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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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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.

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.

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.

Establishing a Minimum Biodiesel Fuel in MIssouri

HB529 creates the Missouri-Made Fuels Act, where all diesel fuel sold or offered for sale in the state shall contain at least 5% biodiesel fuel oil by volume (for April 1, 2023, until March 31, 2024), leading to 10% (for April 1, 2024, until March 31, 2026), and 20% (after April 1, 2026).

FAFSA Application Completion

Higher education costs (e.g., tuition & fees, housing) can create barriers to college enrollment and graduation, especially among low-income and first-generation college students.

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.

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. Recent changes in the federal work-study (FWS) program and some statewide work-study programs have begun exploring ways to more closely link work-study jobs to student careers and local employment needs. Missouri currently does not offer a state-funded work-study program, although legislation was proposed in 2020 (HB 1430). 

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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