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]

The Latest News

CAPITOL REPORT - April 20, 2017.  Caution is in order as planting season is in full swing.  Farmers are moving from field to field on our rural roads and highways, even in heavily populated counties and suburbs.  Recently, legislation in the form of an amendment has been offered to allow machinery to be moved between the hours of sunset and sunrise as long as proper lighting and caution signs are displayed.  This will allow farmers to move machinery at times when traffic is not as heavy.  Since agriculture is the #1 industry in Missouri, the passage of the amendment would provide relief during times of planting and harvest, when farmers need to move equipment between fields and tracts of farmland at all times of day.  This bill would ensure that farmers can do that with the proper safety lighting. 

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt spoke to all House members yesterday.  He addressed important EPA regulation repeals relating to waters of the United States and utility plant regulations.  He mentioned three things we need to increase and build upon in Missouri:  manufacturing, growing of crops and livestock production, and medical research.  Last, but not least, he hopes to see a huge increase in infrastructure projects on highways, railroads, and river ports.  During his address, Senator Blunt stated, “If everything is a priority, then it seems nothing is a priority.”  This reminded me of something former Governor Nixon had once said, “It is difficult to get laws done, and it is difficult to then get laws undone; and this is really good for good reason!” 

IMPROVING 911 SERVICES (HB334): 

The House gave final approval this week to legislation designed to consolidate and provide adequate funding for the state’s 911 call centers. The bill is meant to ensure Missourians have access to 911 emergency services in ALL parts of the state.  It would update the current funding model for 911 services that was put in place more than 3 decades ago and is based on a surcharge on traditional landline phone lines.  More and more residents have done away with landlines and switched to cell phones, which has caused funding for 911 services to diminish. The legislation would allow local municipalities to submit for voter approval a fee of up to $1.50 for any device capable of contacting 911.  The legislation approved by the House would also allow and encourage municipalities to work together to consolidate 911 services.  It also would implement a 3 percent surcharge on each retail purchase of a prepaid cell phone to provide additional funding for 911 services.  An amendment added to the bill on the floor would put the state on track to implement a next generation 911 system that would allow for the use of electronic messages including text, images, video, and data.  It now moves to the Senate. 

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 orkdstephan@gmail.com if you or a loved one is a Purple Heart recipient.  

VISITORS THIS WEEK:

PHOTO ABOVE: Appleton City 4th Graders learned about the legislative process and the rich history of the Capitol and Missouri on Tuesday.  They were accompanied by their instructor, Mrs. Bock.

PHOTO ABOVE: Members of the West Central Association of Realtors visited with Rep. Love on current legislative issues on Wednesday. 

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 warren.love@house.mo.gov or call the Capitol office at (573) 751-4065 and speak with Kelley Rogers, my Legislative Assistant.

“Ride’n for the Brand”

State Representative

—Representing the good people

of the 125th District—


CAPITOL REPORT - April 13, 2017.  I drove to the Capitol a little early on Monday for a very special presentation.  It was my privilege to present Mr. Mel Gilbert of Buffalo with a resolution in honor of completing the Passport Stamp Program with the Missouri State Park System on April 10th in conjunction with the Missouri State Park System’s 100th Anniversary Celebration. (See photo below.)  There are 88 state parks and historic sites in the passport program, and Mr. Gilbert has visited them all.  He has also completed every National Park Passport Stamp in the Passport to Your National Parks program that encompasses over 400 parks throughout the United States.

The 100th Anniversary Celebration was held in the Capitol Rotunda on Monday morning by the Department of Natural Resources in recognition of Missouri’s outstanding state park system and  Missouri’s parks offer more than 2,000 structures, 3,600 campsites, 194 cabins, almost 2,000 picnic sites, and more than 1,000 miles of trail.  About 18 million people visit Missouri state parks annually to hike, camp, fish, discover the past and explore nature. 

DONATE LIFE-BLUE & GREEN DAY AT THE CAPITOL: 

Lawmakers and staff wore blue and green on Tuesday in an effort to promote organ donation. The event is part of the annual National Donate Life Blue and Green Day to encourage Missourians to register as organ, eye, and tissue donors. 

During the event, more than 75 family members representing 28 donors were in attendance to promote organ donation.   On behalf of the Donate Life Missouri organization and the Governor’s Organ Donation Advisory Committee, District 125 constituent, Deb Simaitis, was presented with a House Resolution in the House Chamber.  Members also paused for a moment of silence in honor of the lifesaving efforts made by organ donors. (See photo below.)  Deb, who is Chairperson of the Governor’s Advisory Committee, spearheaded the events at the Capitol on Tuesday which included educational booths, an organ donor registry drive in the 3rd Floor Rotunda, and a reception for organ donor families. 

House members also moved to support organ donation in Missouri by giving approval to HB105 that I sponsored, which 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 approved by the House 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.

Photo Above: Deb Simaitis, Chairperson of the Governor’s Organ Donation Advisory Committee, with her husband, San, 3rd from left. 

HOUSE APPROVES CHANGE TO MOTORCYCLE HELMET REQUIREMENTS: 

Current law requires that all motorcycle riders wear protective headgear while the vehicle is in motion. The bill, HB576, approved by the House this week would modify this requirement to apply only to individuals under 21 years of age. Individuals 21 and older would be able to ride a motorcycle without a helmet as long as they have completed a motorcycle safety education course or have possessed a motorcycle license for at least two years, and are covered by a health insurance policy.  The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration. 

VISITORS THIS WEEK 

Photo Above: Rep. Love visited with members of the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation during their 10th annual bicycle ride and exhibits on the Capitol lawn.

Photo Above: In Jefferson City for a Missouri Association of Counties Conference, Benton County Presiding Commissioner Michelle McLerran Kreisler (left), and Analyst for Benton County, Diana Marmino (right), made time on Monday afternoon to advocate for Missouri counties at the Capitol.

Photo Above: Tom Golder, Osage Valley Electric Cooperative, was one of 9 electric cooperative lineworkers that travelled to Bolivia to provide international efforts in bringing electricity to some impoverished areas.  Their hard work over 2 ½ weeks has provided hope to Bolivians for running water, sanitation, lights and power for refrigeration and cooking.   The deserving group received a resolution by the House members on Wednesday in recognition of their contributions.

Photo Above: Rep. Love discussing Missouri Cattlemen’s issues with Jace Uchtman, Rep. Hannah Kelly, and Brandon Uchtman on Wednesday.

Photo Above: Legislative members and staff joined together Wednesday evening to participate in the annual charity softball tournament.  Our bi-partisan softball team, the Rowdy Roosters, sponsored by the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, along with 9 other teams raised over $4,000 for the Good Samaritans Center.


CAPITOL REPORT - April 6, 2017.  The Spoonbill/Paddlefish snagging season is well under way on the Osage River Arm of Truman Lake.  I crossed what we call the Brown’s Ford Bridge between Iconium and Lowry City on my way for breakfast Saturday morning.  There were more boats up and down the river than you could shake a stick at!  

Finally, some much needed rain is starting a Spring green-up.  People are finding mushrooms and starting to catch crappie that makes for some delicious dining!  The wild turkeys are gobbling and strutting their feathers. 

The Youth Turkey Hunt is also upon us for April 8th and 9th.  The Youth hunters who are age 6-15 on April 8th may hunt.  It’s amazing that hunters and anglers in Missouri generate $274 million annually in state and local taxes.  Total expenditures exceed $1.7 billion with an economic impact of $3 billion.  Hunting and fishing support 38,185 jobs in Missouri. 

Missouri offers some of the best spring turkey hunting in the nation, and St. Clair, Cedar, Hickory, and Dade counties provide some of the best hunting.  For more information on this year’s spring turkey season visit:https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/sites/default/files/downloads/2017springturkey.pdf.  

HOUSE APPROVES FISCAL YEAR 2018 SPENDING PLAN: 

House members discussed and debated the Fiscal Year 2018 state operating budget for several hours on both Tuesday and Thursday this week before giving final approval to the $27.7 billion spending plan and sending it to the Senate. The House version of the budget includes record levels of funding for public K-12 education; fully funding the school foundation formula for the first time. It also restores a proposed cut to school transportation funding, and adds additional dollars to higher education above what was recommended by the governor. The plan approved by the House also restores a cut proposed by the governor that would have impacted 20,000 seniors and disabled Missourians who currently qualify for state-funded in-home care and nursing home services.

Highlights include: 

  • An additional $48 million that will fully fund the School Foundation Formula for public K-12 education for the first time. The FY 2018 budget proposal appropriates more than $6 billion in total for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
  • Lawmakers found an additional $25 million to restore a cut proposed by the governor to public school transportation.
  • The House version of the budget restores $600,000 in funding from a proposed cut to independent living centers, which help people with disabilities to increase their independence and their opportunity to participate in day-to-day life within their communities. 
  • An additional $1.3 million in funding for the state’s Area Agencies on Aging for use in the Meals on Wheels program that provides meal assistance to seniors.
  • An increase of $15.4 million in funding for the state employee pension system, which brings the plan to a record level of state support.
  • $250,000 to upgrade the state’s Amber Alert system to allow it to be integrated with the Silver Alert System and the Blue Alert System.
  • $500,000 added to pilot a program to promote STEM education in middle schools.
  • $62 million in new funding for road construction. 

The budget bills now move to the Senate for consideration. The budget must be completed by Friday, May 5, which gives the House and Senate one month to reach an agreement on the final spending plan. 

BIG BILL OF THE WEEK: 

The House gave final approval this week to Prescription Drug Monitoring Program legislation that would implement a prescription drug tracking system in an effort to prevent opioid abuse in Missouri. If approved by both chambers and signed into law, House Bill 90 and HB68 would make Missouri the 50th and final state to implement such a system to prevent the practice of doctor shopping to obtain multiple prescriptions for valuable and addictive medications. 

Now moving to the Senate, the bill would require the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to establish and maintain a program to monitor the prescribing and dispensing of all Schedule II through Schedule IV controlled substances. The bill would require information on these drugs being prescribed and dispensed to be reported within 24 hours. By the year 2020 the information would be updated in real time. 

VISITORS THIS WEEK

St. Clair County OATS clients were visitors to the Capitol on Tuesday.  OATS, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation providing specialized transportation for thousands of Missourians, including the rural general public, senior citizens and people with disabilities in 87 MO counties.  OATS employs more than 700 people statewide, with 24% of them Veterans.

Cedar County OATS clients toured the Capitol on Tuesday promoting funding for the public transit system. OATS provides reliable transportation for qualified Missourians so they can live independently in their own communities.

Visiting the Capitol on Wednesday, Bill Creek of Collins was promoting the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association. 

Other visitors during the week included Dr. Kyle Johnson, Optometrist, of Clinton, Missouri, and Patty Kinkead, Nurse Practitioner, constituent from Warsaw, who was advocating for prescription legislation, nursing statute modifications, and access to healthcare for rural and underprivileged citizens.


CAPITOL REPORT - March 30, 2017.  The Spring Legislative Break is over and we are back in the final half of session in Jefferson City.  As I mentioned in the last Capitol Report, I had the opportunity to hold four town hall listening post meetings last week.  I was also offered the opportunity to help deliver ‘Meals on Wheels’ with Director Leonard Burton of the El Dorado Springs Senior Center.  He updated me on how the center is operated by Care Connection for Aging Services, the senior center’s operational budget, revenue sources and expenditures.  (This senior center is one of 22 senior centers operated by Care Connection.)  The El Dorado Springs Senior Center serves 27 on-site meals daily and delivers 75 meals to homes each day as well with a total of 26,010 meals served each year.  The total operating budget per year is $216,891.  The revenue to operate the center is received in the form of 41% federal and state funding and 9% local county tax.  The regularly attending seniors pay the center an average of $4.50 per meal which figures to be 12% of the revenue. 17% of the revenue comes from volunteers who donate their time and effort which is considered an in-kind contribution.  The remainder of the budget (21%) relies on giving from churches, individuals who contribute, and fundraisers such as raffles and once-a-month Sunday dinners.  I learned that several people “Sponsor A Senior” by contributing $10 per month per individual.  This is almost half the cost of sponsoring the care of an animal for $19.95 per month.  The bottom line is more people need to help support their senior centers at the local level. 

BIG BILLS OF THE WEEK:

Members of the Missouri House approved legislation this week (HB104) meant to make public construction projects more affordable for taxpayers. The bill would repeal Missouri’s prevailing wage law to help reduce the cost of construction and maintenance projects for counties, municipalities and school districts.  If both chambers approve the bill and the governor signs it into law, Missouri will join states such as Kentucky, West Virginia, and Indiana, which have all repealed their prevailing wage laws in recent years.  Missouri is currently one of 29 states with a prevailing wage law in place. 

Legislation that would give Missourians the option to obtain photo identification that complies with the federal REAL ID Act (HB151) is now on its way to the Senate. The bill approved by the House this week would require the state revenue department to issue Real ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards to those who want them.  For Missourians who do not want to comply with the REAL ID requirements because of privacy concerns, the legislation would allow them to request the existing style of Missouri identification that is not compliant with the federal act.  For those who want or need the federally compliant driver’s license, the bill would establish safeguards so that any additional data gathered is used only for purposes of issuing the identification. 

HONORING MISSOURI’S VIETNAM VETERANS: 

House members took time away from their legislative work to honor some of the state’s greatest heroes for their service. In observance of the annual Vietnam Veterans Day on March 30, lawmakers welcomed veterans who served in the Vietnam War to the House Chamber to recognize them for their courage, sacrifice, and devotion to duty and country. 

More than 70 veterans started the day by gathering in the House Lounge to receive official House Resolutions presented in honor of their service.  House members and the heroes they honored listened to remarks from both the Lt. Governor and the House Speaker before taking time for pictures. During the event, lawmakers were able to offer their sincere thanks to the many veterans in attendance. The event continued on the House floor as the veterans in attendance were again recognized and honored by legislators.

PHOTO ABOVE: Heroes of District 125, Vietnam Veterans who travelled to the Capitol on Thursday, March 30th, included Robert “Bobby T.” Lyons, J.T. Popplewell, Larry Anderson, Nolen Stepp, Bill Arnold and wife, Susan, and Mike Alexander.  It was a distinct honor and highlight of this year’s session to have these veterans in the House Chamber. 

VISITORS THIS WEEK:

PHOTO ABOVE: Enthusiastic visitors to the Capitol on Tuesday included the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students of Hermitage R-IV Elementary School.

PHOTO ABOVE: Aaron Ash of Sac Osage Electric Cooperative visited on Wednesday regarding district legislative issues.


CAPTIOL REPORT - March 23, 2017.  Four Town Hall Listening Post meetings in District 125 this week has been challenging and very beneficial.  About a month ago, a Hickory County constituent phoned about issues of concern to her.  Due to the length of time in addressing them over the phone, I suggested we should have a meeting, and she said that would be fine and offered to set up the place and time.  Since I was going to be attending a meeting in Hickory County, I thought we should offer meetings throughout the district during our Legislative Spring Break. 

It would take up an entire book to write about all the issues that we discussed, however, due to the length of this report, I will be brief and present an overview of issues and concerns that were voiced.  I will break them into 2 groups:  Issues with almost unanimous agreement, and those with about 50/50 agreement.  Please keep in mind these are bi-partisan issues; however, many that attended are very unhappy with State and National election results. 

Almost unanimous support was voiced regarding much needed broadband expansion in rural areas; the collection and distribution of sales tax for online purchases; Missouri also needs to allow citizens the option to obtain the Federal Real ID who want to comply; allow for the farming of industrial hemp to support rural economic development; and adopt a prescription drug monitoring program. 

Those issues that received 50/50 support:  charter school expansion that recently passed through the MO House of Representatives; net metering of electricity from home owners back to the utility companies; legalizing the use of medical marijuana; maintaining the current level of funding for in-home health care; keeping the state minimum wage uniform throughout the state; the repeal of prevailing wage; and the fact that Missouri is now a Right-To-Work state. 

We also discussed issues of local concern on rural cemetery funding and farmers market policies.  On the federal level, the topics of climate change, the EPA, refugees, and illegal immigrants were addressed. 

I thank the many constituents who made time to attend these town hall meetings.  The level of input and insight voiced by everyone is greatly valued.  I think everyone would agree it was time well spent. 

MO HOUSE REACHES SESSION MIDPOINT: 

The legislative session that began in January has now reached its midpoint, and the House of Representatives has been able to approve several of its priorities including bills that provide substantive ethics reform, labor reform, and regulatory reform.  One of the top priorities in the House, Right-to-Work, has already secured passage in both chambers and been signed into law by the Governor. 

The General Assembly has off this week for its annual Spring Break and will return March 27 to complete the legislative session that will conclude May 12.  When the legislature returns, members will focus their efforts on the state operating budget.   House leadership hopes to have the budget out of the House and on to the Senate by April 6. The legislature has a May 5 deadline to complete the budget and send it to the Governor. 

VISITORS THIS WEEK

PHOTO ABOVE: Students from Warsaw South Elementary were at the Capitol last Thursday to receive honors for their artwork chosen to be exhibited during the Youth Art Month Capitol Exhibit.  Students chosen were Kendall Bagley, Drake Murrell, Angela Konopasek, and Grace Drake.  They were accompanied by their instructor, Kimberly Pearcy (far right).  Drake Murrell was also the recipient of the Governor’s Mansion Award.  His artwork was selected by the Governor to be matted and framed and will hang in the Governor’s Mansion until March of next year.  We are very proud of these talented, young students!


CAPITOL REPORT - March 16, 2017.  This past weekend was the switch to Daylight Savings time.  So we set our clocks ready to spring forward.  The calendar and Mother Nature says Spring should be here, however, a cold Winter blast blew in, and it appears that it’s not quite time to hang our coats up yet. 

My first stop on my way to the Capitol Monday morning was the Boring Drug Store “Coffee Caucus.”  It is always a pleasure to visit with this great group of local citizens and gain insight from their wisdom and knowledge.  

I then visited the Benton County Courthouse and discussed County Employees Retirement Fund (CERF) legislation with Benton County Collector Donna Hart.  CERF was established in 1994 when half of Missouri counties did not have a county employee retirement fund available.  It was expected that 7,500 employees across the state would join CERF; that number today has grown to 14,000 active and vested members.  This rapid growth has outpaced revenue streams, and House Bills 979 and 1151 and Senate Bill 295 would help address this huge expansion of participants by increasing penalties and fines, which fund CERF, for individuals who do not pay their taxes on time and/or those who do not follow laws regarding information submission to the county.  This legislation also adds a slight increase for the cost of recording documents.  The predicted revenue would increase CERF’s revenue by $8.7 million annually. 

BIG BILL OF THE WEEK: 

The House members gave approval to legislation meant to provide young people in failing schools with additional educational opportunities.  The bill would allow charter schools to expand to areas where at least one school is performing poorly. 

The final version of HB634 is very different than the original version which simply involved charter school expansion to first class counties. The approved legislation would increase the accountability and academic requirements for not only new charter schools, but existing ones as well.  Key points of the final version include:  The foundation formula is to be fully funded before the bill goes into effect.  Also, charter schools will be limited to districts with an APR score 10% points below provisional accreditation.  Currently, a building will need an APR score of 60% or below before a district is eligible for a charter school.   The accountability standards on charter schools will be some of the toughest in the country.  If a charter is below the district average, they will be forced to close. The bill provides that charter schools will have a three year probationary period, and if a charter school performs poorly during two of the three years, that charter school will be ineligible for renewal and will be forced to close.    Also, charter school board members must be residents of Missouri.  The public school board will have the “right of first refusal” to sponsor a new charter school in the district. 

The bill would also limit the public dollars sent to charter schools to no more than 90 percent of the sending district’s tuition.  As mentioned above, the bill is contingent on the public school foundation formula being fully funded.  If the K-12 formula is not fully funded, then no charter school changes go into effect.  

Supporters of the change say expansion of charter schools will provide additional opportunities to better serve the needs of children in failing schools. They say charter schools will help underserved populations, and will give parents a choice to do what is best for their children. As the House Speaker told his colleagues on the House floor, "Is a charter school the answer to a failing district? No.  A charter school can be the answer for that child or that parent who has been trapped in a really, really terrible school district." 

During my 16 years of serving on the Osceola School Board, my philosophy was always to do what is best for the students.  My philosophy has not changed and based upon the amendments to the bill, I voted to support the children of Missouri that live in failing school districts.  I feel it is our obligation as Missourians to insure that every child has the opportunity to pursue a quality education.  The students in District 125 are very fortunate to be offered a quality education by quality teachers and administration in a safe environment.  It is highly unlikely this expansion will ever happen in our rural Missouri districts. 

VETERANS INVITED: 

Missouri Vietnam Veterans Day is Thursday, March 30th.  In recognition of those who served in this conflict, Vietnam Veterans have been invited to the Capitol on this day for a special ceremony and presentation to be followed by a formal recognition at the start of session in the House Chamber.  I am extremely privileged to have several veterans attending from District 125 so that the General Assembly may pay tribute to them for their service.   The ceremony will begin at 9:15 a.m., and I will post more in an upcoming Capitol Report on these brave men and women who served our country. 

TOWN HALL MEETINGS SCHEDULED: 

The General Assembly will not be in session next week, March 20-24.  I will be in the district and have scheduled several town hall meetings.  I welcome everyone to attend to share input and concerns regarding this year’s legislation. 

  • Monday, March 20, 9:00 a.m., St. Clair County Main Library, 115 Chestnut Street, Osceola
  • Monday, March 20, 1:00 p.m., El Dorado Springs City Hall
  • Wednesday, March 22, 9:00 a.m., Hickory County Library, 99 New Hermitage Drive, Hermitage
  • Wednesday, March 22, 1:00 p.m., Boonslick Regional Library, 102 E. Jackson Street, Warsaw

VISITORS THIS WEEK:

PHOTO ABOVE: The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association hosted a Leadership Conference on Monday and Tuesday, which included a legislative visit to Capitol.  Pictured:  Chase Crawford, John Love, Rep. Love, Robb Pitts, and Brandon Uchtman.

PHOTO ABOVE: Rep. Love appreciated the opportunity to visit with Trish Boyles, El Dorado Springs R-2 School District; Megan Richner, Stockton R-1 School District; and Jeff Stacy, Southwest MSTA Field Representative and Stockton R-1 School District, on Tuesday.

PHOTO ABOVE: The Missouri Federation of Republican Women-Benton County members with Ashland Yoder (center), a senior at Warsaw R-IX High School and distinguished Joanne Breckenridge Scholar, visited the Capitol on Tuesday.

PHOTO ABOVE: Hermitage R-IV School District 8th Grade History Class students visited with their instructor, Carolyn Allison, on Wednesday.  They made time to observe session debate and take a tour of the Capitol.

PHOTO ABOVE: Rep. Love enjoyed discussing current issues with fellow church member, Tim Corbin of Hermitage Nursing and Rehab in Hermitage on Wednesday.


CAPITOL REPORT - March 9, 2017.  My in-district day on Friday actually turned out to be an out-district day at the KWTO Radio Station in Springfield.  I joined Representatives Lynn Morris and Jeff Messenger who host “Morning Coffee with Your Representatives.” This radio program reaches out all over Southwest Missouri and is broadcast weekly on Friday mornings from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.  We discussed two bills that I am sponsoring:  HB106 relating to cemetery funds and HB104 which repeals prevailing wage.  Another issue we tried to clarify was Real ID. This bill would bring Missouri into compliance with the federal Real ID law passed in 2005.  Real ID raises the proof-of-identity requirements for IDs and also requires states to retain the personal information they receive for 10 years.  Missouri IDs are currently not accepted at military bases and will not be accepted at airports starting in 2018.   There has been much lengthy discussion and debate in the House on this issue (HB151), and the House has given initial approval which would require the state revenue department to issue Real ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards to those who want them. 

On my way to the Capitol Monday morning, I interviewed with Paula Spring of BCE TV in Warsaw about HB90 concerning prescription drug monitoring that would help stop drug trafficking of prescription drugs.  We also visited about Real ID and prevailing wage.  BCE TV, in its 4th year of operation, is an internet television news service that is broadcast from the Benton County Enterprise building in Warsaw.  To access BCE TV, go to:  www.bentoncountyenterprise.com  and click on the BCE TV link in the top right corner.   

LEGISLATION THIS WEEK: 

What turned out to be the “Big Bill” of the week was sort of an unexpected curve ball thrown to the legislation.  In response to a Missouri Supreme Court decision that invalidated part of Missouri’s minimum wage law, lawmakers are moving quickly to implement a fix that would provide a consistent wage in municipalities throughout the state in House Bills 1193 and 1194.  The House approved the legislation this week that would reaffirm that the state’s minimum wage is applied throughout Missouri, and keeps 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 would 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.  With nearly 4 hours of debate on Wednesday and 2 hours on Thursday, I felt compelled to speak on the issue of wage rates, whether it is minimum, living or prevailing.  I started by reading five themes from a book entitled “Wealth of Nations” written by Adam Smith.  Mr. Smith was a Scottish economist, philosopher, and author.  This book, written in the 1700’s, is considered to be the “Bible of Capitalism.”  The main theme is: commerce, labor, and production of goods and services perform best when government stays out of the way.  The reality is this issue may turn out to be a molehill compared to a mountain when we bring up debate on my HB104 which will do a full repeal of prevailing wage statewide and allow all public works to be bid to qualified/competitive bidders. 

VETERANS INVITED: 

Missouri Vietnam Veterans Day is Thursday, March 30th.  In recognition of those who served in this conflict, Vietnam Veterans are invited to the Capitol on this day for a special ceremony and presentation to be followed by a formal recognition at the start of session in the House Chamber.   All House members are encouraging veterans throughout the state to come forward to receive recognition for their service.  If you are able to attend, please call our office at (573)751-4065 for special arrangements.  The House of Representatives and I would be greatly honored by your presence. 

TOWN HALL MEETINGS SCHEDULED: 

The General Assembly will not be in session March 20-24.  I will be in the district that week and have scheduled several town hall meetings.  I welcome everyone to attend to share input and concerns regarding this year’s legislation. 

  • Monday, March 20, 9:00 a.m., St. Clair County Main Library, 115 Chestnut Street, Osceola
  • Monday, March 20, 1:00 p.m., El Dorado Springs City Hall
  • Wednesday, March 22, 9:00 a.m., Hickory County Library, 99 New Hermitage Drive, Hermitage
  • Wednesday, March 22, 1:00 p.m., Boonslick Regional Library, 102 E. Jackson Street, Warsaw 

VISITORS THIS WEEK:

PHOTO ABOVE: Prosecuting Attorneys Michael Brown (Hickory County) and Ken Ashlock (Polk County) were at the Capitol on Tuesday visiting with regional district representatives.

PHOTO ABOVE: At the Capitol on Wednesday to attend a committee hearing, constituents Dean Singleton, Harold Hoff, and Bud Eckart, Jr., discussed current motorcycle helmet legislation with Rep. Love.

PHOTO ABOVE: The Benton County Youth Coalition visited early Wednesday morning.  The group was on their way to the annual Speak Hard Youth Conference, accompanied by Leader Amie Breshears.  The Speak Hard Youth Conference is held in the Spring each year in Jefferson City to give youth the opportunity to learn about underage drinking, substance use, and prevention.


CAPITOL REPORT March 2, 2017.  My in-district day on Friday, February 24th, began by meeting with Dan Robinson of Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland.  We discussed statute laws on beverage companies and their policies on distribution and promotion.  I then travelled on to Weaubleau City Hall and discussed progress being made on the building of their new city hall.  I also attended the noon luncheon of the Osceola Chamber of Commerce.  While there, I discussed issues of concern with Osceola Schools Superintendent Danny DeWitt and St. Clair County Presiding Commissioner Robert Salmon. 

My day started on Monday by having breakfast at the Hermitage Coffee Shop.  This is a great place to listen and learn about local issues.  I then drove on to Jefferson City and attended a refresher course on Concealed Carry Weapon laws and the most recent changes to statutes at the Missouri Highway Patrol Headquarters. 

I will be joining the 8:00 a.m. broadcast tomorrow morning, March 3rd, on KWTO 560 AM.  Springfield Representatives Jeff Messenger and Lynn Morris host “Morning Coffee with Your Representatives.”  We will be examining prevailing wage and streamlined sales tax.  Please tune in and join us for some lively discussion. 

LEGISLATION THIS WEEK: 

HB70 that secures ambulance district public funds had a hearing this week in the Financial Institutions Committee.  HCR15 relating to promotion of trade with Cuba was unanimously passed through Agriculture Policy Committee on Tuesday.  I am hoping to see each of these bills referred on to their respective Rules Committee and then to the House Floor for approval.  

HB93 passed through the House today and would provide a boost to the state’s small businesses, including many in rural areas.  House members voted to expand the Missouri Works program so that more of the state’s small businesses would be eligible for workforce training benefits.  In many areas of the state there are small businesses that do not qualify to obtain the benefits provided through Missouri Works.  These businesses fall short of the program’s qualification criteria such as number of workers employed, or health insurance benefits provided. The bill approved this week would allow these businesses to pool together with businesses that do meet all of the program’s criteria in order to receive benefits. Specifically, the bill would allow a group of businesses to qualify as long as the majority of them meet the program’s criteria.  The program helps businesses access capital through withholdings or tax credits to embark on facility expansions and create jobs.  It works to assist companies with the training of employees in new jobs and the retraining or upgrading of the skills of full-time employees in retained jobs. 

VETERANS INVITED: 

Missouri Vietnam Veterans Day is Thursday, March 30th.  In recognition of those who served in this conflict, Vietnam Veterans are invited to the Capitol on this day for a special ceremony and presentation to be followed by a formal recognition at the start of session in the House Chamber.   All House members are encouraging veterans throughout the state to come forward to receive recognition for their service.  If you are able to attend, please call our office at (573)751-4065 for special arrangements.  The House of Representatives and I would be greatly honored by your presence. 

TOWN HALL MEETINGS SCHEDULED: 

The General Assembly will not be in session March 20-24.  I will be in the district that week and have scheduled several town hall meetings.  I welcome everyone to attend to share input and concerns regarding this year’s legislation. 

  • Monday, March 20, 9:00 a.m., St. Clair County Main Library, 115 Chestnut Street, Osceola
  • Monday, March 20, 1:00 p.m., El Dorado Springs City Hall
  • Wednesday, March 22, 9:00 a.m., Hickory County Library, 99 New Hermitage Drive, Hermitage
  • Wednesday, March 22, 1:00 p.m., Boonslick Regional Library, 102 E. Jackson Street, Warsaw

PHOTO BELOW: My newest artwork to display in my Capitol Office was presented to me yesterday by Rep. Alan Green, Chairman of the MO Legislative Black Caucus.  During February, this artwork, featuring the Tuskegee Airmen and the Buffalo Soldiers, has been presented to "Hidden Figures" from all around the State of Missouri to recognize their achievements during Black History Month.  I really appreciate the artwork and the history of the men and women who served our great country in the Military.  My "Hat's Off" to my Fine Friend & Fellow Legislator for presenting me with one.

VISITORS THIS WEEK:

Monday, I had the honor of presenting a resolution to Tanner Koenig, Wheatland, in recognition of his American FFA Degree.  District 125 had 13 recipients this past year.  Tanner is a fulltime student at College of the Ozarks.

PHOTO ABOVE: Cedar and Polk County 4-H students visited the Capitol on Tuesday hosted by Velynda Cameron, Regional 4-H Youth Development Specialist, and David Black, Cedar County 4-H Assistant.

PHOTO ABOVE: County Recorders from across the state were at the Capitol on Tuesday.  Pictured l-r:  Rep. Crawford (129); Stacy Satterfield, Dallas County Recorder of Deeds; Cheryl Spalding, Greene County Recorder of Deeds; Rep. Stephens (128); Carol Poindexter, Polk County Recorder of Deeds; Rep. Love (125); and Carole Wilkerson, Cedar County Recorder of Deeds.

Representing the Benton County Farm Bureau, Rodney Johnson discussed legislative issues and agricultural concerns on Tuesday.

A familiar, friendly face to the Capitol, Gary Noakes stopped by the office on Tuesday on behalf of the St. Clair County Farm Bureau.

Mr. and Mrs. Bill Arnold were advocating on Tuesday and stopped by to visit.  Bill is the Silver Haired Legislator for Hickory and St. Clair Counties.  Susan is an alternate representative.

Hard at work on issues affecting Cedar County, Presiding Commissioner Marlon Collins stopped by to say hello after attending an early morning hearing by the Economic Development Committee.

Cedar County Silver Haired Legislator Larry Pursley, Stockton, visited the Capitol on Tuesday.

PHOTO ABOVE: West Central MO Community Action Agency staff, Fonda Cauthron, Debbie Bettencourt, and Lesta Vogler, shared concerns with Rep. Love on Wednesday.

At the Capitol for Bleeding Disorders Awareness Day, John and Pam Carleton, Warsaw, advocated on behalf of the Gateway Hemophilia Association on Wednesday.  Mr. Carleton is the Industry Advisor Chair for the association.  Everyone was encouraged to wear a red tie to promote awareness.

Chris Thompson and Katie Dixon of the West Central MO Community Action Agency visited with Rep. Love in the side gallery during House session on Wednesday.


CAPITOL REPORT February 23, 2017.  My wife, Marla, and I took off last weekend to celebrate our 45th wedding anniversary in Branson.  On the way, I attended the MoDOT Southwest District Winter Legislative Forum in Springfield.  This meeting had been rescheduled from a previous cancellation due to icy weather conditions.  We were briefed on current winter work being completed since we have not had a lot of snow this winter.  Most of MoDOT’s work has been focused on graveling and grading of drives, trimming brush, filling potholes on lettered roads, and pipe replacement.  The calendar year 2017 construction plans for District 125 are: 

Benton County- Missouri Route 7 bridge over the Osage River in Warsaw, with rehabilitation to be staged with 1 lane of traffic open (near the Old Route 7 Joe Dice Swinging Bridge).

Cedar County- Route 39 pavement and sealing between Route 32 in Stockton and Cedar/Dade County line; and Route 32 high friction resurfacing at Route CC south of Filley. 

Hickory County- Route 54 resurfacing between Route D in Preston and Hickory/Camden County line.

St. Clair County- Route D bridge painting over Gallinipper Creek near Lowry City; and Route H bridge painting over Clear Creek south of Taberville. 

Transportation funding was also discussed, however, not much related legislation is moving this year.  One point I found interesting was how much Missourians pay according to MoDOT:  “Missourians pay a relatively small amount per month to use the state system of roads and bridges.  The average Missouri driver pays about $30 per month in state and federal transportation taxes and fees.  That’s far less than what the average Missourian pays for cell phone service, cable television or internet service.” 

LEGISLATION THIS WEEK:

I spoke on the House Floor this week in support of Representative Don Rone’s HB662.  This bill authorizes the Department of Agriculture, if it determines that any individual has knowingly applied a crop protection product such as a herbicide to a crop for which it was not labeled for use, to assess a civil penalty of up to $1000 per applied acre.  If an individual is a chronic violator, the department has the authority to assess a civil penalty of up to $2000 per applied acre.  Representative Rone is from the Bootheel and brought this bill forward because in southeast Missouri in 2015 and 2016, a small group of farmers used an outdated herbicide, Dicamba, in an illegal manner in order to control weeds because it was more cost effective to risk the administrative fine than to use other approved methods of weed control.  Because the product was drifting onto fields not planted with seeds resistant to it, those crops were damaged.  At least 150 farmers were impacted by the illegal use of the product.  This bill would increase the penalties for misusing a herbicide so that it is no longer the most cost effective alternative. 

I also presented my HCR15 to the Agriculture Policy Committee.  This resolution urges the United States Congress to consider the removal of trade restrictions relating to Cuba and work to restore trade relations between the United States and Cuba.   The Missouri Farm Bureau, the Missouri Corn Growers Association, and Greg Yielding of the Missouri Rice Council all testified in favor of this legislation. 

VETERANS INVITED: 

Missouri Vietnam Veterans Day is Thursday, March 30th.  In recognition of those who served in this conflict, Vietnam Veterans are invited to the Capitol on this day for a special ceremony and presentation to be followed by a formal recognition at the start of session in the House Chamber.  If you are able to attend, please call our office at (573)751-4065 for special arrangements.  The House of Representatives and I would be honored by your presence. 

TOWN HALL MEETINGS SCHEDULED: 

The General Assembly will not be in session March 20-24.  I will be in the district that week and have scheduled several town hall meetings.  I welcome everyone to attend to share input and concerns regarding this year’s legislation. 

Monday, March 20, 9:00 a.m., St. Clair County Main Library, 115 Chestnut Street, Osceola

Monday, March 20, 1:00 p.m., El Dorado Springs City Hall

Wednesday, March 22, 9:00 a.m., Hickory County Library, 99 New Hermitage Drive, Hermitage

Wednesday, March 22, 1:00 p.m., Boonslick Regional Library, 102 E. Jackson Street, Warsaw 

VISITORS THIS WEEK:

PHOTO ABOVE: Anna Cashell Campbell accompanied students on behalf of the UCM Communication Disorders Department on Tuesday for a legislative day at Capitol.  Anna is resides in Clinton.

PHOTO ABOVE: At the Capitol on Tuesday discussing all things financial:  Steve Swearengen, Heritage State Bank-Carthage; with Reps. Love and Crawford; Todd Leonard, Heritage State Bank-El Dorado Springs; and Rep. Stephens.

PHOTO ABOVE: Rep. Love had the pleasure of meeting the son of former United States Senator Barry Goldwater last Thursday during his visit at the Capitol.  Barry Goldwater, Jr., served as a U.S. Congressman at the same time his father was serving in the U.S. Senate.


CAPITOL REPORT February 16, 2017.  Not only is National Black History Month celebrated during the month of February, it is also National FFA Week from February 18th through February 25th.  We are fortunate to have nine high schools in District 125 that have very active FFA Chapters.  In fact, I have presented 13 resolutions to graduates that have achieved the American FFA Degree.  This rigorous educational program gets the credit for much of our country’s success in agriculture today. 

Tuesday morning began at the Capitol with the weekly Capitol Commission study.  Capitol Commission of Missouri is a cross-denominational, non-partisan ministry that teaches in-depth Bible studies for all members and staff.  This is a wonderful ministry and support system.  During the first week of session in January, Dr. John Battaglia, who leads the weekly Bible study, presented each member with a new Bible on behalf of the Missouri Capitol Commission.

Missouri Military Appreciation Day was observed on Tuesday with members of the MO Military Preparedness and Enhancement Commission highlighting the significant contributions and sacrifices of military service members and the importance of the economic impact that military installations have on the state of Missouri.   During the day, the governor launched a new program to help returning veterans find quality jobs.  Governor Greitens and Major General Kent Savre signed a Memorandum of Agreement outlining a workforce initiative for service members and their spouses.  Under the new agreement, the Missouri Division of Workforce Development (DWD) and the Army will cooperate to better connect military men and women entering the civilian workforce with Missouri businesses offering apprenticeships that could lead to full-time employment. 

St. Valentine’s Day was celebrated at the Capitol on Tuesday with most people wearing red.  After debating several issues on the House floor, I drove home late afternoon to spend the evening with my wife, Marla.   This dear lady not only surprised me by taking care of the livestock chores, but she also prepared a delicious beef pot roast and dessert of peaches and ice cream. 

Retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel and former U.S. Congressman Allen West was the keynote speaker at a meeting on Wednesday night sponsored by the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association.  He commented about tax reform, trade agreements, Quest workers, and solving inner city problems.  He was “spot on!”  Plus, he is a strong supporter for Article V of the Constitution for holding a Convention of the States.  This would allow the states to gather and propose amendments to our Constitution such as a balanced budget and term limit amendments.  One of his closing comments last night was, “Life is all about how you live your ‘Dash’.”  What a profound statement! 

REMOVING BURDENSOME REGULATIONS FOR HAIR BRAIDERS (HB230): 

The House took action this week to reduce regulations placed on hair braiders. Both Governor Greitens and House leadership have made it a priority to reduce the number of regulations that too often stifle economic development in the state.  The legislation simply specifies that hair braiders do not have to obtain a cosmetology license in order to earn a living. 

PROTECTING MISSOURI’S PEACE OFFICERS (HB57): 

House members approved legislation this week that would create enhanced penalties for individuals who assault officers of the law.  The legislation would increase by one degree the penalty for voluntary or involuntary manslaughter; first- or second-degree property damage; unlawful use of a weapon; rioting; or first-degree trespassing; when those crimes are committed against a law enforcement officer. As an example, voluntary manslaughter is a class B felony under current statute, but if HB 57 becomes law, voluntary manslaughter committed against a law enforcement officer would see the penalty increased to a class A felony.  Enhanced penalties are necessary because crimes against law enforcement officers have increased in recent years. 

VISITORS THIS WEEK:

PHOTO ABOVE: Rep. Love enjoyed a visit with Aron Bennett on Tuesday.  Mr. Bennett, from Osceola, is a Field Representative for the MO School Boards’ Assn., and also serves as the temporary Superintendent for the Green Ridge R-VIII School District.

PHOTO ABOVE: Kyle Adkins, Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare; Mike Calhoun, Citizens Memorial Healthcare; and Cindy Naylor of Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare met with Rep. Love on Tuesday.

PHOTO ABOVE: Debbie Joy (front center), Administrator for Benton Co. Hospice, along with other hospice staff members from across the state, stopped by on Wednesday.

PHOTO ABOVE: Rep. Love enjoyed meeting MRTA members, Richard and Kathleen Yonker, on Wednesday.  Mr. and Mrs. Yonker reside in the Warsaw area.

PHOTO ABOVE: Missouri Retired Teachers Association members Carolyn Smith, Hickory Co.; Mary Newcomb, Cedar Co.; Kathy Miller, Cedar Co.; and Sharon Cooper, Hickory Co., met with Rep. Love regarding MRTA legislative issues on Wednesday.

PHOTO ABOVE: MRTA members Don Kauble and Dave Cromwell stopped by the office to advocate for educational issues. Mr. Cromwell is a constituent from Warsaw.


CAPITOL REPORT February 9, 2017.  Friday, February 3rd, was my birthday as it has been every year since 1950.  My wife, Marla, and I took the day off and accomplished something on my bucket list.  We toured the Truman Library in Independence.  One of my favorite Missourians is Harry S. Truman. 

Then on Saturday, after getting the livestock chored up well, we went to a movie in Clinton.  The movie was titled “Hidden Figures.”  It is the incredible untold story of Mary Jackson, Katherine G. Johnson, and Dorothy Vaughan.  They were the highly gifted, mathematical brains behind the scenes of the launch of the first man into space, Astronaut John Glenn.  If you haven’t seen this movie yet, I highly recommend watching it.  Since February is Black History month, I now have greater knowledge and a deeper appreciation for their contribution to our nation and state. 

On my way to the Capitol on Monday morning, I stopped by the Boring Drug Store “Coffee Caucus” in Warsaw.  I joined several gentlemen for conversation, and a lot of good information was shared and discussed.  My wife, Marla, treated us to some delicious, homemade sweet cinnamon rolls.  Boring Drug has been offering up its facilities for this daily coffee gathering for over 40 years.  My thanks to Dana Koll, current owner of Boring Drug, for continuing this great tradition!

Upon arriving at the Capitol at noon on Monday, I had a birthday celebration with my Jefferson City Capitol family.  We all enjoyed soup, chips and a variety of tasty dips and topped it off with gooseberry cobbler! 

I presented HB105, Organ Donor Program Fund Checkoff, at 1:00 in the Ways and Means Committee on Monday. Currently, the organ donor program fund tax checkoff on the individual and corporate income tax returns expires on December 31, 2017. This bill removes the expiration date. Constituents San and Deb Simaitis attended the hearing.  Chair of the Governor’s Organ Donation Advisory Committee, Deb testified on behalf of the bill. 

Wednesday was very busy with three different hearings on bills I have sponsored:  HB56, Outdoor Advertising, exempts the current $250 outdoor advertising fee and biennial inspection fee when a sign is displayed by a landowner who also owns the business advertised on the sign and where the business has a physical location within 750 feet of the sign;  HB106, Cemetery Funds, authorizes county commissions to use a part of the principal of a cemetery trust fund for the support and maintenance of the cemetery when the net income of the trust fund is insufficient for those purposes; and HCR8, Butterfield Overland Trail, urges Congress to develop plans, ideas, and proposals to commemorate and celebrate the historic Butterfield Overland Trail by making it part of the National Historic Trails System. 

CEMETERY FUNDS: 

As I mentioned above, I presented HB106 in the Local Government Committee on Wednesday. This legislation addresses issues regarding funds for the upkeep of cemeteries.  The availability of funds for maintenance of cemeteries across the state has become very scarce in the last few years. 

Many cemeteries have endowed monies placed in CD’s in local banks accruing interest, and in many cases, the stewardship of these endowed monies has been legally appointed to county commissions.  Each year, the commissioners allocate just the income from interest accrued for the funding of maintenance costs. However, state statute does not allow distribution of any of the principal.  Because of extremely low interest rates, many county commissions are in a critical situation with no interest funds available to pay for maintenance. 

Two pieces of legislation have been introduced in the House.  Representative Allen Andrews’ HB51 would authorize county commissions that are trustees for a cemetery trust fund to utilize investment managers to invest, reinvest, and manage fund assets.  My HB106 is somewhat different by authorizing county commissions to use a part of the principal of a cemetery trust fund for the support and maintenance of the cemetery when the net income of the trust fund is insufficient for those purposes. 

After hearings, discussion, and debate on this issue, it has become apparent that local cemetery boards, local communities, and descendants of buried ancestors need to take action 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. 

VISITORS THIS WEEK:

Jennifer Gundy, MSW, Executive Director, and Sara Nunez, Director of Programs, SIL/CDS, of On My Own, Inc., stopped by to visit on Tuesday.  The main office of On My Own is in Nevada with a satellite office in Collins. 

Sheridan Garman-Neeman, St. Clair County Economic Developer, and Elizabeth Van Winkle, Executive Director of Kaysinger Basin Regional Planning Commission, in the House Chamber on Tuesday with Representatives Love and Pike.

Constituents Brandon and Laura Yates of Yates Rustic Range Trading in Preston on Highway 54 testified on behalf of HB56, Outdoor Advertising, on Wednesday.

Also at the Capitol on Wednesday, Hickory County Commissioners Robert Sawyer (Presiding) and Chase Crawford testified on behalf of HB106, Cemetery Funds.We appreciate their dedicated public service to Hickory County.

Mel Gibson of Buffalo testified Wednesday on HCR8 that urges Congress to make the Butterfield Overland Trail a part of the National Park Historic Trails system.  Mr. Gibson has been to all 408 national parks and has plans to attend his last state park (#89) in April!

Sharing insight on current legislation: State Fair Community College Board of Trustees, Randy Eaton, President; Ron Wineinger, Secretary; Dr. Joanna Anderson, President of SFCC; Jerry Greer, Treasurer; at the side gallery of the House Chamber on Wednesday.

Rep. Love visited with State Fair Community College officials in his office on Thursday morning.

Cedar County Presiding Commissioner Marlon Collins stopped by Thursday morning to discuss several issues impacting Cedar County.


CAPITOL REPORT February 2, 2017.  I hurried home after session last Thursday, January 26th, just in time to do about an hour’s worth of choring the livestock.  I then drove over to Lowry City for an Open House Study on Highway Route 13 Intersection improvements.  There are 25 intersections between Clinton and Springfield with high crash rates.  MoDOT is focusing on safety improvements including J-turns, adding left and right turn lanes or other modifications.  There has been $5 million allocated for these improvements, and construction could start as early as the Spring of 2018. 

I attended the Missouri Health Care Association (MHCA) District 4 Legislative Salute Luncheon at the Maranatha Village Community Center in Springfield on Friday.  The MHCA serves as one voice for the long-term care profession across the state promoting issues and legislation to improve the long-term care setting.  

Sunday after church, my wife, Marla, and I attended the Open House and Ribbon Cutting for the Golden Valley Medical Clinic in Osceola celebrating their move into a new building on the square. This walk-in clinic with a cardiac rehabilitation unit and host of other greatly beneficial services also includes a drive-thru pharmacy operated by Evans Drug of El Dorado Springs.  We are very thankful to have this impressive facility in the area 

Before I headed back to the Capitol on Monday, I met with the Hickory County Commissioners to discuss county-wide concerns that included cemetery funds, animal trespass issues, lettered highways, prevailing wage, and becoming an Agri-Ready County through Missouri Farmers Care (MFC).  I also had the opportunity to stop by the Wheatland City Hall to visit about the “Discover More on Route 54” project.  

PREVAILING WAGE (HB104)

I presented HB104 Tuesday morning in the Economic Development Committee hearing.  This bill that I have sponsored would repeal Missouri’s prevailing wage law.  Currently, contractors and subcontractors working on public works projects are required to pay employees the prevailing wage for the particular locality in which the project is being completed. This bill changes the law to require contractors and subcontractors to pay employees state or federal minimum wage, whichever is higher.  Contractors and subcontractors would be permitted to pay higher than the minimum wage if they chose, but that would not be a requirement.  Public works projects would go to the most qualified, competitive bid.  Missouri would join 21 other states that do not have prevailing wage law. 

RIGHT TO WORK SET TO BE SIGNED INTO LAW (SB19)

The Missouri House gave final approval this week to Senate legislation that would make Missouri the nation’s 28th Right-to-Work state. The bill makes good on the promises of House Speaker Todd Richardson and Governor Eric Greitens, who both have pledged to make Missouri a Right-to-Work state in an effort to spur job creation and economic development. 

The bill approved by the General Assembly would simply ensure employees are able to decide whether to join a labor union instead of being forced to join as a condition of employment. The bill also includes a clause that will exempt existing union contracts.  Specifically, it exempts any current agreement between an employer and labor organization from the restrictions in the bill.  However, the provisions of the bill will apply to any current agreement that is later renewed, extended, amended, or modified. 

When it is signed into law by Governor Greitens, the provisions in the bill will take effect August 28 of this year. 

VISITORS THIS WEEK:

PHOTO ABOVE: Constituents Dick and Carolyn Sanford of Warsaw (front and far right) and Curtis Gist of Wheatland (center back) were at the Capitol on Tuesday for the Missouri Association of Veterans Organizations Reception and Presentation.  Mrs. Sanford is Vice President and Membership Chairman of the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Missouri.  We thank each of them for their service to our nation.

 

PHOTO ABOVE: Hannah Wheeler of Osceola was my job shadow on Wednesday.  A junior at Osceola High, Hannah was at the Capitol as a member of Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA).  She serves FCCLA as the   State Vice President of Alumni and Associates.


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