OFS Highlights 2023 Missouri Legislative Session

2023 Legislative Wrap-up

Though the last day of Missouri’s 2023 legislative session on May 12th was spent in a stalemate, there were 59 “truly agreed to and finally passed” (TAFP) bills that are now either awaiting the governor’s action or a vote by the citizens. The Operation Food Search Policy and Advocacy team worked with lawmakers and stakeholders to educate and advance policies to help families live healthy lives. Although the session had many ups and downs, there were several bills passed that will make it easier for families to connect to the existing federal food and health safety net programs.

Bills Passed to Improve Safety Net Program Access

  • Extension of Medicaid healthcare coverage from 60 days to 12 months post-partum.
    • Passed under SB 106, Sen. Arthur and SB 45/90, Sen. Gannon
  • Simplifying the public assistance application form.
    • Passed under SB 45/90, Sen. Gannon
    • Introduced as SB 82, Sen. Coleman; HB 719 Rep. Riley
  • Creating a transitional benefits program for SNAP, TANF and Child Care Assistance.
    • Passed under SB 45/90, Sen. Gannon
    • Introduced as SB 82, Sen. Coleman; HB 719 Rep. Riley

Bills to Strengthen Food Access That Didn’t Pass

Food advocates also saw several priorities move along in the legislative process, despite not being fully passed. OFS will continue to work with stakeholders in the hope for future passage.

  • Establish funding to cover the cost of reduced-price school meal co-pays.
    • SB 321, Sen. Mosley
  • Establish a tax credit for grocery stores and small farms in a food desert, and increase food pantry donation tax credits.
    • SB 143, Sen. Beck
  • Establish a SNAP Restaurant Meals Program for elderly, disabled, and those experiencing homelessness.
    • SB 313, Sen. Mosely
  • Missouri opting out of the ban on SNAP for those with a drug felony.
    • SB 82, Sen. Coleman; SB 719, Rep. Riley

Harmful Legislation Blocked

Much like previous years, anti-poverty advocates successfully defended against bills that sought to increase sanctions and requirements on essential assistance programs for families.

  • Increasing sanctions to the highest levels federally allowed for SNAP participants who do not meet work reporting requirements.
    • HB 747, Rep. Perkins
  • Prohibits accessing cash with temporary assistance for needy families.
    • HB 338, Rep. Cook

Remember, everyone can be a food justice advocate!

  1. Know who represents you.
    1. Look up your elected Missouri officials.
  2. Contact their offices via phone or e-email.
    1. Tell them thanks if they voted in favor or sponsored one of the priorities above.
    2. Ask them for their support of the priorities that advanced and we want to see passed next session.
  3. Let us know how it goes by filling out this brief form.
  4. Stay connected with OFS!
    1. Check out the OFS website and social media sites for ongoing policy updates and resources.

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