Kids Win Missouri has spent the summer visiting communities around the state, sharing information about our organization and our priorities, hearing from advocates on issues affecting children around the state and working with partners to develop policy strategies for the 2020 Legislative Session. Here are some of the highlights:
Travels in June
- Visiting St. Louis to present a legislative wrap-up with partners from the Missouri Budget Project and Missouri KidsFirst at a St. Louis Child Abuse & Neglect Network and Generate Health event.
- Providing a legislative update, a look at the children’s Medicaid enrollment decline, and advocacy training to coalition members at a Bootheel Babies and Families learning event in Sikeston.
- Sharing information about the recent Medicaid enrollment decline at the Cover Missouri Coalition meeting.
Travels in July
- Co-hosting a community conversation with the Columbia Cradle to Career Alliance to update local advocates on recent policy changes, share information about potential priorities, and receive community feedback
- Presenting at the Kansas City Partners in Quality Meeting at MARC alongside the Missouri Budget Project and Aligned to update their members on the most recent legislative session, the Medicaid enrollment decline, and to gather feedback and input into the 2020 Policy Priority Process.
Notable Bill Signings and New Laws
- The Governor signed the FY2020 Budget on June 10th, which included:
- An additional $3 million for home visiting programs within the Children’s Division
- An additional $3 million for Parents as Teachers
- An additional $260,000 for the Quality Assurance Report pilot project
- The Governor signed HB 397 into law with provisions including:
- Nathan’s Law, which limits the number of children allowed in unlicensed, in-home child care settings and strengthens penalties for violations.
- Fix the Glitch, which closes a loophole that prevents youth formerly in foster care from another state from accessing public health coverage if they move to Missouri.
- The Missouri Budget Project, Missouri Coalition of Children’s Agencies and Kids Win Missouri formed a collaborative to ensure children have access to coverage and health care in Missouri. The collaborative attended and hosted several meetings throughout the summer to gain insights and perspectives on the challenges causing the recent Medicaid enrollment decline in Missouri. The collaborative is also meeting with state administrators and working on policy recommendations to pursue in 2020 with the aim of ensuring eligible children can easily enroll and retain coverage.
- As part of this, we are also working in partnership with organizations like the Show-Me School-Based Health Alliance, Missouri Primary Care Association and the Missouri School Boards Association to develop an outreach plan to help reach children and families affected by the enrollment decline or those at risk of losing coverage.
- The collaborative will host the Child and Family Health Retreat on September 12 to convene advocates and stakeholders engaged in children’s health issues to dig into the challenges and develop strategies and solutions to help improve the Medicaid system.
- In July, we convened a group of stakeholders to look at some specific issues related to youth who are homeless and their ability access and health care and other critical supports.
- The summer has been full of activity on the early childhood front.
- With experts throughout the state working to implement the Preschool Development Grant, we are participating in the Needs Assessment Advisory Committee portion of the grant. The first advisory meeting was on July 22 and will meet two more times to provide guidance into the needs assessment portions of the grant.
- Craig Stevenson, Kids Win Missouri’s Director of Policy and Advocacy, is participating in a workgroup related to a grant that Governor Parson’s Office received from the National Governor’s Association that focuses on early learning policy development.
- The Governor’s Child Care Working Group released their recommendations on June 1. We will continue to work alongside with the governor’s office, legislature, and state department to ensure advocates have a voice at the table as work on these moves forward.
- As the Dept. of Health & Senior Services works to inform and implement Nathan’s Law, we are working with the department as questions arise from providers within our network.
What’s coming up?
- Craig and Casey Hanson, Kids Win Missouri’s Director of Outreach and Engagement, will visit Southwest Missouri on August 6th to host community conversations in Springfield and Joplin. Visit our events page to register for either event.
- As we’re in the midst of our 2020 Policy Priority setting process, our issue workgroups will continue to meet to discuss pressing issues and possible policy changes throughout August. These meetings will culminate in rolling out each group’s priorities at our 3rd Quarter Meeting on September 18. Please reach out to Casey Hanson if you’d like to get involved in a workgroup or RSVP for our Third Quarter meeting here.
- We will host our first Happy Hour event on Thursday, August 29 in St. Louis. This is an informal event with the goal of giving Kids Win Missouri’s members and stakeholders the opportunity to meet, network, and share ideas outside of our typical convenings. We hope you’ll RSVP and plan to join us – and if you’re not in St. Louis or can’t travel there, stay tuned for other events coming to a city or town closer to you.