Jeanette Mott Oxford for State Representative 2010

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

JMO4Rep Update - Beginning of Legislative Session 2008 Edition

Friends, allies, and constituents,

I returned to Jefferson City on January 8 for the January 9 beginning of the 2008 Legislative Session. As an election year, conventional wisdom says fewer bills will pass and less controversy may be expected overall, but early indications are that there may be quite a few fights - and that's just among the Republicans. For example, Gov. Blunt is calling for an expansion of healthcare (after having cut 180,000 people off Medicaid during the past three years), and Rep. Rob Schaaf of the Governor's own party is calling for hearings and questioning whether Blunt has the
authority to set-up Insure Missouri as a program.

To read Gov. Blunt's State of the State address, scroll down in the House
Journal for that date:

My reaction to the Governor's speech?

- I am disappointed that Gov. Blunt continues to repeat the myth that he inherited $1.1 billion budget deficit. The Missouri Constitution doesn’t permit the state to deficit spend. The budget he inherited (FY 2005) was balanced when the Republican-controlled General Assembly passed it in May 2004, and it was balanced when Gov. Blunt took office in January 2005.
- I am disappointed that the proposed budget for elementary and secondary education only meets the bare minimum required by state law and that the proposed budget for higher education does not get us back to the 2002 level of spending.
- Only nine states had worse unemployment levels than MO in November, 2007, and the only ideas Gov. Blunt has seem to involve tax credits to various groups (especially groups that are major campaign contributors).
- The governor spent a disproportionate amount of his speech on tough talk about illegal immigration. He overstates the problem in Missouri and contributes to an atmosphere of confusion and fear. The solutions he proposes are either already in state code (like barring undocumented immigrants from getting a driver's license) or divert scant state resources to a problem that requires a federal solution.
- Finally, as mentioned before, it's easy to suggest political motivations for the governor's desire to expand healthcare after he cut so many people off. Gov. Blunt says that he will not rest until every Missourian has health coverage. That is a laudable goal that I share, but I fear the governor will have many sleepless nights since the state is so much farther from that goal than when he took office.

Another reason for concern about Gov. Blunt's ability to expand health coverage: Only one of six reports on various aspects of the state's health care system was submitted on time, and three have yet to be finished or even started, The Associated Press reported on Jan. 7. The reports were due by Jan. 1. Only Attorney General Jay Nixon's office turned in its mandated report on time. Two reports from the Missouri
Department of Social Services were turned in on Jan. 2. As you may recall, the GOP majority renamed Medicaid as MO HealthNet at the end of the 2007 Legislative Session.

One of the tardy reports is due from the Joint Committee on MO HealthNet, which is to consist of five senators and five representatives. However, no members have yet been appointed to the panel. Reports from the legislative budget office and the recently created MO HealthNet Oversight Committee, which oversees the program, are also late.

Surrounding Our Schools with Care Update

I am delighted that Incarnate Word Foundation responded to my recent plea for transportation funds for bus passes for students at Kottmeyer Big Picture Schools who travel to business internships during the day.
Incarnatate Word has made a $1,000 grant available, and the principal, teachers, students and I are very grateful! I am thankful also for additional funds and pledges sent by individuals.

I visited Shenandoah and Meramec elementary schools on Jan. 11 and read to kindergarten, first, and second grade students. It was a wonderful experience, and I hope you'll consider volunteering to be a reader or mentor too! Both of these schools are being proposed for closings, and I ask for your feedback. How would these school closings impact on your community?

Presidential Primary Endorsement

I am favorably impressed by so many of the Democratic candidates for president, that I originally planned to make no endorsement. But the energetic volunteers for Barack Obama have touched my heart with their passion to be part of the solution for our nation's ills, and I have proudly signed on to endorse Obama. His background in community organizing and his care to use language that unites instead of polarizing
are two of my additional reasons to take this step.

If you would like to phone bank or canvass for Obama, call Megon or Hollie at 314-436-5426. Megon's cell phone is 563-581-3312, and Hollie's is 515-339-4360. For more information, see:

Decline to Sign Petition to End Affirmation Action

Ward Connerly, a wealthy California political operative, is trying to amend Missouri’s Constitution and ban affirmative action in our state through an initiative petition. Connerly is targeting Missouri and four other states during the 2008 presidential election. Petitioners will ask you to to sign a petition for equality, but it's really about ending affirmative action, so be very careful!

Volunteer for the “decline to sign” canvass and help stop Connerly’s paid political operatives from gathering signatures for the November ballot. Trainings are held twice a week, and shifts are available daily. Upcoming trainings in St Louis: Thursday evenings at 6 pm at Epiphany UCC, 2911 McNair, 63118 and Saturday mornings at 10 am at Teamsters Local 688, 4349 Woodson Rd., 63134. We are currently scheduling trainings in Mid-Missouri and Kansas City. Contact Aaron Burnett 314-644-0466 to RSVP or schedule a training for your group.

Free Tax Assistance

Free assistance with income tax preparation is available on several dates and times in or near the 59th district. For a list of sites and details about what to bring with you, go to:

A Gathering of City Lovers on Jan. 31

"A Gathering of City Lovers: People who back the City and who back Jeanette Mott Oxford for State Representative," a reception and fundraiser will be held on Thursday, January 31, 2008 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at phd gallery, 2300 Cherokee, St. Louis, MO 63118. (For more about the gallery, see:

The Host Committee consists of:
Anthony Coffin, Barb Moore, Ben Phillips, Beverly Cotton, Bill Hart, Bill Byrd, Chad Johnson. Connie Petty, Jason Deems, Jeannette Ward, Joan Briccetti, Julie Terbrock, Kathy Greminger, Lynn Josse, Mark Kalk, Mark Lammert, Michael Allen, Nancy Galvin, Norah Ryan, Pam Talley, Pamela Merritt, Philip Hitchcock, Shane Cohn, Sharon Hoffmann, Tony Pecinovsky, and Warren Hoffmann.

Please call 314-772-0301 to RSVP.