Greetings Fellow Missourians,

    I am currently serving as the Legislator for Missouri State House of Representative in the 125th district—thanks to the supporters in the Primary elections of 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018. 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 - February 20, 2020.  Every year, Missouri Farm Bureau hosts Legislative Briefing to help Missouri Farm Bureau members stay on top of the issues and to give them an opportunity to advocate directly to their lawmakers in the State Capitol. At the end of the day, all Legislators are invited out to Missouri Farm Bureau Headquarters where we enjoy a fine pork loin meal of which we pay for ourselves. MOFB President Blake Hurst discussed Grain Belt Express, broadband, biodiesel, and redistricting. As a Farm Bureau member and a State Representative, I feel it’s important to keep informed on issues that affect Rural Missouri and Agriculture which at $88 billion is our number one industry.

Route 82 Resurfacing Project 

Route 82 will be resurfaced from El Dorado Springs to the intersection of 82 and 83 in Hickory County. The anticipated schedule set by the contractor, APAC-Central is that activity on site will begin between the last week of February and the first week of March. The paving will begin within the last week of March and the first week of April. This schedule may conflict with the Route 82 bridge work at Hogles Creek. Widel Inc. will start on the bridge work and it will be fully closed on March 23rd. The two companies will need to work together at this location. The bridge project will be completed by May 21st. There will not be an assigned detour. Motorist will need to choose alternative routes and plan accordingly. For travel between El Dorado Springs and Warsaw, please use alternative state routes; 54 to 83 or 13 to Z. 

Legislation 

This week I presented HB 1406, which I am sponsoring, in the Agriculture Committee. The current state statute of animal trespass was adopted into Missouri Law in 2013 (578.011), and it needs a correction. The statute of animal trespass was adopted because when livestock escape their confines. The only law on the books prior to 2013 was a statute called animal neglect. This statute didn’t really fit when law enforcement issued a citation to the owner of the escaped livestock. The correction that I have drafted will change the word “animal” to “livestock”. The main reason for making this correction is law enforcement, municipalities and county prosecutors are reluctant to write citizens a citation when their dogs are running at large. Under current law, municipalities can adopt their own local animal/pet ordinances instead of using the animal trespass law adopted in 2013. Currently, a person is guilty of animal trespass if that person with ownership or custody of an animal fails to provide adequate control of the animal for a period of 12 hours or more. HB 1406 clarifies that the statute will apply only to livestock and will not be used or confused with dogs running at large. 

VISITORS OF THE WEEK 

On Wednesday, I was able to visit with members of the Missouri Cattleman’s Association from Regions 6 and 7. It is always a pleasure to talk with this group while they promote their cause to the legislators.

Cattlemen Mitch Boggs, Carl Bettels and Dr. Curtis Long

Karen Stokes and her daughter Charlee visited the Capitol on Wednesday for Decoding Dyslexia Day 2020. Karen and Charlee came to inform legislators on bills that would implement reading programs specifically designed to help students with dyslexia into our school system.

Karen and Charlee Stokes

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 my Legislative Assistant Amy Helton.

“Ride’n for the Brand”

Warren D. Love
State Representative

Representing the good people

of the 125th District


CAPITOL REPORT - February 13, 2020.  On Tuesday evening I attended the MO Pork Producers Banquet in Columbia, MO. I attend these events to keep up on the issues that will affect my District. I personally purchased my own ticket for this function. Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe was the keynote speaker. He emphasized that our $88 billion Agriculture Industry is the number one industry in the state. Lt. Governor Kehoe also stressed that the world food demand will double by the year 2050. Missouri is in an excellent position to take advantage of this future growth opportunity. The current average estimated age of the Missouri farmer is 58, we need to recruit more young people into agriculture careers. 

Ag Director Chris Chinn presented the Leopold Conservation Award 2019 to Brinker Farms. The 2,800 sow farrow to finish farm is a 4,000 acre farm located in Callaway County. Senator Mike Bernskoetter was presented with the 2020 Outstanding Legislator Award. 

House Gives Initial Approval to PDMP Bill (HB 1693)

The Missouri House has given preliminary approval to a statewide monitoring program that supporters say will help combat prescription drug abuse. Missouri is the only state in the nation without a statewide program, though a program started by St. Louis County encompasses roughly 87 percent of the state’s population. House Bill 1693 would replace St. Louis County’s program with one that covers all of Missouri and puts additional protections in place for those whose data would be in the monitoring program. 

It would create an online database that doctors and pharmacists could use to record and monitor the purchases of pills and visits to pharmacies. The sponsor of the bill said it would help fight what has been called an “epidemic” of prescription drug use. The sponsor said her bill includes protections against information in the PDMP database being used to take away Missourians’ rights under the 2nd and 4th Amendments. She said those protections do not exist in the St. Louis County program. 

The bill was perfected by a roll call vote of 95-56.  Another favorable vote would send it to the Senate.

Bills Sent to the Senate

HB 1296 would prohibit prisoners from having cell phones in a prison or jail. Supporters say the bill is necessary to prevent illicit communications between inmates and other individuals. They say cell phones in prison are a problem and are often used for drug deals. 

HB 1934 would ensure greater transparency and accountability for the Public School Retirement System (PSRS). The bill exempts information pertaining to the salaries and benefits of the executive director and employees of the Board of the Public School Retirement System of Missouri from being confidential. 

VISITORS OF THE WEEK 

This week the Missouri Retired Teachers Association visited the Capitol to speak with legislators about the issues important to them. I was able to visit with many retired teachers from District 125 and thoroughly enjoyed catching up with some of the ladies I have known for years. 

Retired Teachers from Cedar, Hickory and St. Clair counties

 


CAPITOL REPORT - February 6, 2020.  The first event on Monday evening was a reception held by KAMO’s eight member Rural Electric Cooperative. My wife Marla drove up to Jefferson City to spend the evening with me on account it was my birthday. In keeping with Clean Missouri, no lobbyist were present and we enjoyed a nice meal. I attend these functions in order to keep informed on the rural electric co-ops of which I have 5 in District 125; Osage Valley, Sac-Osage, Southwest, Central and Co-Mo.

Sac Osage has applied for a $30-$40 million Broadband Grant to use for the expansion of fiber optic throughout the rural co-op district of 8,600 members. They should know if they will receive it by Sept 2020. When meeting with the gentleman from Sac Osage, they expressed the need for new legislation that would allow them the right to ingress and egress while installing the new fiber optic wiring on the current infrastructure and give protection from frivolous lawsuits.

Sac Osage Cooperative: Jim Davis, Tim Minehardt, Ralph Bland, Aaron Ash and Ted Woodrell 

On Tuesday I met with Katy Trail Community Health Members of the Missouri Primary Care Association to discuss the good work of Community Health Centers. They expressed support for Missouri’s Medicaid reform, especially the efforts to expand access to preventive and primary care, reduce unnecessary emergency department visits and implement community-based care coordination. 

Scott Crouch from Ozark Community Health Center, Chris Stewart, Marie Bowman and Linda Messenger from Katy Trail Community Health 

Legislators Approve Bill to Increase Accountability for Public School Retirement System (HB 1934)

 Lawmakers gave initial approval to a bill that would ensure greater transparency and accountability for the Public School Retirement System (PSRS). The bill’s sponsor noted that of the 16 retirement systems created in statute only PSRS does not currently have to follow transparency requirements with regard to their salary benefits.

“I believe it is critical for all systems like PSRS to be as transparent as possible so the general public has confidence in those controlling those systems,” said the sponsor.

The bill exempts information pertaining to the salaries and benefits of the executive director and employees of the Board of the Public School Retirement System of Missouri from being confidential. Supporters say the bill will require the Public School Retirement System of Missouri to report the salary and benefits information of the director and employees of the system in the same way all other public employee retirement systems in the state already do. 

UPCOMING EVENTS - I have invited Craig Johnson from the Streamline Sales Tax Governing Board to the Capitol for an informational meeting. Mr. Johnson will explain the benefits that Missouri would receive if they adopt House Bill 1967. The meeting will be held at the Capitol on Wednesday, February 12th at 4 pm in House Hearing Room 4.

To read the bill visit: https://house.mo.gov/Bill.aspx?bill=HB1967&year=2020&code=R


CAPITOL REPORT - January 30, 2020.  Each weekend while at home I read through all seven of the newspapers throughout District 125. I concentrate on the news of county commissions, cities and schools. One news item that I felt a need to respond to was from The Hermitage Index news article of the Hickory County Commission. It was about a grant application to seek funding to enact a 911 system for Hickory County. Monday morning, on my way to the Capitol, I stopped by the Hickory County Courthouse and briefly visited with presiding Commissioner Keith Mertz. I shared the 2018 legislation on funding 911 systems that was adopted into Missouri Statute. This new law had made quality emergency 911 services more readily available to all Missourians. It provides 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 also gives counties additional options for funding their local 911 services, and gives local voters more freedom to approve the funding method that works best for their county. Counties can also join with other counties to create a district or regional co-op. 

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 §190.460 allows Missouri to have 911 services statewide, including the counties that have no service at all. The law also allows 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 new law allows 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 law also creates 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. 

State Statute 190.455: https://revisor.mo.gov/main/OneSection.aspx?section=190.455&bid=47685&hl=

On Wednesday, during Cowboys at the Capitol I was able to visit with cattlemen from Regions 1 and 2. I always enjoy hosting these men and women while they promote their cause to the legislators.

PHOTO: Cattlemen Eric Greenley, Brad Deeken and David Schlemeyer

Bill to Combat Drug Trafficking Headed to the Senate (HB 1450

Another bill the Missouri House sent to the Senate this week would increase penalties for trafficking a dangerous drug, the use of which can easily result in overdoses. 

The House voted to make it a class-B felony to knowingly distribute, make, or attempt to distribute or make, more than 10 milligrams of fentanyl or its derivatives. This would carry a penalty of five to 15 years in prison. Making or distributing 20 or more milligrams would be a class-A felony, carrying a sentence of 10 to 30 years in prison. 

Law enforcement advocates have told lawmakers that fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It is being trafficked frequently in Missouri – particularly illegally made – and is often mixed with other drugs like heroin or cocaine, often resulting very easily in overdose deaths. 

The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.


CAPITOL REPORT - January 23, 2020.  Last fall several constituents around Lowry City asked me what the current State Statute is concerning the illumination of Amish buggies. They were concerned about safety of local citizens because of the lack of illumination on these slow-moving vehicles. Missouri State Statute 307.127 states: 

“No person shall operate on any public highway of this state any slow-moving vehicle or equipment after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise, any animal-drawn vehicle, or any other machinery, designed for use or normally operated at speeds less than twenty-five miles per hour, including all road construction or maintenance machinery except when engaged in actual construction or maintenance work either guarded by a flagman or clearly visible warning signs. The emblem required by subsection 1 of this section shall be of substantial construction, and shall be a basedown equilateral triangle of fluorescent yellow-orange film or equivalent quality paint with a base of not less than fourteen inches and an altitude of not less than twelve inches.  Such triangle shall be bordered with reflective red strips having a minimum width of one and three-fourths inches, with the vertices of the overall triangle truncated such that the remaining altitude shall be a minimum of fourteen inches.  Such emblem shall be mounted on the rear of such vehicle near the horizontal geometric center of the rearmost vehicle at a height of not less than four feet above the roadway, and shall be maintained in a clean, reflective condition.  The provisions of this section shall not apply to any vehicle or equipment being operated on a gravel or dirt-surfaced public highway. Any person operating an animal-drawn vehicle on any public highway of this state may, in lieu of displaying the emblem required by subsections 1 and 2 of this section, equip the animal-drawn vehicle with reflective material complying with rules and regulations promulgated by the director of the department of public safety.  The reflective material shall be visible from a distance of not less than five hundred feet to the rear when illuminated by the lower beams of vehicle headlights.”  

I met with some of the leaders of the Amish community in the recent weeks. In our discussions they expressed their hesitancy in using the orange triangle. I spoke with the Missouri Department of Public Safety to find out what could be used in lieu of the triangle. The Department of Public Safety rules for alternative equipment for animal drawn vehicles is as follows: “In lieu of the yellow-orange triangle with reflective red strips required by subsection 2 of section 307.127, RSMo an operator of an animal-drawn vehicle may substitute a basedown equilateral triangle of white or light gray film or equivalent quality paint with a base of not less than fourteen inches (14") and an altitude of not less than twelve inches (12"). Such triangle shall be bordered with reflective white strips having a minimum width of one and three-fourths inches (1 3/4"), with the vertices of the overall triangle truncated such that the remaining altitude shall be a minimum of fourteen inches (14"). Such emblem shall be mounted on the rear of such vehicle near the horizontal geometric center of the rearmost vehicle at a height of not less than four feet (4’) above the roadway, and shall be maintained in a clean, reflective condition. The reflective material shall be visible from a distance of not less than five hundred feet (500’) to the rear when illuminated by the lower beams of vehicle headlights.” 

I have presented the laws and requirements, to the Amish leaders and I have encouraged the Amish community to adopt a safety sign. 

House Members Act to Protect Property Owners from Eminent Domain Abuse (HB 2033) 

The members of the Missouri House of Representatives have once again stood in defense of the rights of property owners. Just as they did during the 2019 session, lawmakers approved a bill specifying that a private entity cannot use the power of eminent domain for the purposes of constructing above-ground power lines. 

The legislation approved by the House would prevent the use of eminent domain for the purpose of constructing the Grain Belt Express transmission line. Supporters of the bill said it is important to prohibit private companies from using eminent domain to maximize their profits for a project that will provide little benefit for Missouri consumers. They say less than 12 percent of the electricity carried by the transmission line would be sold to Missouri consumers. The bill now requires another vote in the House before moving to the Senate for consideration.


CAPITOL REPORT - January 16, 2020.  Nearly every year since 1975 I have attended the annual Missouri Cattleman’s Convention. This year the 52nd Annual Convention was held in Columbia. We always try to honor a member that has contributed to the founding of the association. This year Morris Westfall from Halfway, Missouri was recognized with the Pioneer Award. He has been a Mentor and Role Model to many members, including myself over the years as he was one of our Associations Founding Members. 2005 MCA President Howard Hardecke said, “Morris is no stranger to the agricultural industry, especially the beef industry, in Missouri. He has a long record of accomplishments and is a well-known, well respected and appreciated advocate for all things agriculture related."

PHOTO: Morris Westfall

Also at the convention the St. Clair County Cattlemen's Association was named Outstanding County Affiliate for expanding membership and increasing involvement at the county and state levels. St. Clair County also made strides to be more engaged with the community. The county affiliate received a Gallagher TW-3 Weigh Scale set valued at $3,600.  

PHOTO: St. Clair County Cattleman’s Association

MCA’s Resolutions Committee amended their resolution on feral hogs to state “Whereas, the Missouri Department of Conservation is relying solely on trapping and a shooting/trapping ban on public lands has created a safe haven for feral hogs but opposes any ban on shooting/trapping feral hogs on private or public lands.” This Session I filed HB 1967 that states “Currently, any person who knowingly or recklessly releases any swine to live in the wild or possesses or transports certain live wild boar without a permit from the Department of Agriculture is guilty of a class A misdemeanor. This bill changes the penalties to a class E felony. The bill also changes the term "feral hog" to "feral swine" and specifies that any person who kills a feral swine outside without the consent of the landowner or not in compliance with certain requirements is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.”

To read the full bill visit https://house.mo.gov/bill.aspx?bill=HB1798&year=2020&code=R

This week I was visited by a great man, Dr. James A. Noland Jr. a 94 year old WWII veteran. Dr. Noland was also a former State Representative and State Senator, a former Principal and Superintendent with his doctorate in Psychology. He is visiting the Capitol to lobby for a property tax cut for disabled veterans and was accompanied by his care-giver for disabled veterans Cindy Natal.

PHOTO: Cindy Natal and Dr. James Noland

On Wednesday, the House and Senate convened for a special joint session to receive the governor’s annual State of the State Address. Lawmakers gathered in the House Chamber to listen to Governor Parson share his priorities for the 2020 session.

Parson highlighted some of the accomplishments that he and the legislature were able to achieve in 2019. He pointed out that they were able to secure a $1.5 billion investment from General Motors that will keep good-paying jobs in the state and discussed the millions of dollars being invested to repair and rebuild many of Missouri’s aging bridges.

Turning to his priorities for the year ahead, Parson focused on strengthening Missouri’s communities, supporting education and preparing the state’s workforce for the jobs of the future, updating the state’s aging infrastructure, and making government more efficient. Parson said, “We have made record progress over the past year, but there is still more to do and much more we can achieve with hard work. That is why my call this legislative session is to propose initiatives aimed at building stronger communities, improving workforce development and education, revitalizing our aging infrastructure, and making government more accountable.”

On Thursday my HCR 61 was heard in the Special Committee on Tourism. Bethany Braley was my guest and spoke to the committee on the Resolution. She did an excellent job on updating the committee on the progress of National Day of the Cowboy and explained the cultural, educational and economic benefits to Missouri passing this bill. Bethany also brought with her the National Day of the Cowboy Flag. This flag has traveled 5,700,000 miles to the International Space Station aboard the space shuttle Discovery and it was said by the Washington Post that the flag’s trip was “Bringing the Old Frontier into the New Frontier”. 

To read the HCR 61 visit: https://house.mo.gov/Bill.aspx?bill=HCR61&year=2020&code=R 

For more information on National Day of the cowboy check out their website and Facebook page: 

https://www.facebook.com/National-Day-of-the-Cowboy-Preserve-the-Heritage-143980647838/?ref=ts 

https://nationaldayofthecowboy.com/

PHOTO: Bethany Braley 

UPCOMING EVENTS – The 2nd annual Farm to Fork Summit will be held in Osceola at First Assembly of God, 3845 Old Hwy 13 on Tuesday, February 11, 2020. The Summit will feature farmers, distributors, buyers, educators, and more. University of Missouri Vice Chancellor for Extension, Marshall Stewart will share his perspective on food and farming as the keynote speaker. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit their Facebook page. 

https://www.facebook.com/events/osceola-first-assembly-of-god-church/farm-to-fork-summit/255268405141922/


CAPITOL REPORT - January 9, 2020.  The first thing I did as I headed back to Jefferson City was restock my refrigerator for the upcoming Session. I need a good stock of Osceola cheese, summer sausage and pork-and-beans to get me through the upcoming days ahead. 

My first order of business when I arrived was to pre-file HB 1967. This bill would give our State Department of Revenue the approval to join in with Streamline Sales Tax Inc. along with the 24 other current states. This would allow us to use their current Certified Service Providers to collect the online sales tax and send to our Department of Revenue on a monthly basis which will then be distributed to all current taxing jurisdictions which include municipalities and counties. 

I then attended the Missouri Chamber Informational Seminar. The Governor’s Chief of Staff presented their priorities for this upcoming Session. They talked a lot about infrastructure and work force development. 

Tuesday, Marla and I attend the annual Concord Baptist Prayer Breakfast. This was my 8th time to attend the breakfast. I want to thank Pastor Monte Shinkle and all of the volunteers that work to provide such a wonderful experience for government officials. The guests in attendance were from the Executive Office, Senate, House of Representatives and members of the Missouri Supreme Court. The keynote speaker was Captain Jose Rondon, U.S. Army Chaplin of Fort Leonard Wood. He delivered a tremendous message. I was so pleased to hear that since March of 2018, 10,000+ soldiers at Fort Leonard Wood have accepted Christ as their personal Savior. 

Wednesday was the first day of my last Session and there was very little fanfare. We opened the second session of the 100th General Assembly with the official formalities, posting of the colors by the Missouri Highway Patrol, a reading of the Bill of Rights, the swearing in of six new Members of the House and introduction of special guests. The new members were officially sworn in by House Speaker Elijah Haahr. With their addition, the House now has 114 Republicans, 48 Democrats, and one vacancy.

After Session adjourned, a short press conference was held. Speaker Elijah Haahr said the House would not be supportive of an increase in the gas tax, but would consider a Wayfair fix that would level the playing field for Missouri businesses. Missouri is currently one of only two states with a general sales tax that does not tax remote sales. A Wayfair fix would allow the state to collect taxes from out-of-state retailers. During the press conference, the Speaker also said the legislature is ready to craft a fiscally responsible state budget. Lawmakers will again make education funding a top priority as they prepare the state operating budget. Haahr noted that the House already has 866 pieces of legislation filed. His office will refer approximately 100 bills to committee this week so work on the bills can begin. The legislature has until May 15th to get bills across the legislative finish line and to the governor’s desk. 

On Thursday I attended the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast with keynote speaker Dr. Ben Carson, United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Secretary Carson spoke on why we have the freedoms in this country that we so enjoy and about the importance of unity. This man is a great example to our nation as he stated “We are gathered together this morning to seek God’s guidance.” 

UPCOMING EVENTS – The 2nd annual Farm to Fork Summit will be held in Osceola at First Assembly of God, 3845 Old Hwy 13 on Tuesday, February 11, 2020. The Summit will feature farmers, distributors, buyers, educators, and more. University of Missouri Vice Chancellor for Extension, Marshall Stewart will share his perspective on food and farming as the keynote speaker. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit their Facebook page. 

https://www.facebook.com/events/osceola-first-assembly-of-god-church/farm-to-fork-summit/255268405141922/ 


CAPITOL REPORT January 2, 2020.  As 2019 comes to a close and Missourians prepare to usher in the New Year, it’s important to remember that the past year has been a good one for the state in many ways. It was a year marked by strong economic growth and job creation, and consistently low unemployment. It was also a year that saw the General Assembly create tools that will prepare Missouri workers for the jobs of tomorrow, and invest in the state’s transportation system so that it will be able to meet the needs of future generations.

 As the year comes to an end, Missouri is fortunate to have only 3.1 percent unemployment across the state. This figure is one that has been consistently lower than the national average. Overall, the state has seen more than 37,000 new jobs created across key industries over the last year. Signs of Missouri’s healthy, growing economy can also be seen in the state’s revenue figures. To date the state has seen revenue growth of more than 7 percent, which equates to an additional $300 million in the state’s coffers when compared to the same time last year. Missouri’s revenue growth to this point is well ahead of what was predicted by the state’s consensus 

2019 was also a good year for education in Missouri. The legislature provided record funding for elementary and secondary education by once again fully funding the School Foundation Formula. Lawmakers also approved an increase in the core funding for most of the state’s four-year colleges and universities. This commitment to education funding has helped the state move closer to its higher education goal of seeing 60 percent of working-age adults earn a certificate or degree by 2025. As of 2019, the percentage is at 53.7, and Missouri has seen the raw number of college graduates increase by 11.6 percent over of the past eight years. This includes a 26 percent increase in technical and community college graduates,

Now as the people of Missouri say goodbye to 2019, they look ahead to what 2020 will hold for them. The Missouri General Assembly will convene on January 8 for the 2020 legislative session. Lawmakers will strive to make Missouri an even better place to live, work, and raise a family by continuing to focus on priority issues such as job creation, economic development, education, public safety and infrastructure.

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