[NFBMO] Important Information Fwd: [Missouri-l] HB2171]

Coccovizzo,Linda A Linda.Coccovizzo at MCCKC.EDU
Thu May 24 14:32:17 UTC 2018

I hope I am not too late forwarding this. I receive these emails at home, and did not see this until last night.

Linda C.

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: [Missouri-l] HB2171
From:    "Christopher Gray" <chris at moblind.org>
Date:    Wed, May 23, 2018 3:03 pm
To:      Missouri-l at moblind.org

Fellow Advocates:

The letter pasted below was sent by our counsel, John Ammann, to the governor's office asking the governor to veto HB 2171.  The governor's staff, particularly Justin Smith, is considering the information provided.

Please call Justin Smith today and encourage a veto of HB 2171.  To reach him, call his assistant, Debbie, (573) 751-2127.  Then, let us know how things went on the call.

Thank you.


May 21, 2018

Mr. Justin Smith
Deputy Counsel to the Governor
The Capitol
P.O. Box 720
Jefferson City, Mo.  65102

Re:  Requested veto of HB2171

Dear Justin:

I hope all is well with you and your wife.

I am writing as counsel for the Missouri Council of the Blind.  We are very concerned about the provisions of HB2171 and request that you advise the Governor to veto this bill.

I am enclosing a copy of the bill as well as a statement by the Council about the flaws in the bill.

The overwhelming flaw is found in the last paragraph where the bill allows the Department of Social Services to use projections and estimates when calculating the pension.  As you know, we just completed 12 years of litigation over the issue of how the pension is calculated.  It is not good government to give an agency unfettered discretion to spend millions of dollars in taxpayer funds when there is a perfectly good mathematical formula available to calculate the pensions.

The bill also places new limits on spousal support that can be available.
bill seems to fail to take into account family size when applying the poverty level standard to determine eligibility.

The bill also creates problems for the way eye examinations are administered.

Finally, the bill requires all notices sent to the blind about their pension to be sent by certified mail.  This imposes an added cost on state government that is totally unnecessary, and certified mail which requires a signature is a burden for the blind.  Certified mail also lessens the likelihood of actual delivery of the notices.

We ask you to veto HB2171.  It is harmful and totally unnecessary.

Thanks for considering our views.


John J. Ammann
McDonnell Professor of Justice in American Society


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