2020 Missouri Legislature | St. Louis Public Radio

2020 Missouri Legislature

Royal Oak Nursing & Rehabilitation in St. Louis' Central West End neighborhood on April 22, 2020.
Eli Chen | St. Louis Public Radio

Guardians of nursing home residents in Missouri will soon be allowed to install cameras in facilities to monitor how workers provide care to their loved ones. 

The Missouri Legislature passed a law in mid-May to allow surveillance of residents’ rooms. Patient advocates say the measure could help families keep an eye on relatives they can’t visit during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Cameras would allow families to document abuse or workers not taking precautions against the coronavirus, said Marjorie Moore, executive director of VOYCE, a St. Louis advocacy group for long-term care residents.

March 6, 2020 Jill B. Delston Shamed Dogan
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Many women say it should go without saying: Your doctor should not be able to give you a pelvic exam without first getting your permission.

That’s the law in Illinois. Yet in many states — including Missouri — physicians aren’t required to ask first. And some doctors say the practice of giving women such exams while under anesthesia has long been commonplace, as a way to train medical residents. Explicit consent has not always been part of the equation.

For two years running, Missouri Rep. Shamed Dogan (R-Ballwin) has introduced a bill to bar physicians from giving unconscious women pelvic exams without first getting their express consent. On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, Dogan explained that he was inspired by national media coverage of the issue. (Most recently, the New York Times looked into the practice.)    

Public universities in Missouri haven’t been able to offer in-state tuition to students living illegally in the U.S. since 2015. Some state lawmakers are now trying to make sure that doesn’t change anytime soon.

A bill currently making its way through the state Senate would ban publicly funded colleges and universities from offering in-state tuition to undocumented students, making permanent budget langauge that currently must be approved each year.

Republican Rep. Holly Rehder of Sikeston sponsored the House drug monitoring bill.
Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

The Missouri House of Representatives passed legislation on Monday to create a statewide prescription drug monitoring program. 

The program, designed to prevent opioid abuse, was approved 98-56. The measure now moves to the Senate, where it has failed in recent years at least partially because some members say it is an invasion of privacy and they do not want to create a government list. 

More than 80% of the state’s population is covered under St. Louis County’s PDMP, and this measure would essentially expand that statewide, with added protections. 

Gov. Mike Parson addresses the Missouri General Assembly during the State of the State Address held January 15, 2020.
Marta Payne | Special to St. Louis Public Radio

On the first Politically Speaking roundup show of 2020, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Julie O’Donoghue and Jaclyn Driscoll recap Gov. Mike Parson’s State of the State address.

During Parson’s speech, the GOP chief executive focused on the effort to get a handle on violent crime in Missouri’s biggest cities — and discussed how his administration is managing the state’s Medicaid program.

Members of the Missouri House converse on the first day of the 2019 legislative session.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Gun control, Medicaid and redistricting are expected to be the most contentious issues Missouri lawmakers will take up this legislative session. 

House and Senate members return to the state Capitol on Wednesday, and the governor is to deliver his State of the State address a week later on Jan. 15. 

Democrats in both chambers say gun control and urban violence will be at the top of their list of priorities.