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, 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 - November 29, 2018.  I would like to encourage constituents to make their voices heard by completing the 2019 legislative survey that is now posted online. This is a great way for everyone in District 125 to provide their thoughts and feedback on the issues we will consider this session as well as the issues that continue to face our state. I urge everyone to take a few minutes to go online and weigh in on the issues that can and will have an impact on our day-to-day lives.  I greatly appreciate any and all input constituents can share.  (If anyone prefers a copy of the survey be mailed to them to complete, please call my office at 573-751-4065.) 

The District 125 Online Survey can be found on the House of Representatives website at the following:  District 125 Online Survey 2019.  Those interested in completing the survey can also access it by visiting www.warrenlove.org.   The direct link to the survey is: https://xeroxcorp.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9WTlan1sXddo3Ln.

BILL PRE-FILING BEGINS ON DECEMBER 3

The 100th General Assembly is gearing up for the 2019 legislative session that begins January 9.  In advance of the upcoming legislative session, members are able to pre-file bills starting in December. 

The pre-filing period typically moves at a hectic pace as senators and representatives file hundreds of bills.  Leading up to the 2018 session, House members filed nearly 300 bills in the first five days of the pre-filing period.  When it was all said and done, there were 638 pieces of pre-filed legislation leading up to the 2018 regular session. The pre-filing period for the 2019 session is sure to see a similar level of activity as both returning and new members seek to address pressing issues in the state and in their districts by filing legislation.  I will be pre-filing legislation on outdoor advertising to exempt the current $250 outdoor advertising fee and biennial inspection fee for a sign displayed by the landowner who also owns the business that is advertised on the sign and the sign is within 750 feet of the physical location of the business.  

To check on the bills as they are pre-filed, please visit the official website of the Missouri House of Representatives at www.house.mo.gov and click on the “Bill List” link. 

GOVERNOR PROCLAIMS DECEMBER 3-9 AS COMPUTER SCIENCE EDUCATION WEEK: 

During both the 2018 regular session and an extraordinary session called by the governor, lawmakers made it a priority to help prepare Missouri’s young people for the thousands of unfilled computer science jobs in the state. Now, the governor has proclaimed the week of December 3-9 to be Computer Science Education Week in Missouri. The week is part of a national event that will focus on the importance of computer science education and giving students the skills to meet growing workforce demands. 

“In 2017, Missouri had approximately 10,000 computer science jobs left unfilled. Recognizing Computer Science Education Week is a further step Missouri is taking to encourage and promote these fields and secure more of these jobs as we continue to improve our economy and provide Missouri students with the skills needed to secure high-paying jobs,” said Governor Parson. 

During the 2018 extraordinary session, lawmakers approved HB 3 to institute a STEM Career Awareness Program for 6th-8th graders designed to promote careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The legislation also requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to develop a high school graduation policy that allows a student to fulfill one unit of academic credit with a district-approved computer science course for any math, science, or practical arts unit required for high school graduation. The legislation is meant to better prepare tomorrow’s workforce for the many unfilled computer science positions in the technology industry. 

“Missouri legislators recently took a bold step to support K-12 computer science education by becoming the first state to pass legislation during a special session expanding course opportunities,” said Governor Parson. “As we continue to focus our efforts on increasing awareness in computer science education, our students will be better prepared and equipped with the skills to succeed and meet tomorrow’s workforce demands.”

On November 15th, at the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry annual meeting in Kansas City, 23 legislators were recognized as 100% Club winners for our consistent efforts to promote job creation in the state.  I am very honored to have received this award three years in a row.

It is my honor to serve the constituents of District 125. If you ever have questions, concerns, or input, please feel free to contact me any time at (573) 751-4065. YOUR District 125 Capitol office is 413B, and YOU are always welcome!

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

“Ride’n for the Brand”

Warren D. Love

State Representative

Representing the good people

of the 125th District


CAPITOL REPORT - November 8, 2018.  This past Saturday was the bi-annual Osceola Heritage Tour and Fish Fry.   Richard "Rick" Reed and his wife, Deona, are very generous hosts to this living history tour.  Rick is the tour guide and accepts pre-registration for 44 people who board a school bus early in the morning for stops that include the Civil War cannon placements on the Sac River Bluff,  the Missouri Brigade Monument at the Roadside Park overlooking the forks of the Sac-Osage River, the Burning of Osceola Monument in the Osceola Cemetery, the burial site of John Younger at the Yeater Cemetery northwest of Osceola, the Monagaw Springs Bluff where the James and Younger Gangs used to hide out, the site of the Roscoe Gun Battle where the Pinkertons and Youngers had a shootout and John Younger was killed, and the trenches on the west side of the Sac River.  The final stop is back at the Reeds’ hand hewn log cabin and barn where everyone enjoys a fish fry and buffet of food.  After a wonderful meal, fully costumed gentlemen portray Frank James and Cole Younger sharing the tales of their infamous lives intertwined with the history of Osceola to a crowd of about 70 people amidst the beautiful fall leaves. 

Osceola is a destination for tourists seeking Civil War history and will be listed with 29 other locations throughout the State of Missouri in a newly proposed program by Mel Gilbert to highlight Civil War locations in a passport program with the Missouri State Parks system.  This program will be similar to the passports used by the National Park Service.  Each site will boasts a unique stamp that participants can collect in the pages of their passport books.

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler met with chamber members and community leaders of El Dorado Springs for coffee and discussion at Scooter’s Restaurant on Monday morning. 

STRONG VOTER TURNOUT SUSTAINS REPUBLICAN MAJORITIES: 

An Election Day that saw the highest voter turnout for a midterm in more than 20 years resulted in House and Senate Republicans keeping their supermajorities in both chambers of the Missouri General Assembly. When the 100th General Assembly begins in January 2019, House Republicans will control 116 of the body’s 163 seats. In the Missouri Senate, Republicans will control 24 of the 34 seats.  

Republicans also flipped the U.S. Senate seat that had been held by Claire McCaskill. Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley picked up more than 51 percent of the vote to defeat the Democratic incumbent. With McCaskill’s loss, State Auditor Nicole Galloway is now the only Democratic statewide officeholder. Republicans also control 6 of the state’s 8 Congressional seats. 

Tuesday’s midterm election saw approximately 58 percent of Missouri’s registered voters participate by casting a ballot. The figure is the highest the state has seen for a midterm since 1994 when 59 percent of voters participated in the process. 

MIDTERM ELECTION SEES A NUMBER OF BALLOT INITIATIVES APPROVED: 

In addition to selecting candidates for various offices, Missouri voters went to the polls Tuesday to decide on ballot initiatives dealing with topics ranging from a gas tax increase to the legalization of medical marijuana. When the day was done, voters had approved three changes to the Missouri Constitution and one change to state law. 

The ballot initiatives approved by Missouri voters include: 

Amendment 1 (Clean Missouri) – This amendment to the Missouri Constitution will change the legislative redistricting process so that it is overseen by a state demographer appointed by the State Auditor, and then reviewed by a citizen commission. The current process calls for a bipartisan panel selected by the governor to oversee the process. The amendment also sets campaign donation limits at $2,500 for the state Senate and $2,000 for the House. The current state law sets the mark at $2,600.  Amendment 1 also creates a two-year revolving door ban against legislators becoming lobbyists; eliminates the majority of lobbyist gifts worth more than $5; limits the ability of individuals and organizations to circumvent the contribution cap limits by counting the money from single-source committees toward the totals for the actual original donors; puts an end to legislative fundraising on state property; and requires legislative records and proceedings to be open to the public.
 

Amendment 2 (Medical Marijuana) – Another constitutional amendment will allow patients with cancer, HIV, epilepsy and some other conditions to have access to medical marijuana. It will change the state constitution to tax marijuana at 4 percent and allocate the $18 million in annual taxes and fees to veterans programs. The measure will cost the state $7 million in annual operating costs. It will also generate $6 million annually for local governments. It will give regulatory authority for licensing the cultivation, testing and sale of marijuana to the Department of Health and Senior Services. The state will be responsible for a "seed-to-sale tracking system" to ensure marijuana only goes to qualified patients.
 

Amendment 4 (Bingo) – Voters approved a constitutional amendment put on the ballot by lawmakers to change provisions in the Missouri Constitution dealing with the regulation of bingo. The constitutional amendment will allow individuals who have, for at least six months, been a bona fide member of an organization licensed to conduct bingo to participate in the operation of a bingo game. The Constitution currently requires at least two years of membership prior to participation. It will also remove the statutory restrictions on the advertisement of bingo.
 

Proposition B (Minimum Wage Increase) – A change to state law approved by voters will increase Missouri’s minimum wage, which currently stands at $7.85. Proposition B will increase the minimum wage starting in 2019 to $8.60 and will then increase it each year by 85 cents until it reaches $12 per hour in 2023. 

VETERAN’S DAY IS NOVEMBER 11, 2018… 

…but since November 11th falls on a Sunday, Veteran’s Day will be observed as a federal holiday on Monday, November 12th.   As we observe this special holiday, I ask you to keep these amazing men and women in your hearts and prayers, and also to give thanks to all of the brave Americans who have served in defense of our nation throughout its history.  We would not be the greatest nation on this planet today without their service and sacrifices, and our future would not be nearly as bright without the leadership they will continue to provide in the years to come.  They deserve our respect, our gratitude, and our commitment to preserving the memory of their deeds.  We are blessed to have these true heroes who have done, and continue to do, so much for our great nation. 

UPCOMING VETERAN’S DAY CEREMONIES: 

Thursday, November 8, 9 a.m., Osceola High School Veteran’s Day Assembly (Breakfast served to Veterans at 8:30 a.m.) 

Sunday, November 11, 11 a.m., Benton County American Legion Post 217 “Wreathing of the Waters” Ceremony at Drake Harbor. 

Monday, November 12, 9:30 a.m., Hermitage High School Veteran’s Day Assembly. 

Monday, November 12, 1:30 p.m., El Dorado Springs DECA Chapter 23rd Annual Veteran’s Day Assembly in the High School Gym.


CAPITOL REPORT - October 31, 2018.  I attended a very informative meeting on Tuesday evening in Bolivar at Smith’s Restaurant.  There was a crowd of more than 125, including mayors from many local cities across southwest Missouri.  The main discussion regarded animal control/animals running at large and the many problems associated with this issue.   Animals running at large can pose potentially serious threats to public safety and health.   Several speakers including animal control officers, veterinarians, and staff with the Missouri Department of Agriculture spoke at the meeting and provided insight on what is involved past just capturing an animal; many factors are involved including shelter for the captured animal, staff to run the shelter, and funding.  Animal shelters, municipal pounds, rescue shelters, and contract kennels are all options to contain seized, stray, abandoned, or homeless animals.   Current and possible ordinances in local area towns as well as potential USDA community facility loans and grants were also discussed.   Animal control is a big challenge with no easy answers, but the meeting provided useful information in how to deal with it.  At the end of the meeting, Richard Sheets with the Missouri Municipal League advocated for Proposition D and encouraged the passage of this legislation, because municipalities and counties will each receive 15% of this gas tax revenue dedicated to road and bridge infrastructure construction and repair.  For detailed information on this ballot measure, please visit www.SAFERMO.com

VETERAN’S DAY IS NOVEMBER 11, 2018… 

…but since November 11th falls on a Sunday, Veteran’s Day will be observed as a federal holiday on Monday, November 12th.   As we observe this special holiday, I ask you to keep these amazing men and women in your hearts and prayers, and also to give thanks to all of the brave Americans who have served in defense of our nation throughout its history.  We would not be the greatest nation on this planet today without their service and sacrifices, and our future would not be nearly as bright without the leadership they will continue to provide in the years to come.  They deserve our respect, our gratitude, and our commitment to preserving the memory of their deeds.  We are blessed to have these true heroes who have done, and continue to do, so much for our great nation. 

UPCOMING VETERAN’S DAY CEREMONIES: 

Thursday, November 8, 9 a.m., Osceola High School Veteran’s Day Assembly (Breakfast served to Veterans at 8:30 a.m.) 

Sunday, November 11, 11 a.m., Benton County American Legion Post 217 “Wreathing of the Waters” Ceremony at Drake Harbor. 

Monday, November 12, 9:30 a.m., Hermitage High School Veteran’s Day Assembly. 

Monday, November 12, 1:30 p.m., El Dorado Springs DECA Chapter 23rd Annual Veteran’s Day Assembly in the High School Gym. 

Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday, November 4th.

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


CAPITOL REPORT - October 24, 2018.  Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler invited me to join her for a tour of the Crossroads Pregnancy Resource Center in Warsaw on Monday.  The pregnancy resource center provides assistance to mostly women facing difficult situations.  The average age is 18 to 22, and they come from all education levels, ethnic backgrounds, and income levels.  Staff shared with us that women sometimes consider abandonment of their newborn the only option in a traumatic event.  In Missouri, safe havens are an alternative to abandonment: newborns 45 days old or less may be left in the hands of staff on duty at a hospital, fire station, ambulance station, police station, maternity home, or pregnancy resource center.  HB1288 signed by Governor Parson this past summer extends benevolent tax credits to increase tax credits available to individuals and businesses who contribute a minimum of $1,000 to pregnancy resource centers.  For more information, please contact Tammy Paulsen, Director of Crossroads Pregnancy Resource Center, at 660-438-9140 or crossroadsfm@embarqmail.com.

Staff Members of the Crossroads Pregnancy Resource Center provided a tour of the center to Congresswoman Hartzler and me on Monday, October 22.  The center is located at 1220 Commercial Street in Warsaw.

Congratulations to the Elkton Christian Church as they celebrated their 120th Anniversary on October 21st.  I presented a resolution to Ron Gist, president of the church board, in recognition of this wonderful milestone. 

PUBLIC FORUMS ON UPCOMING BALLOT ISSUES: 

I have scheduled several meetings throughout District 125 next week to discuss and answer any questions on upcoming ballot issues.  Everyone is welcome to attend the meeting of their choice: 

Wednesday, 10/31, 10-12 noon, St. Clair County Library, 115 Chestnut St., Osceola 

Wednesday, 10/31, 2-4 pm, Forest Park Community Building, Appleton City 

Thursday, 11/01, 2-4 pm, El Dorado Springs City Hall, 135 W. Spring St., El Dorado Springs 

Friday, 11/02, 10-12 noon, Boonslick Regional Library, 102 E. Jackson St., Warsaw 

Friday, 11/02, 2-4 pm, Hickory County Library, 18376 New Hermitage Dr., Hermitage 

Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday, November 4th.

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

 


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

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

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

MO UNEMPLOYMENT RATE CONTINUES TO DROP: 

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

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

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

BUY MISSOURI: 

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

BUPD – Mo-DOT: 

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

UPCOMING EVENTS IN DISTRICT 125: 

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

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

Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday, November 4th.

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


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

NOVEMBER BALLOT ISSUES: 

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

Amendment 1 – “Clean Missouri”

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

If approved by voters, Amendment 1 would:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Proposition B – Minimum Wage Increase

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

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

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

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

Amendment 4 – Bingo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UPCOMING EVENTS IN DISTRICT 125: 

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

REAL ID EXTENSION THROUGH AUGUST 1, 2019: 

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

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

NEW MISSOURI BUDGET EXPLORER WEBSITE: 

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

“IMAGINE AG BUSINESS” SEMINARS: 

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

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

Imagine Ag Business Sessions:

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

UPCOMING EVENTS IN DISTRICT 125: 

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

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

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

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

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

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