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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MO HOUSE REACHES SESSION MIDPOINT: 

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

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

VISITORS THIS WEEK

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

It is my honor to serve the constituents of District 125. If you ever have questions, concerns, or input, please feel free to contact me any time at (573) 751-4065.

YOUR District 125 capitol office is 235B, and YOU are always welcome!

If you would like to be added to the e-mail list to receive our Capitol Reports, you can e-mail me at warren.love@house.mo.gov or call the Capitol office at (573) 751-4065 and speak with Kelley Rogers, my Legislative Assistant.

“Ride’n for the Brand”

State Representative

—Representing the good people

of the 125th District—


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

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

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

BIG BILL OF THE WEEK: 

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

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

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

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

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

VETERANS INVITED: 

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

TOWN HALL MEETINGS SCHEDULED: 

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

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

VISITORS THIS WEEK:

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

LEGISLATION THIS WEEK: 

What turned out to be the “Big Bill” of the week was sort of an unexpected curve ball thrown to the legislation.  In response to a Missouri Supreme Court decision that invalidated part of Missouri’s minimum wage law, lawmakers are moving quickly to implement a fix that would provide a consistent wage in municipalities throughout the state in House Bills 1193 and 1194.  The House approved the legislation this week that would reaffirm that the state’s minimum wage is applied throughout Missouri, and keeps the decision to raise wages in the hands of the employer and employee. 

While the state currently has a minimum wage that increases based on the Consumer Price Index, and is currently higher than the federal minimum wage, some municipalities have considered their own increases. St. Louis passed an ordinance to raise its minimum wage to $10 an hour this year and $11 an hour by 2018. The legislation approved by the House would preempt and nullify the minimum wage enacted by St. Louis, and provide that other municipalities cannot enact a minimum wage that exceeds the one established by state law.  With nearly 4 hours of debate on Wednesday and 2 hours on Thursday, I felt compelled to speak on the issue of wage rates, whether it is minimum, living or prevailing.  I started by reading five themes from a book entitled “Wealth of Nations” written by Adam Smith.  Mr. Smith was a Scottish economist, philosopher, and author.  This book, written in the 1700’s, is considered to be the “Bible of Capitalism.”  The main theme is: commerce, labor, and production of goods and services perform best when government stays out of the way.  The reality is this issue may turn out to be a molehill compared to a mountain when we bring up debate on my HB104 which will do a full repeal of prevailing wage statewide and allow all public works to be bid to qualified/competitive bidders. 

VETERANS INVITED: 

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

TOWN HALL MEETINGS SCHEDULED: 

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

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

VISITORS THIS WEEK:

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

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

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


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

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

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

LEGISLATION THIS WEEK: 

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

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

VETERANS INVITED: 

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

TOWN HALL MEETINGS SCHEDULED: 

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

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

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

VISITORS THIS WEEK:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

LEGISLATION THIS WEEK:

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

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

VETERANS INVITED: 

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

TOWN HALL MEETINGS SCHEDULED: 

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

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

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

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

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

VISITORS THIS WEEK:

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

REMOVING BURDENSOME REGULATIONS FOR HAIR BRAIDERS (HB230): 

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

PROTECTING MISSOURI’S PEACE OFFICERS (HB57): 

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

VISITORS THIS WEEK:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

CEMETERY FUNDS: 

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

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

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

After hearings, discussion, and debate on this issue, it has become apparent that local cemetery boards, local communities, and descendants of buried ancestors need to take action and contribute monetarily through donations or fundraisers to increase endowment funds until state statutes are revised or interest rates increase.  Keep in mind, no funding comes from state taxpayers’ resources. 

VISITORS THIS WEEK:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

PREVAILING WAGE (HB104)

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

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

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

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

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

VISITORS THIS WEEK:

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

 

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


CAPITOL REPORT - January 26, 2017.  My in-district day on Friday, January 20th, started at the El Dorado Springs High School.  I shared the first two hours with Civics class students about the legislative process and the day-to-day work of a state representative.  I then attended a ribbon cutting for the grand opening of the new Citizens Memorial Hospital El Dorado Springs Medical Clinic. 

My very early morning drive to the Capitol on Monday was through a lot of thick fog.  I left home extra early to attend a tort reform forum given by the Federalist Society.  This was their first Missouri Capitol forum, and the conservative and libertarian legal organization used the small convention to discuss efforts by the Missouri Legislature to enact new laws regarding tort reform and other changes to the legal process. Governor Eric Greitens opened the meeting by presenting his agenda for making Missouri a better place for businesses to relocate to our state and preventing the threat of frivolous lawsuits.  

STATE OF THE JUDICIARY: 

House and Senate members convened for a joint session this week to receive the annual State of the Judiciary Address.  Delivered by Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Patricia Breckenridge, the speech focused on the reforms and improvements made by the court system and the need to improve pretrial incarceration practices in Missouri.  She noted that the Missouri Constitution specifies individuals may be incarcerated before trial only when charged with a capital offense; when a danger to a crime victim, a witness, or the community; or when a flight risk.  Despite this, she said people are incarcerated because they are too poor to post bond. Breckenridge pointed out the likelihood that an individual will commit future crimes increases after only three days in jail. She also emphasized the success rate and promoted the utilization of drug courts.Drug court is a multi-phase program involving a comprehensive assessment to determine treatment needs and after care programming. Other services are based on the individual needs of the offender. 

HOUSE MEMBERS REJECT PROPOSED PAY INCREASE (HCR 4): 

House members came together in bipartisan fashion this week to overwhelmingly reject a proposed pay increase for elected officials and judges. The House approved a resolution that would prevent the pay increase recommendations made by the Citizens’ Commission on Compensation for Elected Officials from going into effect. The commission meets every two years according to the state constitution.  Once the commission makes its recommendation, it automatically goes into effect unless the legislature rejects the proposal before February 1. It takes a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate to keep the increases from going into effect.  House members believe the difficult budget situation faced by the state this year makes it even more important to ensure taxpayer dollars are saved for priority items such as education and services for Missouri’s most vulnerable citizens. 

VISITORS THIS WEEK:

PHOTO ABOVE: Constituents San and Deb Simaitis were visiting the Capitol on January 24th.  Deb is Chairperson of the Governor’s Organ Donation Advisory Committee and testified at a Senate hearing on Tuesday.  I am sponsoring HB105 hoping to remove the sunset date of December 31, 2017, for the organ donor program fund checkoff on the state individual and corporate income tax returns.

PHOTO ABOVE: Also visiting the Capitol on Tuesday, Chele Trammell with Katy Trail Community Health in Sedalia and Scott Crouch with Ozarks Community Health Center.

PHOTO ABOVE: The Hermitage/Wheatland Cross Country Team was presented with a resolution on the House Floor on Wednesday, in honor of the team’s 3rd consecutive year as Class 1 State Champions!


CAPITOL REPORT - January 19, 2017.  All federal and state government offices observed Martin Luther King Day on Monday, January 16th.  It was nice to have Monday as a holiday because it gave me the opportunity to do some work at the ranch and tend to the animals after several days of icing, rain, and cold temperatures.  I would like to give a big thank you to the Missouri Department of Transportation and all the county and city road crews who worked long hours keeping most of main roads open for travel during the ice storm.  Their hard work and dedication is greatly appreciated and helped keep Missouri citizens safe over the weekend.  As well, I am very grateful to all the electrical linemen who worked overtime to prevent long power outages.  There were a few power outages throughout the district, but they were short-lived thanks to these linemen and their quick response time. 

AGRICULTURE & FORESTRY CONTRIBUTIONS IN DISTRICT 125: 

On Tuesday, before I headed to Jefferson City, I had the opportunity to meet with the Benton County Commissioners and presented them with some information about becoming an Agri-Ready County administered by Missouri Farmers Care (MFC).  Agri-Ready County designation, a voluntary program with MFC, recognizes counties that actively support Missouri agriculture through establishing an environment and county policies conducive to agricultural business success.  A participating county adopts a policy that states they will not adopt any regulations or ordinances stricter than what the current Department of Natural Resources statutes require. Receiving this designation provides counties with extensive networking and resources to promote, encourage and equip existing and new business entities to expand, locate and do business in Agri-Ready designated counties. 

I want to share some very interesting statistics that were published in a newly released study by the Missouri Department of Agriculture on Economic Contributions of Agriculture and Forestry: 

Overall Agriculture & Forestry Contributions to Benton County:

Agricultural, forestry, and related industries support 1,087 jobs in Benton County. Additionally, these industries contribute $131.3 million in sales, which translates to $76.7 million in added value to the area after $54.6 million worth of inputs are purchased. Of this $76.7 million, $33.1 million is comprised of labor income. Tax revenues generated by the agricultural, forestry, and related industries in Benton County are $10.5 million. 

Overall Agriculture & Forestry Contributions to Cedar County:

Agricultural, forestry, and related industries support 1,183 jobs in Cedar County. Additionally, these industries contribute $104.5 million in sales, which translates to $40.5 million in added value to the area after $64.0 million worth of inputs are purchased. Of this $40.5 million, $22.1 million is comprised of labor income. Tax revenues generated by the agricultural, forestry, and related industries in Cedar County are $7.4 million. 

Overall Agriculture & Forestry Contributions to Hickory County:

Agricultural, forestry, and related industries support 528 jobs in Hickory County. Additionally, these industries contribute $49.2 million in sales, which translates to $25.4 million in added value to the area after $23.8 million worth of inputs are purchased. Of this $25.4 million, $13.2 million is comprised of labor income. Tax revenues generated by the agricultural, forestry, and related industries in Hickory County are $4.1 million. 

Overall Contributions to St. Clair County:

Agricultural, forestry, and related industries support 935 jobs in St. Clair County. Additionally, these industries contribute $76.3 million in sales, which translates to $43.0 million in added value to the area after $33.4 million worth of inputs are purchased. Of this $43.0 million, $20.9 million is comprised of labor income. Tax revenues generated by the agricultural, forestry, and related industries in St. Clair County are $6.2 million. 

GOVERNOR GREITENS’ FIRST ANNUAL STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS: 

Similar to the Opening Day Address given by the House Speaker, Governor Greitens’ speech focused on the need to make Missouri a Right-to-Work state in order to promote job creation and economic growth. Greitens also echoed the Speaker’s words as he called for a ban on lobbyist gifts to legislators; tort reform to make Missouri’s court system fair for all litigants; a reduction in the regulatory burden that too often stifles job creation and economic growth; and education reform that includes education savings accounts for children with special needs. 

VISITORS THIS WEEK: 

I was welcomed by a visit from Diana Hoemann, Executive Director of Care Connections for Aging Services, Sedalia office, on Wednesday.  It was great to have Ms. Hoemann spend time in the office advocating on behalf of senior citizens. 

I also received a visit by the West Central Association of Realtors on Wednesday afternoon.  It was Missouri Realtors Day at the Capitol which provides realtors the opportunity to advocate for their interested legislative priorities.  (Please see photo below.)


CAPITOL REPORT - January 5, 2017.  Once again, for about the 40th time, Marla, my wife, and I attended the 49th Annual Missouri Cattlemen’s Association State Convention held last weekend on January 6th-8th.  I have been an MCA member and attended nearly every annual meeting since 1975 as a beef producer representing Love Ranch.  However, 4 years ago when I was elected as a State Representative, I now have the great opportunity to attend as a Legislator and a Cattleman. My reputation and voting record at the Capitol while serving on the Agriculture Policy Committee shows that I am a friend of the farmer and livestock operations that produce meat, milk, and eggs.  It was a complete surprise when the MCA awarded me the Legislator of the Year Award this past weekend.  I am very humbled and grateful to receive this award and will proudly display it in my office at the Capitol.

Pictured:  Shannon Cooper, MCA Lobbyist; Mike Deering, MCA Executive Director; Past MCA President Jimmie Long; and Rep. Love.

Pictured: The Love Family at the Ball - Rep. Warren Love with his wife, Marla; Warren's son, Charlie & his wife and their three children; Warren's daughter Liz & her husband and their two children; and Warren's daughter Anna & her husband and their 5 children.

INAUGURATION 2017: 

Inaugural Day on Monday, January 9th, will go down in history as a big day of celebration for Republicans.  It started at the St. Peter’s Catholic Church, where our newly elected Governor Eric Greitens and state office holders, along with legislators, were given Godly advice and prayers that we might all work together to lead our great State of Missouri. 

The midday inaugural activities were outdoors on the south steps of the Capitol.  Our newly elected state office holders took their oath of office accompanied by a flyover by a B-2 Stealth Bomber and a 21-gun salute. 

The evening of glitz and glitter was topped off with a ball in the rotunda.  Each legislator was recognized and introduced walking down the Grand Staircase along with their family.  It was such an honor to have my family join me in this special occasion, with the exception of my youngest son, John, who elected to stay home and take care of the ranch.  I was also very thankful and blessed to see and visit with so many constituents who made the drive to the Capitol to enjoy the festivities.  I do believe a wonderful time was had by all. 

NOW THAT THE PARTY IS OVER: 

Tuesday, the lawmaking process began with committee hearings held on ethics and Right to Work.  These are priorities of the majority caucus and Governor Greitens.  Legislation on each of these topics is expected to become enacted into law quickly. 

I have been appointed to serve on the Regular Standing House Committees on ‘Agriculture Policy,’ ‘Conservation and Natural Resources,’ and ‘Consent and House Procedures.’ A new committee structure has been put in place insuring efficiency and a thorough vetting process.  With the announcement of the new committees, I have now requested hearings for all the legislation I have filed to date:  Missouri Heritage Protection Act, Outdoor Advertising, Ambulance District Funds, Prevailing Wage, Organ Donor Program Fund, Cemetery Funds, Butterfield Overland Trail, and the Marketplace Fairness Act. 

NEW SECURITY MEASURES AT THE CAPITOL: 

The Joint Committee on Capitol Security was established last year to review and update security measures at the Capitol.  New security policies that have been adopted require any visitors and guests must enter the Capitol through the south, main doors, also referred to as the Carriage Entrance.  Everyone is guided through a metal detector upon entering.  This new protocol was set in place for Inauguration Day, as well as the additional visibility of dozens of law enforcement officers from across the state to insure a safe day for the thousands of Missourians who attended.


CAPITOL REPORT - January 5, 2017.  On my drive to the Capitol Tuesday afternoon, I observed that the grass is brown, trees are bare, and the farm fields lie fallow.  The skies are gray and a cold wind is blowing in from the west.   It is evident from the signs of nature that it is winter.  However, we all know and we look forward to a vision of springtime when the temperature begins to warm, the days of sunlight lengthen, the spring rains come, and the frogs begin croaking.  I say that to say this, “For many Missourians and citizens across the USA, politically speaking, we have been in the dead of winter for several years, and we are looking forward to that springtime green-up.” 

For the first time in Missouri’s history, Republicans swept all statewide offices creating a supermajority in the General Assembly, as well as a Republican Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, and Attorney General.  The results showed that the citizens of the State of Missouri wanted conservative candidates.  Now, here is where the rubber meets the road.  With this supermajority at the state and national level, we legislators have an even bigger responsibility to govern wisely and effectively.  Plans are being made by leadership to take bold action and tackle some very controversial issues like:  Right to Work, Tort Reform, Education Reform, and Regulatory Reform, Ethics Reform, Defending Missouri’s Core Values. 

Wednesday was opening day of the 99th General Assembly, 1st Regular Session.  I started the day by attending the Annual Prayer Breakfast for legislators at the Concord Baptist Church in Jefferson City.  Not only were we provided physical food, we were also blessed with powerful spiritual nourishment from Ken Park, President of the Missouri Baptist Convention and Pastor of First Baptist Church in Kearney, Missouri.  It is very humbling to have prayers lifted up in our behalf so that we legislators will listen to the people, seek Godly wisdom, protect religious liberties, and govern with righteousness. 

I also had the privilege of meeting two very dear friends.  One was Brother Tom Willoughby who was pastor of my home church, First Baptist Church in Osceola, from 1995 to 2002.  The other was Debbie Poire who worked as my Capitol legislative assistant for my first three years as state representative.  Debbie is the accompanist at Concord Baptist Church and has played the piano there for 45 years. 

PHOTO ABOVE: Brother Tom Willoughby, former Pastor of First Baptist Church of Osceola from 1995 to 2002.

PHOTO ABOVE: Debbie Poire, former Legislative Assistant to Representative Love, and accompanist for 45 years at Concord Baptist Church in Jefferson City. 

As we took our oath of office yesterday at noon, the House currently stands at 116 Republicans and 46 Democrats with one vacancy. Of the 162 members serving in the House, there are a total of 39 new members, which includes 20 Republicans and 19 Democrats.   Speaker of the House, Todd Richardson, reminded everyone, “we must respect the voices and viewpoints of every Missourian, as represented by each and every one of you.”  He emphasized the need for Missouri to embrace new ideas that will help Missouri’s economy keep pace with a rapidly-changing world.  As Richardson said, “A changing economy puts some of our old ways of doing things in doubt. Competing with other states and other countries for the jobs of today, requires a workforce, an education system, a legal framework, and labor policies that are capable of providing a strong, stable, and steady foundation for a growing economy.“  With that being said, next week I will provide a list of bills I have filed for this session hoping to promote an economic environment for growth and a stable foundation for the state. The legislature will definitely have a much more optimistic tone regarding its working relationship with the incoming governor, and I am looking forward to being a part of a responsible, deliberative legislative process this year.

Inaugural Day Festivities
Monday, January 9, 2017

9:00 a.m. Prayer Service
St. Peter's Church

10:00 a.m. Honor our Missouri Heroes
Capitol Rotunda

11:30 a.m. Swearing-In Ceremony
South Capitol Steps

1:00 p.m. Formation of the Troops
North Steps of the Capitol

1:30 p.m. Receiving Line with the Governor and First Lady
Governor's Mansion

3:00 p.m. Public Reception
Capitol Plaza Hotel

7:00 p.m. Salute to Service Inaugural Ball
Capitol Rotunda
(Black Tie Optional)

**All events are free and open to the public.**



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