Missouri’s top children’s advocacy group is watching legislation that would affect children.

Citizens for Missouri’s Children says several bills indirectly affect kids in our state, such as budget cuts to certain programs, restrictions on Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, unemployment cuts and the like. But Director Scott Gee says a couple of directly affect children, one is a bill that would require the reporting of health insurance information on Missouri income tax returns. (HB 1625)

Gee says about 130,000 children in the state are uninsured — about 80,000 would qualify for the state’s healthcare program — CHIPS.

The legislation is modeled after similar legislation in Maryland and Iowa. Citizens for Missouri’s Children says those states were successful with their outreach program.

Gee says, like everyone else, they’re keeping a close eye on the state budget. They’re asking for no increases in funding for programs, and no decreases. The group supports a couple of key pieces of legislation, including a bill that would mandate insurance companies pay for autism treatment and therapy.

The group is also supporting SB 625, which modifies the caps on wages for people to receive childcare assistance from the state. Currently, some people are turning down raises or better jobs because even with the increase in income, they can’t afford to pay for day care.