Greetings Fellow Missourians,
I am currently serving as the Legislator for Missouri State House of Representative in the newly formed 125th district—thanks to the supporters in the Primary elections of 2012, 2014 and 2016. This district includes the southern half of Benton, northern third of Cedar, and all of Hickory and St. Clair Counties. [see map]
CAPITOL REPORT - June 22, 2017. What a great privilege it was to attend the memorial service for Charles William Thompson this past Saturday. Navy Fireman 1st Class Thompson served in the Navy and lost his life in the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. With full military honors, he was buried next to his mother in the Fairview Butcher Cemetery in Quincy, MO. His remains had recently been identified this year through DNA and were returned last Friday to Hickory County with Patriot Guard escorts.
PHOTO: Navy Sailors escort Navy Fireman 1st Class Charles W. Thompson to his final resting place.
HOUSE STRENGTHENS PRO-LIFE LEGISLATION (SB5):
My colleagues and I were called back for Special Session on Tuesday, June 20, to work together on a piece of legislation sent over from the Senate that is intended to better ensure the health and safety of women by putting common sense safety requirements in place for abortion clinics. House members strengthened the version of the bill that was sent over from the Senate by adding several provisions that were originally called for by Governor Greitens but stripped out by the Senate during floor debate.
Some of the main provisions of the bill would:
- Allow the Department of Health and Senior Services to adopt rules governing complication plans to ensure patients undergoing abortions induced by drugs or chemicals have access to safe and reliable care.
- Require an abortion facility to provide affirmative evidence that each person authorized to perform abortions is a physician currently licensed to practice in Missouri.
- Allow the health department to adopt separate rules to apply to ambulatory surgical centers and to apply to abortion facilities, and ensure any abortion facility requirement is equal to any physical requirement of an ambulatory surgical center.
- Permit the health department to make an unannounced on-site inspection of any abortion facility at least annually.
- Require that all tissue removed at the time of abortion be sent to a pathologist within seventy-two hours for examination.
The legislation now moves back to the Senate where the other chamber will have the opportunity to pass the bill and send it to the governor’s desk. If the Senate refuses to take the House changes, the two bodies will likely send the bill to a conference committee where selected negotiators from both sides will come together to work toward a compromise.
FINDING OWNERS OF UNCLAIMED PROPERTY:
As an elected official, it is my responsibility to let you know when there are some benefits available you may not be aware of. Later this month, MO State Treasurer Eric Schmitt will be publishing names of District 125 constituents who have unclaimed property. Currently, there are over 15,000 account listings holding $1,540,393.69 in unclaimed property in District 125.
Treasurer Schmitt, as required by state statute, will be publishing names of unclaimed property owners in local newspapers. Constituents may also see information regarding Unclaimed Property on Facebook and Twitter at @MoTreasurer.
Statewide, there is close to $1 billion in unclaimed property with more than 5 million accounts.
Unclaimed property is held in perpetuity until the owner or their proper heirs are located. Account owners may file a claim online by visiting www.ShowMeMoney.com, or send a letter requesting a form to: Treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Division, P.O. Box 1004, Jefferson City, MO 65102-1004.
SB248 repeals the sunset date for tax refund contributions to the Organ Donor Program Fund allowing the fund to continue to accept donations in support of a program that has helped so many Missourians. Sponsored by Senator Kraus and House version HB105 sponsored by Rep. Love, this bill was signed into law by Governor Greitens on Tuesday, June 20th. PHOTO: (L-R) Rep. Steve Cookson; Rep. Love; Peter Nicastro, former Chair of the Advisory Committee; and District 125 Constituents, Deb Simaitis, current Chair of the Governor’s Organ Donation Advisory Committee, and San Simaitis.
It is my honor to serve the constituents of District 125. If you ever have questions, concerns, or input, please feel free to contact me any time at (573)751-4065.
YOUR District 125 capitol office is 235B, and YOU are always welcome!
If you would like to be added to the e-mail list to receive our Capitol Reports, you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Capitol office at (573)751-4065 and speak with Kelley Rogers, my Legislative Assistant.
“Ride’n for the Brand”
Representing the good people
of the 125th District
CAPITOL REPORT - June 12, 2017. To God be the Glory for a wonderful day of worship and celebration for the 165th Anniversary of Elkton Baptist Church this past Sunday. Marla and I joined Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson and his wife, Teresa, in presenting resolutions to Pastor Kent Parson in recognition of this significant milestone for the church. Kent has been the Pastor of Elkton Baptist for nearly 30 years. (Pastor Kent is also Lt. Governor Parson’s eldest brother.) My "Hat's Off" to him and the congregation for a well-planned event. The special music by pianist, Brother Eddie Crook, from Nashville, Tennessee, was a blessing in itself; however, it was followed by an inspiring spiritual awakening by evangelist, Brother Johnny Carver, also from Nashville. To top off a blessed morning, a wonderful smorgasbord of food was prepared by the ladies of the church and enjoyed by all.
PHOTO ABOVE: A resolution is presented to Pastor Kent Parson honoring the 165th anniversary of the Elkton Baptist Church.
HOME AT LAST:
On Dec. 7, 1941, Hickory County resident, Charles Thompson, was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Thompson. No single vessel at Pearl Harbor, with the exception of the USS Arizona, suffered as many fatalities. The remains of unidentified personnel, including Navy Fireman 1st Class Charles W. Thompson, were interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.
More than 70 years later, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a policy memorandum directing the disinterment of unknowns associated with the USS Oklahoma. On June 15, 2015, personnel began exhuming the remains from the NMCP for analysis. Recently, through DNA testing, Thompson’s family was able to identify and bring his remains back home for a proper burial.
There will be a special funeral service held at the Hathaway-Peterman Funeral Home in Wheatland this Saturday, June 17, at 9:00 a.m., with interment at the Fairview Butcher Cemetery following the service. The cemetery is located on the north side of Highway T one mile west of the Highway 83 and T Highway junction. Please join me in honoring this Hickory County hero.
MO Voter ID Requirements Now In Effect:
November, 2016, Missouri voters overwhelmingly supported a system of photo Voter ID meant to protect the integrity of the elections process. The legislation officially went into effect June 1. Now, the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office is traveling the state to educate voters so they are prepared for the new law and its impact.
As part of the ShowIt2Vote educational campaign, the Secretary of State’s Office is holding a series of informational meetings around the state to ensure that all eligible voters know the various ways they will be legally allowed to cast a ballot. Secretary Ashcroft has said the meetings are also meant to reassure Missourians that “if you’re registered to vote, you can vote.”
Under the new law, if a voter does not have a government-issued photo ID, such as a Missouri driver license, non-driver license, U.S. Passport, or U.S. Military ID, the voter can provide other documents, such as a Voter Registration Card, and sign a statement that affirms his or her identity. If the voter has no documents available, he or she may cast a provisional ballot. That ballot counts if the voter brings an acceptable photo ID back to the polling place that day, or if the signature matches the signature on file with local election officials.
The new photo voter ID law also requires the state to assist voters who do not have a photo ID with obtaining a free Missouri non-driver ID for the purpose of voting. Individuals who need a photo ID to vote and don't have one, can complete an online form to get started. The form is located at https://s1.sos.mo.gov/voteridhelp. The Secretary of State's office will receive your information and help in obtaining any necessary documents.
For more information about the new Voter ID law, interested parties can access ShowIt2Vote.com or call the ShowIt2Vote hotline at 866-868-3245.
CAPITOL REPORT - JUNE 1, 2017. This past Saturday I had the experience of a lifetime attending and speaking at the 100th Anniversary of the re-dedication of the refurbished Missouri Monument at the Vicksburg National Park in Vicksburg, Mississippi. This monument commemorates the Missourians that served on both sides of the Civil War. It is hard to describe the feeling of being in the exact location where there were 19,000 casualties. These soldiers were called by their States to serve in a cause even though they may not have believed in the cause. Since these servicemen were loyal to their States and their Nation, I believe it is our obligation to preserve & protect their reputation and honor their patriotism.
In 1917, 54 years after they fought each other during the Siege of Vicksburg, Union and Confederate soldiers from Missouri gathered at the Vicksburg National Military Park to dedicate a monument to that battle where, literally, brother fought against brother. A total of 27 Union and 15 Confederate regiments from Missouri - 15,000 men were engaged at the Siege of Vicksburg. (In total, 150,000 men from Missouri fought in the Civil War on either the Union or Confederate side.) The Missouri Monument in Vicksburg is one of the few that honors soldiers from the same state who fought on both sides of this terrible conflict.
PHOTO BELOW: It was truly an honor to join US Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler and MO State Senator Wayne Wallingford along with several of my fellow Missouri compatriots to re-dedicate the Missouri Monument at the Vicksburg National Park in Vicksburg, MS.
PHOTO BELOW: I had the honor of presenting a resolution on behalf of MO State Senator Jill Schupp of the St. Louis area, who had prepared the resolution in recognition of the re-dedication of the Missouri Monument.
PHOTO BELOW: I was privileged to speak to the Sons of Confederate and Sons of Union Veterans while attending the re-dedication.
PHOTO BELOW: Also while at the event, I had the opportunity to meet Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs, Jr. (center), Mississippi State Representative Oscar Denton, and MS State Senator W. Briggs Hopson, III (right). They shared that the Vicksburg National Park generates $35,000,000 a year into the Vicksburg area.
SB182 SIGNED INTO LAW:
Governor Eric Greitens signed into law SB182, a bill that bans the practice of requiring that non-union contractors pay union wages to workers involved in public construction projects. The so-called project labor agreements (PLAs) prohibited are for things like jails, courthouses, schools and fire stations. The measure will also cut state funding to Missouri cities and counties that force non-union contractors to pay workers union wages for such jobs. SB182, or the “Fairness in Public Construction Act,” is a labor reform bill focused on PLAs which was passed by both the House and the Senate in late April.
The new law bans state agencies and municipalities from requiring bidders from entering into those agreements with labor unions. But, if a party still desires to make an agreement with a labor organization, they are still free to do so. This law was needed because current PLA standards could allow a non-union contractor to bid on a PLA project, but then essentially require that contractor to become a union shop for that project. SB182 will give all contractors a chance to bid on projects funded by the public’s tax dollars. “Union-Only Project Labor Agreements represent unfair public policy and bad governance by eliminating competition,” said Senator Bob Onder, bill sponsor. “Implementation of SB182 will allow non-union workers to compete fairly for public projects and protect taxpayer dollars by making sure they get the best product for the best cost,” Onder said. “PLAs discriminate against the 87% of Missouri workers who work for merit shop contractors. On average, PLAs raise the cost of construction 18%, which means that instead of building 5 schools, a district can only afford 4. SB182 ends this waste and unjustified discrimination while using the free market to save taxpayer dollars.”
CAPITOL REPORT - May 24, 2017. “O’er the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave” (lyrics from our National Anthem) comes to my mind as we approach Memorial Day. Another song that comes to mind is by Billy Ray Cyrus. The lyrics are: “All gave some. Some gave all. Some stood through the red, white, and blue; and some had to fall.” Memorial Day is observed with the understanding that some gave all. They were brave and laid their lives in harm’s way so that we might be free. We spend this day remembering the human cost of war. Originally called Decoration Day, it started after the American Civil War to honor both Union and Confederate soldiers who had died while serving. Women from both sides began decorating the graves of fallen soldiers. By the end of World War II, the decoration of the graves of all soldiers who had died in the armed forces was taking place. Memorial Day was signed into law in 1971, with the holiday being set as the last Monday in May.
I also want to remind everyone to check your local newspapers for dates and times of your cemetery’s annual workdays and board meetings. I encourage everyone to get involved and help out with volunteer work, fundraising events, or donating financially to help with the upkeep and mowing.
DISCOVER MORE ON ROUTE 54:
The “Discover More on Route 54” board members met recently to discuss the 3rd Annual 100 Mile Yard Sale. The event has been set for September 1-3, Friday through Sunday. Yates Rustic Trading in Preston, Beyond Bargains in Hermitage and the Highway 54 RV Park in Wheatland have both been confirmed as host sites for the event this year. As new sites are confirmed, please go to discover54.com for updates. The 100 Mile Yard Sale will take place during daytime hours and include the cities of Camdenton, Macks Creek, Preston, Hermitage, Wheatland, Weaubleau, Collins, El Dorado Springs, and Nevada, Missouri, all along U.S. Route 54.
The General Assembly has returned to the Capitol this week for a special legislative session. Governor Eric Greitens called legislators back to address an economic development issue that could mean hundreds of jobs for Southeast Missouri. During regular session, the House approved legislation that could allow one company to proceed with plans to reopen the Noranda aluminum smelter at Marston; and another company to build a new steel mill at New Madrid, both in Southeast Missouri. However, despite overwhelming, bipartisan approval in the House, the measure failed to secure passage in the Senate before time ran out on the session.
In Special Session today, the House has approved legislation that would allow the Public Service Commission to consider lowering utility rates. The lower rates are a vital component to luring the companies to Missouri as it will allow the facilities under consideration to be more profitable.
The sponsor of the legislation said people in his area are in desperate need of jobs, especially after Noranda closed last year, eliminating nearly 900 jobs. He said the two projects under consideration could create more than 500 new jobs. The bill’s sponsor also noted that the entities behind the two facilities are expected to decide soon whether to give up on progressing with their plans for the 2 sites in Missouri. If the legislature can quickly pass this bill, he is confident those companies will postpone their decisions until they can meet with the PSC.
Because special sessions can be costly, the House is trying to be as efficient as possible with its work schedule. The House held technical session on Monday and Tuesday, which does not require the full membership to be present. House members were in full session on Wednesday only. This schedule will help minimize the cost to taxpayers. The bill now goes to the Senate for debate and vote.
CAPITOL REPORT - May 16, 2017. After arriving home late Friday night from the last week of the 2017 Session, I started Saturday morning bright and early with a Pancake and Sausage Breakfast fundraiser event at the Wayside Inn Museum in El Dorado Springs. Sponsored by the “Preserve Our Past Society,” this museum, housed in an 1882 building, is a very interesting place to spend the day with numerous artifacts on display.
Following breakfast, I headed to Stockton for the Vietnam Veterans "Wall That Heals" Memorial Ceremony at 10:00 a.m. The ceremony was a very moving tribute to three local Cedar County young men who laid down their lives for our freedom. There was not a dry eye in a crowd of 300 people. The Cedar County officials, and especially Cedar County Clerk Peggy Kenney, are to be highly commended for making this travelling display possible and free to the public. I hope everyone in the district had an opportunity to visit this emotional display while it was in Stockton over the weekend.
Saturday afternoon, Marla and I attended the 150th Anniversary Celebration of the Cedar Grove Baptist Church in Warsaw. Founded in 1867, the church has been blessed with an active congregation that offers several different wonderful ministries in the community and beyond. The church members celebrated this special occasion with a cake and ice cream social.
PHOTO: Pastor Barry Edwards & Associate Pastor Drew Heurion are presented with a resolution in recognition of the 150thAnniversary of Cedar Grove Baptist Church in Warsaw.
— 2017 HIGHLIGHTS OF TRULY AGREED TO AND FINALLY PASSED LEGISLATION —
Legislature Approves Senior Services Protection Fund (HCB 3):
With just seconds to spare in the 2017 legislative session, House members approved a bill that will create the Senior Services Protection Fund to preserve several services for the elderly and disabled. The move represents an effort by the House to preserve nursing home and in-home care services for some of Missouri’s most vulnerable citizens. This piece of legislation is necessary because the budget approved by the General Assembly this year relies on the Senior Services Protection Fund to restore a cut proposed by the governor to in-home care and nursing home services. The governor had recommended increasing the eligibility requirements (21 points to 27 points) for these services, which would have resulted in approximately 20,000 seniors and disabled Missourians no longer qualifying for the state-funded care. The House then moved to fully restore them to their original levels so that no one would be cut off from care. The final version of the budget represents a compromise that increases requirements slightly (24 points), but also includes a provision that would completely restore the governor’s proposed cut if the Senior Services Protection Fund bill becomes law.
The bill would also restore funding for brain injury services provided by the Department of Health that have been withheld in previous budget cycles; restore a portion of a cut proposed by the governor to reimbursement rates for Medicaid providers; and provide additional funding for the state’s Area Agencies on Aging for use in the Meals on Wheels program that provides meal assistance to seniors.
Ensuring Consistency with the State’s Minimum Wage (HB 1194):
In response to a Missouri Supreme Court decision that invalidated part of Missouri’s minimum wage law, lawmakers moved to implement a fix that will provide a consistent wage in municipalities throughout the state. The approved legislation will reaffirm that the state’s minimum wage is applied throughout Missouri, and keep the decision to raise wages in the hands of the employer and employee.
While the state currently has a minimum wage that increases based on the Consumer Price Index, and is currently higher than the federal minimum wage, some municipalities have considered their own increases. St. Louis passed an ordinance to raise its minimum wage to $10 an hour this year and $11 an hour by 2018. The legislation approved by the House will preempt and nullify the minimum wage enacted by St. Louis, and provide that other municipalities cannot enact a minimum wage that exceeds the one established by state law.
Organ Donor Program Fund (SB 248):
In the final moments of the 2017 legislative session, lawmakers moved to support organ donation in Missouri by giving approval to a bill that would continue the organ donor program fund tax checkoff on state income tax returns. The checkoff is set to expire on December 31, 2017. The bill, which is identical to my sponsored HB105, approved by the General Assembly would remove the sunset entirely and allow the checkoff to continue indefinitely. Supporters say the checkoff has been very successful, along with the driver’s license donations, Employee Charitable Campaign, and direct donations in funding the Organ and Tissue Donor Program.
Protecting Police Officers (SB 34):
In an effort to ensure law enforcement officials quickly receive the information they need to apprehend individuals who injure or kill peace officers, the House and Senate approved legislation to create a Blue Alert System. The bill is one of the priorities of Governor Eric Greitens, who called for the creation of the Blue Alert System when the legislative session began. Similar to the Amber and Silver Alert systems, the Blue Alert system would send out identifying information such as a physical description of the suspect and the suspect’s vehicle. Twenty-seven states already have a similar system in place.
The Missouri General Assembly also took action to deter crimes against law enforcement officials. SB54 will create enhanced penalties for individuals who assault officers of the law. The legislation will increase by one degree the penalty for first and second degree involuntary manslaughter; first and second degree property damage; first and second degree stalking; and first-degree trespassing; when those crimes are committed against a law enforcement officer, or a family member of the officer. As an example, first degree involuntary manslaughter is a class C felony under current statute, but will increase to a class B felony if SB 34 becomes law. Enhanced penalties are necessary because crimes against law enforcement officers have increased in recent years.
Legislation Approved to Establish Adult High Schools (HB 93):
The Missouri House hopes to give the approximately 500,000 Missourians without a high school diploma a second chance to obtain an education that will allow them to secure good-paying, family-supporting jobs. To accomplish this goal, legislation approved during the final week of session will establish four adult high schools in Missouri. Modeled after a program in Indiana, the bill would establish four adult high schools located in Southeast Missouri, St. Louis City, Mid-Missouri, and Southwest Missouri for individuals age 21 and up who do not have a high school diploma. It would give priority to Missourians who are currently on government assistance. The schools would help these individuals complete their high school education and obtain a diploma. They would also offer skills certifications based on regional demand through partnerships with community colleges and other programs. Additionally, they would offer a child care center to remove a significant barrier for many adults who would like to participate.
CAPITOL REPORT - May 11, 2017. This past Saturday I sat in with Austin Shelby at Carney’s Five Star Supermarket in Osceola. The month of May is National Beef Month. Both of us are members of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association; and representing St. Clair County, we were ‘riding for the brand’ and promoting beef.
Rep. Love and Austin Shelby promoting beef. May is National Beef Month.
On Sunday, Marla and I attending the 125th Anniversary Celebration at Tiffin Baptist Church of El Dorado Springs. The church had its original beginning in 1883 as a non-sectarian meeting house to serve the worship needs of 5 different denominations by taking turns using the building. In 1892, the Baptists decided to build their own building at the current location, and the land for the new building was sold to the church members for a sum of $1 by B.F. and Martha Burch. It was recorded and deeded to David Zener, Albert Chambers, and E.C. McLain, trustees of Tiffin Baptist Church. The original 11 charter members were: Robert and Minerva Evans, E.C. McLain and wife, J.P. and Mamie Skillman, Griffin Thomas and wife, Thomas Evans, Jemima Chambers, and Zerielda Zener.
Rep. Love presented a resolution to members of Tiffin Baptist Church in recognition of the church’s 175th Anniversary.
Session opened at 3:00 p.m. on Monday and turned into a marathon 7 hours of debate on SB43 (see below). While the House worked through the bill, my family members, who made a special trip to Jefferson City to attend the Governor’s Annual BBQ, joined several other family members from around the state and attended the BBQ without us House members. They reported that the food was delicious and outdoor musical entertainment was enjoyable. At 9:00 p.m., the House members were fortunate to have some the BBQ delivered to us while we continued to work in the House Chamber.
My son, John, and Governor Greitens shared military experiences at the Governor’s Annual BBQ.
SB43 would require a former employee to prove that his or her age, race, gender, disability or ethnicity was the main reason he or she was fired rather than one among other reasons. Republicans said the bill is needed because the courts have allowed too many cases of alleged workplace discrimination to proceed. It is a long awaited response to a series of Supreme Court decisions culminating in a 2007 decision that lowered the bar in employment discrimination cases and opened the door to frivolous lawsuits against our businesses. The court-constructed standard has made Missouri one of the easiest places in the country to sue a company and win. Trial lawyers know this, and they have spent the last decade profiting and exploiting this situation. The House debated the bill for more than five hours Monday, rejecting five amendments, before voting to pass the bill the Senate had proposed. It’s now up to Governor Greitens whether it will become law.
REAL ID COMPLIANT LICENSES:
HB151 requires that the Department of Revenue give applicants the option of either a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card or a license or identification card that is not in compliance with the federal REAL ID Act. The department will be required to inform applicants of the differences between the compliant and noncompliant forms of license, specifically that the REAL ID-compliant driver's license or identification card can be used for federal purposes such as commercial domestic air travel and gaining access to military bases and most federal government facilities, while the non-compliant license or card cannot. The bill passed through the Senate on Thursday and was Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed.
VISITORS THIS WEEK:
PHOTO ABOVE: The Hickory County R-I Skyline Lady Tigers were celebrated at the Capitol last Thursday for their Class 2-A State Championship Basketball Team. The team and coaches received a resolution recognizing their great accomplishments.
PHOTO ABOVE: The Weaubleau R-II 8th Graders visited the Capitol on Thursday to observe the House and Senate in Session, tour the historic building, and visit the Whispering Gallery and Dome.
PHOTO ABOVE: Lakeland R-III 7th-9th Classes spent the day at the Capitol on Monday studying all things historic and legislative.
PHOTO ABOVE: Jared Wareham stopped by on Tuesday. Jared is a St. Clair County cattle producer specializing in genetic breeding and also writes for the Drover’s Cattle Network Magazine.
PHOTO ABOVE: Benton County Assessor Rodger Reedy visited while in Jefferson City to attend the Missouri Association of Counties (MAC) regular meeting. MAC is an alliance that represents local government elected officials, all of whom work to improve services for Missouri taxpayers and citizens. There are 114 counties in the state of MO (only three states have more). The association membership has more than 1,400 county elected officials representing all counties in MO.
CAPITOL REPORT - May 4, 2017. Sunday afternoon, Marla and I attended the 175th Anniversary Open House of the Warsaw Christian Church. I presented a resolution recognizing the heritage of their history: In 1842, while Elder L. Elgin was busy organizing the “Bethel Christian Church” on Little Tebo Creek, the courthouse was being finished at a cost not to exceed $2,500. Warsaw was incorporated as a city in 1843, and in 1860, the lot on which the present structure stands was purchased from Benjamin F. Bibb for a price of $100. The brick building was erected under the leadership of the first minister, Elder L. Elgin.
It was a thriving time for the City of Warsaw; steamboat traffic on the Osage supplied a large section of the country with goods. Business flourished. The Butterfield Overland Stagecoach passed to and from regularly carrying the U.S. mail and passengers from Missouri to California.
The Warsaw Christian Church was getting its start, but was destined for an interruption that would not only throw the church into chaos, but the entire country. In 1861, war was declared, and our nation was in a turmoil for the next four years. Two companies were organized in Warsaw, and since most of the prominent politicians of the county were southern men, the southern cause was embraced. Federal soldiers took possession of the church building, and after destroying the seats and other furnishings, converted it into a hospital. When a smallpox epidemic broke out in the hospital, many of the soldiers died and were buried in the yard in back of the building. During the epidemic, the windows, doors and flooring were removed, and it was converted into a stable.
The return of peace revived the energies of the people, and in 1868, the Disciples reclaimed their church and began rebuilding their church and congregation. Through the years, Warsaw Christian Church has continued to grow and improve its facilities. From a handful of people meeting at the home of Elder Elgin, it has grown to an active congregation of over 100 members. We are proud of their rich heritage. –history excerpts from the Dosquicentennial Program of Warsaw Christian Church
PHOTO: Resolution presented to Pastor Richard Bowman of Warsaw Christian Church
in honor of the church’s 175th anniversary.
2017 SESSION REACHES FINAL WEEK WITH SEVERAL UNRESOLVED PRIORITIES:
As the Missouri House comes down to the final days of the 2017 legislative session, legislators have seen several of their top issues cross the finish line, but continue to wait for several other bills to receive approval from both chambers. To date the House has sent several of the legislative priorities of the House to the governor to become law, including bills that will:
· Make Missouri a Right-to-Work state to encourage more job creators to relocate to the state;
· End Project Labor Agreements to ensure public construction projects are more affordable for taxpayers;
· Establish a regulatory framework to allow rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft to expand throughout Missouri and create thousands of jobs;
· Implement substantive tort reform, including new expert witness standards that will make Missouri’s court system fairer for all; and
· Create penalties that will protect crops and farmland from the misuse of illegal pesticides.
The House has passed several bills this year that will make Missouri a better place to live, work, and enjoy life. If we compared these bills to baling hay, the House has already baled more hay than the Senate will ever get picked up out of the field and put in the barn. My fear is that some of the really good hay is going to get rained on and rot in the field. They are:
· Prevailing Wage – Legislation that would repeal Missouri’s prevailing wage law to help reduce the cost of construction and maintenance projects for municipalities and school districts.
· REAL ID – Legislation that would give Missourians the option to obtain photo identification that complies with the federal REAL ID Act.
· Prescription Drug Monitoring Program – Legislation that would implement a prescription drug tracking system in an effort to prevent opioid abuse in Missouri.
At least one very important subject we finished before the Constitution-required May 5thdeadline was the $27.7 billion state budget.
VISITORS THIS WEEK:
PHOTO ABOVE: Thursday, April 27th, was Farm Bureau Youth Leadership Day at the Capitol. St. Clair County Farm Bureau was represented by six bright, young FFA students who came to observe session and explore the Capitol.
Front L-R: Rep. Love; Lindsay Haines, Lakeland; Emily Meeker, Lakeland; Sydney Bock, Appleton City;
Paula Rodabaugh, St. Clair County Farm Bureau Customer Service Representative.
Back L-R: James Fischer, Appleton City; Kyle Elliott and Gerrit Brouwer, both of Osceola.
PHOTO ABOVE: It’s always great to have family visit! Daughter, Anna, and granddaughter, Sophia, were at the Capitol on Thursday touring with the 3rd Grade Class from Paris Elementary School.
CAPITOL REPORT - April 27, 2017. Rural broadband is a subject that comes up for discussion quite often in our District 125. On my way to the Capitol Monday morning, I discussed broadband accessibility and expansion with a rural electric director. The question is, “How do you justify installing fiber optic cable and electronics at the cost of more than $30,000 per mile?” Rural areas only average 7 potential hook-ups per mile, and of those 7, it is uncertain how many would subscribe. Another possibility is wireless, however, this option is line-of-sight sensitive; geographical obstacles such as trees and hills can affect transmission. Data usage is generally limited to a certain amount with wireless service, too. Some rural communities have found it helpful to develop a strategic plan for broadband placement that includes creating a comprehensive business proposal to broadband providers to overcome the low population density and high network expenses. Such a plan could demonstrate to broadband providers that this placement is a sound business decision that would benefit both the providers and the community. Potential benefits, a community’s needs, partnerships among local institutions (schools, healthcare facilities, local government offices, financial institutions, local businesses, and individuals), and possible anchor tenants must all be included when trying to promote and encourage infrastructure investment.
Upon arrival at the Capitol, I had the privilege of presenting Robert “Bob” Coleman of El Dorado Springs with a resolution recognizing his remarkable contributions to his community. Mr. Coleman was one of 60 recipients chosen out of 153 nominations for Lieutenant Governor Parson’s Senior Service Award. This award is intended to promote and highlight the positive accomplishments of Missouri’s senior citizens who volunteer in their local communities a minimum of 25 hours per year. I think it is safe to say that Mr. Coleman often volunteers at least 25 hours a week. He has played an instrumental role at the Wayside Inn Museum, the Children’s Lighthouse Theatre, the local women’s shelter, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, and Chamber of Commerce. We are very fortunate to have citizens across the state like Mr. Coleman whose generous efforts keep our communities thriving.
PHOTO ABOVE: Rep. Love with Robert “Bob” Coleman and Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson on Monday.
FUNDING FOR CEMETERY MAINTENANCE (HB51):
Legislation is now headed to the governor’s desk that will help the many cemeteries across the state that are falling into disrepair because of a lack of funding for maintenance. The legislation will address the problem by allowing for more investment options with the goal of making more funds available for upkeep. Currently, county-controlled cemetery trust funds are only allowed to keep funds in low interest certificates of deposit or bonds. According to state mandates, the principal on these funds cannot be touched. Only the interest on the funds can be used to fund maintenance costs. Because of extremely low interest rates, many county commissions are in a critical situation with minimal funds available to pay for maintenance. The bill that is now set to become law will allow local control of the cemetery trust funds and give the county commissions the choice to continue to keep the funds in low interest CDs, or to invest a portion of the funds into higher yielding investment vehicles using the expertise of investment managers. HB 51 will provide county commissions with more investment options, and while this will help in the long run, it will not alleviate the shortage of funds needed right now for this year’s maintenance. As I stated in an earlier Capitol Report, local cemetery boards, local communities, and descendants of buried ancestors need to take action this year and contribute monetarily through donations or fundraisers to increase endowment funds until state statutes are revised or interest rates increase. Keep in mind, no funding comes from state taxpayers’ resources.
UPCOMING EVENTS IN DISTRICT 125:
The City of Stockton will be hosting “The Wall That Heals” at the Stockton High Football Field, May 11-14, Thursday through Sunday. This extremely moving and educational mobile exhibit will be open 24 hours a day and is free of charge. There will be a special memorial ceremony at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 13th, and the public is invited. ‘The Vietnam Veterans Memorial stands as a symbol of America’s honor and recognition of the men and women who served and sacrificed their lives in the Vietnam War. It is dedicated to honor the “courage, sacrifice and devotion to duty and country” of all who answered the call to serve during the most divisive war in U.S. history.’ –Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund
Congratulations to Appleton City on being appointed as a “Purple Heart City.” To celebrate this award, Appleton City will be hosting festivities on June 9th, Friday, with the annual city parade at 7:00 p.m. City officials invite and encourage all Purple Heart recipients and all veterans to join the parade by lining up on Poplar Street at 6:30 p.m. There will be a Purple Heart Ceremony following the parade in Forest Park at 7:45 p.m. This celebration is in conjunction with their annual fair. Please contact Appleton City Mayor Karol Stephan at 660-679-1326 email@example.com if you or a loved one is a Purple Heart recipient.
VISITORS THIS WEEK:
PHOTO ABOVE: History students and chaperones of the El Dorado Springs Christian School toured the Capitol, State Museum and Governor’s Mansion on Tuesday.
PHOTO ABOVE: Warsaw High School juniors and seniors visited on Wednesday for the 2017 Missouri Youth Diversity Day at the Capitol. The Office of Equal Opportunity with the State of Missouri Office of Administration offered activities to learn about state government and state career paths.
PHOTO ABOVE: My wife, Marla, and I were invited to a reception hosted by the Governor and his wife on Tuesday evening. It was a pleasure to visit one-on-one with Governor Greitens about legislative priorities.
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