JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Since June when Gov. Greitens vetoed HCB3, low income seniors, veterans and people living with disabilities have suffered the consequences of a lack of funding for important, in home, health care services. The people who have lost these benefits need just a little bit of help to be able to stay in their homes. Missouri House Democrats are filing several proposals to restore these harmful and unnecessary cuts.
One of them, HB 1241 filed by Rep. Deb Lavender, D-Kirkwood, is similar to HCB 3 in that it would redirect money that is sitting unused in special state accounts and use it to restore the cuts. Another proposal that will be filed in the coming days is a bill by state Rep. Peter Merideth, D-St. Louis, to raise the necessary revenue by reducing the timely remittance discount for sales and use taxes, as well as employee withholdings, from 2 percent to 1 percent. And finally, state Rep. Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, will file legislation to authorize Missouri to implement a streamlined sales tax agreement so the state can more efficiently capture sales tax revenue.
All three bills not only would restore the cuts in consumer directed services but also reinstate funding for the Missouri Rx prescription drug benefit program that the legislature allowed to expire this summer.
“Missouri has gotten its priorities out of order,” Lavender said. “Over the last five years we have given away over $200 million a year in corporate tax cuts, while deeply cutting programs designed to help citizens in need. We owe it to the people of Missouri who have paid their dues, throughout their life, to providing basic health services to keep them independent in their homes, for as long as possible.”
Since the governor’s veto of HCB 3, House Democrats have offered many solutions to restore these devastating cuts and had hoped to address the matter in a special session this fall. Now, House Democrats are holding their Republican colleagues to their promises to undo the cuts by filing legislation to make Missouri’s vulnerable citizens a priority again.