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OPINION

Representative Don Mayhew Capitol Report: Update from the Capitol

Don Mayhew

In Budget Committee this week the focus was on the Department of Health and Senior Services with Missouri Health Net (Medicaid) making up, by far, the largest portion of our State budget. Last year Medicaid alone made up nearly 40% of our State budget. We are going to be adding to that program a new category called Medicaid Expansion. Medicaid has traditionally paid for health care for children, the aged, and the disabled and pregnant women.

Expansion extends Medicaid benefits to able-bodied people only and will result in, based on projections, an additional $138 Million out of an already stressed General Revenue portion of the budget. The proponents of Expansion had promised that there would be no impact to General Revenue and in fact, we would see a windfall from it. So far, that is not proving to be accurate. We must keep in mind that we are in the first budget year for Expansion. $138 Million is only the additional General Revenue portion of what is soon to be over $14 Billion of the State budget, and that additional General Revenue covers only a portion of the hundreds of thousands that are predicted to sign up for the Expansion program. While we do not know the ultimate impact of Expansion on the State budget, it is obvious that there is no windfall to the State resulting from it.

I have received numerous calls and e-mails about the Second Amendment Preservation Act (SAPA), sponsored by Representative Jered Taylor. The House of Representatives passed SAPA this week and now it is in the hands of the Senate. SAPA seeks to prevent the federal government from using State forces and Departments to enforce unconstitutional edicts and mandates related to lawful ownership of firearms. Our men and women in law enforcement take an oath to support and defend both the US and State Constitutions and, with SAPA, they will not be forced to participate in actions that they know are unconstitutional.

I have been working hard on trying to get legislation that will be effective in combating the epidemic of thefts of catalytic converters throughout the State. After close work with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, we are very close to having a bill that is effective at reducing the epidemic of catalytic converter thefts we are see in our District and Statewide.

If I can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Don Mayhew, a Republican, represents parts of Phelps, Pulaski and Crawford counties in the Missouri House of Representatives.