What's Happening Report
June 8, 2020

Hello!

First, I want to congratulate the new City Council members in Webster Groves, the Aldermen in Shrewsbury the Mayor of Crestwood, and the new Affton and Webster Groves school board members. Shrewsbury, Webster Groves, and Crestwood had a combined 22% turnout, and 44% of those were absentee votes. Turnout this year was down significantly from last year's Municipal election.

There is another election coming up in less than 2 months, and everyone will be able to vote by mail. I hope we will have a large turnout. Please know that even though your vote is one among many, it is as important as every other vote. Before mail-in ballots are available, I will have more information for you about how you can vote by mail and who will need to have a ballot notarized. Currently, there is still a case in the Missouri Supreme Court that could determine some of those details.
I received some pushback from my e-mail last week, which alleged that "anarchists and white supremacists took advantage of the protests to create chaos and property damage." I maintain my position that the property damage is primarily done by a few who wish to cause problems rather than the majority of protesters, who are peaceful. I further state that, while the property damage is awful, it pales in comparison to people losing their lives as a result of police action.

The Shrewsbury police circulated a notice this week, which said, in part:

"With those protests and demonstrations, we have also experienced an overwhelming number of rioters who have been burning businesses, looting, and assaulting innocent citizens in the St. Louis area. Law enforcement in the area have witnessed vehicle caravans traveling around finding targets to burglarize and set afire. A large majority of participants in those caravans have also been found to be armed and have fired weapons indiscriminately while driving through both business and residential areas. While most of us would prefer to believe that the City of Shrewsbury is immune to such incidents, I must assure you we are not. On Tuesday, 06/02/20, just after midnight, twenty cars converged on the business areas along Watson Road, finally gathering on the parking lot of Walmart. We were able to prevent criminal activity in the area when an officer arrived, and the vehicles scattered. Shortly thereafter, several of the vehicles returned and were stopped by Shrewsbury officers. During the investigation, two firearm and several torches were in the vehicles. The subjects were from Wright City, Wentzville and O'Fallon, MO. 

...

Our department is currently working with surrounding agencies and St. Louis County Police, as well as state and federal authorities, to gather information regarding possible criminal activity in our areas as a result of the actions of those who are not here to protest, but to commit criminal acts against our residents and our businesses. This week public statements were made indicating that groups would be "moving out of the cities and into residential areas to take what's ours". The comments were blamed on groups sponsoring the protests, but that was later determined to be untrue; however, it has not stopped others from moving into residential areas."
COVID-19 Information

Missouri's stay at home order has been lifted, and we are now under a social distancing order . St. Louis City and County are also under less restrictive orders now.

Covid-19 is a very serious illness, and over 5.5% of those diagnosed in Missouri have died. There is a push to end stay-home orders, but this virus is waiting us out.

Governor Parson does a daily briefing at 3:00, which is also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GovMikeParson/videos/ . You do not have to be on Facebook to see them.

Please keep talking about hand washing , what social distancing means, and cleaning and disinfecting .

Missourians in need during COVID-19 can find information about essential services available through the online  Missouri Services Navigator  system. This resource offers instant access to available programs and services such as school meal programs for students, food banks, child care, diaper banks, counseling and organizations that assist with housing, transportation or utilities issues. There are currently over 2,000 services listed, with new services added daily. Users can search by keyword, location and/or service. Every program and service contains a map of the location as well as contact information.

If you or your business needs help, my office stands ready to help.

The Missouri House Democratic Caucus has put forth recommendations for what the state can do to address the Covid-19 crisis. You can see them at https://www.molegdems.com/covid19.
Fixing Missouri's Medicaid system is an issue I have been concerned about for a long time and have spoken about in past newsletters. The Federal Families First act gives additional matching funds to states for Medicaid, but one of the conditions of these funds is that they do not cut anyone off Medicaid during this crisis. The good news is, Missouri will not cut anyone off Medicaid during this crisis. Also, if you are diagnosed with Covid-19 and meet the Medicaid criteria for a person with a disability (no more than 85% of Federal Poverty Level; asset limit of $4,000 for individuals or $8,000 for families), you can get Medicaid for 90 days .

I looked at Medicaid numbers for April, and the total number of people on Medicaid has increased by 6.5% this year.
My office has published a consumer guide but will not be sending it to the district. We have had a small number printed to make available to constituents, please contact my office if you would like a copy . The consumer guide is ava ilable thr ough my website from the "District Publication" button.

I am working to build a coalition of people with disabilities in my district . If you have a disability and would like to help advise me on disability issues, please let me know . The concept of "nothing about us without us" is important to me and needs to be part of all policy making, especially relating to people with disabilities.
Medical Bills
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If you have received a surprise medical bill, I would like to hear your story. Please e-mail me with the subject "surprise bill" or call my office at
573-751-1285 to tell us your story.

The Department of Insurance is available to advocate for customers who think they have been taken advantage of. You can call their consumer helpline at 573-751-4126 to get help on insurance matters.
RealID Update
RealID compliant drivers and nondrivers licenses are now available with proper documentation . Please note that the Federal government requires a copy of this documentation be kept for several years. You can go to the DMV and request a replacement for your current license with the Real ID for a $5 processing fee.  If you renew your license at the time of the request you will be charged the renewal fee. You need a RealID compliant Identification Card to board an airplane and enter federal buildings; Missouri issued Identification Cards (including drivers' licenses) will be accepted in lieu of RealID until October 1, 2021 . Some military bases require individuals to present a RealID. For more information about RealID, go to dor.mo.gov/drivers/real-id-information/ .

According to the federal Real ID Act, states must retain paper copies of source documents for a minimum of 7 years, and images/microfiche of source documents for at least 10 years, after which point they are to be irretrievably destroyed. Missouri statute complies with this requirement and permits the Department of Revenue to keep these documents within a system not connected to the internet or accessible by any other state or the federal government.

When you get a RealID, please note that the state is required to keep a digital copy of your data for ten years. If you are using a document with private information for identification, like a bank statement, I believe you can redact that information before they scan it.
Census Update
Wednesday, April 1, was Census Day! If you have not completed the census, I encourage you to complete it as soon as possible. In a normal Census year, the census hires individuals to go door-to-door to help people complete the census. Social distancing complicates this exponentially.

If you have any problems completing the census, my office will be happy to help.
Capitol Construction

The Missouri Capitol remains under construction, but it is starting to open up! The protective sheeting around the Capitol is being removed, and the stone underneath is beautiful. Many streets around the Capitol are closed, with signs directing an alternate route. The Capitol Dome is also closed. Construction is expected to be complete by the end of 2020.

You can take a virtual tour!

Here is a 30-minute virtual tour of the art of our Capitol that was produced by Ozarks Public Television a few years ago. Here is the link:

Stately Images - The Public Art of Missouri's State Capitol

Also, House Communications produced a virtual Capitol dome tour that highlights our famous whispering gallery and the view from the top of the building. Here is the link:

Nancy and I will not be meeting people or answering phones in the office, but we will return phone calls and e-mails. You may call at 573-751-1285 or e-mail at sarah.unsicker@house.mo.gov .

My intern this summer is Logan, an incoming sophomore at Webster Groves High School.

I enjoy opportunities to meet with people in the community and participate in local events. It's one of the best parts of my job!
Thanks for reading. Have a great week!

Sarah
Representative Sarah Unsicker
91st District
Leadership
I serve as policy chair of the House Democratic Caucus.
Committees
The committees I am on are:
  • Children and Families (Ranking member)
  • Rules - Legislative Oversight (Ranking member)
  • Health and Mental Health Policy
  • Subcommittee on Healthcare Reform
  • Joint Committee on Public Assistance
Bills Passed(2020)
(link in bill number; bills signed are in bold .)
●      HB 1330 —Authorizes the conveyance of certain state property
●      HB 1386 —Modifies provisions relating to lobbyists
●      HB 1387 —Establishes the “Authorized Electronic Monitoring in Long-Term Care Facilities Act”
●      HB 1414 —Modifies provisions relating to the protection of children
●      HB 1467 —Modifies provisions relating to Missouri LAGERS
●       HB 1511 —Modifies provisions relating to professional licensing reciprocity
●      HB 1655 —Modifies provision for Secretary of State
●      HB 1682 —Prohibits vapor product usage in indoor areas of public schools or on school buses
●      HB 1711 —Allows shelf stable packaged food to be donated to and distributed by charitable organizations
●      HB 1768 —Modifies provisions relating to communications services
●      HB 1854 —Modifies provisions relating to political subdivisions
●      HB 1896 —Adds provisions relating to background checks in the medical marijuana industry
●      HB 1963 —Modifies provisions of the “Missouri Public-Private Partnership Transportation Act” to include a tube transport system
●      HB 2001 —Appropriations
●      HB 2002 —Appropriations
●      HB 2003 —Appropriations
●      HB 2004 —Appropriations
●      HB 2005 —Appropriations
●      HB 2006 —Appropriations
●      HB 2007 —Appropriations
●      HB 2008 —Appropriations
●      HB 2009 —Appropriations
●      HB 2010 —Appropriations
●      HB 2011 —Appropriations
●      HB 2012 —Appropriations
●      HB 2013 —Appropriations
●       HB 2014 —Appropriations - Supplemental
●      HB 2105 —Appropriations - Supplemental
●      HB 2017 —Appropriations - Supplemental
●      HB 2018 —Appropriations - Supplemental
●      HB 2019 —Appropriations - Supplemental
●      HB 2046 —Modifies Provisions relating to professional registration
●      HB 2120 —Establishes provisions relating to water safety and security
●      HB 2456 —Modifies provision relating to reimbursement allowance taxes
●      SB 551 —Modifies provisions relating to regulation of certain personal lines insurances services
●      SB 569 --Modifies provisions relating to victims of sexual offenses
●      SB 591 —Modifies provisions relating to civil actions, including punitive damages and unlawful merchandising practices
●      SB 599 —Changes the law regarding financial instruments
●      SB 600 —Modifies provisions relating to dangerous felonies
●       SB 631 —Elections
●      SB 644 —Modifies law regarding service animals
●      SB 653 —Modifies provisions relating to the protection of children
●      SB 656 —Modifies provisions relating to veterans
●      SB 676 —Modifies provisions relating to taxation
●      SB 718 —Modifies provisions relating to military affairs
●      SB 739 —Prohibits public bodies from entering into certain contracts
●      SB 782 —Modifies provisions relating to transportation
●      SB 913 —Removes the expiration of the peer review process for architects, landscape architects, land surveyors, and engineers
●      SCR 32 —Urges the Missouri Congressional delegation to support legislation for the declassification of POW/MIA records
●      SCR 38 —Disapproves the Missouri Hazardous Waste Management Commission’s recommendations regarding the fees and taxes of the Hazardous Waste Management Commission.
●      SJR 38 —Modifies provisions regulating the legislature to limit the influence of partisan or other special interests
Representative Sarah Unsicker
573-751-1285
Missouri Capitol, Room 135B-C
Paid for by Sarah Unsicker for State Representative, Dan Flaxbart, Treasurer