Silvey Developing ‘Private Option’ Medicaid Alternative
March 28, 2014

Clay County State Senator Ryan Silvey is developing a Missouri Republican alternative to Medicaid expansion is the state is being developed, according to KMBC TV.
The plan is similar to one now in place in Arkansas, Iowa and Pennsylvania. The plan would permit the uninsured to use state health care law money, provided for Washington, to buy private insurance coverage.
Silvey objected to Medicaid expansion because he fears the state budget can’t handle it.
Silvey, however, believes the state’s Medicaid system has to be reformed.
In an opinion piece earlier this week in the Springfield News Leader newspaper, Silvey wrote doing nothing on the issue is not an option.
“Moving some folks into a private option, having the state give subsidies for them to obtain their own insurance is an attractive way to try and make things run a little bit smoother,” said Brendan Cossette a lobbyist for the Missouri Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber has now joined Governor Jay Nixon and the Missouri Hospital Association in the effort to expand Medicaid in the state.
Currently, Missouri has 801,000 uninsured citizens, according to the Hospital Association.
A Medicaid expansion plan being pushed by Democratic Governor jay Nixon would provide health insurance through Medicaid for almost 300,000 Missourians.
One of the premises of this plan is that the ‘private option” would permit the state to obtain about $2.2 billion dollars a year the federal government is offering.
That would be 100% of the cost of Missouri Medicaid expansion. The money is available to 2014 and 2015. Because Missouri did not start its own exchange last year, the money was not available to the state.
Governor Nixon has complained bitterly Missouri is letting money that should come back to Missouri be sent to other states.
He says his plan would add coverage for about 300,000 Missourians.
In a statement Friday, Nixon’s office was critical of the plan linking Medicaid expansion with welfare reform.
“By bringing in unrelated programs, this proposal creates unnecessary obstacles to health care for 300, 000 Missourians,” according to the statement.
In an effort to lure reluctant GOP lawmakers to the plan, its developers are including entitlement reform as part of the package.
Some of those proposed reforms would include tightening regulations in the state’s assistance to needy families program, and the state element of the Food Stamp program.
Cossette also says this plan eases the strain on Missouri hospital caused by the unpaid for care they provide to Missourians without insurance.
The Hospital Association states more than $1 billion a year is spent by Missouri hospitals on uncompensated care. In the Kansas City area, the unpaid for care amounts to more than 530 million dollars a year, according to the Association.

Silvey Proposes Restricting Governor’s Budget Cutting Power on School Budgets
January 24, 2014

(AP) – Clay County State Senator Ryan Silvey is proposing to curb governors’ authority to make budget cuts affecting education.
The Missouri Constitution allows the governor to control the rate appropriations are spent and to reduce spending when state revenues are less than the estimate upon which the budget is based.
Republican Sen. Silvey, of Kanas City, has proposed a constitutional amendment that would exclude spending through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education from that budget-trimming authority. A constitutional amendment would require a statewide vote if it passes the Legislature.
Some funding for K-12 schools was included in Gov. Jay Nixon’s spending freeze last year because of concerns the Legislature would override his veto of a tax cut. That funding has since been restored

Missouri Business Group Questions Legality if Silvey’s Board War Solution
January 7, 2014

Kansas City Business Journal:
A Missouri trade organization is questioning the constitutionality of a bill aimed at ending the economic development border war in the Kansas City area.
The legislation, Senate Bill 635, was prefiled Dec. 18 by Missouri Sen. Ryan Silvey, R-Kansas City, and has strong backing from Kansas City business leaders. But Ray McCarty, president of Jefferson City-based trade group Associated Industries of Missouri, claimed in a Jan. 3 blog that the bill might violate constitutional provisions guaranteeing equal protection.
Under the proposed legislation, businesses moving between any of four border counties in Kansas (Douglas, Johnson, Miami and Wyandotte) and four border counties in Missouri (Cass, Clay, Jackson and Platte) would be unable to receive certain economic development incentives. The measure would have to be reciprocated by the Kansas Legislature before it would go into effect.
“Can a law be enacted that denies a tax benefit to some out-of-state employers while giving tax breaks to competitors moving from other areas?” McCarty wrote. “Wouldn’t such a law be discriminatory?”
To answer his own questions, McCarty turned to the AIM Tax Committee, which includes more than 100 Missouri tax lawyers and accountants. Many of those committee members “believe such a law would have constitutional problems and could be voided by the courts,” McCarty wrote, citing concerns related to the commerce and equal protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution.
Silvey said he was surprised that McCarty, whose organization shares many of Silvey’s conservative ideals, had questioned SB 635.


Silvey Pitches ‘ Border War’ Cease Fire Deal
December 20, 2013

Clay County State Senator Ryan Silvey is proposing a cease-fire in the business ‘ Border War’ between Missouri and Kansas.
Silvey’s measure is similar to one Governor Jay Nixon called for earlier this month.
The bill would prohibit businesses flipping from one side of the state line in the greater Kansas City metropolitan area from getting tax breaks for their move.
The law would effect Missouri counties Jackson, Clay, Platte and Cass.
It would also apply to counties in Kansas, Johnson, Wyandotte, Douglas and Miami.
It would only go into effect if the Kansas Legislature enacts a similar plan.
“We have a history over here of the two states basically poaching companies from one side of the state line to the other, costing each state millions of dollars,” Silvey said. “In reality, the jobs haven’t really moved. The families pretty well stay where they are (and) they just take a different path to work, and you spend a bunch of money for a lot of nothing,” Silvey said according to KWMU.
The measure got immediate support from a number of business groups on the Kansas City, Missouri side of the state line.
Silvey said it was ironic his pre-filed bill drew the number of 635. He noted that the number of part of the interstate beltway around Kansas City connecting Missouri and Kansas.

Area Superintendents & State Senators Look For Way Out of Student Transfer “Train Wreck”
December 19, 2013

Kansas City State Senators meet with superintendents on student transfer law.
Several Kansas City State Senators and more than a dozen school superintendents met Thursday, to express their worries over the Missouri student transfer law.
There was a lot of talk during a two- hour private meeting of changing the law.
"We need to figure out how to stop what is looking like a train wreck, one way or another, said Clay County State Senator Ryan Silvey of Clay County. He was one if the five senators at the meeting.
Kansas City State Senator Jason Holsman said the meeting was intended to assess the situation.
He also conceded there are lots of ideas to work through.
Holsman said the group had "a frank conversation" about the issue.
One concept being promoted by many schools in both the Kansas City and the St. Louis areas would reclassify failing schools and offer more chances for a district to get out of unaccredited status.
The plan is also supported by the Missouri Association of School Administrators.
The Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, Ed Pearce, has offered a plan based on the same plan.
The discussion turned from hypothetical to immediate earlier this month when the Missouri Supreme Court upheld the student transfer law in a case involving the unaccredited Kansas City School system.
Kansas City Superintendent Stephen Green was at the meeting.
His district is worried the student transfer law could seriously harm his district, costing it students who want to flee.
A drop in attendance would mean less state money, since state funds are based on attendance.
Suburban districts are worried they could be flooded with transfer requests. They worry they don’t have room to accept them.
Another State Senator, Paul LeVota of Independence, has filed a bill that would protect receiving school districts if they have no room for students fleeing a failed district.