I. LEGISLATIVE BRANCH
• The General Assembly is currently on Spring Break and scheduled to return on March 30, 2020.
• A big issue being discussed is work on the FY 20 Supplemental budget bill. This bill, among other things, contains state and federal COVID-19 response relief dollars.
• We will keep you informed as to any developments regarding the session as soon as decisions are made.
II. EXECUTIVE BRANCH
• Executive Order 20-05: On March 23, the Governor issued executive order 20-05 suspending any prohibition on the sale of unprepared food by restaurants to the public. This was to prevent the spoliation of unprepared food and provide restaurants the ability to sell food to the public.
• Effective March 24, 2020, the Governor closed the State Capitol and state office buildings throughout the state to the public until April 6, 2020.
• State Departments are continuing to work with the Governor’s Office to waive or suspend regulations and statutes that impact with Missouri’s response to the spread of COVID-19.
• Department of Health and Senior Services – The director, through the direction of the Governor, has put in place social distancing and group engagements of 10 people or less. DHSS is also working with the Missouri Hospital Association to allow hospitals to extend deadlines for hospitals to seek license renewals and allow them to set up remote sites and add additional bed capacities without formal licensing processes.
• Department of Revenue – DOR has pushed back the tax filing date, payment date and the estimated tax payments from April 15 to July 15. Additionally, DOR has implemented automatic extensions for expiring driver licenses and motor vehicle registrations. The federal government announced it is pushing back the implementation of the Real ID requirement. A new date will be announced soon.
• Department of Social Services – The department continues its efforts across the board to avoid waivers and extinguishing participation in its programs. This includes MO HealthNet not terminating eligibility for Medicaid, relaxing requirements on prescription refills and allowing the use of telemedicine. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is waiving all work requirements for 90 days. The child care changes provided in the last update continue and the Family Support Division has requested waivers from the US Department of Agriculture to waive Food Stamp adverse action notices and the initial interview for 90 days. DSS just received approval today.
• Department of Economic Development – On March 21, the U.S. Small Business Administration approved Missouri’s request for assistance through the federal agency’s disaster program. This provides low interest disaster loans of up to $2 million for small business and private non-profits.
• Department of Commerce & Insurance – The Department waived section 191.1145.3 for individuals licensed in other states to provide Missouri with the ability to expand the use of telehealth during this emergency. The Department has also issued a Bulletin to inform and educate readers on emergency issues. A link to the Bulletin can be found here: https://insurance.mo.gov/laws/bulletin/documents/Coronavirus2Bulletinfinal.pdf
• Additionally, multiple professional boards are seeking temporary waivers for certain licensing requirements. Because these requirements are specific to each profession, they are in the process of being reviewed. The boards include:
o Board of Registration for the Healing Arts
o Board of Nursing
o Dental Board
o Board of Pharmacy
o Board of Optometry
o Board of Occupational Therapy
o Board for Respiratory Care
o Committee for Social Workers
o Committee of Psychologists
o Behavior Analyst Advisory Board
o Real Estate Appraisers Commission
o Board of Accountancy
o Office of Tattooing, Body Piercing & Branding
o Board of Embalmers & Funeral Directors
III. Local Government
• County Governments including Boone, Cass, Clay, Jackson, Jefferson, Platte, St. Charles, St. Louis and St. Louis City are under some form of Stay-in-Place orders. While the Governor has not issued such an order- nearly 40% of Missouri’s population is under such an order. These orders have exceptions for essential services. While the various shelter in place orders vary, most contain the same essential critical infrastructure workforce exemptions which are outlined in the March 19, 2020, Department of Homeland Security memo. The link is below:
• Some local municipalities are still considering public health orders that may include shelter-in-place (ie Springfield) and we will update.
• We know many of you have business interests across the state that may be impacted by county orders. We are here to assist as needed. If you need a copy of an order- we can assist you in getting a copy. Click the following link for an updated list of county and city orders: https://lgpmconsulting.com/2020/03/30/missouri-county-and-city-stay-at-home-orders-updated-march-30-2020/
IV. Statewide Ballot Question – Medicaid Expansion
• Reports indicate that this ballot initiative has the necessary signatures, prior to COVID-19 restrictions, and if the signatures check out it will make the November 2020 ballot.
Please let us know any specific needs you have with specific agencies/offices and we will assist you in getting the answers you need.