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Legislative Science Notes

Several state general assemblies in the Midwest, including Missouri’s, meet from January to May each spring, with bills pre-filed starting in December. While the legislators are actively filing, debating, and voting on legislation, MOST Policy Initiative will be drafting short ‘science notes’ to describe the science behind policy issues.

What is a science note?

Science notes are short (1-3 page) memos that describe scientific principles related to policies or legislation. Each science note features non-biased scientific data and summaries of studies that have been conducted that may relate to proposed legislation.

Legislators and legislative staff are the primary intended audience for the science notes, but they will be made publicly available on the MOST website.

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Charter School Expansion

The number of public charter schools in Missouri has almost doubled since 2008.

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.

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.

COVID-19, Mental Health & Substance Abuse

SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 illness, has infected at least 325,000 Missourians and led to over 4,500 deaths in the state as of December 2020.

Cursive Writing

The ability to produce (write) or interpret (read) written text is central to human communication.

Definitions of Race and Ethnicity in the United States

Race and ethnicity are distinct social constructs that are typically based on physical (race, skin
color) features and cultural (ethnicity) characteristics, including national origin and ancestry.

Differential College Tuition Based on Degree Program

The cost of college instruction (tuition) and fees at public postsecondary institutions varies based on state, school and student characteristics.

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.”

Eminent Domain for Utility Purposes

HB 2033 (2020) restricts eminent domain for transmission line projects by allowing only rural electric cooperatives and some other electric corporations to use eminent domain for above-ground power line projects.

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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