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 - July 12, 2018.  It’s the season for County Youth Fairs!  While attending the Land-O-Lakes Youth Fair in El Dorado Springs, I visited with Kendra Stewart of Osceola.  She is showing a Black Whiteface Crossbred Heifer.  Youth fairs are a great way for our youth to learn responsibility and skills of caring for livestock.


I am happy to report that Governor Parson signed legislation last Friday that will allow all Missouri counties the ability to collect fees to enhance 911 services.  It will be up to eachcounty commission to submit to the voters of the county a proposal to authorize the commission to enact a tax for the purpose of providing central dispatching of fire protection, emergency ambulance service, including emergency telephone services, and other emergency services.  It will be limited not to exceed $1.50 per device on subscribers of any communications service or owner of any device enabled to contact 911 solely for the purpose of funding 911 service in the county.  If approved by the voters, revenue from this fee, except for certain administrative and collection costs of the providers and the Department of Revenue, will be deposited into the Missouri 911 Service Trust Fund to be remitted monthly by the Director of the Department of Revenue to the governing body of the county.  

The effective date of this law is August 28, 2018.  Choosing to enact this tax will provide the ability to drastically reduce the time involved in responding to an emergency.  Previously, taxes have only been collected on landlines, which are steadily declining, to cover 911 services.   Throughout the committee hearings on this legislation, the advocates testifying in favor have been overwhelming.  They include:  the MO Ambulance Association, the American Heart Association, Missouri Nurses Association, Missouri State Council of Firefighters, Missouri Fire Service Alliance, Missouri Chapter Association of Public Safety Communication Officials, Missouri Committee for the Deaf, Missouri Municipal League, Missouri Police Chiefs Association, Missouri Association of Counties, Missouri 911 Directors Organization, Missouri National Emergency Number Association, Missouri Cable Telecommunications Association, the Missouri Chapter of the National Social Workers, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, and many more. 


Three pieces of legislation approved by the General Assembly this year (SBs 718, 826 and 951) all contained a provision to help fight prescription drug abuse. The change to state law will expand Missouri’s drug take back program so that Missourians are more easily able to dispose of their unwanted prescription medications. 

Citizens will be able to discard unfinished prescriptions year-round by dropping them off at authorized sites such as pharmacies. (Without the change, Missouri pharmacies would be barred from taking prescriptions they did not dispense.)  Specifically, unused controlled substances will be accepted from the public through collection receptacles, drug disposal boxes, and other means provided through drug take back programs by a drug enforcement agency-authorized collector in accordance with federal regulations, regardless of whether or not the authorized collector originally dispensed the drug.

The act also requires the Department of Health and Senior Services to develop an education and awareness program about drug disposal by August 28, 2019.  The program will be a web-based resource that describes available drug disposal options, provides a list of take back sites, and provides a list of take back events.  The goal is to allow collection in as many places as possible to make it easy for people to dispose of unused prescription drugs and get them off the streets.  


As Fiscal Year 2018 ended at the close of June, the state received good news regarding the healthier-than-expected growth of state revenues.  While state budget leaders had predicted growth of 1.9 percent, the state saw the fiscal year end with growth of 5 percent.  I attribute this more-than-double growth to low unemployment rates and a thriving economy in Missouri. 


“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.   –More information will be posted regularly.

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 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 - June 28, 2018. July 4th… while most simply refer to it as the Fourth of July, the people of this great nation cannot and should not forget its true designation as Independence Day.  This special day is far more than just another on the calendar, or a reason to take time off from work.  It is recognition of the battles fought; the lives given; and the peace that was forged in order to form a more perfect union.  It is a celebration of all that makes America great and a reminder that the freedoms that define this nation were hard-earned, and require the continued commitment of the American people to maintain.

Interestingly, while the nation will celebrate its independence on July 4, it is the date of July 2, 1776 that marks when a closed session of Congress first approved a resolution of independence.  In fact, it was John Adams who wrote, “The second day of July, 1776 will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America.  I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary festival.”  Adams missed the mark by two days, as the nation now celebrates the date shown on the Declaration of Independence, but his point remains valid about the annual celebration that occurs in recognition of this nation's greatness. 

As we gather this year for Independence Day to enjoy time with family and friends, eat some barbecue, watch some fireworks, or however we choose to celebrate, it's important to remember the date itself is not what defines this holiday.  Yes, many will always refer to the holiday as the Fourth of July, but the true meaning of this annual celebration is to remind all Americans about the struggle this nation underwent to achieve independence, and to give us an appreciation for how abundantly blessed we are to live in a nation where we are truly free.   America is the greatest nation on earth, and we have reason to be truly thankful for all we have not only on Independence Day, but on each and every day the United States continues to be the land of the free and the home of the brave, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all! 


PHOTO: A new Dollar General is being completed in Hermitage.  Tentative plans for opening are on Monday, July 23, 2018.

PHOTO: Construction is well underway for a new MFA feed processing facility in Lowry City. 


MoDOT would like to remind everyone that local law enforcement will be out in full force June 29-July 4 on the lookout for impaired drivers.  There are no warnings issued; impaired driving equals immediate arrest.  Don’t risk losing your independence by choosing to drink and drive.  Last year over the July 4th holiday, there were 26 people killed and 72 seriously injured in traffic crashes in Missouri.  Of the 26 people killed, 16 were involved in a crash where there was at least one substance-impaired driver. 

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety recommends always wearing your seatbelt; planning a safe way home before the fun begins; designating a sober driver ahead of time; and if you see an impaired driver on the road, don’t hesitate to call law enforcement.  


The Missouri Department of Agriculture reminds all farmers and pesticide applicators across Missouri that, according to Missouri’s 24c label, all applications of ENGENIA, FEXAPAN and XTENDIMAX for the 2018 growing season must come to a halt when any of the following apply: 

  • Soybeans reach the first reproductive growth stage (R1 – first flower).
  • Wind is blowing in the direction of neighboring sensitive crops (ex. non-dicamba tolerant soybeans, vegetable and fruit crops, etc.).
  • Spraying cut-off dates have passed.  

The Missouri 24c labels for ENGENIA, FEXAPAN and XTENDIMAX prohibit the use of these three products after June 10, 2018, in Southeast Missouri and after July 15, 2018, in all remaining Missouri counties.

CAPITOL REPORT - June 21, 2018.  Grease under fingernails, skinned knuckles, and sweaty brows are what many fescue seed harvesters experienced this last week.  Due to above average temperatures in May and June, the fescue seed matured about a week earlier than usual.  Most fescue seed harvesters use older combines that corn, soybean and wheat farmers have nearly worn out and traded in for newer and larger machines.  As a result, the older, smaller combines used to harvest fescue seed require a lot of maintenance and repairs.  Nearly all my time was spent last week operating an old 1967 Model G Gleaner in 90 degree plus temperatures. Since the air conditioner in the cab no longer works, we just open the door and a window and hope for a breeze once in a while. The days start at 7 AM and end at about 9:30 PM. This has caused supper to be at 10 PM each night.  

I write this to inform about the economic contribution that comes from the fescue seed industry. Since Kentucky 31 Tall Fescue revolutionized the home grass seed industry a half-century ago, homeowners across the United States have turned to this dependable, economical grass seed for durable, low-maintenance lawns.  More than two-thirds of all KY-31 Missouri seed farmers balance raising cattle, growing traditional crops and producing KY-31 seed, all while facing the challenges of unpredictable Midwest weather.  In Missouri, hailstorms and last-minute windstorms can steal a seed crop in a single strike.  Fields that look fine one day can be lost to high winds the next. Even when weather and growing conditions align for optimal seed production, farmers only have a two to three week window, right before the Fourth of July. 

A normal Missouri harvest of KY-31 typically yields between 50 and 60 million pounds of quality KY-31 Tall Fescue grass seed. Due to the current short supply of fescue seed, higher prices result when low supply meets high demand.  Across the seed industry, at wholesale and retail levels, KY-31 seed prices are at all-time highs.  The buying stations are currently paying 63 cents for wet and 65 cents per pound for dry seed right off the truck.  With average yields of 100 to 300 pounds per acre, that pencils out to be somewhere between $60.00 and $180.00 per acre. This is good news for Missouri seed producers.

PHOTO: Auguring fescue seed into my son’s truck as John waits to deliver it to Beachner Seed Buying Station in Quincy, which is operated by Austin Rains. 


As of yesterday evening, MoDOT crews have laid and compacted over 9,000 tons of asphalt - nearly a quarter of the estimated total for the Highway 13 project of approximately 41,000 tons.  All work on the project is to be complete by September 4th.  The project limits include the northbound lanes from the St. Clair County line to Osceola and the southbound lanes from Lakeland south to Osceola.  Southwest District Area Engineer Daniel Roeger explained that the overlayment is occurring only to the asphalt sections; concrete sections are not being disturbed.   Roeger also mentioned to please call 1-888-ASK-MODOT (1-888-275-6636) for any questions or concerns.

PHOTO: Work began Wednesday, 6/13, at the St. Clair/Polk County line in the north bound lanes of Route 13.  The contractor, APAC-Central, has completed paving the asphalt sections of the driving and passing lanes from the county line to Collins with only the right shoulder remaining, as well as the north bound driving lane, for just over five miles north of Collins. 


A piece of legislation that has already been signed into law by the governor is meant to encourage and assist veterans to start and grow their own businesses. The bill would allow veteran-owned small businesses to participate in the Missouri Linked Deposit Program. 

After World War II, 49 percent of returning veterans started their own businesses because a federal loan guarantee was available. Currently, only 6 percent of returning veterans start their own businesses. This new legislation can provide veterans with an opportunity to start their own business and contribute to the state's economy. 

The state’s linked deposit program partners with lending institutions to provide low-interest loans to help grow and expand economic opportunity across Missouri. The bill allows eligible veteran-owned small businesses to participate in the program. Eligible businesses are defined as any business owned by an honorably discharged veteran and Missouri resident who has agreed to locate his or her business in the state for at least three years and employs less than 100 employees, a majority of whom are Missouri residents. The bill also states that lending institutions must give preference to businesses owned by veterans when considering which small businesses should receive reduced-rate loans through the program. 


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  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 - 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.


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!  


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. 


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? 


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  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 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. 


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. 


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. 


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. 


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  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. 

 Top of page