Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

2023 Missouri Legislative Wrap Up

2023 Missouri Legislative Wrap Up
The Missouri General Assembly adjourned for the year on May 12, 2023. Prior to the 2023 session, the Jackson County Health Department outlined policy priorities. Our 2023 Missouri Legislative Wrap Up below takes a brief look at what was accomplished during this session.

Met Policy Goal

Partially Met Policy Goal

Didn’t Meet Policy Goal

1. Increase Access to Care

Extend postpartum coverage under Medicaid to 12 months

The Missouri General Assembly extended postpartum Medicaid coverage to 12 months. This is a year’s long effort that represents significant progress in addressing the rising maternal mortality crisis in Missouri. While there was some controversy around anti-abortion language that has been previously rejected by CMS, the legislation passed without this language. To learn more about the importance of extending Medicaid coverage to 12 months, read our policy brief on Maternal Mortality and Medicaid Extension.

Provide 12 months continuous coverage for children eligible for CHIP

While Missouri legislation has not specifically enhanced funding for the CHIP program, the federal government has provided funding for 12 months of CHIP funding. Paired with the extension for Postpartum Medicaid, these two interventions represent significant movement in addressing child and maternal health outcomes in the state.

Ensure adequate access to comprehensive contraceptive services

The Missouri General Assembly allocated funding for sexual health testing, treatment and prevention. Despite a Missouri Supreme Court ruling in 2020 and a Cole County Court ruling in December 2022, the General Assembly included language in the budget that prevents Medicaid from reimbursing Planned Parenthood, which could jeopardize their ability to serve Medicaid patients.

2. Support Public Health Funding and Capacity

Fully fund DHSS budget request including funds for LPHAs

The Missouri General Assembly allocated $2.9 billion for MO DHSS, including  $9.6 million in core funding for LPHAs. This total includes a $2.3 million increase in funding, as well as $3.8 million in funding for LPHA accreditation incentives.

Preserve our ability to combat vaccine-preventable illnesses by following evidence-based vaccine requirements for school admission

Several bills that would restrict the ability of DHSS and LPHAs to follow evidence-based vaccine requirements saw movement in the House and Senate, with some passing out of committee. However, no legislation restricting vaccines passed either chamber.

3. Prevent Negative Health Outcomes Associated with Substance Use

Legalize syringe service programs

While the General Assembly came close to passing a needle exchange program in the 2022 session before it ultimately stalled in conference committee, 2023 saw little movement on this program. Three bills were filed to create needle exchange programs. Two were referred to committee and only one was voted out of committee before stalling in the rules committee.

Remove fentanyl strips from the definition of “drug paraphernalia” under Missouri law

Several bills were introduced that would exclude fentanyl test strips from the definition of drug paraphernalia. Ultimately, the legislation was added as part of an omnibus bill on public safety. Fentanyl strips are an important harm reduction tool, and can reduce the risk of a fentanyl overdose.

Allow local subdivisions to implement tobacco regulations that prevent youth tobacco use

Preemption laws allow the state to limit or eliminate local authority on a specific issue. A bill that would preempt municipalities from adopting tobacco regulations was introduced and passed out of committee in the Senate, but was not ultimately passed by the Senate.

Thank you for reading our 2023 Missouri Legislative Wrap Up. To learn more about Jackson County Public Health’s policy priorities, see our full 2023 Policy Agenda.