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]
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – State Rep. Warren Love is urging his constituents to make their voices heard by completing his 2018 legislative survey. Please take a moment to fill out the 2018 House Survey:
Warren D. Love
CAPITOL REPORT - February 8, 2018. Driving back to the Capitol was somewhat treacherous on Monday for most everyone. Freezing rain, ice and snow across much of Missouri was the norm; this caused several multiple-vehicle accidents and road closures. However, most all of the Missouri legislators made it in by Monday afternoon, and we went right to work doing the people’s business.
Monday evening I attended the Rural Electric Cooperative reception and got to visit with Aaron Ash and Don Levi, both with Sac Osage Electric Co-op. One of my priorities is to stay informed and up-to-date on the electric providers in our District 125. It’s most important that electricity is available, reliable and affordable. Tuesday morning, these gentlemen were at the Capitol and stopped by the office, advocating for current legislation. I appreciate their involvement, input, and commitment to a high standard of service.
PHOTO ABOVE: Tim Minehardt, Don Levi, and Aaron Ash, Sac Osage Electric Co-op, visited with legislators on Tuesday, Feb. 6th.
The Economic Development Committee hearing on the full repeal of Prevailing Wage was held on Tuesday evening. The committee heard three identical bills, including the language I have sponsored (HB1436). It was a very successful hearing with the hearing room full of county commissioners from across the state. It was great to listen to Marlon Collins, Cedar County Presiding Commissioner, testify in favor of the full repeal and the huge impact it would have for the cost of repair or replacement to county infrastructure needs. Some other commissioners that testified were from Cape Girardeau, Dent, Macon, and Platte Counties. We were also extremely pleased that Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft attended the hearing and gave a detailed testimony in favor of the full repeal. This repeal would clear the way for qualified/competitive bidding on public works projects, not to mention the fact that it is the most proficient use of taxpayer dollars.
This week in the Conservation/Natural Resources Committee, we heard testimony on HB1657that would allow non-resident landowners to hunt on their own land without being required to purchase out-of-state tags. This bill allows any U.S. citizen who is not a MO resident, but owns at least 75 acres of property in Missouri, to receive resident hunting, fishing, or trapping permit privileges. Currently, since 2009, the MO Conservation Department (MDC) requires all MO landowners who live out-of-state, but own MO land and pay MO property taxes (and in many cases, pay personal property taxes on equipment) to purchase a non-resident hunting permit, the same as hunters who do not own land in MO. For example, Forrest Lucas, who owns Lucas Cattle Company, comprised of several hundred acres of land, cattle and machinery. In addition, he established and owns Lucas Oil Speedway at Wheatland. Due to his business interests, he is a rather large employer and taxpayer in Hickory County. I made a personal phone call to Mr. Lucas, whose permanent address is in Indiana. I asked if he knew he would be required by current MDC regulation to purchase a non-resident $225 firearm deer tag to hunt deer on his own land. He was unaware of that policy, because he really is not a hunter. However, he stated, “If I wanted to bring my grandson and hunt on my own property during deer season, I should be allowed to do so, the same as every other landowner in Missouri.” I agree with him and will do everything I can to support HB1657.
FFA STATE OFFICERS VISIT STATE CAPITOL:
Members of the FFA State Officer Team visited the Capitol this week to talk about the importance of agricultural education in Missouri. The group made the trip to Jefferson City in conjunction with Career and Technical Education Month to represent the more than 25,900 students around the state who participate in FFA. Their visit was highlighted by a speech made in the House Chamber by FFA President Abby Bertz. She discussed the organization’s origins in Kansas City, and focused her comments on the importance of preparing the next generation of leaders. FFA prepares the next generation to meet the challenges of feeding a growing population by helping its members to develop their own unique talents and explore their interests in a broad range of career pathways through their experiences in agricultural education. The 2018 National FFA Week is February 17-24. I hope to see District 125 FFA members throughout the Capitol halls during that week!
PHOTO ABOVE: FFA State President Abby Bertz delivered a powerful ‘State of the FFA’ speech to the entire House on Wednesday, 2/7.
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 413B, and YOU are always welcome!
If you would like to be added to the e-mail list to receive our Capitol Reports, you may 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 - February 1, 2018. My in-district Friday started at 9:00 a.m. meeting with the El Dorado Springs High School Government classes. I had the privilege of sharing about the legislative process with approximately 50 Juniors and Seniors. I then presented 2 American FFA Degree resolutions to Caeleigh Gardner and Landon Leonard who have participated in the El Dorado Springs High School FFA Chapter.
PHOTO ABOVE: Caeleigh Gardner received a resolution recognizing her efforts and dedication to the FFA program by earning the highly respected American FFA Degree.
While in El Dorado Springs, I met with Harold Fugate, who is instrumental in community betterment, to discuss options for funding the El Dorado Springs Youth Center. The Youth Center offers an afterschool program for K-12 students with adult supervision, a computer lab with 20 units for student study and research, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts meetings, recreational activities and a multipurpose room available for large gatherings.
PHOTO ABOVE: El Dorado Springs Youth Center
I then travelled on to Osceola and attended the monthly Chamber of Commerce luncheon. The program presentation was given by Alessandro Alberto, a foreign exchange student from Italy. He is a guest of Mike and Rhonda Wilson while attending school in Osceola.
My wife, Marla, and I also attended a fundraiser at Rivers Crossing Life Center in Osceola. Volunteers prepared an excellent menu of Mexican food for 150 people, and it was a sell-out event! All of the proceeds raised will benefit the home-delivered meal program.
I was able to get some much needed livestock chores completed on Saturday. We then topped off the day by attending the annual Osceola Basketball Tournament. Several of our District 125 high school teams participate each year. This year’s winners were: Championship-Lakeland Vikings; 2nd Place- Weaubleau Tigers; and 3rd Place-Osceola Indians. Congratulations to everyone!
On the way to the Capitol Monday morning, I visited with Mac Vorce, Director of the Warsaw Chamber of Commerce. We discussed future plans for a bicycle trail that will extend from New Orleans to Minnesota and how it could tie in with the proposed Butterfield Overland Trail Stagecoach National Parkway. As the Butterfield Overland Trail crosses through MO, it extends from Springfield through Tipton and passes through Hickory and Benton Counties. Once again, I have sponsored legislation (HCR76) that urges the U.S. Congress to commemorate and celebrate the historic Butterfield Overland Trail by making it part of the National Historic Trails System.
Upon arrival at the Capitol, I had the opportunity to present the MO Veterans Heritage Protection Act to the MO Association of Veterans Organizations (MAVO). Its mission and purpose is for its members to assemble and exchange ideas for the collective welfare of all veterans residing in the state of Missouri, assist the Missouri Veterans Commission, and advise the Governor and General Assembly on matters of interest.
PHOTO ABOVE: MO Association of Veterans Organizations (MAVO) held a rally at the Capitol on Tuesday and advocated for legislation that its members support, which includes the preservation and protection of all veterans’ objects of remembrance in Missouri: HB1427 and HB2189.
A bill that I took particular interest in this week was HB1880 on broadband services. Before it was perfected during House session on Wednesday, I spoke on the Floor to House members about the critical need for broadband in District 125. In fact, this is one of the top three District 125 concerns this year, along with funding for transportation infrastructure and the opioid crises. This legislation declares that “the expansion of broadband services is within the best interests of the citizens of Missouri, and in furtherance of expanding broadband throughout MO, the bill states the intent of the General Assembly to encourage agreements between various parties and rural electric cooperatives to expand rural broadband services. Such agreements may provide for the nonexclusive use of rural electric cooperative infrastructure and easements.” Identical language has been sponsored in the Senate as well (SB980).
PHOTO ABOVE: I had the privilege of spending Wednesday with Job Shadow Kaylynn Wake of Willow Springs. Kaylynn participated in the MO Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Legislative Shadowing Project. This worthwhile project helps students become more involved citizens and advocates for their communities.
MORE MISSOURIANS ARE TAKING THE PLEDGE:
News release from MoDOT: “Buckle Up - Phone Down”
JEFFERSON CITY – Statewide, over 2,100 individuals and nearly 300 businesses have taken the “Buckle Up - Phone Down” pledge. They’re 2 simple acts that can save your life, and the lives of others. Buckle up and make sure every passenger in your vehicle is buckled up. If you’re driving, put the phone down. “Buckle Up - Phone Down.” With no primary seat belt law or all-driver texting ban, MoDOT and the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety are urging drivers to take their safety seriously, and take the pledge at modot.org/BuckleUpPhoneDown/. Once there, you can pledge as an individual or business. You can also upload a photo and logo, or view other partners and their wall of fame. Missouri is one of only 16 states with no primary seat belt law, and one of only three states without an all-driver texting ban. For more information on highway safety or Buckle Up - Phone Down, please visitsavemolives.com/Buckle-Up-Phone-Down.
CAPITOL REPORT- January 25, 2018. On my way to the Capitol on Monday I stopped by 2 coffee caucuses in Warsaw. The first was at the Boring Rexall Drug Store, and the second was at McDonald’s. It’s a great way to visit, listen to local concerns, and keep up on community events. Two new construction projects underway are the new American Legion Hall building to replace the structure that had arson fire damage last Spring, and a new Casey’s store is going up just north of McDonald’s in Warsaw.
PHOTO ABOVE: New American Legion Hall being constructed in Warsaw.
PHOTO ABOVE: Casey’s General Store is being built just north of McDonald’s in Warsaw.
Big issues being discussed in committees this week were: expanding broadband, repealing Prevailing Wage, utility rate adjustments, and industrial hemp.
The State of the Judiciary address was delivered by Chief Justice Zel Fischer on Wednesday. He focused on the opioid crisis and encouraged more funding for treatment. "Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, with the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids continuing to climb," Fischer reminded lawmakers. "Missouri lost 1,066 people in 2015 and 1,371 people in 2016 to drug overdose. This is a staggering increase in deaths." Fischer mentioned that some people charged with drug or alcohol related crimes, usually first-time offenders, are given the opportunity to work through their issues and addictions rather than just be sentenced to prison through successful treatment courts across the state. Fischer said drug courts are more cost-effective than any other criminal justice strategy to address the growing problem. He pledged to work with lawmakers to help make the treatment courts available in every jurisdiction in the state.
Another event that I attended this week was led by former Lt. Gov. Joe Maxwell. He, along with former Senator Wes Shoemyer, advocate for Family Farm Action, Organizations for Competitive Markets, and Human Society of the United States. Maxwell and Shoemyer paint a picture with a wide brush of doom and gloom for Missouri farmers and rural communities. They are anti Farm Bureau, MO Cattlemen’s, MO Pork, MO Corn, MO Soybean, MO Rice and other well-known farm organizations. To hear them tell their story, we have no fair markets for livestock and grains. They try to stir anger and fear in Missouri about foreign ownership of agricultural land. My first year in the legislature, we passed a state statute that drew a line in the sand which capped the allowable acreage for foreign ownership at 1%. Currently, foreign ownership is only .5% of the 1% allowed. I certainly agree that this needs to be continuously tracked and transparent so that it does not exceed the 1% limit. –Just a word of caution to Missourians: Be wary of the so called “Farmers Bill of Rights for Missourians.” It sounds good on the surface, but the devil is in the details. I am always willing and available to attend meetings to explain this. It’s interesting that the Family Farm Action group chose this name with the same acronym as Future Farmers of America. Don’t be deceived.
I received a visit from Deb and San Simaitis on Tuesday. They were at the Capitol to promote organ donation education in the classroom. Deb serves as the Chair of the Governor’s Organ Donation Advisory Committee. DONATE LIFE AWARENESS DAY will take place on April 10th at the Capitol honoring donors and recipients.
FARMERS’ MARKET MATCHING GRANT PROGRAM:
Missouri is one of the top states for farmers’ markets in the nation with nearly 300 farmers’ markets that provide venues for agricultural producers to sell their products directly to consumers. The Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) has announced the Farmers’ Market Promotion Matching Grant Program to support the promotion and advertisement of Missouri’s farmers’ markets. Applications for this grant must be received by February 15th, with the application available at http://agriculture.mo.gov/abd/financial/pdf/farmersmarketapp.pdf.
The Farmers’ Market Promotion Matching Grant Program, funded through MDA, awards grants of up to $1,000 for reimbursement of expenses associated with promoting farmers’ markets in local communities. Projects should promote the farmers’ market in the local community and improve understanding, perception, knowledge and location of the farmers’ market. This is a competitive grant program, and funds may be used to assist farmers’ markets in developing promotional and advertising materials. Funds may also be used to increase community awareness about market locations, times of operation and types of products sold. Examples of eligible expenses include digital and print media, signage, billboards, advertisements, marketing and graphic design.
CAPITOL REPORT - January 18, 2018. With the General Assembly now in session, Friday is my in-district work day. It actually started very early in the morning because of icy road conditions. I took my wife, Marla, to her workplace in Warsaw. While driving, it was obvious that the MoDOT road crews had been out salting the intersections and bridges. So, in appreciation of their good work, I picked up some doughnuts and delivered them to the MoDOT barns in Warsaw and Preston.
From there, I called on the city officials of Weaubleau and Wheatland along the “Discover More on Highway 54” route. I spent lunchtime at the McCarty Senior Center in Wheatland. I had plans to make a presentation at Hermitage High School afterward, but due to schools closing because of the weather, the recognition event was moved to the McCarty Senior Center. It was an honor to present a resolution to Hermitage High School Senior Easton Sabala. This fine, young man placed 1st out of 165 competitors in the Class 1 State Cross Country Championship in November. He also helped lead the Hermitage/Wheatland H.S. Cross Country Team to a 2ndplace finish in the state championships following 3 consecutive years as the state champs. We are very fortunate to have excelling students in our district who are blessed with wonderful guidance from their instructors and coaches!
Friday I had the privilege of presenting a resolution to Hermitage Senior Easton Sabala along with his parents Mark and Anastasia. His father is also coach of the Hermitage/Wheatland Cross Country Team. Easton placed 1st out of 165 competitors at the Class I State Cross Country Championship.
I conferenced with Aaron Jeffries, Missouri Dept. of Conservation Deputy Director, this week. He updated me on the results of testing deer for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) that was completed in our area during opening weekend of the Fall firearm season. While 2 positive samples were confirmed in our district (one adult buck in Cedar and one adult buck in Polk counties), MDC suggested the low number of positive results illustrated the disease was recently introduced into these areas. The Missouri Department of Conservation has reported CWD-positive results for 15 free-ranging deer out of nearly 18,400 test results this season. This season’s testing was called for because of 2 infected deer harvested in the previous 2016 hunting season. Because of this year’s results, a rather small 4-6 mile area near Collins has been targeted for eradication of the deer herd. Hopefully, this will lessen the spreading of the fatal disease. You can learn more about CWD online at https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/wildlife-diseases/chronic-wasting-disease-cwd.
Realtors from across the state visited the Capitol on Wednesday. I had the pleasure of meeting with Judy McKovich and Ed and Donna Peterson who are all realtors in the District 125 area.
Realtors from the Sedalia area stopped by to visit with me on Wednesday to advocate for legislation coming up during the 2018 session.
CAPITOL REPORT - January 11, 2018. The 50th Annual Missouri Cattlemen’s Association (MCA) Convention was held the first weekend in January in Columbia. As usual, for 40-plus years, I chored the livestock, and then my wife, Marla, and I headed to the convention to attend all three days. Beef producers gathered from all around Missouri to set policy that starts as grassroots in our county organizations. This year’s convention theme and programs provided an opportunity to "Remember the Past and Look Toward the Future." Cattlemen and cattlewomen learned what new techniques and technologies are changing the industry, new cattle management styles, as well as regulatory and legislative issues coming in 2018. Together, we can move the beef industry forward.
Legislative Affairs Chairman Jimmie Long of Cole Camp stated, "There is no policy established by staff or a few people in a closed door meeting. Our policies generally start at the county level and move up. This is a member-driven process that we take very seriously. Our members made clear that private property rights and integrity are of the utmost importance. The association will support measures that strengthen private property rights in Missouri and will vehemently oppose any invasion of those rights. We will work to protect the integrity of the product we produce and enhance the integrity in the ballot initiative process."
If an animal owner is charged with animal abuse/neglect and they are found not guilty, the owner is still required to pay for all expenses associated with their case. HB1945 ensures that owners who are found innocent are not liable for the costs associated with holding their animals and that their animals must be returned immediately. MCA also supports legislation (SB797) that ensures officials are adequately trained to identify animal abuse and neglect using materials certified by the State Veterinarian.
Also pertaining to private property rights, current statutes regarding the Department of Natural Resources' (DNR) authority in regulating MO water do little to provide absolute clarity to DNR and to citizens on what is and isn't regulated by DNR. MCA will push for clarity in state statute to ensure DNR has the ability to improve water quality without hampering private property rights.
Long also stated that MCA will work with the Secretary of State's office to encourage legislation on accountability, transparency and integrity into the state's ballot initiative petition process.
He also said MCA will lead efforts to make certain that plant-based proteins and imitation meat products created in a laboratory are labeled correctly and do not mislead consumers into thinking they are buying beef produced by Missouri farm and ranch families.
PHOTO: Holly Hubert (picture above) represented the Protect the Harvest Booth at the convention. We discussed the right to raise livestock without infringement from organizations like HSUS and PETA. Plus, we also discussed the fact that county health boards in Missouri are adopting more stringent local ordinances on livestock operations than DNR requires. This issue needs to be clarified by the General Assembly. Statute 192.300 currently reads that the county commissioners must also be in agreement. However, many times this is not the case. Several county commissions in Missouri are joining up with Missouri Farmers Care and are becoming Agri-Ready, which means that counties will not adopt ordinances/regulations that are more stringent than state requirements. Currently, there are approximately 40 counties that have been designated and the number is increasing. Benton and St. Clair Counties are designated Agri-Ready, and I encourage Cedar and Hickory Counties to participate. Currently, both county commissions and county health center boards may make and establish orders, ordinances, rules or regulations under certain circumstances, but cannot conflict with any rules or regulations of the Department of Health and Senior Services or the Department of Social Services. I have sponsored legislation (HB1480) that requires the county commission and the county health center board to be in concurrence when establishing health orders, ordinances, rules or regulations, except in the case of an emergency.
PHOTO: (L-R) Mike Deering, Exec. Dir. of MCA, with Missouri Farmers Care Hall of Fame Inaugural Recipients: Lt. Gov. Parson, Forrest Lucas, and Rep. Rieboldt. Far right: Dr. Alan Wessler with MFC. Not pictured: Recipient Sen. Munzlinger.
Missouri Farmers Care, a statewide coalition of agriculture groups formed to promote modern agriculture, food production and farm life, presented historic awards at the MCA convention on Saturday, Jan. 6. The Missouri Farmers Care Hall of Fame five inaugural recipients are: Congressman Jason Smith, Lt. Gov. Mike Parson, Sen. Brian Munzlinger, Rep. Bill Rieboldt, and Forrest Lucas, founder of Protect the Harvest. Congratulations to all these deserving recipients.
CAPITOL REPORT - January 4, 2018. Well, it’s official! The Second Regular 99th Missouri General Assembly gaveled back into session at high noon on Wednesday, January 3rd. My morning activities of the first day of session have become a tradition; for the 6th year in a row, I attended the Concord Baptist Church Annual Legislative Breakfast and Prayer Service. The physical food was delicious, however, the spiritual food and prayer was even greater. Colonel Gary Gilmore, Chaplain of the National Guard, was the guest speaker at the event and commented, “The wise thing that leaders can do is align one self’s heart with God’s plan and purpose for our life.”
The opening day session was highlighted by a speech from House Speaker Todd Richardson who encouraged his colleagues to continue the work they have done to make the great state of Missouri even greater. As Richardson said in his speech, “That is why it is critical for those of us in our final session, and for those who will pick up the torch when we are gone, to make it our focus in everything we do to leave this state a better place than we found it.”
He also stressed the need to work quickly to pass several priority pieces of legislation. The House is set to take up three pieces of legislation that have received strong bipartisan approval in the past. While these bills made it through the House, they did not receive Senate approval before time ran out on the 2017 session. Lawmakers hope this year to move all three measures across the legislative finish line.
Human Trafficking (HB 1246) - House members will work again this year to address the growing problem of human trafficking. The state is currently ranked 20th in reported human trafficking cases according to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.
Ethics Reform (HB 1303) - House members will also work to once again pass legislation meant to diminish the influence of lobbyists. Similar to legislation the House has passed in each of the last two sessions, the bill would ban gifts from lobbyists to legislators and other statewide elected officials.
Reducing Burdensome Regulations (HB 1500) - In the first weeks of session House members will also work to cut burdensome red tape and reduce government overregulation so that businesses can thrive in Missouri.
Wednesday morning was the annual Governor’s Prayer Breakfast. The message was delivered by Reverend John Lindell who is the lead pastor of James River Assembly of God Church located in greater Springfield. The message theme was ‘leading with faith and courage.’
On Thursday afternoon I was called into the House Ethics Committee for a preliminary hearing regarding the statement I made on August 30th about calling out the crime of vandalism with a crude colloquial statement. The vandalism occurred on a monument in the National Veterans’ Cemetery in Springfield. The conclusion of a confusing Ethics Committee process ended without my acceptance of a reprimand and failure of the committee to proceed with other options. So, to my knowledge at this point, this issue should be over.
When we reconvene next week, the Governor will deliver the State of the State message to the members of the entire General Assembly. House Speaker Richardson will also be assigning House bills to committees and legislative work will begin.
CAPITOL REPORT - December 21, 2017. It was not on my calendar to visit the MO Veterans’ Home in Warrensburg on Friday, 12/15. However, when encouraged by constituents to make a visit, I felt compelled to work it into my schedule. I arrived unannounced and was really impressed by the professionalism of all the staff and the cleanliness of the facility. Administrator Eric Endsley put his day on hold to graciously give me a tour. Although the Veterans’ Home location in St. Louis has been under recent inspection and scrutiny, the Warrensburg home has a very welcoming environment and appears to have contentment among the residents. There are 7 locations throughout Missouri with a total capacity of 1,350 beds. Currently, there are 2,000 veterans on a waiting list. These homes play a vital role in serving the needs of our veterans, and I certainly hope that any recent issues are solved swiftly to ensure continued commitment to Missouri veterans.
PHOTO: Eric Endsley, Administrator of the MO Veterans’ Home in Warrensburg, gave me a tour of the facility last week.
An open house was held on Saturday, December 16th, to celebrate 125 years of service by the El Dorado Springs Volunteer Fire Department. I was honored to present Fire Chief Owen Elliott and members of the department with a resolution recognizing their dedication to the protecting the El Dorado Springs area. The department currently has 27 active volunteers; we are certainly grateful to these citizens for their service.
PHOTO: I had the pleasure to present a resolution to the El Dorado Springs Volunteer Fire Department as they gathered to commemorate their 125th Anniversary on December 16th.
On Tuesday, I attended a meeting of the Missouri State Tax Commission in Jefferson City for a vote on Agriculture Land Value. The three-member commission voted for no increases in property taxes for Class 1-4 (tillable land), a 7% reduction in property taxes for Class 5-7 (pasture land), and a 3% reduction in property taxes for Class 8. This is great news for District 125; most of our district is in Class 5-7. This decrease in property taxes is also great news for the Missouri farmer and the agriculture industry in our state.
I have mentioned before that there is a lot of construction going on in District 125, and it is great to see this activity as I drive our local roads. New boat ramp construction is underway in Osceola as well as extensive improvements to the Osceola water district. There are school construction projects going on in El Dorado Springs and Weaubleau, a new facility for the Hickory County Health Department in Hermitage, a new Dollar General recently built and opened in Weaubleau as well as a new community building, and a convenience store/truck stop in Wheatland. I hope this is an indication of a prosperous 2018 for more economic development and jobs for our local citizens.
PHOTO: Construction is moving full speed ahead for a new boat ramp in Osceola.
This year as we gather together to celebrate the birth of Christ, we will share our love and exchange gifts as a way of reminding one another of how much we care and how deeply blessed we are. Christmas is a time to thank God for all that He has given us; it is much more than just a day to give and receive gifts.
I hope this Christmas is filled with joy for you and your family. I wish you safe travels if you are visiting loved ones, and wish the same for those who may be coming to stay with you. At the same time as we celebrate the greatest of holidays, I also ask us to remember there are many Missourians who are not as fortunate. They won’t have the luxury of the companionship of family and friends, presents to open, or possibly even a warm meal. I ask you to keep them in your thoughts and prayers during this holiday season. Christmas is a time of giving and it’s important that we remember that means more than presents. It should also be a time to give of ourselves to help those who are less fortunate.
My wish is for this time of year to be one filled with joy and celebration as you share your time with those who mean the most to you. Merry Christmas!
As the curtain closes on this year, we wish you a wonderful, healthy, prosperous 2018.
This will be my last report for this year, but I will continue regular, weekly reports in January
to keep you informed.
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