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Missouri recently became the last state to implement a prescription drug monitoring program or PDMP as it is more commonly referred. A PDMP is a state run electronic database to track the prescribing and dispensing of certain classes of prescription drugs in order to curb or eliminate abuse. PDMP’s are typically implemented to address the growing opioid abuse crisis in the country, however many legislators, particularly here in Missouri, have serious concerns regarding patient privacy. These concerns are in large part the reason for the stalemate in years past of getting a bill to the Governer’s desk that establishes this type of program. A contingent of Missouri legislators has successfully blocked implementation of PDMP based almost solely on this concern. They argue that a person’s health information, specifically drugs they are prescribed, is information best left to the patient and their doctor and pharmacist. While these legislators have offered some level of compromises including time limited data retention, limited access to the database and/or the scattering of data so that large levels of patient data are not easily hacked into, most of these compromises have been labeled as being too much an impediment to the effectiveness of the program. These opposing forces have clashed year after year ultimately resulting in Missouri being the last state in the union to implement some sort of program. To date the Missouri legislature has not passed a bill for the implementation of a PDMP. However, the state now has begun implementation anyway…

The Governor had pushed hard during regular session for the passage of some version of a PDMP.  After the legislature failed to comply he had threatened something not typically used for these sorts of issues and that is a special session. After one successful special session regarding a time sensitive economic development issue the legislature appears to have slowed the gears to a halt with during the second special session pertaining to issues of abortion. It would seem as though the governors strategy of forcing the legislature to deal with specific issues in the confines of his special calls may have come to an end.  Thus, Governor Greitens has decided to go down a seemingly more popular means of affecting policy by the executive branch by issuing executive order 17-18 (linked here). Governor Greitens ever mindful of putting what he considers wins on the scoreboard sees has raised the ire of the legislature enough that the decision was obviously made to go it alone and enact a broad PDMP of which rules are to be promulgated by the Department of Health and Senior Services.

The legislature has already been reacting to the order from calling out the “Obama style tactics” to digging deeper into the policy flaws that plagued the program while being debated in the legislature. We will all have to wait and see what the concrete response this order will be. Will the legislature pass their own bill next session undoing any work that has been done by the EO? Will someone bring suit as to the constitutionality of the order? Or could the rules promulgated by the department get bogged down and challenged in JCAR? One thing is for certain in American government, when one branch feels as though its authority has been encroached upon the issue at hand has a harder road ahead than it likely would have by going through the traditional procedures.

The firm of Flotron & McIntosh, L.L.C. is pleased to announce that Keith Antone Willis, Sr. has joined their firm as the Not for Profit and Corporate Relations Specialist effective DATE. Willis will blend his corporate relationships, not for profit experience and political knowledge together for help clients to open doors & create new revenue streams of income.

Willis previously worked as a sales consultant and sales coach for 15 years assisting small businesses and entrepreneurs start and grow their companies. In addition, he is a published author of the book “10 Laws of the Ultimate Rainmaker; Shake a Hand, Make a Friend, Get Paid” and vice president of sales & marketing for Who’s Who Diversity in Color Directory. Willis’ track record for success began as the regional VP for Real Times Media, Willis was the company’s most consistent top performer for 10 years straight. He managed 8 Midwest markets and was responsible for training and managing sales teams. 

Willis also served as the associate executive director for the Human Development Corporation, as executive director for St. Paul Saturdays, Mentor St. Louis and The Asthma Consortium and assistant director/principal for Emerson Park Development Corporation in East St. Louis. 

Among Willis’ many accomplishments, he was named one of the “100 Most Inspiring St. Louisans” by the NAACP. Additionally, he received the 2011 Distinguished Entrepreneur Award, from the Dr. Martin Luther King State Celebration Commission of Missouri, and was recognized as the 2014 Member of the Year by the National Sales Network, St. Louis Chapter. 

A native of Columbus, Ohio, Willis is a Saint Louis University graduate, a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. since 1979, married father of three girls and two boys. Richard McIntosh and Franc Flotron are confident Willis will become a valuable addition and a strong asset to the Flotron & McIntosh team.

Willis will be located at our office at 612 E. Capitol Ave. Jefferson City, MO and can be reached at 573-635-7570.

The firm of Flotron & McIntosh, L.L.C. is pleased to announce that Cheryl Dozier has joined their firm effective May 1, 2017. Dozier will continue her efforts to help businesses and people to understand government and how government can work for them.

Dozier previously worked, in government affairs, as the C.E.O of The Dozier Group International and the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus. In addition, she worked for the Department of Mental Health and the Missouri Legislature. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience. She graduated from Columbia College with a Bachelors degree in Business Administration emphasizing marketing and management.

Dozier has a proven record of success in the governmental and public relations arena as well as unprecedented affiliations with the faith community and community collaborative. Dozier is results driven and known nationally for her expertise in working with diverse groups and populations including but not limited to St. Louis Metropolitan Clergy Coal, KC Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Missouri For Fair and Impartial Courts, Missouri Supreme Court, Missouri Division of Tourism and Missouri Department of Agriculture.

Richard McIntosh and Franc Flotron are confident Dozier will become a valuable addition and a strong asset to the Flotron & McIntosh team.

Cheryl will be located at our office at 612 E. Capitol Ave. Jefferson City, MO and can be reached at 573-635-7570 and emailed at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The final day of the 2017 session quickly devolved into chaos following one particular senator’s priority legislation dying in the House. This spurred a series of short filibusters in the final hours, and ended with the Senate becoming a complete pandemonium. Previous question motions were made by leadership to end debate on minimum wage legislation and force a vote. At this point, senators were not recognized for motions or comments, and a representative stormed the chamber accusing a senator of literally sentencing him to death for not passing a much-needed organ donor bill, all while Democrats attempted to shut down the Senate by moving for adjournment multiple times. After nearly 30 procedural moves, that were concurrently addressed by more PQ motions, the Senate passed the minimum wage “fix” and adjourned early.

 Meanwhile, on the other side of the Capitol, the House moved through legislation sent over by the Senate. Some bills received considerable debate, while others were breezed through. However, proceedings in the House were not always smooth sailing. As the Speaker of the House offered an amendment on the circuit breaker legislation in an attempt to move Medicaid recipients to a 21-point system, a representative lashed out screaming across the chamber at the Speaker, “How dare you! The Senate is dysfunctional and you are harming the neediest and most vulnerable Missourians.”

 There has been a lot of conjecture about the dysfunctionality of the Senate, and at times the House, this session. Yet I believe hindsight will show it was not only a historic year in regards to the vitriol among legislators, but also in regard to the weight of the issues that actually passed. Issues that have been bottled up by filibusters and a democratic governor were passed early on in the legislative session. Labor issues such as right-to-work, paycheck protection and tort reform bills; which included time limited demands, collateral source rule and others; all made it across the finish line. Many have argued that the combination of the labor bills passed will make Missouri a panacea for large corporations, leading to increased jobs and a more prosperous economy. Additionally, the tort bills and the adoption of the Daubert standard are purported to alleviate Missouri from being labeled, as the governor has said, “a judicial hell-hole.” Unions and trial attorneys took a beating this year, and will likely spend years attempting to undo or chisel away at the issues passed. Only time will tell whether the job creating, economy boosting, judicial reforming acts passed this session will indeed have the desired effects.

 In the budget, Medicaid reimbursement rates were decreased, but not as much as expected. The renters portion of the senior citizen property tax credit was nixed. In its place there will be a sweeping of funds from various portions of the budget that had existing balances. The elementary and secondary education foundation formula was fully funded for the first time since its inception. Higher education did not end up taking the 30% cut initially proposed by the governor, but rather ended up with an approximately 6.5 percent decrease to their core. 

On Thursday, Governor Greitens released his recommendations for the FY 2018 budget that included more than $572 million in spending reductions from last fiscal year. His budget is based of a 3.8% consensus revenue estimate.

Included in his cuts were $73 million reduction from the four year higher educations institutions, a 3% cut to all Medicaid providers,  changes in eligibility requirements for in-home and nursing care,  $31 million reduction in school busing programs and saw the Department of Agriculture’s budget cut by more than half.

Click here for Fiscal Year 2018 Budget recommendations. 

 

On Monday Governor Greitens announced the an expected additional round of budgetary withholds. This comes just a week after he has taken office. Higher education institutions around the state bore the brunt of the cuts, $55 million from the four-year institutions and $11.8 million from community colleges. Other programs that took hits were transportation for K-12 education, the state’s bio-diesel incentives fund, core cuts to the state’s various humanities and cultural partners and Missouri’s tourism advertising budget.  

See his announcement video here as well as the link here to the full list of expenditure restrictions.

 

On Tuesday December 6th, the MO HealthNet Oversight Committee met for their final meeting of 2016, and final meeting for both the Department of Social Services Director Brian Kinkade and the MO HealthNet Director Joe Parks as both will be moving on from state government at the end of the month.

The President of Flotron McIntosh, Richard McIntosh was on air with the Missouri Times for their This Week in Missouri Politics broadcast. Check out the video below for discussion around the upcoming November elections. 

This is the second time Richard has appeared on the program.

 

Today, the Governor's Conference on CyberSecurity was held in Jefferson City. Governor Jay Nixon, Commissioner Doug Nelson, CIO Rich Kliethermes, and CISO Mike Roling kicked off the event. Click here to watch a video of Commissioner Nelson's and Governor Nixon's opening remarks from this morning. 

The summit was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for statewide cybersecurity preparedness programs. The summit focused on themes of information sharing and awareness, training, workforce development, hardening of critical infrastructure discussion and incident response. 

This summit is in tandem with the newly formed Cyber Security Task force that has been at work this summer. See the video below of CISO Mike Roling discussing this task force's role and plan of action. 

 

Missouri is making changes to safeguard the privacy and safety of our state’s citizens. Governor Jay Nixon has signed into law, legislation that will limit access to footage from police body cameras.

Over the last two years, stemming from the killing of Michael Brown, sales for body cameras have soared across the nation. Due to constant media coverage depicting altercations between the public and law enforcement, the demand for accountability is more present now than ever before. 

Within the language of the rewrite of Missouri’s sunshine laws, it will now be specified who can access footage gathered by body cameras,  when they can access it and what footage can be accessed by the public.

During the second regular session of the 98th General Assembly, republican lawmakers introduced language aimed towards encouraging more law enforcement agencies to participate in the action of wearing body cameras. The measure passed through the House with a vote of 154-1, received unanimous support from the Senate and was signed by the governor without comment.

Under Missouri’s Hancock amendment, the state cannot create a mandate on local governments without providing funding. This includes requiring law enforcement to wear body cams without providing funds for the devices, which the state does not currently posses. However, in efforts to progress forward with the protection of citizens and their privacy, the state has now provided guidelines for the data/footage recorded.

Upon implementation of the law in mid-September, access to footage will now be barred during an open investigation, unless a court deems otherwise. Videos will also be considered closed to the public under the following circumstances: video was taken in nonpublic locations such as homes, schools, medical facilities and so forth; the video is ruled reasonably likely to bring shame or humiliation to a person of ordinary sensibilities or in the case that a minor is involved in the footage taken. 

Any person recorded on the footage, including voice, legal guardians of a minor involved and lawyers can request completely unaltered, unedited footage of that individual recorded on a body cam.

Numerous law enforcement officers came forth stating that if provisions were added to protect public privacy, they would be more inclined to wear body cameras. Whereas this is by no means going to stop the violence that has plagued the streets of our state, this is a step forward in safeguarding the citizens of Missouri and their right to privacy, while increasing transparency in interactions between the public and law enforcement, and will hopefully set examples for other states that are not implementing the use of body cameras or addressing the privacy concerns in this legislation.