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 - June 6, 2018.  It was a sunny, warm day as the Hickory County Health Department celebrated the opening of their new facility with a dedication and ribbon cutting.  Devoted to improving the health and promotion of the wellbeing of everyone in the county, constituents are very fortunate to have such a great team of staff and board members leading the way.  I encourage everyone to take advantage of the health care services and programs offered.

PHOTO ABOVE: Celebrating at the Hickory County Health Department Ribbon Cutting on Friday, June 1st, L to R:  Warren Olinger, Board Member; Dawn Vader, Administrator; Kathy Rains, Board Chairman; Linda Wilson, Board Member; Starr Garrison-Miller, Board Secretary/Treasurer; Senator Sandy Crawford; Representative Warren Love; and Nancy Sisson, Pomme de Terre Chamber of Commerce Representative. 

While attending the ribbon cutting, I met and visited with Mary Sebade who is the Nutrition and Health Education Specialist with the MU Extension for Hickory, Polk, and St. Clair Counties.   She shared with me that the University of Missouri Extension is working with the community through various programs, and she is currently teaching a weekly Cooking Matters class at the Hickory County Farmers Market kitchen.  You will also find Ms. Sebade at the Hickory County Farmers Market on the first and third Fridays of each month highlighting recipes that can be made from produce offered at the Farmers Market.  Mary also offers programs to the Senior Centers; she was recently at the health fair at the McCarty Senior Center promoting the Missouri Berry Salad and introducing seniors to the ‘Stay Strong, Stay Healthy’ program which encourages participants to learn exercises to improve their strength, flexibility, and balance.  Another program Mary promotes includes the Healthy School Concession program at the Hermitage and Skyline schools. 

PHOTO ABOVE: I enjoyed meeting with and learning about programs offered by Mary Sebade, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist with the MU Extension for Hickory, Polk, and St. Clair Counties.

PHOTO ABOVE:  It was an honor to present a resolution to Donald R. Hart, Minister of Antioch Christian Church of Pittsburg, in recognition of the 175th Anniversary of Antioch Christian Church and the Antioch Cemetery.  Known to be the oldest church in Hickory County, the church’s congregation celebrated this milestone on Sunday, June 3rd, with a special service and luncheon.

PROUD TO CALL MISSOURI’S 57th GOVERNOR ONE OF OUR OWN: 

Michael L. Parson was sworn in as Missouri’s 57th Governor last Friday on June 1st.  With more than 30 years of experience in public service, Governor Parson was previously elected Lieutenant Governor in 2016 with the most votes of any Lieutenant Governor in Missouri history.  He has previously served as District 28 Senator from 2011-2017, in the MO House of Representatives from 2005-2011, as Sheriff of Polk County from 1993-2005, and has six years of service to our country in the Army. 

Governor Parson and his family have lived in Bolivar for many years; however, he was raised on a farm in Hickory County and graduated from Wheatland High School!  

AGRICULTURE BILL SIGNED INTO LAW – (SB627): 

My “hats off” to Senator Brian Munzlinger and Representative Jay Houghton for working with the General Assembly this year to pass sweeping Agriculture reform that will be very beneficial to our state’s number one industry moving forward. SB 627 has several provisions, including language to designate urban and community gardens as agriculture and horticultural property for the purpose of property tax assessment. Additionally, this bill changes the definitions of “meat” and “meat product” to include captive cervids, and changes the definition of a “commercial plant” and “unwholesome” to accommodate for the classification of cervids as meat. The bill also prohibits the misrepresentation of products as “meat” and states that products can only be advertised or represented as “meat” if they are derived from livestock or poultry. This section will prevent “fake meat” or products grown in a lab from being labeled and advertised as meat. Additionally, SB 627 prohibits local municipalities or political subdivisions from adopting or enforcing ordinances, rules, or regulations relating to the labeling, cultivation, or use of seeds or fertilizers, and changes the fuel standards law to allow for greater access to fuel in cases of natural disaster or fuel shortage. The bill also repeals the state’s yield tax on forest croplands, and changes the definition of “livestock” to include buffalo and bison rather than just buffalo.   Because I serve on the Agriculture Policy Committee and the Conservation and Natural Resources Committee, I have had the opportunity to be involved in the hearings, testimony, fiscal review and floor debate on all the provisions in this bill.  It will be great to have this legislation go into effect on August 28, 2018. 

FLAG DAY IS JUNE 14: 

Did you know that Flag Day was celebrated for several decades in many communities beforePresident Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation on May 30, 1916, to establish Flag Day, but it was not until August 3, 1949, that our very own President Harry S. Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14 as National Flag Day? 

UNCLAIMED PROPERTY LISTINGS: 

It is the state treasurer’s responsibility to return as much of Missouri’s nearly $1 billion of Unclaimed Property as possible.  With over 5 million accounts, some of those funds belong to individuals, businesses, and local governments of District 125.  I encourage everyone to search for and claim possible property free of charge at www.ShowMeMoney.com.  Account owners can file a claim online or request a paper claim be mailed to them at any time by visiting this website.  By law, specific dollar amounts that exceed $50 are not public record.

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”

State Representative

Representing the good people

of the 125th District


CAPITOL REPORT - May 31, 2018.  My “Hat’s Off” to the Warsaw American Legion Post #217 for the grand opening of their new facility last week.  Devastated by fire last year, the new Post is greatly welcomed in the community.   It was a great pleasure to view the new headquarters on Saturday.  Thank you to all the veterans for your service and may your spirit continue as you join together regularly in this new building. 

In observance of Memorial Day, I was deeply honored to participate in the remembrance service lead by the Cross Timbers American Legion Post #623.  During the ceremony, which was held on the town square, there were over 160 crosses displayed in the park to represent each deceased veteran from the Cross Timbers community.   The beautiful service included a flag-raising ceremony, prayer, the “Missing Man Table” ceremony for prisoners of war and veterans missing in action, and the reading of the names of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.  

PHOTO ABOVE: Special ceremonies lead by Post Commander Dick Sanford at the grand opening on Saturday, May 26, for the new American Legion Post #217 at Warsaw. 

PHOTO ABOVE: On Memorial Day, crosses were displayed in the park on the square in Cross Timbers in honor of each deceased veteran from the Cross Timbers community. 

GOVERNOR GREITENS ANNOUNCES RESIGNATION: 

The Special Session that was called by the legislature to look into alleged wrongdoing by Governor Greitens has come to an end.  With the Governor’s decision to resign from office, the Special Investigative Committee on Oversight will now wrap up its work, and there will no longer be a need for members of the House to consider any potential recommendations from the committee. The Governor will leave office effective tomorrow, June 1, at 5 p.m.  Lt. Gov. Mike Parson will then take over as chief executive of the state. 

FILLING COUNTY VACANCIES (HB1428): 

An important piece of legislation that was approved during the 2018 legislative session will ensure vacancies in important county offices are filled in a timely fashion.  The bill is meant to avoid situations where a vacancy causes a county office to shut down.  This bill requires the county commission in all non-charter counties to make an appointment to fill a vacancy within 14 days. The appointee will then serve in the position until the governor makes an appointment or until the vacancy is filled by operation of another provision of law.  In counties with only two county commissioners, the presiding judge of the circuit court will make the appointment when there is the absence of an agreement. The offices of prosecuting attorney and circuit attorney are excluded from this provision.  The bill also sets a 60-day time limit for the governor to fill a vacancy in the Office of County Commissioner with the advice and consent of the Senate. The vacancies filled by appointment will be held by the appointee for the remainder of the term.  The bill does not apply to any county that has adopted a charter for its own government. 

RENOVATION OF SCHELL-OSAGE CONSERVATION AREA TO BEGIN: 

I have received information from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) that they will begin work on renovating the Schell-Osage Conservation Area in St. Clair County.   Schell-Osage Conservation Area is one of the oldest publicly managed wetland areas in the state, with the area opening to the public in the 1960s.  Time and the elements have taken their toll on the area's infrastructure, and it is now time to update and improve the infrastructure, habitat and public use opportunities. 

Schell Lake will begin to be drained June 1 and is expected to be emptied by July 1.  Most of the fish in the lake are expected to be released into the nearby Osage River.   However, some fish may be stranded in pools of standing water.  To minimize wasted fish, an emergency fish salvage order will be in place from June 15 through June 30.  The emergency fish salvage order will allow anglers to use both regular and alternative methods to harvest fish.  Examples of alternative methods include seining, dip net, gigs, and bow fishing. However, during this time, anglers must still abide by other statewide regulations including daily and possession creel limits and any fish removed from Schell Lake during this emergency salvage may not be possessed on any other waterbody of the state or banks thereof.   Here are a couple key points: 

Starting June 1, 2018, all boating will be prohibited on Schell Lake. Fishing of any kind will be prohibited at the lake starting July 1 until lake renovation and fish population stockings are completed.
The draining and closing of Schell Lake will also effectively close the wetlands down for the upcoming 2018-19 waterfowl season as preparation for construction begins.
The upland areas, Atkinson Lake, and ponds at Schell-Osage will remain open to normal birding, hiking, hunting, and fishing activities during the project. 

As details are finalized, engineering plans move forward, and timelines firm up, MDC will continue to share information so that everyone can plan accordingly and stay up-to-date with the progress.  If you are interested in receiving email notifications on the Schell-Osage renovation, please sign up here:   Sign Up for Email Updates   The MDC appreciates the support and understanding of everyone as they move forward with the renovation. 

UNCLAIMED PROPERTY LISTINGS: 

It is the state treasurer’s responsibility to return as much of Missouri’s nearly $1 billion of Unclaimed Property as possible.  With over 5 million accounts, some of those funds belong to individuals, businesses, and local governments of District 125.  I encourage everyone to search for and claim possible property free of charge at www.ShowMeMoney.com.  Account owners can file a claim online or request a paper claim be mailed to them at any time by visiting this website.  By law, specific dollar amounts that exceed $50 are not public record. 


CAPITOL REPORT - May 25, 2018.  With the upcoming holiday weekend, it is on Memorial Day that we honor and remember the heroes who have given their lives so that we could live in peace and safety in a land of freedom.  As we all spend time with family and friends during the long weekend ahead, please set aside time to pay tribute to the men and women who have given their lives in defense of the way of life we hold dear.

Now that the legislative session has adjourned, it allows me the opportunity to spend more time in district visiting with constituents and attending activities throughout the area.  I enjoyed a lunchtime visit at the El Dorado Springs Senior Center on Monday. Also, in Appleton City at Ellett Memorial Hospital, many local citizens meet every day for coffee and tea, and I appreciated taking part in the day’s conversation on Tuesday and the opportunity to listen to their concerns and issues.  On Wednesday, I attended the Lion’s Club luncheon in Warsaw and was able to share information on some of the good legislation that has been passed this year.  On a sad note, I attended a memorial service on Monday for Robert “Bob” Coleman who was the District 125 recipient for the Lieutenant Governor’s Senior Service Award last year.  This fine gentleman leaves a wonderful legacy to the El Dorado Springs community for all of his volunteer efforts throughout the years.

Reflecting back over the last several months, it has been a productive session with the General Assembly passing more than 145 bills. This is an increase from the previous session when the legislature pushed 76 bills across the legislative finish line. The bills approved this year make many improvements for Missourians by lowering taxes for working families, providing expanded educational opportunities, supporting our state’s veterans, and 911 services availability statewide. 

The heart of the issue is that most 911 services in Missouri are paid for by charges on landline phones. The amount of money each county receives to support local 911 has diminished because fewer and fewer people utilize landline phones.  However, efforts to charge the increasing number of cell phone users has often met with too much resistance to pass.  For years, Missouri has been the only state that doesn’t have a statewide 911 funding mechanism. 

The funding mechanism in the bill approved last Friday would allow Missouri to have 911 services statewide, including the counties that have no service at all.  The bill would also allow counties to upgrade their equipment.  The updated technology would allow emergency responders to do things like locate cell phones when a caller can’t give his or her location, receive texts, and other upgrades and functions that many counties haven’t been able to afford. 

The bill would also allow counties and certain municipalities in Missouri to seek voter approval for a fee of up to $1 on any device that can contact 911.  Areas adopting this new funding source would replace their current 911 funding source.  They would not be allowed to keep both.  The bill would also create a 3-percent charge on the purchase of prepaid phones to go toward 911 funding.  A portion of that money would go to 911 services in the county the phone was purchased in, with the remainder of that amount going to a statewide fund to support and improve 911. 

In addition, the bill would address the need for 911 facilities in many parts of the state to consolidate.   Missouri’s 114 counties currently have 185 Public Safety Answering Points, or PSAPs. Under the bill, where consolidation is needed, voters could not be asked to approve a new funding stream unless a plan for consolidation is developed. 

UNCLAIMED PROPERTY LISTINGS: 

It is the state treasurer’s responsibility to return as much of Missouri’s nearly $1 billion of Unclaimed Property as possible.  With over 5 million accounts, some of those funds belong to individuals, businesses, and local governments of District 125.  I encourage everyone to search for and claim possible property free of charge at www.ShowMeMoney.com.  Account owners can file a claim online or request a paper claim be mailed to them at any time by visiting this website.  By law, specific dollar amounts that exceed $50 are not public record.  

SUSPECTED METH LABS: 

To report a suspected illegal drug lab activity, please contact your local law enforcement office or email the Missouri State Highway Patrol Division of Drug and Crime Control at ddccmail@mshp.dps.mo.gov.  You may also call the Anonymous Meth Hotline (1-888-609-6384).


CAPITOL REPORT - May 18, 2018.  My in-district day on Saturday began by celebrating the dedication of the new Weaubleau Community Building.  The City of Weaubleau and Friends of the Weaubleau Park hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony and pancake breakfast in the new facility.  I congratulate them for completion of this new facility that will promote activities and social time in the community. 

I then travelled westbound on the “Discover More on Route 54” highway to El Dorado Springs to join Senator Crawford in making a presentation to the members of the Route 54 Cruisers who were hosting their 25th Annual Route 54 Cruisers Car Show.  The members, who have been meeting monthly for over 25 years, were recognized for their contributions to the community by providing scholarships, donating to local charities, and promoting the El Dorado Springs area.

Senator Crawford and I presented resolutions to Route 54 Cruisers President Mark Boch recognizing the members for 25 years of service to the El Dorado Springs area. 

LEGISLATION THIS WEEK:

As I write this, the House and Senate are still in session.  We adjourn at 6:00 p.m. today.  Any legislation that has been ‘Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed’ must be signed by the Governor before becoming law.  HB1456 was approved by the Senate late last night, and I am hoping it will be brought to the House for its final vote in our last hours of session this afternoon.  This bill would make quality emergency 911 services more readily available to all Missourians. It would provide a method to increase efficiency, improve levels of technology, and provide enhanced 911 mapping and service to areas of the state that do not currently have it. It would also give counties additional options for funding their local 911 services, and would give local voters more freedom to approve the funding method that works best for their county.

SB564 The Missouri General Assembly has passed bipartisan rate cap legislation, which would cut and cap electric rates in Missouri.  By a vote of 125-20, House members gave final passage to SB 564. The legislation mandates that any benefits Missouri’s electric utilities received from the federal tax cuts be refunded to customers in the form of rate cuts within 90 days of being signed into law.  For Ameren Missouri customers alone, that means approximately $133 million, which will result in a 4.8% cut in electric rates. 

For the first time in Missouri history, rate increases on Missouri customers will also be capped as part of the legislation at an average annual 2.85% or 3% depending on the service provider. These rate caps provide Missouri business and residential customers the rate stability and predictability that has been missing over the past decade, when, according to the Associated Press, rates have gone up 5.2% each year on average.  The legislation will also help modernize Missouri’s electric grid, by making it smarter and more secure.

SB627 Final approval has also been given to legislation that would ensure products marketed as meat actually come from harvested livestock. SB 627 will make Missouri the first state to approve legislation to deal with the misrepresentation of lab-grown meat products or meat substitutes as meat. The issue is national in scope and other states may now look to Missouri as an example of how to deal with this growing problem. The legislation that now needs the governor’s signature to become law will update Missouri statutes to prohibit “misrepresenting a product as meat that is not derived from harvested production livestock or poultry.”

VISITORS TO THE CAPITOL:

 

Instructor Tabitha Jones and Superintendent Mitch Towne accompanied Lakeland R-III Social Studies students to the Capitol last week to observe the General Assembly in session and tour the historic building. 

CEMETERY MAINTENANCE: 

As we make plans to remember our loved ones on Memorial Day, I urge local cemetery boards, local communities, civic organizations, and descendants of buried ancestors to take action this year, and contribute monetarily through donations or fundraisers to provide cemetery maintenance funds until state statutes are revised or interest rates increase for endowment funds that are set in place to earn money for maintenance.   Keep in mind, no funding comes from state taxpayers’ resources to fund local cemetery maintenance.  Our beautifully maintained cemeteries are a labor of love, time and money; please consider volunteering to help in some way.  It is greatly appreciated by so many.   

SUSPECTED METH LABS: 

To report a suspected illegal drug lab activity, please contact your local law enforcement office or email the Missouri State Highway Patrol Division of Drug and Crime Control at ddccmail@mshp.dps.mo.gov.  You may also call the Anonymous Meth Hotline (1-888-609-6384).


CAPITOL REPORT - May 10, 2018.  Warmer weather and much needed rain has finally arrived.  It’s evident by the grass and wheat starting to green up and grow.  It’s also evident by looking down freshly planted corn rows and seeing the new crop sprout and emerge.  

My normal in-district day last Friday was actually spent at the Capitol.  My wife, Marla, drove to Jefferson City so we could welcome our granddaughter, Gretchen Crusha, who is a 3rd grade student in Paris, MO.  We enjoyed joining her class as they toured the Capitol.  It was a joy to watch their young, vibrant enthusiasm with a vision of them being our Missouri citizens of the future.  Watching them is nearly the same feeling that a farmer has when planting a new crop of corn and expecting a bumper crop! 

Lieutenant Governor Parson hosted the Senior Service Award Ceremony on Monday.  Started in 2005, this award is presented to promote and highlight the positive accomplishments Missouri’s senior citizens have made in their local communities.  We are greatly honored to have four recipients from District 125 that were chosen to receive this much-deserved recognition:  Charles Bourland of St. Clair County, Lynne Hedrick of Cedar County, Dr. Carter Kinkead of Benton County, and Billy Pearson of Hickory County.  

Senior Service Award Recipient, Charles Bourland, St. Clair County 

Senior Service Award Recipient, Lynne Hedrick, Cedar County 

Senior Service Award Recipient, Joseph “Carter” Kinkead, DVM, Benton County 

Senior Service Award Recipient, Billy Pearson, Hickory County

CEMETERY MAINTENANCE: 

As we make plans to remember our loved ones on Memorial Day, I urge local cemetery boards, local communities, civic organizations, and descendants of buried ancestors to take action this year, and contribute monetarily through donations or fundraisers to provide cemetery maintenance funds until state statutes are revised or interest rates increase for endowment funds that are set in place to earn money for maintenance.   Keep in mind, no funding comes from state taxpayers’ resources to fund local cemetery maintenance.  Our beautifully maintained cemeteries are a labor of love, time and money; please consider volunteering to help in some way.  It is greatly appreciated by so many.   

LEGISLATION THIS WEEK: 

House members voted Wednesday to give final approval to a $28 billion state operating budget that includes record funding for the K-12 education foundation formula, which amounts to $124 million more this year on education than in 2017.

The Senate has approved all but one budget bill.  The Missouri Constitution requires the legislature to approve a balanced budget by Friday evening.  As I write this Capitol Report, we are anticipated to work late into the evening tonight and will be convening for session tomorrow on Friday as well. 

VISITORS TO THE CAPITOL:

The Weaubleau 8th Grade Class visited the Capitol on Thursday, May 3rd, with their sponsor, Mr. David Ochs.

Peggy Crabtree, Benton County constituent, visited with me in the Side Gallery of the Chamber on Tuesday advocating for public safety and prevention of drug abuse. 

UPCOMING DISTRICT ACTIVITIES: 

May 10-12, today through Saturday, is the 39th Annual Lowry City Spring Fair. Shop local vendors with various crafts and merchandise. Support local vendors, groups and organizations with various crafts, merchandise, food booths, plant sales, raffles, car show, music concerts, and carnival rides. 

The 25th Annual Route 54 Cruisers Car Show will take place on Saturday, May 12th, in downtown El Dorado Springs.  Registration is from 8-10 a.m. with awards at 2 p.m.  There will be special guests, auctions, raffles, giveaways and more in celebration of the 25th year including a special appearance by the Wounded Warrior Project Truck.  Make plans to attend rain or shine! 

The ribbon cutting and celebration for the new Weaubleau Community Building is onSaturday, May 12th, at 8 a.m.  Following the ribbon cutting, please join Friends of the Weaubleau Park as they host a pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. 

SUSPECTED METH LABS: 

To report a suspected illegal drug lab activity, please contact your local law enforcement office or email the Missouri State Highway Patrol Division of Drug and Crime Control at ddccmail@mshp.dps.mo.gov.  You may also call the Anonymous Meth Hotline (1-888-609-6384).


CAPITOL REPORT - May 3, 2018. My in-district day last Friday, April 27th, started by presenting four American FFA Degree Resolutions at the Appleton City High School.  Recipients of this prestigious award from Appleton City are Brady Munsterman, Nathan John Parsons, Levi E. Siegismund, and Bethany A. Strope.  Congratulations to these young adults for their endeavors in earning this degree! 

I then drove to El Dorado Springs and joined Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson, who has initiated and is promoting “Buy Missouri” products.  We toured three area businesses.  The first local business was DairiConcepts located along the “Discover More on Route 54” highway.  This company produces innovative cheese and dairy pastes and powder products that are sold across the United States and exported to foreign countries.  Currently, 135 area residents are employed by DairiConcepts.

PHOTO: DairiConcepts was the first stop for the “Buy Missouri” tour in El Dorado Springs.  L-R:  Bill Pruyne, Plant Manager; Brent Rottinghaus, Director of Processing/Technology & Operations; Lt. Gov. Parson, Teresa Parson, and Rep. Love.

We then headed to the El Dorado Springs City Hall where Lt. Gov. Parson presented a PowerPoint presentation on “Buy MO!” to members of the El Dorado Springs Chamber of Commerce.   Lt. Gov. Parson launched this statewide initiative to recognize and promote Missouri companies and manufacturers to the public, thus strengthening MO’s economy. 

Our second area business destination was Cedar Creek Beef Jerky.  We enjoyed a tour of this USDA-inspected manufacturing facility by co-owners Justin Amick and Kendall Burns.    The jerky is made by hand, one piece at a time, the old fashioned way, and cooked in a homemade oven.  It is delicious!  Several flavors are sold in store and online at their website: www.cedarcreekbeefjerky.com.

PHOTO: Cedar Creek Beef Jerky co-owners Justin Amick and Kendall Burns provided a tour of their facility for us during Lt. Gov. Parson’s “Buy Missouri” promotional tour in El Dorado Springs. 

The final stop of the tour was Harleman Manufacturing, LLC.  Harleman builds some of the biggest and best drilling equipment in the country: dirt and rock augers, pressure diggers, and heavy duty tree sawing and tree puller attachments for skid loaders.  With an online site and extensive catalogue, Harleman Manufacturing sells equipment worldwide www.harlemanglobal.com.

PHOTO: Lt. Gov. Parson and I really enjoyed our tour with Layne Smith and owner, Ron Harleman.  They have an impressive operation and employ several local citizens.

TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK:

As we approach Teacher Appreciation Week next week, I want to “Tip My Hat” to all who have chosen a career of educating our children.  Our teachers play a critical role in educating and influencing our future leaders of this country.  These instructors, committed to kindness, patience, and dedication, mold our children’s lives.  To quote Thomas Jefferson:  “It is highly interesting to our country, and it is the duty of its functionaries, to provide that every citizen in it should receive an education proportioned to the condition and pursuits of his life.”  For the vast opportunities provided to our children, I say THANK YOU to all the teachers in District 125 for making this possible!

LEGISLATION THIS WEEK:

I am very happy to report that HB1880 was ‘Truly Agreed To and Finally Passed’ by the General Assembly this afternoon.  This bill states the intent of the General Assembly to facilitate and encourage development of fiber optic infrastructure by rural electric cooperatives to expand rural broadband services. This bill does not grant the Public Service Commission jurisdiction over any contract or agreement that it would not otherwise have, nor does it diminish the rights of property owners under the laws of this state.

VISITORS TO THE CAPITOL:

PHOTO: It was an honor to visit with representatives of Health Systems, Inc., and Hermitage Nursing and Rehab Facility on Wednesday:  Casandra Gould, Cindy Gates, Karin Patterson, Timothy Corbin, and Alice Zidlicky. 

UPCOMING DISTRICT ACTIVITIES

The 25th Annual Route 54 Cruisers Car Show will take place on Saturday, May 12th, in downtown El Dorado Springs.  Registration is from 8-10 a.m. with awards at 2 p.m.  There will be special guests, auctions, raffles, giveaways and more in celebration of the 25th year including a special appearance by the Wounded Warrior Project Truck.  Make plans to attend rain or shine!


CAPITOL REPORT - April 26, 2018.  My in-district day on Friday, April 20th, began by attending an early breakfast in Sedalia.  It was hosted by State Fair Community College.  Each year, area legislators are invited to present updates and answer questions about issues of interest to SFCC President Dr. Joanna Anderson, board members, and area educators. 

From Sedalia, I headed to Osceola for an announcement made by the USDA Rural Development that the City of Osceola has been awarded Rural Development Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant funding.  It will be used to update the city’s water distribution system which will improve water pressure and quality for everyone living in Osceola.  Citizens are asked to be patient through the construction phase and progress, which according to Mayor Heckenlively should be completed in November, 2018.  

Sunday was Earth Day, and after church, my wife, Marla, and I attended a very special tree planting that is part of the Liberty Tree Project.  The original Liberty Tree was a famous elm tree that stood near Boston Common during the Revolutionary Era.  The first act of defiance against British rule took place under this tree in 1765.   Along the way, several other towns in the 13 colonies designated their own Liberty Trees.  A symbol of American Independence, St. Clair County 4-H received two of 20 bud-grafted trees donated to Missouri 4-H clubs; these trees are from original Liberty Tree seedlings.  One was planted at Daffodil Park, and the other was planted near the museum in Roscoe.  Congratulations to the St. Clair County 4-H for being one of very few selected to participate in the Liberty Tree Project. 

PHOTO: For the announcement of the Rural Development Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant funding, it was an honor to join Randy Norden, Executive Director of MO Rural Water Association; Osceola Mayor Rob Heckenlively; Lois East, USDA; Rachel Gilroy, Field Representative for Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler; and Robert Salmon, Presiding Commissioner of St. Clair County.

PHOTO: St. Clair County 4-H commemorates the Liberty Tree Project in Daffodil Park by planting a bud-grafted tree from an original seedling of a Liberty Tree. 

LEGISLATION THIS WEEK

The House and Senate took major steps this week toward the completion of the Fiscal Year 2019 state operating budget.  Both chambers must reach an agreement on the spending plan by May 11. The House sent its version of the budget to the Senate at the end of March.  The Senate then approved its version of the budget and sent it to the House this week.  On Thursday, the House approved motions to send the majority of the appropriations bills to conference committees where lead negotiators from both sides will meet to iron out differences between the two chambers. 

As the bills head to conference, one of the primary differences each side will work through concerns funding for K-12 education.  The version of the budget approved by the House provided full funding for the school foundation formula.  The House plan boosted funding for the formula by $98.9 million. The Senate’s version of the spending plan reduces that funding by $50 million and redirects some of the savings to other areas of the budgets.  The Senate plan would instead increase K-12 transportation funding by $25 million, as well as provide additional funding for nursing home services. 

Once the Senate agrees to meet in conference with the House, members will work through their differences to reach a compromise version of the budget that can receive final approval from both chambers. 

Last week the House approved an important piece of legislation (SB 573) that would provide additional support to members of the National Guard and the state’s veterans.  While the bill started as an expansion of the military income tax deduction, House members added several amendments during floor debate that greatly expanded the scope of the bill.  One of the amendments would allow veteran-owned small businesses to participate in the Missouri Linked Deposit Program. It would also require eligible lending institutions to give priority to veteran-owned small businesses when considering which eligible small businesses should receive reduced-rate loans. The change is meant to provide veterans with an opportunity to start their own business and contribute to the state's economy.  Another amendment extends the period of assistance in the Show-Me Heroes Program from one year to five years following discharge; establish the Veterans’ Bill of Rights; and establish the Missouri Military Community Reinvestment Program Act to assist military communities in supporting and sustaining their installations. 

HCR 96 would designate May as "Move Over and Slow Down Awareness Month." The awareness month would encourage the citizens of this state to remember the "Move Over or Slow Down" law when approaching a Missouri State Highway Patrol and other law enforcement vehicles, emergency vehicles, and Department of Transportation and Department of Public Safety emergency response or motorist assist vehicles when displaying emergency lights or flashing amber and white lights and parked or stopped on the side of the road. 

VISITORS TO THE CAPITOL:

PHOTO: Wheatland R-II 4th and 5th Graders toured the historic Capitol and visited the Whispering Gallery and Dome on Monday.

PHOTO: I enjoyed visiting with MO Cattlemen’s Association member advocates on Wednesday from Lawrence County, Hickory County-Sandra Arthur of Twin Star Ranch in Flemington (2nd from left), and Pettis County.

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