified against multiple bills this session and has also supported several others. Read on to learn more about this critical legislation; click the appropriate link to be taken to the House or Senate website for a deep dive into each piece of legislation. And if you have any questions or would like to take action on any of these bills, please contact  Jessica Hoey , Missouri CAN Director of Public Affairs and Community Engagement. 
Bills Opposed by Missouri CAN
Senate Bill 4 – SNAP Work Requirements
Sponsored by Senator David Sater (R – District 29)

Modifies the law relating to work requirements for SNAP participants; requires individuals participating in SNAP to comply with work requirements described in federal statute and regulations. Any nonexempt participant who refuses or fails without good cause to comply with the work requirements shall be ineligible to participate in the program for the duration of the disqualification period (after the third occurrence, one is permanently barred from SNAP participation).
Senate Bill 76 – Medicaid Work Requirements
Sponsored by Senator David Sater (R – District 29)

Requires certain MO HealthNet participants to comply with work and community engagement requirements; requires the Department of Social Services to apply for a waiver and any necessary state plan amendments to implement work and community engagement requirements for certain MO HealthNet participants by January 1, 2020. Participants ages 19 to 64 shall complete at least 80 hours a month of any combination of specified work, education, job search, child care, and volunteer services.
Senate Bill 208 – Elimination of Circuit Breaker Tax Credit
Sponsored by Senator Wayne Wallingford, Assistant Majority Floor Leader (R – District 27)

Modifies the Senior Citizens Property Tax Relief tax credit program by removing renters from eligibility, making the program applicable only to homeowners.
House Bill 474 – Modifies TANF & SNAP Provisions
Sponsored by Representative J. Eggleston, Assistant Majority Floor Leader (R – District 2)

Among other things, this bill prohibits a recipient of TANF or SNAP from using his or her EBT card at any ATM to receive cash back on a purchase or to otherwise access the benefits as cash.
House Bill 660 – Study on Use of Public Assistance
Sponsored by Representative Herman Morse (R – District 151)

Requires the Department of Social Services to conduct a study on the generational use of public assistance and determine how many recipients of benefits are the children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren of individuals who have also received such benefits. The department must delineate its findings by showing how many recipients are members of the second, third, or fourth generation of individuals who have received such benefits. The department must submit a report to the General Assembly by January 1, 2021.
House Bill 899 – Modifies Tenant Rights
Sponsored by Representative Hardy Billington (R – District 152)

Currently, Missouri law states that in landlord tenant actions, defendants have 10 days from the date of a judgment to file a motion to set aside judgment or for a new trial. This bill reduces that time to five days.
Bills Supported by Missouri CAN
Senate Bill 183 – Earned Income Tax Credit
Sponsored by Senator Lauren Arthur (D – District 17)

For all tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2020, this act creates a state tax credit in an amount equal to a percentage of the amount of a taxpayer's federal earned income tax credit. The amount of the credit shall increase in 5% increments per tax year, beginning with 5% in the 2020 tax year until the credit reaches 20% for all tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2023.
Senate Bill 209 – Prohibits Credit Checks for Employment
Sponsored by Senator Karla May, Minority Caucus Chairwoman (D – District 4)

Prohibits employers from requiring an employee or prospective employee to consent to a request for a credit report that contains information about the person’s credit score, credit account balances, payment history, savings or checking account balances, or savings or checking account numbers as a condition of employment unless the report is otherwise required by law.
House Bill 6 – LIHEAP Transfer to Weatherization
Sponsored by Representative Cody Smith, House Budget Chair (R – District 163)

House Bill 6 in its entirety appropriates money for the expenses, grants, refunds, and distributions of the Department of Agriculture, Department of Natural Resources, and Department of Conservation. Because the Division of Energy is being moved from the Department of Economic Development to the Department of Natural Resources, the LIHEAP transfer to LIWAP is now included in House Bill 6. 

Bill Language Related to Transfer:   See page 25 of HB 6 for detailed information. The LIHEAP transfer to Weatherization appears as low-income federal funds for weatherization of $8.4M in HB 6. It does not appear in Department of Social Services House Bill 11, but it does show in the Department of Social Services budget books.
House Bill 291 – Earned Income Tax Credit
Sponsored by Representative Bill Kidd (R – District 20)

Authorizes an individual income tax credit equal to 20% of any earned income tax credit claimed by the taxpayer on his or her federal income tax return, beginning on January 1, 2020.
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