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]
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Capitol office at (573) 751-4065 and speak with Kelley Rogers, my Legislative Assistant.
“Ride’n for the Brand”
—Representing the good people
of the 125th District—
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.
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.
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
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
3:00 p.m. Public Reception
Capitol Plaza Hotel
7:00 p.m. Salute to Service Inaugural Ball
(Black Tie Optional)
**All events are free and open to the public.**
CAPITOL REPORT - December 20, 2016.
We wish everyone a blessed holiday season, and a very Merry Christmas! ~ The Love Family
This is that joyous time of the year when we come together with family and friends to celebrate Christmas and to reflect on the many blessings we have been given. It’s a time to delight in the wonderment of our children and grandchildren as they open their presents, and it’s a time to slow down from our normally hectic pace and enjoy the company of those who mean the most to us.
No, Christmas is not all about the presents we give and receive. It is also about taking the time to express our love and appreciation for all those who enrich our lives on a daily basis. It’s also a time to give thanks for the many men and women in our Armed Forces who are serving our nation far away from the comforts of home during the holiday season. Because of their sacrifices, we continue to celebrate the holidays in the greatest nation on this planet.
At the same time we give thanks for all we have, I also ask us to remember there are many Missourians who are not as fortunate. They won’t have the luxury of the companionship of family and friends, a warm fire with stockings hung on the mantle, or even a simple meal. I ask you to keep them in your thoughts and prayers during this holiday season.
For those of us who are Christians, Christmas is a time to appreciate God’s great love for us, and to celebrate the birth of Christ. On this most holy of holidays, let us not forget that God sent his only son to us to offer a message of peace, love, and hope. And let us also remember that Jesus died for our sins so that we might have salvation. Christmas is a time to remember that we are all God’s children and that we will find joy and peace when we look to God for our answers.
From my family to yours, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a joyous holiday season. May God bless you all!
CAPITOL REPORT - December 7, 2016. We received notification today that the Department of Economic Development has awarded Neighborhood Assistance Tax Credits to the Friends of the St. Clair County Senior Center in Osceola and The Friends of the Hickory County Health Department in Hermitage. This is wonderful news for all the constituents of District 125 knowing these funds will be used to enhance the lives of many and help meet the growing and constant needs of our citizens.
As bill pre-filing began Thursday for the 2017 legislative session, I introduced several pieces of legislation ranging in topic from a repeal of Missouri’s prevailing wage law to a reduction in fees for rural business owners who want to advertise by posting advertising signs on their own land. One of my top goals this year is to help invigorate Missouri’s economy.
HB104 is identical to HB 1931, which I sponsored during the 2016 legislative session to repeal Missouri’s current prevailing wage law. The current law requires contractors and subcontractors working on public works projects to pay employees the prevailing wage for that area. In many rural counties the prevailing wage can be significantly higher than the wages typically paid to workers on private sector construction projects. Eliminating the prevailing wage could reduce the cost of public construction projects and lead to wiser spending of Missouri taxpayers’ dollars and result in increased investment in our state’s infrastructure.
Prevailing wage forces an artificially high wage that escalates the cost to taxpayers for projects that are desperately needed in many areas of the state. By removing prevailing wage we can allow contractors to still pay their employees competitive wages, but also give them the ability to make qualified contractors’ competitive bids that will give taxpayers a better return on investment of their tax dollars spent on public works projects that need to be done. Only qualified contractors who are licensed, bonded and insured will be allowed to make competitive bids.
I have also filed HB56, which is identical to HB 1564 from 2016. The bill would waive the permit fee and biennial inspection fee for a sign as long as the landowners own the business displayed on the sign, and as long as the business being displayed on the sign is within 750 feet of the sign location regardless of intervening land use. It must also be at least 750 feet away from the next nearest sign. This bill’s intent is simply meant to waive the fees for rural business owners, because no one should have to pay a fee to advertise on their own business on their own land on either side of a highway.
Another bill that I am sponsoring (HB105) would remove the sunset date for the Organ Donor Program Fund Checkoff on the Missouri Individual Income Tax Return. Identical to HB 1673 that was filed during the 2016 session, this bill would help continue funding for the donor program that has saved lives throughout Missouri. Mrs. Debra Simaitis chairs the Governor’s Organ Donation Advisory Committee and is also a constituent of District 125. The Organ Donor Program is supported by voluntary contributions at the Missouri driver’s license offices, the Missouri State Employee Charitable Campaign, and through direct contributions. Funds are used to expand education, maintain an in-depth donor registry system, increase awareness programs, and provide online training to emergency personnel.
Finally, I am again filing legislation (HB53) to establish the Missouri Heritage Protection Act. The bill would prohibit any agency, political subdivision, or entity with the power of eminent domain from relocating, renaming, rededicating, erecting, modifying, or removing any state historic military monument, memorial, or marker, any designated veterans' grave marker, or any statutorily designated monument or memorial located on any site under its control or located on state land listed on the Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's registry without first holding a public hearing and receiving the Historic Preservation council's approval.
The goal of the bill is to preserve all of the history of the state and to ensure a reasoned discussion occurs before historical monuments or memorials are removed, renamed or relocated.
As someone who is an avid history buff, I am concerned by recent attempts to erase parts of our history simply because they are controversial. We all know we have painful chapters in the history of our state and our nation, but they are still part of our history and what has made us the nation and the people we are today. I think it’s extremely important that we preserve all of our history so that we can learn from it and appreciate where we’ve come from and what we’ve been through as Missourians and Americans.
Bill pre-filing began in the Missouri House Thursday, Dec. 1. The General Assembly will convene for the 2017 legislative session Wednesday, Jan. 4, with all representatives taking oath at 12:00 noon.
CAPITOL REPORT - December 1, 2016. Now that 2016 elections are finally over, the voters have spoken by casting their ballots in our Republic with the critics readily evaluating the results. It’s becoming apparent that about half the people are happy and the other half are heartbroken. The opportunity to change the direction of the State of Missouri and our great Nation has never been greater. However, with that opportunity comes an even greater responsibility for the Republican super majority to make wise decisions in governing our state and nation. Out of 163 state representatives, 117 are Republican. There are 39 newly elected freshmen with 20 Republicans and 19 Democrats.
Our Speaker of the House, Todd Richardson, has outlined our caucus priorities focusing on building a Missouri that respects and protects individual freedom while cultivating a stronger, more vibrant, dynamic economy than exists today. We will work for a Missouri that has a strong education system for every Missourian no matter where they were born or where they live.
Speaker Richardson said his chamber’s top priorities will be issues that his party believes will improve Missouri’s economy. “That means a universe of labor reform, tort reform, and education reform,” said Richardson, “I think if we’ll focus on those issues as well as removing some of the government barriers to innovation and economic development, we’ll have the workings of a pretty good agenda to start with.”
Richardson said his legislative agenda will include passage of legislation that supporters call “right to work,” which aims to prevent employees from being required to join a union as a condition of employment. The Speaker noted that ethics reform will also be a priority early in the 2016 session, as legislators again attempt to pass a ban on gifts from lobbyists to lawmakers.
CAPITOL REPORT - September 15, 2016. Veto Session began at “High Noon” yesterday on September 14th. We spent nine hours combing through legislation that Governor Nixon had vetoed this summer. In the end, out of 20 vetoed bills, we voted to override 13 pieces of legislation. This total includes seven House Bills and six Senate Bills.
HIGHLIGHTS ON 5 KEY BILLS:
I am happy to report that all three pieces of legislation deemed priority by the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association were successfully overridden. These bills will benefit farmers throughout Missouri. SB641 addresses a tax deduction for farmers who receive federal disaster or emergency aid payments. Under this bill, the deduction will be available for all tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2014. Up to this point, no other disaster program is taxed as income by the federal and state government. Farmers shouldn’t be taxed either! This law will correct that wrong.
SB844 was approved to clarify that an animal owner is liable for damages done by the animal to another’s property only if the owner has been negligent. Currently, if horses, cattle, or other livestock break through a fence and cause damages to another’s property, the owner is strictly liable. Even in cases when the fence is torn down or broken by someone else, the owner of the animals is still liable under current law. The change will relieve the animal owner from liability for damages when the animals were released because of the actions or fault of another.
The third bill, HB1414, protects the privacy of Missouri farmers who voluntarily disclose information for certain government programs from facing sunshine inquiries for this information unless it is needed to protect consumer and animal health. It encourages partnership between private citizens and government programs in order to help gather more research and further improve our understanding of animal disease traceability. Missouri Cattlemen's Association (MCA) President Keith Stevens stated, "Missouri cattle farmers and ranchers certainly want to be transparent, but should not fear their private information being public knowledge because of participation in a government program. The threat of agro-terrorism is real and this legislation helps reduce this threat for Missouri farm and ranch families." This legislation proactively addresses a problem that will only intensify with time in the generation of “Big Data.”
The General Assembly also overrode the veto of HB1631 that would require Missourians to show a photo ID in order to vote. The bill would implement a system of voter identification in the state if Missouri voters approve a constitutional change that is on the November ballot. This change is vital to protect the integrity of the election process and prevent voter fraud.
If the constitutional change is approved by voters, Missouri will then implement a system of voter identification and require voters to present a specified form of ID in order to vote in a public election. Valid forms of identification would include photo IDs issued by the state, the federal government or the military. The bill also would require the state to pay for individuals to obtain a valid ID if they do not have one, or to obtain documents necessary for an ID.
Finally, SB656, which I received many, many emails and phone calls in support of the override, did indeed pass, strengthening the gun rights of law-abiding citizens. It is important to remember that Missouri’s law already allows anyone of age to carry a weapon openly with no permit or training. SB656’s Constitutional Carry portion allows a law-abiding citizen the freedom to carry a firearm in their purse or concealed under their clothing. It DOES NOT allow criminals or mentally ill to carry, nor does it change the current concealed carry permit laws.
SB656 also expands the castle doctrine by allowing persons who have been authorized by a property owner to be on or in the property to use deadly force as necessary in order to protect themselves and others. As well, the requirement that a person must attempt to retreat before using force is repealed in SB656 which allows a person to better protect themselves.
PRESS RELEASE - August 30, 2016. – 100-MILE YARD SALE THIS WEEKEND!
Discover More on Rt. 54 is hosting the 2nd annual 100-mile yard sale that will be coming up on Labor Day weekend, September 3rd-5th. This will cover communities along U.S. Hwy 54 from Nevada to Camdenton. The host locations are for sellers living away from Hwy 54 that wish to participate over Labor Day weekend. Due to great interest in the event, there is a newly created website, https://100mileyardsale.wordpress.com/, and will contain any new updates.
RULES FOR HOST SITES:
First come first set up basis each day, dumpsters located on the property are not for public use, remove everything you didn’t sell, and be respectful of their property. The sellers will be responsible for their own sale signs to draw in motorists.
APPROVED HOST LOCATIONS: Free use unless indicated by [$] [$ =daily use fee charged]
EL DORADO SPRINGS, at Chamber of Commerce (old Wood’s) parking lot, located at the SE corner of Hwys 54 & 32. (417)876-4154.
NEAR COLLINS, at Brenda’s Quilt Stop & More, located west of Collins along Hwy 54 (417)876-9997.
WHEATLAND, front office lot at Darby Motors/A+ Glass office, located next to Hwy 54 & Main St. (417)799-9399.
HERMITAGE, [$] at Beyond Bargains Flea Market, located next to Hwy 54 & Pitts Ln. (417)399-1474.
NEAR PRESTON, [$] at Yates Rustic Range Trading, located 6 miles East of Preston on south side of Hwy 54 (417)733-7193.
NEAR MACKS CREEK, at public road side park at the junction of Hwys 54 & 73.
MACKS CREEK, at Bank of Urbana by permission only call Sherry Nations prior to setting up (573)363-1000.
CAMDENTON, at Farmers Insurance (west of the square) parking lot, courtesy of Shane Hulett.
All updates will be posted on the Facebook page, www.facebook.com/MOHwy54YardSale/ and the new website, https://100mileyardsale.wordpress.com/.
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