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July 5, 2022
In this week's Missouri Policy Spotlight, Dr. Jill Barnas gives a brief overview of recent firearm policy debates in the US Senate and Missouri legislature, and highlights her Science Note on secure firearm storage.
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Did you miss last week's discussion about climate resilience in Missouri? You can now watch the full recording on-demand on our YouTube page. 


Missouri charter schools will receive millions in state funds with governor’s signature

Gov. Mike Parson has signed into law a bill to infuse over $60 million in state funding into charter schools. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Doug Richey, R-Excelsior Springs, aims to close a discrepancy in funding allocated to charter schools versus traditional public schools that was the result of outdated property values. 

Science Note: Charter School Funding

Gov. Parson signs bill requiring Kansas City to put more money toward police

Gov. Mike Parson signed legislation Monday that would increase the amount of funding Kansas City is required to put towards its police department – if voters approve a proposed constitutional amendment in November.  The bill, sponsored by Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville, raises the portion of Kansas City’s budget that must be devoted to the police department from 20% to 25% — a $65.2 million increase.

Science Note: Public Safety Funding

Governor signs photo ID requirement into law


Gov. Mike Parson signed HB 1878 into law Wednesday, putting a photo identification requirement into place for the Nov. 8 general election. Boone County Clerk Brianna Lennon said the law will not take effect until Aug. 28. Voters who cast their ballots at a polling location or in-person absentee in the Aug. 2 primary election will not be required to present a photo ID.

Science Note: Voter ID Laws

New Missouri law makes sleeping on state land a crime for people experiencing homelessness

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed sweeping legislation Wednesday making it a Class C misdemeanor for people experiencing homelessness to sleep on state-owned land. The law prevents some federal and state funds from being used to construct affordable housing, instead redirecting that money towards constructing temporary camps that provide substance abuse and mental health treatment. 
 
Science Notes: Homelessness in Missouri, Male Homelessness, Veteran Homelessness

Missouri governor signs bill requiring schools test, filter water for lead


Efforts to eliminate lead in school drinking water got a huge boost on Friday, as Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed off on legislation requiring testing and also gave his approval to $27 million in federal funds to help schools install filters. The new law, which goes into effect Aug. 28, requires schools to test their drinking water.

Science Note: Lead in Drinking Water

New law creates prison nursery program in Missouri


The Missouri Department of Corrections is required to establish a nursery within a women’s prison by July 2025 under legislation signed into law Friday by Gov. Mike Parson.  On the final day of session, Missouri lawmakers approved a bill that included provisions creating the “Correctional Center Nursery Program.” Lawmakers also added $495,000 to the Department of Corrections’ program budget. 

Science Note: Prison Nursery Programs
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We have extended our application deadline for executive policy fellowships. MOST Executive Policy Fellows assist state agencies with incorporating data management, analysis, visualization, and integration practices to improve program design and implementation according to agency priorities. Executive Policy Fellows also have opportunities to build policy-relevant skills by participating in professional development activities hosted by MOST and by contributing additional capacity to team projects as appropriate.

We are currently seeking candidates that have (or will have) a terminal degree (M.S./M.A. or above) in data science, computer science, systems engineering, or a related field (e.g., operations management), or have completed a terminal degree in another discipline that required extensive data analysis. Do you know someone who would be a good fit? Additional application materials can be found at https://mostpolicyinitiative.org/about/fellows/apply/.
Calling scientists and engineers interested in policy writing experience! 

We are seeking members of a Community Science Note Editorial Board who can assist in writing and reviewing science notes for a variety of settings, including general information, responses to public comment opportunities, and in advance of public hearings. We request that writers and editors have scientific training such as advanced degrees and/or extensive research experience. 

 
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