COLE COUNTY VOTERS TO DECIDE CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT TAX IN APRIL
Cole County voters will be able to vote on April 6th on a proposed renewal of the current ½ cent capital improvements tax. This tax was last renewed in 2016 and 85% of the funds have been used for road and bridge improvements. The tax has allowed the county, Jefferson City and several smaller communities the ability to move forward with strategic initiatives over the years since this tax began in the 1980’s. The HBA has been consistently supportive of this important tax renewal as it has led to economic activity for our community.
FILING HAS OPENED FOR APRIL 6TH CITY COUNCIL ELECTIONS
On December 15th, the candidate filing for the April 6th municipal election opened and the filing deadline concluded on January 19th. Five of the ten city council seats will be up for election along with the City Prosecutor and City Municipal Judge positions. As of the filing deadline, the following candidates have filed for office:
Ward 1 : David Kemna (incumbent)
Ward 2 : Laura Ward (incumbent) and Edith Vogel
Ward 3 : Mary Schatz and Scott Spencer
Ward 4 : Derrick Spicer, Ryan Estes and Leonard Steinman
Ward 5 : Mark Scheiber (incumbent) and Alicia Edwards
City Prosecutor : Gaylin Carver
City Municipal Judge : Scott Evans and Angela Silvey
GOVERNOR PARSON SWORN INTO OFFICE
Governor Mike Parson was officially sworn in Monday afternoon as the 57th Governor of Missouri. This year’s inauguration looked quite different than previous years. Due to COVID-19, the Governor, along with Missouri’s other statewide officials took their oaths of office outside of the Missouri Capitol and there was no celebratory inauguration ball after.
After being sworn in for his first full term, Governor Parson spoke briefly to highlight his priorities for this session. It was noted the pandemic would continue to be a focus of this year, however his two top priorities will be: workforce development and infrastructure; and healthcare, specifically relating to telemedicine and telehealth. The Governor is expected to highlight other areas of interest during his State of the State on January 27, 2021.
GOVERNOR UNVEILS NEXT PHASE OF COVID VACCINATIONS
On Jan. 14, Governor Mike Parson announced the activation of Phase 1B – Tier 1 of Missouri’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan. Federal partners have informed the state that they plan to significantly increase vaccine supply starting Jan. 18, and that individuals 65 and older and those with comorbidities should be prioritized. This news allows the state to begin the process of activating Phase 1B tiers.
Information about Priority Phases of Phase 1B can be found at: Phase 1B White Sheet.pdf (govdelivery.com)
Tier 1 of Phase 1B, activated Jan. 14, focuses on vaccinations for law enforcement, fire service, and public health professionals, among others.
Tier 2 of Phase 1B, to be activated Jan. 18, focuses on protecting those who are at increased risk for severe illness, including individuals aged 65 and older and any adult with cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, or intellectual and/or developmental disabilities such as Down Syndrome, heart conditions, a weakened immune system due to organ transplant, severe obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, or Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.
Tier 3 of Phase 1B, to be activated after tiers 1 and 2, focus on critical infrastructure workers. This group includes education (K-12), childcare, communications sector, dams sector, energy sector, food/agriculture sector, government, information technology sector, nuclear reactors, materials, and waste sector & transportation systems sector, and water and wastewater systems sector.
A list of vaccinators and regional vaccine implementation teams will be made available at www.MOstopsCovid.com on January 15. DHSS encourages employers and associations representing individuals in activated phases to use the list to connect with a vaccinator or regional vaccine implementation team in their area and make a plan for vaccinating their teams.
Although initial tiers within Phase 1B are being activated, there are currently not enough vaccines for everyone included in these groups. As additional supplies arrive, this activation will allow for the greatest vaccine coverage where it is most needed. It will also allow vaccinators and organizations to continue planning effectively for future tiers and phases.
Individuals in Phase 1A and Phase 1B – Tier 1 should work through their employer and/or association to access the vaccine. Individuals in Phase 1B – Tier 2 should contact their local pharmacy or health care provider or visit www.MOstopsCovid.com to learn when vaccines may be available and how to receive them.
MISSOURI’S MINIMUM WAGE RATE INCREASES
Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, Missouri’s minimum wage rate increased 85 cents per hour to $10.30 from $9.45 in 2020. Missouri voters in 2018 approved a statewide ballot issue to increase the minimum wage over five years to $12 per hour in 2023. Retail or service businesses whose annual gross income is less than $500,000 are not required to pay the state minimum wage rate and may pay employees wages of their choosing.