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Legislative Science Notes

What is a Science Note?

Science Notes are short policy briefs that describe scientific principles and empirical research related to policy topics and legislative proposals. These briefs summarize the highlights and limitations of rigorous, nonpartisan research, and are updated periodically to reflect research and policy developments.

As Missouri legislators file, debate, and vote on legislation, MOST Policy Initiative prepares Science Notes for free upon request to describe the research behind policy issues. All Science Notes are publicly available on our database, located below.

 

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Absentee Voting

Some states, including Missouri, require voters to provide a valid excuse in order to receive an absentee ballot in the mail as an alternative to in-person voting. Other states allow voters to request a ballot without any excuse, or automatically mail all voters a ballot.

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Accommodations for Breastfeeding Mothers in Missouri Schools

In order to meet the health and privacy needs of breastfeeding employees and students, three primary accommodations are typically recommended for workplaces and schools- flexible milk expression breaks, a place to express milk, and a refrigerator to store the expressed milk.

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Addendum: Broadband Development Task Forces

Broadband task forces are composed of stakeholders from inside and outside government who can provide a broad range of perspectives and resources to tackle problems associated with broadband deployment.

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Addendum: Broadband Improvement Districts

Broadband improvement district allows several political entities (e.g., municipalities, counties) to join in order to build out broadband infrastructure together. These districts can also partner with private entities.

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Addendum: Granular Broadband Mapping

The current Federal Communications Commission (FCC) method for determining broadband deployment relies on inaccurate methods which overstate broadband deployment across the nation. In 2020, the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (DATA) Act became federal law and implemented new requirements for the FCC to obtain more detailed, granular level broadband service availability data.

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Addendum: Medical Licensure Reciprocity in Missouri

Policies allowing medical professionals with out-of-state licenses to practice (or gain an expedited license) vary greatly between states, but are one method being explored by states to address the growing physician shortage.

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Addendum: Mental Health Awareness Programs in Schools

Mental health difficulties are common among young people and the mental health of elementary and secondary school students has been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic broadly.

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Addendum: Teacher Career Ladders

Career ladder programs allow teachers to earn a supplement to their incomes by completing activities such as student mentoring and earning professional credentials.

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Addendum: Term Limits for State Legislators

Term limits place restrictions on how long a legislator may hold elected office.

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Addendum: Voter ID Laws

States vary in their voting regulations, and in particular, whether or not an ID is requested or required to be presented at the voting booth.

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Adult Basic Education - Workforce Diplomas

Approximately 9.3% of Missourians over the age of twenty-five do not have a high school diploma or equivalency.

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Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Scope of Practice

Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) are nurses with advanced degrees who practice as certified nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, certified registered nurse anesthetists, or certified clinical nurse specialists. In each state, scope of practice (SOP) laws determine which procedures and treatments APRNs may administer.

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Alternative High School Graduation Pathways

Allowing students to advance through high school based on subject mastery rather than credit hours is an emerging approach that is meant to improve high school completion and ensure college and career readiness in the United States.

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Anhydrous Ammonia

Anhydrous ammonia is a chemical commonly used as nitrogen fertilizer, that when handled improperly, can be dangerous.

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Ballot Initiatives and Referendums

Initiative petitions and referendums allow voters the opportunity to be directly involved in the policymaking process.

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Ballot Signature Verification & Curing

States vary widely in their requirements and protocols for verifying that ballot signatures match signatures in a voter’s registration file. Some states require that voters be notified when their ballot fails the signature verification process so that they may remedy (or “cure”) their ballot.

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Barriers to Rural Gas Station Development

There are many barriers that may prevent the establishment of gas stations, including regulations and costs associated with implementing new equipment, particularly in rural areas with low traffic volume and population density.

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Beef Cattle Costs & Prices

The U.S. meatpacking industry started consolidating rapidly in the 1970s and today, more than 70% of beef is processed by only 3% of meat processing companies.

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Behavioral Healthcare Deficits & Interventions

Behavioral health care (which includes mental health care), can include any services that aid in behaviors that affect mental or physical well-being, such as emotional management, disorders in behaviors like eating or substance abuse, and cognitive illnesses.

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Biodiesel in Missouri

Biodiesel is a renewable, biodegradable fuel manufactured from vegetable oils, animal fats, or recycled restaurant grease. More than half of the nation’s biodiesel production capacity is in the Midwest, led by states such as Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois.

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Biospecimen Confidentiality

Research involving human participants can include the collection of biospecimens, such as blood or tissue, that can be analyzed for diagnostic purposes or evaluation of clinical treatments.

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Broadband and Telemedicine

Telemedicine refers to technological delivery of healthcare services, such as phone/video visits or remote monitoring of patients, in which patient and provider are at different locations.

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Broadband Availability & Adoption

Broadband availability does not guarantee that individuals will subscribe to, or adopt, broadband internet services.

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Broadband Availability Mapping

Maps displaying broadband availability, adoption, and speed are useful to policymakers, broadband providers, and grantmaking organizations because they help identify areas of need, inform priorities, and direct broadband deployment funds. However, current broadband availability data collection methodologies possess several drawbacks that result in inaccurate and out of date maps.

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Broadband Deployment

In order to overcome financial and technological barriers to deploying broadband, many states and localities have developed strategies to increase access and adoption of broadband, including community planning processes, grants and other financial incentives, and regulatory changes. 

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Broadband Impacts

High-speed internet can increase access to information and digital tools, enabling people to participate in society in a variety of new ways. These activities can have significant downstream impacts on individuals and communities, depending on the particular context and use of internet-enabled functions.

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Broadband Infrastructure Utility-Leasing

Filed in the 2022 Missouri Legislative Session, SB 848 and HB 2015 would establish the Electrical Corporation Broadband Authorization Act, allowing electrical corporations to provide broadband infrastructure services to a third-party for resale to an end-customer.

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Cancer in Firefighters and Presumptive Disability Coverage

Firefighters are at an elevated risk for developing several occupational diseases, including cancer, due to increased exposure to toxic contaminants while on duty. Estimates from long-term data suggest that U.S. firefighters have an approximate 1 in 8 incidence rate of cancer.

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Cannabis Legalization

To date, 47 states in the U.S. have legalized the use of cannabis in some form for medical and/or non-medical purposes.

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Career and Technical Education in Missouri

High school career and technical education (CTE) programs can provide students with academic knowledge (e.g., career-oriented courses, dual enrollment), technical skills, & certifications (e.g., industry-recognized credentials), as well as real-world work experience (e.g., career academies, internships, youth apprenticeships).

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Certificates of Need

Certificates of need provide state governments the approval and coordination framework to determine what services are needed in various communities, and when a service is deemed excessive (e.g., too high in cost, or too underutilized).

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Charter School Accountability

The specific ways in which states hold public school districts and charter schools accountable vary based on (1) who oversees school performance, (2) which state-level rules and regulations govern school operations, and (3) which schools are authorized to operate.

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Charter School Expansion

The number of public charter schools in Missouri has almost doubled since 2008. A substantial body of research explains what we know about the effects of charter school expansion on student achievement, spending and equity.

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Charter School Funding

Charter schools in Missouri are considered public schools because they are publicly funded, though they are privately managed and have more flexibility in their curricula and administration than traditional public schools (district schools).

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Charter Schools & Crime

The link between school type and crime has been researched, but it is difficult to establish causal relationships between present/future criminality and  attending a charter school or traditional public school.

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Childcare Facilities and License Exemptions

Childcare facilities are a necessity; such facilities provide a safe and healthy environment for children of working parents, in addition to having an important role in child development; however, different types of facilities statewide are subject to varying levels of rules and regulations.

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Childcare Licensure: Afterschool Programs

Afterschool programs provide enriching child care for school-age children that takes place outside normal school hours or during the summer months.

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College Credit Based on AP Scores

The Advanced Placement (AP) Program allows high school students to take college-level courses with the potential to earn college credit based on their performance on a standardized AP exam. 

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Community Solar

Community solar refers to a shared renewable energy model where several subscribers purchase the electrical output of a large solar farm.

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Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) as an intensive animal feeding operation (AFO) in which over 1000 animal units are confined for over 45 days a year.

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Consensus Revenue Estimates: Missouri Process and Common Practices

Like the majority of states, Missouri uses a consensus approach for estimating the state’s revenues in the upcoming fiscal year. This approach involves the governor and both chambers of the legislature agreeing to a common estimate of the state’s revenue.

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Contraceptive Accessibility

Several types of drugs and devices, available both over-the-counter (OTC) and by prescription, exist to prevent implantation and fertilization of an egg, and reduce the chance for unwanted pregnancies.

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Country of Origin Labeling

Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) is a consumer labeling law that requires retailers to identify the source, or originating country, of the product.

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Coverage of Phenylketonuria (PKU) Dietary Products

Phenylketonuria (PKU) is an inability to clear excess of the amino acid phenylalanine that, if left untreated, leads to brain dysfunction and intellectual disability.

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COVID-19 & K-12 Education

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted schooling due to infections of children and school staff, school closures, and increased reliance on virtual learning.

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COVID-19 and the Missouri Workforce

As of February 2022, roughly 1 in 6 Missourians (~1,091,000) have been confirmed to have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic has had broad impacts on a variety of industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, and agriculture, which has accelerated shifts in commerce and employment-seeking.

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COVID-19 Delta Variant and Vaccine Efficacy

The recent emergence and surge of the Delta variant has increased the number of infections nationwide, including in Missouri.

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COVID-19, Mental Health & Substance Abuse

Research on mental health outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic indicates that substance abuse, including the use of opioids such as fentanyl, has increased, illustrating how the current crisis may trigger new mental disorders even in those without a previous diagnosis.

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Criminal & Civil Asset Forfeiture

Criminal and civil asset forfeiture is the seizure of assets that are connected to a crime or suspected to be associated with criminal activity.

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Cursive Writing

While there is limited research directly comparing cursive and print handwriting, there is evidence that cursive writing can preferentially increase the speed and fluency of writing and reading for some students, especially those with handwriting difficulties

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Dairy and Non-dairy Milk

Although dairy milk production has risen over the last several years, dairy milk retail sales are dropping as Americans increasingly consume alternatives to traditional dairy products, such as dairy-free cheese and yogurt, and dairy alternative beverages. Missouri has special requirements for meat product alternatives that do not come from livestock or poultry. However, it does not have legislation pertaining to the use of milk terminology on non-dairy products.

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Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time (DST), which is the practice of adjusting clock times forwards or back at certain points in the year to change clock time alignment with sunrise and sunset, is observed in approximately 70 countries, including the U.S.

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Decriminalization of Minor Traffic Violations

Traffic violations can range from minor infractions (e.g., speeding, illegal parking) to serious crimes (e.g., DWI, hit and run) and may result in arrest and subsequent jail time.

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Definitions of Race and Ethnicity in the United States

While federal and state laws prohibit discrimination based on race, color and national origin, these terms are often used interchangeably and rarely defined.

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Diaper Accessibility

Diapers are essential sanitary health care items for infants and toddlers. Many low-income families struggle to afford diapers.

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Differential College Tuition Based on Degree Program

Most public institutions in the United States offer discounted tuition for state residents, and some institutions use differential tuition to vary costs based on degree program or program year.

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Discussing Race and Racism in Public K-12 Schools

During the 2021 legislative session, several Missouri bills (HB 952, SB 586, HA1 to HA3 to HB 1141) were introduced with the intention of prohibiting schools from teaching “curriculum implementing critical race theory” and/or teaching “divisive concepts.”

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Distracted Driving and Cell Phone Use

Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, and is a significant public health and safety issue. One of the most common driving distractions is cell phone use while driving.

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Dyslexia & Reading Difficulties

Dyslexia is a common linguistic learning disorder related to problems with word decoding during reading due to difficulties with the processing of word sounds. Early reading interventions are effective at improving reading ability in those with dyslexia.

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Education Opportunity Gaps

An individual’s access to early education, school resources, advanced classes, and experienced teachers may affect educational achievements such as test scores, graduation rates, and future income levels.

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Educational Assistance for Employees Tax Credit

Educational assistance programs that provide tuition and/or student loan repayments are popular with employees and are seen as ways to assist with employee recruitment and retention.

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Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

In 2021, electric vehicle (EV) sales in the U.S. more than doubled compared to the previous year, totaling 4.5% of U.S. car sales.

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Eminent Domain & Economic Contributions

The power of eminent domain authorizes the government to take private property for public use if there is an associated direct or indirect public benefit.

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End-of-Life Care Homes

Hospice care is an interdisciplinary end-of-life healthcare approach that focuses on quality of life when a patient is terminally ill and a cure is no longer possible.

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Energy Assistance in Missouri

Energy assistance for households unable to afford utility bills or at-risk of having utilities shut off primarily comes from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which provides aid for bills, and the Low Income Weatherization Assistance Program (LIWAP), which helps make households more energy efficient. Missourians may also find relief from state, local and private funders that provide additional assistance.

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Expanded Prescription Contraceptive Supply

Prescription contraceptives (e.g., oral pill, rings, patches, and shots) are the most widely used form of contraceptive. Currently, the majority of health insurance plans cover only a 1–3 month supply of prescription contraceptives at a time.

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Expedited Partner Therapies

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) affect millions of people in the U.S. and, while effective treatments exist for the majority of infections, barriers remain to access and effective administration of these treatments. Expedited Partner Therapies (EPT) are a process by which medications are distributed to the partners of infected patients without the prior examination of a doctor.

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FAFSA Completion

Completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required for federal financial aid, as well as most state and institutional scholarships/grants. However, many eligible students do not complete the FAFSA.

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Family Farms & the Family Farms Act

Under the Family Farms Act in current Missouri law, a "small farmer" is defined as a farmer who is a Missouri resident and has less than $250,000 in gross sales per year.

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Farmers' Market Nutrition Program

The Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) provides fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables to participants of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and aims to expand the awareness, use of, and sales of farmers’ markets.

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Federal & State Work-Study Programs

Work-study programs allow students with financial need to receive federal or state financial aid for participating in approved work experiences.

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Feminine Hygiene Products and Prisons

The Missouri Department of Corrections (MDOC) offers free, yet nonabsorbent, sanitary napkins to incarcerated menstruating individuals, while adequate alternatives must be purchased.

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Feral Swine

According to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the U.S. feral swine population of 6 million causes billions of dollars in property and agricultural damage, damages to natural resources and more every year.

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Film and Entertainment Tax Credits

When states have incentives for film and television production, there is a possibility to boost the economy by job creation and generating revenue. However, long-term economic outcomes of investing in film production remain unclear and therefore, may pose unforeseen risks with taxpayer dollars.

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Fire Protection Services

Fire protection services, which are provided to the public via fire associations, fire protection districts, and fire departments, are governed differently according to state statutes.

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Firearms and Police Safety

Firearms-related injuries and deaths pose a serious risk for law enforcement officers (LEOs) in the line of duty.

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Flood Resilience

The presence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers in Missouri creates significant flooding risks for the state.

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Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Lands

Laws that place constraints on ownership of agricultural land by nonresident aliens or foreign owners and businesses vary between states.

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Four-Day School Week

Since 2009, the number of school districts in Missouri with four-day school weeks (4DSWs) has increased yearly.

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Gifted Education

Gifted education is offered by some districts and schools as a way to provide further enrichment to students with high academic or creative potential. The structure, delivery, and funding of gifted programs vary substantially, as do rates of school district implementation of gifted education programs.

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GPA Requirements for A+ Scholarships

One requirement for A+ scholarship eligibility is graduating from an A+ high school with at least a 2.5 grade point average.

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Greenhouse gas emissions of livestock feeding practices

Different livestock feeding practices generate varying levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, specifically carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. 

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HIV Pre- and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis Dispensation

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) medications are highly effective methods of blocking HIV infection in individuals who are at high risk of exposure, or who have been recently exposed.

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Home Health Care & Licensing Standards

Home health is a type of medical care that delivers care in patients’ homes rather than in a centralized location (such as a nursing or convalescent home).

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Homelessness in Missouri

Homelessness is a multifaceted issue that affects over a half-million Americans on a single night in the US and is associated with adverse social, health, and economic outcomes.

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Homestead Tax Relief

Homestead tax relief reduces the financial burden associated with the property taxes paid on one’s place of residence, but does not cover commercial, investment, vacation or vacant properties.

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Industrial Hemp

Hemp and marijuana products both are species of the cannabis plant, but hemp is typically distinguished by its lower concentration of THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol).

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Infant Mortality

Infant mortality is a nationwide public health issue and a key indicator of population health and quality of health care.

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Inspection of Farm Grounds and Facilities in Missouri

House Bill 574 would limit who can conduct on-farm inspections of animal agricultural operations within the state to only those who are authorized by the federal or Missouri law to keep the commercial supply of these products safe.

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Interdistrict Open Enrollment

Interdistrict open enrollment allows students to attend a public school outside of their district of residence.

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Internet Speed

Internet speed is the measure of how fast data is transferred. Different users may require different speeds depending on the application, so some aspects of speed may be more important than others for users with specific needs.

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Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

In order to practice medicine in Missouri, physicians must apply for and be granted a license by the Missouri Board of Registration for the Healing Arts. This license is valid for practice only within Missouri, and licenses from other states do not currently qualify a physician to practice in Missouri.

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Juvenile Sentencing and Public Safety

Under SB 1, a child between the ages of 12 and 18 years may be tried in a court of general jurisdiction and prosecuted under general law for the offenses of unlawful use of weapons and armed criminal action, among other provisions.

 

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K-12 Career Readiness Programs

Individual Career and Academic Plans (ICAP) are optional, individualized plans for students created with inputs from parents or guardians and guidance counselors. Many states require or encourage students to develop ICAPs.

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K-12 Governance Structures

States and districts who have restructured K-12 education to increase local control of budget decisions have not reported significant improvements to student performance.

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Kratom Consumer Protection Act

In the United States, kratom leaves are often ground and sold in pill or powder form, which users commonly report ingesting as a treatment for pain management and opioid withdrawal.

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Land Competition & the Multiplier Effect

The transition to renewable sources of energy, such as large-scale solar panels, can intensify the competition for land between energy production  and agricultural uses. One common approach to gauge the differences in final income between the two opposing uses of agricultural land is estimating the multiplier effect by measuring the change in final income. 

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Landowner Wildlife Permits

Currently, the Missouri Department of Conservation provides resident landowners with up to six no-cost deer permits and up to three no-cost turkey permits each year to be used during the statewide deer and turkey hunting seasons.

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Landscape of Obesity in Missouri

Statewide policies to improve nutrition, exercise, and health in schools and communities are a promising approach to address the primary risk factors of obesity.

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Lead in Drinking Water

The use of lead in plumbing was not federally prohibited in the U.S. until 1986. As a result, many existing household water service lines still contain lead.

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Male Homelessness

Homelessness is defined as when an individual lacks a fixed nighttime residency. While any individual can experience homelessness, it is commonly reported that the homeless population mostly consists of single males.

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Maternal Mortality and Health Disparities

In recent years, the maternal mortality rate in Missouri has been higher than the national rate and is considered to be one of the worst in the United States.

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Meat Processing Facilities

Meat slaughter and processing facilities are an important part of the meat production chain. The number of available meat processing facilities can affect the prices of meat for both producers and consumers.

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Medical Residency

Medical residency consists of 3-7 years of training in a healthcare setting after completion of medical school, and is a prerequisite for full licensure as a physician.

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Menstrual Hygiene Products

Menstrual hygiene products are considered luxury items, not necessities, and are not exempted from sales tax.

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Mental Health Parity

Historically, health insurance plans have classified mental or behavioral health benefits, such as substance abuse counseling or access to antidepressant medication, separately from other medical or surgical benefits, such as routine physician visits or access to antibiotics.

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Missouri Agriculture & Economy

There are different ways to measure the economic impact of an industry in a state, including state value-added, total output, jobs created, and more. 

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Missouri Electricity Bill Reduction Assistance Act

Securitization can reduce financial burden on utilities and ratepayers for stranded assets, i.e., assets no longer expected to cover their costs, and has been used for early retirement of uneconomic coal plants and recovery from disasters.

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Missouri School Counselors

School counselors support the academic, career and social/emotional development of students in elementary and secondary schools.

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Missouri Tax Overview

Outside of federal dollars, state and local budgets are primarily funded by taxes on what a household or business earns (e.g., income tax), buys (e.g., sales tax) and owns (e.g., property tax).

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Mobile Payment Systems and Campaign Finance

Mobile payment systems allow financial transactions using mobile devices. These systems include Venmo, Cash App, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and more.

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Motor Vehicle Safety Inspections and Title Transfer Requirements

According to Fatality Analysis Reporting System data, in 2019 about 2.1% of fatal crashes in the U.S. happened as a result of an identifiable pre-existing motor vehicle defect.

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Natural Medicines for Trauma, Palliative Care, & Hospice Care Patients

“Natural medicines” containing psychoactive compounds (such as psilocybin, ibogaine, mescaline, and dimethyltryptamine/DMT) have been used widely in both indigenous cultural and spiritual contexts. However, these compounds have not been thoroughly explored in the context of Western medicinal use.

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Net Metering

The “Net Metering and Easy Connection Act” (RSMo 386.890) allows customers who own renewable energy generators (e.g., solar panels) to sell electricity that they generate to utility companies.

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No-Cost Period Products in Schools

Currently, 12 states have laws requiring that menstrual hygiene products be provided to students at no-cost in school bathrooms. Missouri does not currently require that public and charter schools provide no-cost menstrual (period) products to students.

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No-Cost Period Products in Schools: Implementation

Thirteen states and D.C. (including Arkansas and Illinois) have laws mandating that menstrual hygiene products be provided to students in grades 6 through 12. 

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Non-Consensual Sexually Explicit Media

Non-consensual sexual media offenses can refer to the production, distribution, or sending of sexually explicit images or videos without the consent of the individual depicted in or receiving them.

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Nuclear Energy

The Missouri Nuclear Clean Power Act would allow electric corporations to charge ratepayers for the cost of building clean baseload generating plants.

 

 

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Online Education

Online education, from K-12 to higher education settings, includes many forms of teaching that can supplement or substitute in-person classes.

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Opioids in Missouri

Abuse of prescription opioids and recreational opioids such as heroin and fentanyl has dramatically increased nationwide since 1999, leading to high rates of opioid-related overdoses and deaths.

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Pelvic Exams & Informed Consent

Pelvic examinations are an important tool in both routine and emergency gynecological medical care. However, instances of these exams being performed without express consent have been reported, particularly in cases where the patient is anesthetized.

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Performance-Based Funding for Higher Education

Performance-based funding is meant to provide financial incentives for institutions to grant degrees and improve on-time graduation rates.

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Pesticide Use Training and Certification

Pesticides are substances primarily used in agriculture to control pests, including insects, weeds, fungus, bacteria, and more. Pesticides can have negative impacts on health, safety, and environmental quality, especially when used improperly.

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Pharmacist Scope of Practice

Both state legislative policies and changes in state pharmacy board policies have been amended in the last several years, expanding pharmacists’ ability to provide services above traditional services (e.g, dispensing medications, immunizing, and initiating therapeutic regimens).

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Physical Activity in Schools

Due to increasing youth obesity rates, schools have been called upon to promote physical activity. Missouri law (RSMo 167.720) requires at least one physical education course per week for all K-12 students and at least one 20-minute recess per day for elementary students.

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Police Accountability Measures

Senate Bill 60 aims to enhance law enforcement accountability through a variety of measures including restricting use of force, requiring public reports on deadly use of force, eliminating no knock warrants, requiring de-escalation training, changing officer certification requirements, restricting acquisition of certain military surplus equipment.

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Postpartum Medical Coverage

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines maternal mortality as the pregnancy-related death of a woman while pregnant or within one-year postpartum for any cause related to or aggravated by pregnancy.

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Postsecondary Tuition Rates for Undocumented Students

Missouri currently prohibits postsecondary institutions from offering in-state tuition rates to undocumented students who graduate from Missouri high schools.

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Prescribed Burning Act

Prescribed burns are the intentional and strategic application of fires on landscape (e.g., prairies, forests, agricultural lands). They are used to reduce risk of intense, uncontrolled fires and help maintain natural species.

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Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

Prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) are electronic databases that track prescriptions of controlled substances.

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Prescription Drug Step Therapy

Step therapy, which requires those seeking prescription medication to try less expensive drugs before more expensive options are approved, is sometimes imposed by health insurers as a cost control strategy.

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Pricing & Transparency in Prescription Drug Costs

Over the last several years, prescription medication costs have risen to make up between 10-40% of total health care costs in the United States. Changes are currently being proposed at both the state and federal level to regulate transparency in price reporting, pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) operation, and manufacturer pricing. 

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Prison Commissaries and Services

State prison commissaries sell items such as food, beverages, hygiene products, stationery, and clothes, and access to communication services such as postal mail and telephones to prisoners.

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Prison Nursery Programs

Prison nursery programs (PNPs) provide incarcerated mothers with educational training in child development and parenting skills, while also giving them an opportunity to bond with their newborns.

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Property Tax Exemptions for Disabled and Retired Veterans

All states offer personal property tax exemptions to a subset of disabled and retired veterans, who often rely on a fixed income and tend to have higher age- and/or disability-related healthcare costs.

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Public Safety Funding

Recently, various cities and municipalities have restructured their public safety budgets to include increases for mental health and community-based services.

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Public School (K-12) Accountability

School accountability measures such as Annual Performance Reports (APRs) are a way to measure school success and identify schools that need improvement.

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Public School Teacher Retirement Plans

Missouri law (RSMo Section 169) requires all public school teachers to be enrolled in one of three pension plans, depending on where they teach.

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Racial Discrimination Based on Hair Texture/Style

School and workplace policies that regulate hair textures and styles disproportionately affect Black children and adults, and may lead to negative educational, economic and health outcomes.

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Raw Milk Products

Raw milk is the direct product collected from animals that has not been pasteurized. Currently, Missouri farmers can sell raw milk and cream to the final consumer either on the farm or through delivery without being required to have a permit.

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Recovery High Schools

Recovery high schools are diploma-granting secondary schools that exclusively serve students recovering from substance abuse and dependency.

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Recreational Vehicles & Safety Regulations

A potential increase of recreational vehicle (RV) use during the pandemic has raised some safety concerns over how drivers should be prepared.

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Recycled Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most prevalent roofing material in the United States. After their lifespan of 10–30 years, asphalt shingles require replacement, and the old material becomes waste that is either diverted to landfills or recycled into post-consumer products used in the building industry.

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Reentry Programs and Services

Reentering society can be difficult for incarcerated individuals, who may face  challenges such as finding employment, housing, and transportation; re-establishing family relationships; finding treatment for substance use, medical, and mental health conditions; and not reoffending.

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Restraint & Seclusion in Schools

The United States Department of Education recommends that seclusion and restraint are used rarely and only during crisis/emergency situations.

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Retaining Institutional Knowledge in the State Legislature

Across the United States, states have started to improve institutional knowledge by developing robust, interagency data management systems, combined with sufficient access to nonpartisan research staff and training.

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Right to Repair Electronics

Right to repair (R2R) laws generally refer to the right of the consumer to have access to the tools, parts, documentation, and software that are required to fix the products they own, from smartphones to tractors.

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Right to Repair in Agriculture

The “right to repair” in agriculture allows farmers, farm operators and other independent repair providers to fix farm equipment without facing legal repercussions from manufacturers.

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Rural Physician Grant Program

Recruitment and retention of physicians in rural areas can be difficult; in response to ongoing and projected physician shortages, several programs, including student training grants and loan repayment, have been enacted to promote healthcare workforce development.

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Rural Workforce Development

Rural workforce development is an approach to economic development that attempts to enhance the economic stability and prosperity of rural communities by providing a variety of tax and other fiscal incentives to businesses.

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School Innovation Waivers

Innovation waivers allow states, districts, or schools to apply for specific exemptions from existing laws when doing so would have a positive impact on student and teacher outcomes.

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School Nurse Seizure Action Plans

Students with epilepsy who experience seizures while at school can often be treated onsite and recover, but they may still be at risk of health complications and academic achievement deficits if they experience serious seizures that are not treated properly.

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Secure Firearm Storage

Secure firearm storage refers to the use of a safe, gun safe, gun case, lock box, or similar device that is designed to safely secure a firearm to prevent unintentional gun-related accidents, suicide, and theft.

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Show Me Healthy Women Program

Breast and cervical cancer screening programs, like Show Me Healthy Women (SMHW), aim to reduce mortality and morbidities associated with advanced stages of the disease by providing early access to effective diagnostic and treatment services in low-income and underserved populations. 

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Sickle Cell Disease

Approximately 122,000 Americans live with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), which is a heritable disease that can have severely debilitating effects.

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Social Studies Curriculum

Social studies is a broad term for curriculums related to human society including history, geography, government, economics, sociology.

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Soil Health

Soil health management systems provide a range of benefits to farmers and the community, such as drought and flood resilience, stormwater management, and improved water quality.

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Solar Panel Lifetimes and Property Taxes

Solar panels convert energy from sunlight into electricity. The typical lifespan of a solar panel is around 25 years.

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Special Education in Missouri

As of 2022, Missouri is the only state to still operate state schools which are entirely state-funded for students with severe disabilities.

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Specialized vs. Generalized Post-Secondary Education

Although the specific missions of career/technical colleges, community colleges, four-year colleges and universities vary, higher education institutions are typically expected to provide some level of both general education and career training.

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Specialty Crops

The specialty crop industry is diverse and includes fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, floriculture crops, and other horticultural goods. Grains and oilseeds such as corn and soybean are not considered specialty crops.

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State-level broadband policies

State-level broadband policies can determine where high-speed internet service is available, and who actually adopts broadband internet upon its deployment.

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Statewide College Promise Programs

College promise programs direct scholarship dollars to a specific state, region or institution with the goal of increasing higher education attainment and encouraging local economic development.

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Substance Abuse & Naltrexone Hydrochloride

Prolonged use of prescription opioids for pain can often cause enhanced pain sensitivity and dependence, potentially leading to a substance use disorder.

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Suicide Education & Prevention Programs

Suicide risk factors can include trauma, violence, abuse, familial mental health issues or substance abuse, as well as general mental health disorders. School-based education and awareness programs may play a role in identifying and addressing student mental health needs and suicide risks.

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Syringe Access Programs

From 2001 to 2015, the number of opioid-related hospitalizations and emergency room visits in Missouri more than doubled, indicating that the use of injection drugs such as heroin and fentanyl has risen drastically.

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Tax Credit for Grocery Stores in Food Deserts

Median household income and distance from grocery stores, along with other considerations, including access to personal/public transportation, typically determine whether an area is designated as a food desert.

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Tax Credit for Urban Agriculture in Food Deserts

Urban agriculture plays a vital role in supporting local food systems in food deserts and can improve food security and food safety.

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Tax Credits

Policies that reduce the amount of taxes owed by a taxpayer (e.g., credits, deductions, exemptions) are expected to decrease government revenue while incentivizing immediate private spending and investment.

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Tax Credits for Developing or Renting Housing for Victims of Domestic Violence

Many domestic violence survivors leaving abusive situations have basic residential, health, social, and legal needs which can sometimes be accommodated by domestic violence programs; however, these programs cannot accommodate every service call.

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Tax Credits for Donations to Refugee Resource Centers

A refugee is an individual located outside of the United States and outside their country of origin. These individuals may be of special humanitarian concern to the United States because of persecution or fears persecution due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.

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Tax-Credit Scholarships & Education Savings Accounts

Several states currently operate statewide tax-credit scholarship or related educational savings account programs to increase nonpublic school choice.

 

 

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Teacher Certification & Permits

Many states, including Missouri, face challenges recruiting and retaining K-12 teachers. There are several routes to earning a teaching certification in Missouri, but teacher preparation program attendance rates have declined in recent years.

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Teacher Recruitment & Retention

Recruiting and retaining qualified public school teachers plays a significant role in school quality and student success.

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Texas High Performance Schools Consortium Model

In 2011, Texas created the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium (THPSC), a group of up to 30 public schools and school districts (K-12) that develop and test new learning standards, assessments, and accountability systems. The consortium is also tasked with reporting their findings to the Texas executive and legislative branches.

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Time of Day and Vehicle Stops

Research suggests time of day data can be an important variable to both understand crime patterns and detect traffic stops that may occur due to racial profiling.

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Unemployment Benefits

A person who is actively seeking employment and is unable to find work may be eligible for unemployment benefits.

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Unintended Pregnancy and Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives

In contrast to oral contraceptives or sterilization, long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) are a form of birth control that prevent pregnancy for long durations after application (months to years), but whose use can be discontinued at any point without affecting fertility.

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Unpaid Leave for Domestic and Sexual Violence Survivors

No protections currently exist for domestic and sexual assault survivors regarding leave from employment for essential services related to the abuse.

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Vertical Asset Management, Public-Private Partnerships, and Funding Benchmarks for Broadband Deployment

Economically disadvantaged communities in more urban areas may not provide enough financial incentive for providers to deploy broadband. Public-private partnerships (PPPs) such as those that have been established in states across the U.S. may help to overcome these barriers by leveraging financial resources, enhancing revenue potential, and sharing expertise. Additionally, fixed wireless networks may overcome some of these barriers by removing the requirement to physically deploy a fiber network. 

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Veteran Homelessness

Missouri is home to approximately 443,000 veterans, which accounts for approximately 7% of the state population. Veterans face unique challenges when searching for safe and affordable housing as a result of factors such as poverty, multiple deployments, and mental health conditions that increase the risk of experiencing homelessness.

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Voter Fraud

Electoral fraud refers to concerted attempts to unlawfully alter the results of an election. Voter fraud refers to a subset of electoral fraud conducted by individual voters. Typical categories of voter fraud claims include: 1) voter impersonation, where an individual attempts to impersonate a registered voter or deceased person; and 2) double voting, when a voter attempts to vote multiple times.

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Vouchers for Feminine Hygiene Products and Diapers

A voucher program that assists those living in poverty to purchase feminine hygiene products and diapers, that functions similarly or as an additive service to SNAP or WIC, would be the first of its kind in the United States.

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Water Infrastructure

Senate Bill 44, the Missouri Water and Infrastructure Act, creates a process for filing a water and sewer infrastructure rate adjustment (WSIRA) to recover revenue outside of the normal ratemaking process.

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Wayfair Taxes and Local Impacts

Remote sales tax collection laws, or Wayfair Laws, refer to the ability of individual states to collect taxes from out-of-state online/remote retailers and does not require a business to be physically present in a state before sales are taxed.

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Work and Community Engagement Requirements for MO HealthNet

In 2018, states could seek federal approval to use work or community engagement requirements as a condition for Medicaid coverage.

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