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 - October 18, 2018.  It has been a great and busy week full of activities and meetings around District 125:  the El Dorado Springs Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon meeting held at Pappy’s Homestyle Restaurant, the Sac-Osage Quilt Block Journey Ice Cream Social at the Amish Trading Post, meeting of the Hickory County Cattlemen with an update on the fake meat law, the Show-Me Power Cooperative Fish Fry held at Bennett Springs, and the kick-off for the first annual ‘Pomme de Toure’ Gravel Bike Race in Hickory County.  On Saturday, I met with officials of the City of Osceola and the St. Clair County Historical Society with a presentation by Mel Gilbert on plans to make Osceola a significant historical tourism site as part a passport stamp program relating to Missouri Civil War sites including 28 other locations throughout the state.  That evening Marla and I attended a fundraiser for Deputy Ryan Boulier and Jennifer Benedict held at the McCarty Senior Center in Wheatland.  Ryan will soon be receiving a new kidney from Jennifer, who is a donor match.  The kindness and generosity of folks never ceases to amaze me, and there was such a great turnout for this event.  

Among the other activities this week, we attended a fundraiser for the Wheatland Volunteer Fire Department to help recover losses suffered in their building fire a few weeks ago.  I travelled to Jefferson City on Monday to attend the MO Pork Association celebration in honor of Missouri Agriculture/Pork Month.   On Wednesday morning I attended a MoDOT planning meeting for the Southwest District in Springfield, and enjoyed listening to speaker, Randy Pogue, Kaysinger Basin Regional Planning Commission Transportation Advisory Committee Chairman.  Also on Wednesday, I went to a planning workshop on “Healthy Places for Health People” in Osceola.  The City of Osceola, West Central Missouri Community Action Agency, Optimist Club, Osceola Schools, and St. Clair County Economic Development office are working together with local healthcare facilities in an effort to promote healthy activities, tourism, and economic growth.   

I started Wednesday morning early at Prime Trucking in Springfield supporting Governor Mike Parson as he began a state wide tour of promoting a ‘Yes Vote on Prop D.’ In the last 22 years, 6,000 more miles of new roads and highways have been constructed throughout Missouri; many of these were for the expansion from 2-lane to 4-lane travel.  For more info please visit:  www.safermo.com

MO UNEMPLOYMENT RATE CONTINUES TO DROP: 

In September, Missouri saw its unemployment rate drop to its lowest point in more than 18 years. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate now stands at 3.2 percent, which is the lowest the state has seen since January, 2000, when the rate was 3.1 percent. The September, 2018, unemployment rate is also 0.4 percent lower than it was in September, 2017. 

September saw Missouri employment grow by 2,200 jobs in durable goods manufacturing; 1,300 in construction; 1,200 in transportation, warehousing, and utilities; and 1,200 in accommodations and food services. In total, the state has seen the job figure grow by 39,300 since September of last year. More than 11,000 of these jobs are in the professional and business services, and nearly 10,000 are in health care and social assistance. 

Compared to the national unemployment rate, the state’s 3.2 percent unemployment is half a percentage lower. The state’s unemployment rate has now been lower than the national rate for 41 consecutive months. 

BUY MISSOURI: 

October 13th kicked off the first annual Buy Missouri Week.  I am grateful to Governor Parson for initiating this important program:  “BUY MISSOURI was created to recognize and promote Missouri companies and manufacturers to the public, and strengthen our state’s economy. The more we support and buy Missouri products, the better our entire state will do!” The program is open to Missouri businesses that are in good standing with the state, provide a Missouri Tax ID number and manufacture 51% of their product in our state. Businesses in our district area that participate include Cedar Creek Beef Jerky, Evening Shade Farms Body Care Products, Foam Fabricators, Hammons Products, and Harleman Manufacturing.  Be sure to visit:  BuyMissouri.net to learn more about the program.  If you have any questions in regard to becoming a member, please call Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe’s office at 573-751-4727. 

BUPD – Mo-DOT: 

October 19th is Buckle Up, Phone Down (BUPD) Day in Missouri.  The MO Department of Transportation challenges Missourians to buckle up and put their cellphones down to promote roadway safety.  MO currently has a “no texting” law for drivers 21 years old and younger, but MoDOT and the MO Coalition for Roadway Safety challenges ALL drivers to honor that ban no matter what their age.  With Halloween approaching and the many school and after hours activities planned for this day and evening, please be aware of slow moving vehicles and pedestrians.  

UPCOMING EVENTS IN DISTRICT 125: 

October 25 – MO Job Center Connection Site from 9 am – 12 noon at the St. Clair County Library,

          115 Chestnut, Osceola.  Learn about and access MO Job Center career services. 

Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday, November 4th.

Remember to set clocks back one hour on Saturday night before going to bed.

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 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”

Warren D. Love

State Representative

Representing the good people

of the 125th District


CAPITOL REPORT - October 11, 2018.  It is with a very sad heart I reflect upon last week’s tragedy in El Dorado Springs with the loss of El Dorado Springs Volunteer Fireman Russell Hayes.  He accepted the noble call in 1976 to serve as a volunteer fireman, committing 42 years to preserving the safety and quality of life for the citizens of the El Dorado Springs area.   My thoughts and prayers are with his family and fellow firemen as they suffer with the loss of this fine gentleman. 

NOVEMBER BALLOT ISSUES: 

When we head to the polls in November, we will cast our votes to decide a number of ballot issues that could make changes that will impact areas ranging from the price of gas to minimum wage to the use of medical marijuana. Listed below are brief overviews of each of the issues that will appear on the November ballot for voters to consider.  

Amendment 1 – “Clean Missouri”

Not to be confused with environmental legislation because of the title, Amendment 1 is touted by proponents as a way to improve government transparency and fairness, however, it is criticized by opponents as nothing more than an attempt by out-of-state billionaires to change the Missouri Constitution for partisan gain. 

If approved by voters, Amendment 1 would:

  • Change the legislative redistricting process so that it is overseen by a state demographer appointed by the State Auditor, and then reviewed by a citizen commission. This would drastically alter the current process in which a bipartisan panel selected by the governor would oversee the process.
  • Set campaign donation limits at $2,500 for the state Senate and $2,000 for the House. The current state law, as set forth by Constitutional Amendment 2, which passed in the Nov. 2016 election, sets the mark at $2,600.
  • Create a two-year revolving door ban against legislators becoming lobbyists.
  • Eliminate the majority of lobbyist gifts worth more than $5.
  • Limiting the ability of individuals and organizations to circumvent the contribution cap limits by counting the money from single-source committees toward the totals for the actual original donors.
  • Put an end to legislative fundraising on state property
  • Require legislative records and proceedings to be open to the public 

Proponents say the changes would ensure that neither political party is given an unfair advantage during the redistricting process and make government more transparent by making legislative records open to the public. 

Opponents say the measure is an attempt by billionaire outsiders to decide who represents Missourians in their state legislature, and note the $325,000 in “dark money” donations the initiative has received. They say the redistricting change would put the process in the hands of an unelected political appointee who could manipulate legislative districts so that neighborhoods and communities are divided into multiple districts. 

Amendment 2, Amendment 3, Proposition C – Legalization of Medical Marijuana

Missourians will have the opportunity to decide on three initiatives dealing with medical marijuana. All three initiatives, which received enough signatures to make it on the ballot, would allow patients with cancer, HIV, epilepsy and some other conditions to have access to medical marijuana. Where the proposals differ is in how medical marijuana would be regulated and taxed, and where the tax dollars would be allocated. 

Amendment 2 would change the state constitution to tax marijuana at 4 percent and allocate the $18 million in annual taxes and fees to veterans programs. The measure would cost the state $7 million in annual operating costs. It would also generate $6 million annually for local governments. The proposal would give regulatory authority for licensing the cultivation, testing and sale of marijuana to the Department of Health and Senior Services. The state would be responsible for a "seed-to-sale tracking system" to ensure marijuana only goes to qualified patients.

Amendment 3 would change the state constitution to tax marijuana at 15 percent and generate approximately $66 million annually in state revenue. The funds would be used to establish a state-run institute to research cures for incurable diseases. The proposal has an annual operating cost of approximately $500,000. It would impose fees on licenses and tax the cultivation of medical marijuana.

Proposition C would change state law to tax marijuana at 2 percent and generate annual revenues of at least $10 million to the state and $152,000 to local governments. The funds would be used for services for veterans, drug treatment, early childhood education and public safety in cities where medical marijuana facilities are located. The proposal would have an initial cost of $2.6 million and then an annual cost of $10 million. Oversight of medical marijuana would be placed in the hands of the Department of Health and Senior Services and the Department of Public Safety.

Proponents say medical marijuana is less addictive than opioids and overuse will not lead to death. They say the measure would give patients with debilitating conditions the opportunity to work with a doctor to obtain the most appropriate medical treatment option. They point out that 30 states have already legalized marijuana, either recreational or medical. Opponents say legalizing marijuana for medical use would allow more people to access it illegally. They also note that cannabis would remain illegal at the federal level where it is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance alongside heroin and many synthetic opioids. They say it should be up to the FDA to determine if marijuana is medicine. 

If all three measures were approved by voters, the Secretary of State’s Office says the constitutional amendments would trump state law, and whichever amendment received the most votes would overrule the other. 

Proposition B – Minimum Wage Increase

Missouri voters will be able to decide whether to increase Missouri’s minimum wage, which currently stands at $7.85. Proposition B would increase the minimum wage starting in 2019 to $8.60 and would then increase it each year by 85 cents until it reaches $12 per hour in 2023. 

The state’s current minimum wage of $7.85 translates to $314 a week earnings, and slightly more than $16,000 in annual salary. Increasing the minimum wage to $8.60 would result in an annual salary in excess of $17,500. A $12 minimum wage would result in an annual salary of nearly $24,500. 

Proponents say increasing the minimum wage would help more Missourians make a living wage so they can meet their basic needs and take care of their families. They say the increase would result in an additional $1 billion in consumer buying power in Missouri, which would help businesses by injecting new dollars into the economy. Opponents say an increase in the minimum wage could force some companies out of business, or require them to cut back on hours and jobs. They say that a minimum wage is not meant to be a living wage, but that minimum wage jobs are meant to give individuals access to a first job opportunity where they can develop skills to obtain a higher paying job. 

If the proposal is adopted by voters, state and local governments estimate no direct costs or savings from the proposal, but operating costs could increase by an unknown annual amount that could be significant. State and local government tax revenue could change by an unknown annual amount ranging from a $2.9 million decrease to a $214 million increase depending on business decisions. 

Amendment 4 – Bingo

Lawmakers approved legislation (HB 1484) this year to give voters the opportunity to change provisions in the Missouri Constitution dealing with the regulation of bingo. The constitutional amendment would allow individuals who have, for at least six months, been a bona fide member of an organization licensed to conduct bingo to participate in the operation of a bingo game. The Constitution currently requires at least two years of membership prior to participation. It would also remove the statutory restrictions on the advertisement of bingo. 

Supporters say the change would allow newer, more active members of qualified organizations to participate in the operation of bingo games. They say there is no reason for the current two-year membership requirement. They note that bingo games are a common fundraising source for charitable organizations and this would alleviate some of the pressure on older members. 

Proposition D – Fuel Tax Increase to Provide Funding for Highway Patrol and Roads

Because of legislation (HB 1460) approved during the 2018 regular session, voters will have the opportunity to decide if the state’s tax on fuel should be increased to provide a dedicated funding source for the state highway patrol, which will free up funding for Missouri’s roads and bridges. 

If approved by voters in November, the measure would gradually phase in a fuel tax increase of up to 10 cents per gallon by raising the tax by 2.5 cents a year for four years beginning July 2019. The current tax is 17-cents per gallon. If passed, the increase is projected to generate about $412 million when fully implemented. Of these funds, $124 million would be divided among counties and cities for local road construction and maintenance, and the remaining $288 million would be appropriated by the General Assembly between the Department of Transportation, which would use the funds solely for road and bridge work, and the Highway Patrol. 

Proponents of the measure say it will provide safer roads and bridges for Missourians. They note that Missouri is near the bottom – 49th in the nation – with its current fuel tax of 17 cents per gallon. States with lower fuel taxes typically make use of toll roads, which Missouri does not. As a result, Missouri ranks 46th in the nation in revenue spent per mile of highway. 

Proposition D also contains a component that would create tax exemptions for Olympic, Paralympic, and Special Olympic prizes. The proposal would also set up the Emergency State Freight Bottleneck Fund to pair state general revenue with local and federal funding to address extreme freight bottlenecks found at some major highway intersections. 

UPCOMING EVENTS IN DISTRICT 125: 

October 14 – Wheatland Fire Department Pig Roast from 11 am – 4 pm at the McCarty Senior Center,

          3285 US 54, Wheatland.  There will be a Silent Auction at 3 pm.  Proceeds benefit the Fire Dept. 

October 25 – MO Job Center Connection Site from 9 am – 12 noon at the St. Clair County Library,

          115 Chestnut, Osceola.  Learn about and access MO Job Center career services.


CAPITOL REPORT - October 4, 2018.  I hope everyone is enjoying the many Fall festivals and activities.  Last weekend, an issue came to light at the Walnut Festival Parade in Stockton.  Horse riders who travelled to participate in the parade were informed they must show proof of liability insurance in order to participate.  This has spurred a lot of discussion and debate. 

I would like to share Missouri Statute 537.550:  Limitation on liability for injury or death at fairs or festivals — signs to be posted, content.  1.  No county, city or village with ten thousand or fewer inhabitants that organizes, sponsors, or conducts any fair, festival, or similar gathering shall be liable, except as provided in sections 537.600 to 537.650, for an injury or death of any person attending the event, and no person attending the event shall make any claim against, or recover from, any such county, city or village for injury, loss, damage, or death of the person attending the event.  2.  Each county, city or village governed by this section shall post and maintain signs which contain the warning notice specified in this section.  The signs shall be placed in a clearly visible location at major entrances to the event and throughout the event location as determined by the governing authority of the county, city or village.  The signs described in this section shall be in black letters on a white background with each letter to be a minimum of one inch in height and contain substantially the following warning notice:  Under Missouri law, (enter county, city or village name) is not liable for an injury to or the death of any person resulting from the inherent risks of participating in or observing any activities at this event pursuant to the Revised Statutes of Missouri.  (L. 2004 H.B. 795, et al). 

The above law states only a county, city or village; and this law applies only to a county, city or village with 10,000 or fewer citizens.  What it does not refer to is an event sponsored by a club, chamber of commerce, school, church, etc., which is normally a not-for-profit entity with budgeted funds and limited resources to provide insurance coverage.  I have visited with many people this week including horse riders, insurance experts, and staff with the Missouri House Research Department.   There are many different situations, and the best advice I have to offer is be prepared and plan ahead.  Contact the event organizer and register early to participate in the parade.  Find out if a signed waiver or proof of liability insurance is required.  Each event may have its own set of requirements.  Public safety comes first, and we certainly want everyone to enjoy participating in fun activities throughout the district and across the state.  

REAL ID EXTENSION THROUGH AUGUST 1, 2019: 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has granted Missouri another extension through Aug. 1, 2019, to satisfy requirements of the REAL ID Act and its regulations.  During this extension, federal agencies will accept Missouri-issued driver licenses and identification cards for official purposes, including domestic air travel. 

Full implementation by the Missouri Department of Revenue is expected by March of next year.  At that time, Missouri citizens can begin applying for REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses or ID cards.  However, with the new additional extension through Aug. 1, 2019, everyone can rest assured that MO-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards will continue to be accepted for official purposes. 

NEW MISSOURI BUDGET EXPLORER WEBSITE: 

The Missouri Office of Administration (OA) announced on Tuesday the launch of a new website that provides greater transparency to the State of Missouri budget. The website, budgetexplorer.mo.gov, gives users a comprehensive review of the state budget, along with links to more detailed information.  OA created the Missouri Budget Explorer website to provide the public with an easy-to-use resource regarding the state’s budget. The website enables citizens to explore the details of the budget, including the sources of the state’s revenues and how these monies are allocated among the 16 executive departments, the elected officials, the legislature, and the judiciary.   In addition to a better understanding of the overall state budgeting process, citizens will also be able to gain a clearer understanding of the role of each department and the services they provide.  

“IMAGINE AG BUSINESS” SEMINARS: 

The MO Department of Agriculture (MDA) and University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) will be holding several “Imagine Ag Business” sessions Oct. 9th-11th in Sikeston, St. Louis, Columbia, Kansas City and Springfield.  MDA and CAFNR want to listen to and get insight from farmers on specific opportunities and barriers that they may experience daily.  MDA Director Chris Chinn and CAFNR Dean Christopher Daubert will begin each session, and Jared Spader, AgCall Inc., will moderate discussion.  At the completion of the Imagine Ag Business sessions, MDA and CAFNR will form strategic task forces based upon the feedback received.

Registration is free, but required for attendance.  Each session will be limited to 50 attendees to encourage in-depth, meaningful conversation.   Those interested may register online by clicking here.

Imagine Ag Business Sessions:

Oct. 9, 2018 from 9 - 11:30 a.m. at the Miner Convention Center in Sikeston
Oct. 9, 2018 from 2:30 - 5 p.m. at the Helix Center in St. Louis
Oct. 10, 2018 from 9 -11:30 a.m. at the Bradford Research Center in Columbia
Oct. 10, 2018 from 2:30 - 5 p.m. at the American Royal in Kansas City
Oct. 11, 2018 from 9 - 11:30 a.m. at the Darr Agricultural Center in Springfield

UPCOMING EVENTS IN DISTRICT 125: 

October 14 – Wheatland Fire Department Pig Roast from 11 am – 4 pm at the McCarty Senior Center,

          3285 US 54, Wheatland.  There will be a Silent Auction at 3 pm.  Proceeds benefit the Fire Dept. 

October 25 – MO Job Center Connection Site from 9 am – 12 noon at the St. Clair County Library,

          115 Chestnut, Osceola.  Learn about and access MO Job Center career services.

Last Thursday evening, Marla and I attended the annual Capitol Commission Banquet in Springfield.  Several other legislators and spouses joined us along with Dr. John Battaglia-3rd from right.  The Capitol Commission is a cross-denominational, non-partisan ministry that teaches weekly in-depth Bible studies during session January through May at the Capitol lead by Dr. Battaglia.


CAPITOL REPORT - September 27, 2018.  I attended very informative meetings led by the Kaysinger Basin Regional Planning Commission last Thursday.  The KBRPC Transportation Advisory Council provided updates on transportation funding, projects, area-wide issues, and an explanation of Proposition D and the many organizations, businesses, and state leaders that endorse it, some of which I mentioned in the Capitol Report on 9/13/18.   The KBRPC Board of Directors then discussed current issues at length, and I provided information on the new prevailing wage laws at that time to the group that included several area mayors and county commissioners in attendance.  

HB1729, that went into effect on August 28, 2018, makes several changes to the prevailing wage system.  On any public works projects valued at $75,000 and under, these are not subject to the prevailing wage law.  Any public works projects valued less than $10,000 are not subject to a competitive bidding process.  Please be aware that no project may be split up into smaller projects valued at less than $75,000 to evade the requirement to pay prevailing wage or public works contracting minimum wage.  

Above $75,000, public works projects are subject to prevailing wage or public works contracting minimum wage depending on whether 1,000 hours are reported:   1) If it isunder 1,000 hours, the public works contracting minimum wage of 120% of the average county wage will be used instead of the prevailing wage; or 2) If it is above 1,000 hours, the prevailing wage rate shall be a weighted average of the total wage fringe benefit package of all journeyman hours submitted by contractors.  (Only hours reported by contractors on non-residential projects will be used to calculate the annual wage order.) 

Also applying to public works projects over $75,000, the hours worked on holidays will be paid at twice the normal rate (including fringe benefits).  Overtime will be paid at time and a half of the normal rate (including fringe benefits).  As well, contractors may employ one “apprentice” or “entry-level” worker for each journeyman hired and pay them 50% of the pay (including fringe benefits) of a journeyman in their same occupational title. 

For additional information, please go to the Missouri Department of Labor website: Prevailing Wage Information. 

On Monday, Marla and I enjoyed attending the Hickory County Relay for Life event at the McCarty Senior Center in Wheatland.  Today, Thursday, I presented a report to several members of the Thomas Hart Benton Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.  My Revolutionary War report was on the famous frontiersman and trailblazer, Daniel Boone.  I also gave a brief update on the progress of designating the Butterfield Overland Stagecoach Trail from Tipton, Missouri, westward to the state of California as a part of the National Trails System. 

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION PRIORITIES MEETING:

Meetings will be held during October with planning partners in each of MoDOT’s seven state districts for a general discussion on the current condition of the state transportation system, how MoDOT currently spends its resources to take care of transportation assets, and how additional funding resulting from Proposition D could best be used to consider regional priorities, if voters approve the measure in November.  These meetings will lay the groundwork for the development of the next Statewide Transportation Improvement Program that will set MoDOT’s construction commitments for 2020-2024.  District 125 is covered by MoDOT’s Southwest District and this planning meeting will take place on October 17th in Springfield, MO, at the Missouri Career Center, Southern Hills Shopping Center, 2900 East Sunshine.  The public is invited to attend and input is welcomed. 

MO VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS OCTOBER 10TH: 

All Missourians who wish to vote in November who haven’t registered to vote must do so by the October 10 voter registration deadline.  Missourians who are unsure of their voter status may check online at this MO Secretary of State website: https://s1.sos.mo.gov/elections/voterlookup

Individuals who are not registered to vote must meet the following criteria in order to register:

  1. 17 ½ years of age to register, 18 years of age to vote
  2. US Citizen
  3. Missouri Resident

Potential voters cannot be:

  • Incarcerated, on parole, or probation due to a felony conviction.
  • Convicted of a felony related to voting or elections.

In order to register to vote, Missourians must submit a completed voter registration application to their local election authority. This can be done in person at the following locations:

  • The office of their local election authority
  • At a drivers licensing office while applying for or renewing a driver's license
  • At a designated state agency while the applicant is obtaining services from the agency. Examples of state agencies providing registration applications to their clients include Division of Family Services, Military Recruitment, or WIC.
  • A library 

When registering in person, applicants are required to present a form of personal identification. A voter can also register to vote by mail by completing a post card voter registration application. Missourians can request a voter registration application from their local election authority or from this Missouri Secretary of State website: https://s1.sos.mo.gov/votemissouri/request.

INAUGURAL PARSON FAMILY FALL FESTIVAL AT GOVERNOR’S MANSION: 

Governor Mike Parson announced today that the first annual Parson Family Fall Festival will be held at the Missouri Governor’s Mansion on Saturday, October 6. The free event will run from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. and will feature vendors, activities for kids, and a bluegrass band for musical entertainment.  

Over a dozen vendors will be on the Mansion South Lawn and driveway. There will also be a train for children to ride.  Fall treats like caramel apples, fresh apple cider, and kettle corn will be provided. Activities will include a photo booth, pumpkin painting, straw maze, face paintings, and much more.  Mansion tours will be made available and popular local performers will provide bluegrass music for everyone to enjoy.   The event is free and open to the public, and no registration is required.  For further questions about this event, contact the Missouri Governor’s Mansion at (573)751-4141.


CAPITOL REPORT - September 20, 2018.  Last Thursday, I enjoyed attending the Cedar County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting held at the Stockton Christian Church.  The guest speaker for the evening was Eric Bohl, Director of Public Affairs for the Missouri Farm Bureau.  I was greatly honored to receive the 2018 Friend of Agriculture Award presented by Cedar County Farm Bureau President Kalena Bruce.  This award began in 1996 to recognize state representatives who support strong agriculture policy.

President Kalena Bruce and Rep. Warren Love

Cedar Co. Farm Bureau President Kalena Bruce presented me the 2018 Friend of Agriculture Award at their annual meeting on 9/13.

State Fair Community College observed their Golden Anniversary last Sunday with a day long celebration at the main campus in Sedalia.  SFCC held its first classes in September, 1968, with 436 students and all classes being offered in one 35,000 square foot building in Sedalia.  Today, SFCC occupies more than 382,000 square feet and is committed to being convenient and affordable to its surrounding communities.   It is great to have this higher education learning opportunity so close to all of us in District 125.

Dr. Joanna Anderson with othersSFCC President Dr. Joanna Anderson (far right) joined a photo with many of us who attended the SFCC 50th Anniversary Celebration on 9/16. 

I have heard a rumor recently that the Talley (Tally) Bend Recreation Area was going to be closing, so yesterday I met with Jim Sandberg, Operations Project Manager of Truman Lake for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  He confirmed this is NOT true.  We discussed the closing of the Windsor Crossing Recreation Area in Henry County last year.  A primitive campground with very limited public water and electricity, its lack of use was basis for the closing.  The Corps now has eight recreation sites and no current plans for closing any of the sites which includes Talley Bend.  If the Corps decided to close a site in the future, Sandberg stated the Corps would offer bidding to sublease the site for continued operation.  I hope all of these sites continue to thrive, because they are good economic generators to our district because of the tourism dollars spent on food, gas, and supplies when folks visit these locations.  For information on all 8 of the Truman Lake recreation sites, go to:  Recreation.Gov/Truman Lake.   The website provides detailed information and reservations for campsites, shelters, amenities, trails, etc. 

REMINDERS FROM MO DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE: 

The 2018 harvest is expected to produce large numbers nationally for both corn and soybeans. Anticipating Missouri farmers will need grain storage options, the Department's Grain Inspection and Warehousing Division has outlined options for producers during the 2018 harvest.  On-farm and commercial storage are two options available for Missouri farmers. Depending on the dealer class, commercial elevators may offer storage only or delayed price options. Farmers should also check with their local USDA Farm Service Agency for information on marketing assistance loans and loan deficiency payments for grain.  

In August 2015, Missouri’s legal weight limits for transport of livestock, grain and grain co-products increased. Livestock haulers are allowed to load to a maximum gross weight of 85,500 lbs. within the state. Those transporting grain and grain co-products during harvest season in Missouri can load to a maximum of 10 percent heavier than the weights normally allowed. 

When making use of the increased weight law, livestock, grain and grain co-product haulers must not use any portion of the interstate highway system or cross a bridge that is weight-limited to a level that is less than the gross weight of the vehicle and load. The agricultural weight allowances apply only within Missouri’s borders.  For more detailed information, please go to the MO Department of Agriculture website. 

MO DEPT OF CONSERVATION CWD SAMPLING EFFORTS FOR 2018 DEER SEASON:

From MDC-Jefferson City:  If you harvest a deer from certain counties in the CWD Management Zone during Nov. 10 or 11, 2018, you must take your deer (or the head with at least 6 inches of the neck in place) on the day of harvest to one of the following designated CWD sampling stations:  MDC CWD Sampling Stations  (You may take your deer to any station on this list.)   For questions about CWD sampling stations in Cedar, Hickory, and St. Clair Counties, please call the Conservation Department’s Southwest Regional Office at 417-895-6880.

The 31 counties for mandatory sampling are: Adair, Barry, Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Cedar, Cole, Crawford, Franklin, Grundy, Hickory, Jefferson, Knox, Linn, Macon, Madison, McDonald, Mercer, Moniteau, Ozark, Perry, Polk, Putnam, St. Charles, St. Clair, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Stone, Sullivan, Taney, Warren, and Washington.

MDC confirmed 33 new cases of CWD following the testing of nearly 24,500 free-ranging Missouri deer through its sampling and testing efforts last season. The new cases were found in Adair, Cedar, Franklin, Jefferson, Linn, Macon, Perry, Polk, St. Clair, and Ste. Genevieve counties. These new cases bring the total number of free-ranging deer in Missouri confirmed to have CWD to 75. Learn more at mdc.mo.gov/cwd.

The CWD Management Zone consists of counties in or near where cases of the disease have been found. The 48 counties are: Adair, Barry, Benton, Bollinger, Boone, Callaway, Cape Girardeau, Carroll, Cedar, Chariton, Cole, Cooper, Crawford, Dade, Franklin, Gasconade, Grundy, Hickory, Jefferson, Knox, Linn, Livingston, Macon, Madison, McDonald, Mercer, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan, Osage, Ozark, Perry, Polk, Putnam, Randolph, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby, St. Charles, St. Clair, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, St. Louis, Stone, Sullivan, Taney, Warren, and Washington.

To help limit the possible spread of CWD, MDC encourages hunters to process deer as close as possible to where harvested and to properly dispose of carcass parts by leaving or burying parts on site, or bagging parts and placing them in trash containers.

ALSO:  According to the Wildlife Code of Missouri, the placement of grain, salt products, minerals, and other consumable natural and manufactured products used to attract deer is prohibited year-round within counties of the CWD Management Zone. Exceptions are feed placed within 100 feet of any residence or occupied building, feed placed in such a manner to reasonably exclude access by deer, and feed and minerals present solely as a result of normal agricultural or forest management, or crop and wildlife food production practices.


CAPITOL REPORT - September 13, 2018. Marla and I attended a meeting in Osceola last Thursday evening on the ‘Blueprint for Development of Osceola Area Trails.’  The proposed trail is on Corps of Engineers owned land that is under the management of the Missouri Department Of Conservation.  Everyone attending the meeting voted to get started on developing new recreational trails in the area.  The first step is clearing and cleaning on the old Frisco Railroad bed between Osceola and Lowry City.  St. Clair Economic Developer Teresa Heckenlively is awaiting confirmation of a volunteer workday to be scheduled sometime in October to focus on the 1.5 mile portion north of where NE 370 ends at Gallinipper Creek just down from the Amish Trading Post.   I congratulate these organizations for spearheading this project:   St. Clair County Economic Development, Osceola Optimists Club, West Central Missouri Community Action Agency, New Growth, and Kaysinger Basin Regional Planning Commission as well as many hard working individuals with the goal to better the community!  For updates on project workdays, please go to the Destination: Osceola Facebook page.  On Monday evening, the Hickory County Farm Bureau presented me with their “Friend of Agriculture” award.  This is a great honor for me; it is presented every other year, and this is the third time I have received this award.  It is awarded based on my voting record, participation in district, and my contributions and support to agricultural legislation and other issues.  When I went to Jefferson City on Tuesday to prepare for Veto Session, I received notification that Benton County has been awarded matching funds by the Missouri Division of Tourism to help fund marketing strategy development and media placement to increase tourism in the area.   Tourism continues to be one of the most important revenue generators and job producers in the state.  Congratulations to Benton County for promoting tourism in and around Truman Lake!  On Wednesday morning before Veto Session convened, I attended a presentation at the office of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce on Proposition D that will be on the ballot in November.   The presentation was given by advocates for the passage of a motor fuel tax of 2.5 cents per gallon annually for four years beginning July 1, 2019.    Passing this tax would generate at least $288 million annually to the State Road Fund to provide for the funding of Missouri state law enforcement and $123 million annually to local governments for road construction and maintenance which would encompass more than 13,000 miles of new highway pavement and improvements to 515 bridges statewide.   Proposition D has the support of Governor Mike Parson, Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe, US Senators Blunt and McCaskill, Missouri State Highway Patrol, Missouri Farm Bureau, Missouri Chamber of Commerce, Missouri Association of Counties, Missouri Municipal League, and Missouri Association of Realtors.  Find more information at www.SaferMO.com. 

ACCESS TO TREATMENT COURTS:  Following the annual Veto Session on Wednesday, we shifted focus to the Extraordinary Session called by the governor to address two pieces of legislation he vetoed this summer. The first bill passed by the House would expand access to treatment courts with the goal of rehabilitating more Missourians so they can return to being productive members of society.  The legislation would consolidate Missouri’s treatment courts – adult treatment court, DWI court, family treatment court, juvenile treatment court, and veterans treatment court – and update state statute to reflect the reality of the treatment court system today. It would allow for the expansion of treatment courts to counties that don’t have them, and it would allow an individual in a county without a treatment court to be transferred to one with a court as long as all parties agree to the transfer.  The legislation now awaits approval today in the Senate before moving to the governor’s desk to be signed into law. 

STEM CAREERS: The second bill approved by the Missouri House of Representatives during Extraordinary Session takes an important step to encourage more young people to pursue career paths in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The legislation (HB 3) is meant to better prepare tomorrow’s workforce for the many unfilled computer science positions in the technology industry. House members gave bipartisan support to the bill and have sent it to the Missouri Senate for consideration. 

REAL ID GRACE PERIOD EXTENDED:  Missouri recently received a grace period that will allow Missourians to continue using their current forms of identification to fly domestically and enter federal facilities. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had granted an extension until October 10, 2018, but informed the Missouri Department of Revenue of a new grace period that will run through January 21, 2019.  The new licenses that are compliant with the REAL ID Act will not be available until March of 2019. Because of this, the state has applied for an additional extension, which the department expects to be approved, that will allow Missourians to use their existing identification until the new forms of ID are ready.  As the Missouri Department of Revenue Director said in a statement, “Between the grace period that’s now in place and the anticipated extension, Missourians should have no issue using their state-issued driver licenses and ID cards when boarding a domestic flight or for other official purposes after Oct. 10.” 

4TH ANNUAL 100-MILE YARD SALE:  A huge THANK YOU to all the sellers, buyers, and browsers alike, that participated in the“Discover More on Route 54” Annual 100-Mile Yard Sale during Labor Day weekend.  Its popularity and success is growing every year, in addition to all the other district activities during this long holiday weekend.  Mark your calendars for next year:  August 30th and 31st!  In the meantime, please “like” the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MOHwy54YardSale/and stay tuned for updates.


CAPITOL REPORT - August 29, 2018.  This past week the citizens of Wheatland have been struck with tragedy.  Wheatland Mayor Harold “Rowdy” Rempfer and his wife, Julia, were killed in a vehicle accident on Saturday evening.  Harold and Julia have been very active, giving members of their community and will be greatly missed.  There will be a visitation this evening from 6-8 p.m. at the Hathaway-Peterman Funeral Home in Wheatland.  A celebration of life will take place at 1 p.m. tomorrow, August 30th, at the Galmey Community Bible Church, Highway 254, 3 miles west of Lake Pomme de Terre Dam.  My thoughts and prayers are with the Rempfer family at such a difficult time. 

Early morning last Friday, the Wheatland Volunteer Fire Department Building suffered fire damage. The firetrucks were saved; however, there was a lot of damage to the building and loss of equipment.  I have contacted the Missouri Department of Conservation to give them a head’s up that the Wheatland team may need some assistance in replacing lost equipment.

Wheatland Fire Department

The Wheatland Volunteer Fire Department building suffered fire damage on Friday, August 24th. 

Marla and I attended “An Evening to Remember” annual fundraising event for the Benton County Food Pantry last Saturday.  It was held at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Warsaw with almost 200 people in attendance.   The Benton County Food Pantry provides an incredible service throughout Benton County supplying food each month to 1500-2000 families, 216 senior boxes to seniors who are 60 years or older, and 25 veterans’ boxes.   The Benton County Food Pantry is located at 121 Tower Drive in Warsaw and is open Monday through Thursday from 9 am-12 noon and 1-3 pm. 

New Discover 54 sign

I put up a new “Discover More on Route 54” sign on Monday.   Its location is about 1 mile east of Nevada at the intersection of US Hwy 54 and Private Road 1775.  It’s just in time for the 4th Annual 100-Mile Yard Sale this Labor Day Weekend that stretches from Nevada to Camdenton. 

4TH ANNUAL 100-MILE YARD SALE THIS WEEKEND!

“Discover More on Route 54” is hosting the Annual 100-Mile Yard Sale scheduled for Labor Day weekend during daylight hours, August 31-September 1, along U.S. Highway 54 including the cities of Nevada, El Dorado Springs, Collins, Weaubleau, Wheatland, Hermitage, Preston, Macks Creek, and Camdenton.   Everyone is invited and encouraged to sell, attend, and‘Discover More on Route 54!’  Sellers will be responsible for their own yard sale signs to attract motorists. With the increased holiday traffic, it’s encouraged that other non-profits (fire departments, churches, etc.) hold rummage sales & fundraisers at the same time.   

For the most up-to-date information on locations on the 100-Mile route, please go to the Facebook page at:  https://www.facebook.com/MOHwy54YardSale/.  If you are planning to host a yard sale on your Highway 54 property, please post the address and hours to the Facebook page.  

There will be host locations for anyone not living along Highway 54 that would like to participate: 

  • Camdenton - American Family Insurance parking lot (graveled area only), 309 W. Hwy 54.  Must register with cray.hulett@yahoo.com;
  • Macks Creek - in front of the Public Water Supply District 1 Office in Macks Creek, 13067 W. US Highway 54; 
  • Preston - Yates Rustic Range Trading, located 6 miles east of Preston, call for space (417)733-7193; 
  • Hermitage- Beyond Bargains Flea Market, 624 W. Hwy 54, [Fee charged] call Kathy (417)399-1474 for prices; 
  • Wheatland - Hwy 54 RV Park (watch for digital sign), across from Main St., call for space (417)282-5400; 
  • Collins - Brenda’s Quilt Stop & More, located west of Collins along Hwy. 54 call to register (417)876-9997; 
  • El Dorado Springs - the old Wood’s parking lot, at the junction of Highways 54 & 32.

RULES for setting up/selling at a host site: 

1.      First come, first setup basis each day;

2.      Dumpsters located on the property are NOT for public use, please remove everything you do not sell, and be respectful of the host property; and

3.      The sellers will be responsible for their own sale signs to attract motorists.

I hope everyone is able to “unplug” on Labor Day,

and enjoy relaxation with family, friends, and neighbors.


CAPITOL REPORT - Aug 23, 2018. Last Thursday, August 16th, was Missouri State Fair Legislative Day.  Elected officials and state leaders, over 1,000 people, all met for the annual Governor’s Ham Breakfast for an update on the drought and other current issues in agriculture.   Following breakfast, we spent time visiting several agriculture exhibitions and competitions.  We then met again at lunch time for Senator Blunt’s annual Ag Advisory Luncheon.  Speakers for the day’s events included Governor Mike Parson, USDA Undersecretary Bill Northey, Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, Congressman Jason Smith, Attorney General Josh Hawley, and Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft. 

The day was full of activities including time spent at the Missouri State Fair Beef House with fellow members of the St. Clair County Cattlemen’s Association.  I also enjoyed helping with a cooking demonstration with the Missouri Cattlewomen to promote “Beef for Breakfast.”  The Beef House was established in 1982 to promote the beef industry by serving a menu full of delicious beef selections to fair goers.  This yearly 11-day event wouldn’t be possible without all the volunteer members of the county cattlemen’s associations from across the state.  

My wife, Marla, and I then helped with the “Drive to Feed Kids” sponsored by Missouri Future Farmers of America and Missouri Farmers Care.  This event was part of an effort to educate the public about the state’s agriculture productivity and combating childhood hunger.  FFA members came together to pack 100,000 meals (buddy packs) for children in need; this amount is one month’s worth of buddy packs for a 32-county area which includes Benton County.  District 125 schools that benefit include Warsaw North and South Elementary Schools and Warsaw Ruth Mercer Elementary. 

We also had the joy of spending much of the day with our daughter, Anna, and some of our grandchildren.   It never fails to amaze me how much the children enjoy and learn by going to the fair.  They were fortunate enough to not be starting back to school until after the State Fair and took advantage of the day by going to all the livestock and animal exhibits and shows, 4-H/FFA displays and  competitions, fair rides, and, of course, great food!

I worked with fellow members of the St. Clair County Cattlemen’s Association at the Missouri State Fair Beef House last Thursday, where I also helped with a cooking demonstration with the Cattlewomen promoting “Beef for Breakfast. “

Marla and I got to spend some quality time with our daughter, Anna, and some of our grandchildren showing and teaching them about agriculture at the State Fair.

I was honored to participate in the “Drive to Feed Kids” sponsored by MO Future Farmers of America and MO Farmers Care.  A month’s supply of 100,000 meals (buddy packs) were prepared during the fair to be given to school children.

I was very humbled to receive the “Missouri Farm Bureau Friend of Agriculture” award presented to me by the St. Clair County Farm Bureau President, Gary Noakes, on August 20th.   This is my 3rd year to receive this honor based on my voting record, participation in district, and my contributions and support to agricultural legislation and other issues. 

ARE YOU READY FOR THE 100-MILE YARD SALE?

“Discover More on Route 54” is hosting the Annual 100-Mile Yard Sale scheduled for Labor Day weekend during daylight hours, August 31-September 1, along U.S. Highway 54 including the cities of Nevada, El Dorado Springs, Collins, Weaubleau, Wheatland, Hermitage, Preston, Macks Creek, and Camdenton.   Everyone is invited and encouraged to sell, attend, and‘Discover More on Route 54!’  Sellers will be responsible for their own yard sale signs to attract motorists. With the increased holiday traffic, it’s encouraged that other non-profits (fire departments, churches, etc.) hold rummage sales & fundraisers at the same time.   

For the most up-to-date information on locations on the 100-Mile route, please go to the Facebook page at:  https://www.facebook.com/MOHwy54YardSale/.  If you are planning to host a yard sale on your Highway 54 property, please post the address and hours to the Facebook page.  

There will be host locations for anyone not living along Highway 54 that would like to participate: 

Camdenton - American Family Insurance parking lot (graveled area only), 309 W. Hwy 54.  Must register with cray.hulett@yahoo.com; 

  • Macks Creek - in front of the Public Water Supply District 1 Office in Macks Creek, 13067 W. US Highway 54; 
  • Preston - Yates Rustic Range Trading, located 6 miles east of Preston, call for space (417)733-7193; 
  • Hermitage- Beyond Bargains Flea Market, 624 W. Hwy 54, [Fee charged] call Kathy (417)399-1474 for prices; 
  • Wheatland - Hwy 54 RV Park (watch for digital sign), across from Main St., call for space (417)282-5400; 
  • Collins - Brenda’s Quilt Stop & More, located west of Collins along Hwy. 54 call to register (417)876-9997; 
  • El Dorado Springs - the old Wood’s parking lot, at the junction of Highways 54 & 32.

RULES for setting up/selling at a host site: 

1.      First come, first setup basis each day;

2.      Dumpsters located on the property are NOT for public use, please remove everything you do not sell, and be respectful of the host property; and

3.      The sellers will be responsible for their own sale signs to attract motorists.


CAPITOL REPORT - August 16, 2018.  Classes are beginning in schools across Missouri as I write this report.  Just last week, I sat in on a breakfast meeting with the retired teachers of Hickory County.  School start dates and 4-day weeks were the main topic of discussion.  All of the teachers in attendance remembered when Missouri schools did not start classes until after Labor Day. 

Why do school districts feel like it is necessary to begin classes in August?  Some reasons given include being able to complete the first semester before the Christmas break; starting earlier enables more breaks to be scheduled throughout the year to provide time away for the students and teachers; students have more learning time before statewide assessments in the Spring; and a shorter summer prevents less academic loss known as “summer slide.” 

Starting early greatly affects the length of summer tourism in our state.  Municipal pools and water parks close early; there are one to two weekends less of vacation/travel across the state which includes enjoying all the recreational lake and river activities the state has to offer; and attendance is affected at the Missouri State Fair which highlights youth exhibits and the best of the best in agriculture. 

MISSOURI “FIRST” INITIATIVE: 

As I mentioned the state fair above, it promotes excellence in Missouri agriculture and raises awareness of the importance of the agriculture industry.  As well, the state is also continuing efforts to increase agriculture investments. The Missouri State Treasurer was on hand at the state fair this week to talk about the Missouri FIRST initiative and the role it has played in increasing investment in agriculture through the state’s linked deposit program. 

The Missouri FIRST (Financing Investment in our Rural, Small Business and Technology communities) initiative revamped the state’s linked deposit program, which partners with local lenders to provide low-interest financing to small businesses and agricultural operations.  Encouraging more rural economic development, the program helps farmers by making production, land acquisition, livestock costs and other ventures more affordable.  Missouri FIRST was launched in March, and has seen the total volume of active agriculture linked deposits rise from $29.3 million to $69.3 million since its inception.  The Missouri State Treasurer’s office works with local lending institutions to facilitate Missouri FIRST loans. There are approximately 115 qualified Missouri FIRST linked deposit lenders with 350 branches throughout the state. A list of lenders and program eligibility guidelines can be found online at MOFIRST.mo.gov

LOWEST UNEMPLOYMENT IN ALMOST TWO DECADES: 

Missouri received good news this week as the state’s unemployment rate hit its lowest point in nearly two decades. Data released by the Missouri Department of Economic Development showed the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 3.4% in July. This is the lowest the state has seen since June, 2000.  The July unemployment rate is down from 3.5% in June, and it is also lower than the 3.6% unemployment rate for June, 2017, last year.  The state’s unemployment rate has decreased from the 3.7% level at the beginning of the year.  Missouri’s rate has now been lower than the comparable U.S. rate, which is currently 3.9%, for 39 consecutive months.  

Overall, the state’s employment levels have been on an upward trend. Missouri saw an increase of 8,800 jobs between May and July. The state has also seen an increase of 34,700 jobs since July, 2017. Health care and social assistance employment saw an increase of 10,900 jobs.  Durable goods manufacturing added 5,600 jobs.   Arts, entertainment and recreation; retail trade; and administrative, support, and waste management services each added between 3,500 and 4,000 jobs statewide over the year.

2 WEEKS AWAY! 100-MILE YARD SALE:

“Discover More on Route 54” is hosting the Annual 100-Mile Yard Sale scheduled for Labor Day weekend during daylight hours, August 31-September 1, along U.S. Highway 54 including the cities of Nevada, El Dorado Springs, Collins, Weaubleau, Wheatland, Hermitage, Preston, Macks Creek, and Camdenton.   Everyone is invited and encouraged to sell, attend, and‘Discover More on Route 54!’  Sellers will be responsible for their own yard sale signs to attract motorists. With the increased holiday traffic, it’s encouraged that other non-profits (fire departments, churches, etc.) hold rummage sales & fundraisers at the same time.   

For the most up-to-date information on locations on the 100-Mile route, please go to the Facebook page at:  https://www.facebook.com/MOHwy54YardSale/.  If you are planning to host a yard sale on your Highway 54 property, please post the address and hours to the Facebook page. Other details can be found at https://100mileyardsale.wordpress.com/ 

There will be host locations for anyone not living along Highway 54 that would like to participate: 

Camdenton - American Family Insurance parking lot (graveled area only), 309 W. Hwy 54.  Must register with cray.hulett@yahoo.com

Macks Creek - in front of the Public Water Supply District 1 Office in Macks Creek, 13067 W. US Highway 54; 

Preston - Yates Rustic Range Trading, located 6 miles east of Preston, call for space (417)733-7193; 

Hermitage - Beyond Bargains Flea Market, 624 W. Hwy 54, [Fee charged] call Kathy (417)399-1474 for prices; 

Wheatland - Hwy 54 RV Park (watch for digital sign), across from Main St., call for space (417)282-5400; 

Collins - Brenda’s Quilt Stop & More, located west of Collins along Hwy. 54 call to register (417)876-9997; 

El Dorado Springs - the old Wood’s parking lot, at the junction of Highways 54 & 32.

RULES for setting up/selling at a host site: 

  1.   First come, first setup basis each day;
  2.   Dumpsters located on the property are NOT for public use, please remove everything you do not sell, and be respectful of the host property; and
  3.  The sellers will be responsible for their own sale signs to attract motorists.

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