Through her work in government and the nonprofit sector, Crystal has witnessed far too many Missourians struggle with healthcare access, payments, and opioid addiction. Expansion of Medicaid is the first step to providing healthcare to all Missourians. Today, 300,000 Missourians fall into what is known as the Coverage Gap– most of whom are working or in school. The coverage gap refers to folks who are above income eligibility requirements to receive Medicaid, but don’t make enough to afford health insurance. Since her election in November 2016, Crystal has worked across the aisle to ensure that families, seniors, veterans, and those with disabilities have access to affordable healthcare.
Crystal has spent years partnering with school districts across the state to help our communities meet the most basic needs of Missouri’s children. Through her experiences in social work, she understands firsthand the importance of fully funding our schools. In Jefferson City, Crystal fights to provide educators with the tools that they need to ensure that students have access to a quality education, regardless of class, race, religion, gender, or location. As the first in her family to graduate high school and then the first to graduate college, Crystal knows the importance of affordable and accessible education. That’s why Crystal fights to fund public schools and higher education in the Missouri budget.
As a parent, Crystal has had to decide between quality childcare and affordability. She and her husband have had to look at their budget to determine if it made sense for them to both work. Having access to affordable and high quality daycare and early childhood education programs has been a priority for her in Jefferson City. Since her election, she has sponsored bills that combat the child care cliff effect, giving parents a way to work their way towards success.
The fact that many Missourians work 40 to 60 hour work weeks and yet still struggle financially is appalling. Growing up with a mother who waited tables, and through her own experience working minimum wage jobs in college, Crystal understands the troubling financial implications of Missouri’s current minimum wage. She stood in support of St. Louis’ ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage even when Missouri House Republicans voted to block the wages increase. She also stands with Raise Up Missouri’s push for a minimum wage increase that will be on the ballot in November. Crystal fights every day for living wages so that Missouri families can thrive and grow.
Missouri currently has no limits on campaign contributions. Families across Missouri are struggling to pay their bills and Springfield has over 800 homeless students, and yet millions are spent on campaigns across the state. Crystal agrees that Missouri needs campaign contribution limits, reformed ethics laws, and financial transparency. Since the legislature has failed to act on these issues, Crystal supports the Clean Missouri ballot initiative. This initiative seeks to make our government more transparent, limit the power of big money in our legislature, and ensure that legislators are held accountable.