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30 December 2009

Stouffer: Avoiding Congress' Mistakes on Healthcare

The idea to takeover 20 percent of the nations' Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would be done without your input, if our nation's leaders pass health care legislation currently being debated in Washington, D.C. The idea to opt out of the federal takeover of health care should be left up to you.

Many believe the U.S. Constitution provides no authority for Congress to enact this type of legislation and ignore states' rights. I agree.

I, along with 16 of my colleagues in the Missouri Senate, am co-sponsoring Senate Joint Resolution 25, which would attempt to allow Missouri to opt out of any federal laws that would interfere with your freedom of choice in health care.

Unlike the so-called health care "reform" measure that is being debated in the U.S. Senate, the constitutional amendment we are introducing in the Missouri Senate would go to a vote of the people. If the resolution passes out of the General Assembly, and voters approve the measure as well, it would not affect laws or regulations that are on-the-books as of January 1, 2010.

As I have discussed in the past, the current plans on Capitol Hill are filled with tax increases. Even though health care reform would not start until 2013, the tax hikes would take effect immediately, creating a pool of money for the federal government to utilize in order to start the ball rolling in four years.

These proposals have a direct and indirect effect on all taxpayers in Missouri and our state budget.

Some of the tax increases include penalties for not signing on to whatever plan the federal government mandates, taxes on doctors and hospitals for not cooperating and new fees on things like wheelchairs and hearing aids. Everyone would be hit by these outrageous penalties — not just tax hikes on the rich — all in the name of "reform."

When Congress went home for its summer break earlier this year, most members held town hall meetings. These gatherings were filled with people who had a great deal of concern about what was in the bill. Unfortunately, most Congressmen had not read anything in the bills, much less bill summaries, and had no idea what was in the thousands of pages contained in the bill.

But, citizens have been reading the bills, staying up-to-date on this issue and they are not happy. Sadly, Congress is continuing to move ahead with this and ignoring the American public.

I have every confidence Senate Joint Resolution 25 will pick up more co-sponsors and more momentum as the session progresses next year, making its way to your November, 2010 ballot. I pray the men and women in Congress will wake up and understand that taking over one-sixth of the GDP and controlling health care issues, such as who can see their doctor, is NOT a part of the America I know and love.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will write more about health care "reform," what states plan to opt out of the plan and what ideas are out there that are better than what the president says he wants and our country needs.

Senator Stouffer serves the counties of Carroll, Chariton, Cooper, Howard, Lafayette, Macon, Ray, Saline, and a part of Clay.
If you have questions or comments about this or any other issue, please call toll free (866) 768-3987 or by e-mail at bstouffer{at}senate{dot}mo{dot}gov

28 December 2009

Kander: 5 Jeff City New Year's Resolutions

Dear Friends,

As 2010 approaches and everyone is thinking of their own new year's resolutions, I thought I should list mine.

1. Pass comprehensive ethics reform

Rep. Kander with Rep. Tim Flook.Many important issues confront the state of Missouri in 2010, but I believe that we can more effectively address every issue if we make needed reforms to our political system.

In September, I wrote a thirteen-page memo to my colleagues on this topic. A few weeks later, the Kansas City Star ran a feature story about loopholes in the system.

On December 14th, I joined with Rep. Tim Flook (R-Liberty) in announcing House Bill 1434 which, should it pass, will substantially change Missouri politics.

As has been widely reported, our bill would . . . (READ MORE ABOUT NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION #1)

2. Help to pass agile job creation tools and preserve important programs in a very difficult budget year.

In a previous newsletter, I wrote about the need for new economic development tools to help Missouri compete internationally. It is, obviously, one of my new year's resolutions – and I know the majority of my colleagues share this same priority.

Since my last writing about the subject, the Governor weighed in heavily in favor of the bipartisan Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act. I enthusiastically supported last year's bill and am hopeful that we can pass it in 2010.

While we work on creative ways to increase state revenue through job creation, I will work to preserve vital state services in one of the most difficult budget years in a long time. I trust that I won't be the only member of the budget committee to work toward this goal.

3. Strengthen or preserve laws that protect Missourians at home and in court.

I am currently working with other lawmakers to draft Sam and Lindsay's law, named in honor of Sam and Lindsay Porter, who died by their father's hand in 2004. Their mother, Tina Porter, approached Jackson County Prosecutor Jim Kanatzar about changes she felt were needed to protect Missouri's children from parental kidnappings. Jim then approached me, Sen. Victor Callahan (D-Independence) and Jackson County Sheriff Mike Sharpe about the legislation. We announced the proposed changes last Wednesday during a press conference at the Jackson County Courthouse.

Also, I will re-file bipartisan legislation in 2010 that I first pushed in 2009 to strengthen domestic violence laws, and I will once again co-sponsor bipartisan efforts to mandate insurance coverage of autism treatments.

Next, although I was the only Democratic co-sponsor of the False Claims Act last year, I'm hopeful that it will receive support on both sides of the aisle in 2010.

Finally, I will continue to fight for the preservation of the Missouri non-partisan court plan.

4. Do the impossible: stay fit while living in Jefferson City.

This is a pretty big goal. Thanks to the ongoing requirements of the Army National Guard, I do manage to stay in pretty decent shape year-round, but the legislative session in Jeff City from January to May really presents a challenge. These last two months, Diana and I have been getting up early for some pretty serious "extreme" morning workouts and we feel pretty good about it. She can do A LOT of pull ups. It's pretty impressive actually.

But EatingContestmy schedule in Jeff City is so insane and the junk food is so quick and easy . . . it's going to be a real test.  (The picture on the right is from a charity eating contest and is not to be taken as an accurate reflection of my normal diet.)

Heading back to Jeff City, I feel kind of like those contestants on "The Biggest Loser" who have to "leave the ranch" for a few weeks and try to do it without their trainers or their helpful dieticians.

So if you're reading this and you're one of the people who works with me in Jefferson City, here's how you can help me with this resolution. If you see me about to eat pizza or some other quick and unhealthy snack, please do your best to shame me and, if necessary, attempt to physically steal the food. If nothing else, I'll burn some calories fighting for my junk food.

So those are my resolutions. As always, thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing from you. Happy New Year!



P.S. I almost forgot new year's resolution #5: WIN RE-ELECTION!

24 December 2009

Holsman: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Holsman Holiday Card
To all our friends of diverse faiths, we wish you a Happy Hanukkah and a Joyous Kwanzamas!

Charlie Brown: Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?
Linus Van Pelt: Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.

Lights, please.

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'"

Peace on Earth Good Will Toward Men

Merry Christmas!!

23 December 2009

Rupp: Christmas Spirit Reigns Despite Challenging Times

Christmastime is a very special time of year when we shop for gifts, plan our holiday gatherings, and celebrate the season with loved ones, co-workers and friends. It's also a time when we reflect on the past and the things we hold dear and remember the true reason for the Christmas season.

While the Christmas season is a joyous time of the year, I know this has been a difficult year for many as our economy still struggles to gain ground from the economic downturn of 2008. Those who are struggling may not be able to give as much as they would like to while some are wondering if they can give anything at all. I urge everyone in my district, if you are able, to give to your local charities to help make this season a little brighter for those who may need helping hand this season.

In 1982, when Ronald Reagan was president, he gave a Christmas address during a time when our nation was facing many of the same hardships and uncertainties of today. I think its sentiment still rings true today. In his address, President Reagan stated:

"In spite of everything, we Americans are still uniquely blessed, not only with the rich bounty of our land, but by a bounty of the spirit — a kind of year-round Christmas spirit that still makes our country a beacon a hope in a troubled world and that makes this Christmas and every Christmas even more special for all of us who number among our gifts the birthright of being an American."

As I reflect on what's important this holiday season, I am grateful for my family and friends and for the citizens of the 2nd District, who I am proud to serve.

I sincerely hope that you and yours have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

The legislative session begins Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at noon.  At that time I will be in Jefferson City every week Monday through Thursday and back in the district on Friday until session ends on May 14, 2010.  If you and/or your family are in Jefferson City at anytime, please feel free to drop by my office.  And, as always, if you have any questions about this week's column or any other matter involving state government, please do not hesitate to contact me. You can reach my office by phone at (866) 271-2844

Subscribe to Sen. Rupp's weekly reports via e-mail

Crowell: The Real Christmas Story

When many think of Christmas, images of hectic malls, children asking for gifts from Santa, and a decked-out Christmas tree come to mind.  It might even bring up memories of reading or watching the many "Christmas stories" on television and in books.  Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, Frosty the Snowman, and Dr. Suess' The Grinch Who Stole Christmas are some of the more common stories that come to mind.  These stories are fun and enjoyable, but they fail to mention the true meaning of the holiday and real story of Christmas.

The real Christmas story comes from the disciples Matthew and Luke.  It is through their voices that we can experience the birth of Christ.  These two writers provide us with all the details that give life to the annual celebration of the birth of our Lord.

"An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in he town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.' Suddenly, a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.'" – Luke 2:9-14

Remembering the true meaning of Christmas can be done in a variety of ways.  This might mean taking time to pray and read passages from the Bible with your family.  You may also choose to spread good will by volunteering.  The following locations in Southeast Missouri are a number of places in our community where we can do that:

Bollinger County:
Nutrition Center, 505 Third Street, Marble Hill, (573) 238-2809
Cape Girardeau County:
Missouri Veterans' Home, 2400 Veterans Memorial Drive, Cape Girardeau, (573) 290-5870
Salvation Army, 701 Good Hope, Cape Girardeau, (573) 335-7000
United Way, 430A Broadway, Cape Girardeau, (573) 334-9634
Madison County:
Sheltered Workshop, 425 N. Chamber, Fredericktown, (573) 783-4037
Mississippi County:
Retired Senior Volunteer Program through the East Prairie Chamber of Commerce, 106 S. Washington, East Prairie, (573)649-5243
Charleston Nutrition Center, 205 W. Commercial, Charleston, (573) 683-6115
Perry County:
East Missouri Action Agency, 1121 W. Ste. Maries, Perryville, (573) 547-2014
Scott County:
Sikeston Food Pantry and Southeast Missouri Food Bank, 104 Keystone Drive, Sikeston, (573) 471-1818

Regardless of how you choose to celebrate this wonderful holiday and this miraculous event, I hope it is a time that is full of joy and love with the ones you care about.

Christmas is also a time of reflection and thanks.  I would like to thank all of you for giving me the opportunity to represent you in the Missouri Senate.  It is an honor and a privilege, and I am grateful to you for giving me this opportunity. I trust that your Christmas will be filled with warmth and meaning as you gather with your loved ones and reflect on the true meaning of this blessed holiday.

Contact Me

As always, I appreciate hearing your comments, opinions, and concerns.  Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at (573) 751-2459.  You may write to me at Jason Crowell; Missouri Senate; State Capitol; Jefferson City, MO 65101, or email me at: or visit me on the web at

Subscribe to Sen. Crowell's reports via e-mail

22 December 2009

Kraus: Merry Christmas!

As most people settle in to enjoy the Christmas and New Year season, I am excited to be able to spend quality time with my family.  For many, this is a time to get out on the road and travel long distances to see family not seen for a while.  For others, the family is just a hop, skip and jump across town.  Or maybe the whole family is coming to your house, and it has been a week of cooking, cleaning, and putting up the lights.  For me, I'm both visiting and getting ready for company as my Christmas involves three family events.  Wherever the place, I hope you will be surrounded by the special and unique ambience of a loving family and good friends.

However wonderful family and friends are, Christmas is still more than that. This year, I attended and assisted with the Heart of America Christmas pageant at the First Baptist Church in Raytown.  While the story began in the small and sterile office of a man worried about being laid off from his job, the pageant of Christ's birth, life, and resurrection soon took center stage and touched the life of the distressed worker.  The dialogue, lights and magnificent music made the true story of Christmas real and personal.  It was an inspiring production, a reminder of the momentous birth that is the reason for this holiday as well as a statement of its relevance today.

Rep. Kraus with son Tannor serving as Salvation Army bell ringersAnother reminder of the meaning of the Christmas season was time I spent ringing a bell and taking contributions to benefit the Salvation Army.  My son Tannor came with me, which made this outing even more special.  As we watched people from all walks of life pass by our station and drop their change into the red kettle, I saw firsthand the spirit of giving that Christmas evokes.  Giving to the Salvation Army is an act of remembering people who need our assistance, and I was gratified at the generosity of the people in our community.

I suspect your holidays are busy, too!  If you are travelling, be careful and my best wishes to you for a safe arrival at your destination.  For everyone, my best wishes for a peaceful Christmas eve and a joyous Christmas day.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Will Kraus

Transportation News: For up-to-date information about state transportation projects, please visit MoDOT's Web site at

With the end of the 2009 Legislative Session and during interim, the Capitol Report will be issued from time to time instead of weekly. During this time, if you have an event that you would like me to attend or speak at, please contact my office at 1(573)751-1459 or email at will<dot>kraus<at>house<dot>mo<dot>gov

21 December 2009

Ruestman: Merry Christmas!

Christmas is a wonderful time of year!  Regardless of what is going on around us, this season always has a magical feel to it.  Every time I think of our Savior being born on a peaceful night in a manger it excites me.

I'm so glad that despite the liberal media and the far left's agenda, this season continues to remind us of Christ.  I feel so blessed to live in a nation where I still have the freedom of speech that allows me to say "Merry Christmas!" and the freedom of religion to celebrate its true meaning.

We are two weeks away from a new session and there are plenty of issues to discuss.  However, I encourage everyone to pause long enough to enjoy this wonderful holiday with their loved ones.  I am finishing up my last-minute shopping and preparing my home to welcome family and friends.  I look forward to a brief break to rest up before the fast pace of session begins.

Please remember those less fortunate who do not have the luxuries many of us do.  Sometimes we take our warm house and bountiful meals for granted this time of year.  Also, remember those serving our nation abroad.  They are sacrificing this precious time to ensure our safety and freedom.

My office will be closed next week, December 28 – January 4, to move back to the Capitol.  Due to this, there will not be a Ruestman Report.  We will reopen on Tuesday, January 5th.  Please feel free to contact us via email at Marilyn<dot>Ruestman<at>house<dot>mo<dot>gov during that time.  Thank you for your patience during this transition.  Merry Christmas!

Brandom: Missouri Farmers and Taxes

The Missouri Tax Commission has approved new productive values for agriculture land. The values are used to calculate property taxes and are determined by evaluating the potential earnings on the land through agriculture. This recommendation increases value as much as 29% for classes 1-4 and could result in as much as a $1.00 an acre increase for farmers in the Bootheel. Grade 1 represents prime crop land and Grade 8 represents unusable pasture. The increases in assessed valuation are as followed:

Grade of Land
2009 values
2011 values
This has been a tough economic year for many farmers that have experienced excessive wet weather while planting or harvesting. As Charles Kruse, the president of the Missouri Farm Bureau pointed out, extreme market volatility combined with record production expenses, unusually wet weather and weak demand have left many farmers struggling financially. These new productivity values are a backdoor tax increase. I believe the Commission made the wrong decision. History has proven that the best way to stimulate growth is to cut taxes and reduce the size of government. Agriculture is Missouri's number one product.

Fortunately, unlike in Washington, Missouri has a built in check for this sort of recommended tax increase. The legislature can pass a resolution within the first 60 days of session to reject the Commission’s ruling. I will be co-sponsoring this resolution upon the return of the Legislature to Jefferson City on January 6th, and will encourage all my colleagues in the House and Senate to join me in protecting the Missouri farmer.

On a personal note, I encourage everyone to remember in their thoughts and prayers all of our men and woman serving in the military, far away from their loved ones this holiday season. We must all be thankful for their dedication to our safety and security. I wish all of you a “Merry Christmas” and a “Happy and Healthy 2010.”

As always, please contact me if you have questions on this or any other issue. My toll-free number is 866-834-9219 or you can email me at Ellen<dot>Brandom<at>house<dot>mo<dot>gov.

Carter: Happy New Year, State Happenings, Handyman Program

The legislative session starts on Wednesday, January 6, 2010, and I will be in Jefferson City Monday through Thursday.  If you have time stop by and see me [Room 115-H], or feel free to just give my office a call. [573-751-7605 or 866-372-9703]

It's hard to believe that I have been in office for nearly a year now.  I have learned a lot during this past year, and I look forward to learning even more during the upcoming legislative session.  I've met many of my constituents, helped a lot of them with a lot of different issues and look forward to working with more during the next year.

This is the last newsletter of 2009.  Around the end of January you will start receiving newsletters once a week again.  If there is anything you would like to see addressed in the newsletter that I am not addressing please let Cheri know.

I also wanted to let you know that my office will be closed from December 23 through January 4, 2009 for the Holidays.  Please feel free to leave messages or send us an e-mail because Cheri will be checking those occasionally throughout that time.

For now, I hope you enjoy this newsletter, and wish each and every one of you a joyous and blessed Holiday Season.

19 December 2009

Schupp: Happy Holidays!, Listening Post on 21 December, Prescription Help?

Featured Article:

Click to view Holiday Card from Rep. Schupp.


Just a reminder that Rep. Schupp will be hosting office hours this Monday, December 21, from 9-10 am. Constituents are encouraged to bring their issues, concerns and questions to Rep. Schupp  during Monday's Listening Post.

These listening posts are scheduled the first and third Monday of each month through December from 9:00 to 10:00 am at Champion Bank in the conference room.

This will be the last listening post before the 2010 legislative session.

Champion Bank is located at 11401 Olive Blvd.

Need Help with Prescriptions?? A Message from Pfizer

It has been reported that in 2008, Pfizer Helpful Answers helped 21,000 Missourians receive 142,000 Pfizer prescriptions for free or at a savings.  The value of this was approximately $17,500,000 (at wholesale cost).

If you are, or know of a person truly in need of help with affording medication, please contact The Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA). This program is run by PhRMA and is a gateway to over 475 public and private patient assistance programs for a variety of prescription drugs.

Pfizer Helpful Answers:  This is Pfizer's family of patient assistance program for the uninsured and underinsured who need help getting Pfizer medicines.  These programs provide Pfizer medicines for free or at a savings to patients who qualify.  Some programs also offer reimbursement support services for people with insurance.

15 December 2009

Rep. Tishaura Jones joins young elected officials calling for energy action now

Tishaura, along with other Young Elected Officials, press President Obama,
Congress for clean energy jobs legislation in Copenhagen

COPENHAGEN – On the first day of the critical week of United Nations climate negotiations, young elected officials in Copenhagen and in the United States called on President Obama and Congress to secure a strong agreement that will grow clean energy jobs and address climate change.

Five young elected officials presented the statement (printed below) to the United States delegation in Copenhagen on Monday in advance of President Obama’s address all UN delegates on Friday, December 18.

“We have to make this planet a better place to live for our children long after we’re gone. What better way to solve two problems at once, the economy and the environment, than with clean energy jobs?” said Tishaura Jones, State Representative (D-63).

“Our message to President Obama and Congress is simple,” said Andy Katz, Director of the East Bay Municipal Utility District in California, and the Chair of Sierra Club California. “Revitalize our economy with clean energy jobs. Young Americans have the most at stake – and the highest price – if we fail to solve the climate and clean energy crisis.”

The statement attracted support from over 95 young elected city council members, mayors, and state representatives from 30 states.

“While the rest of the economy is struggling, clean energy jobs are a real bright spot,” said Rep. Jeremy Kalin (North Branch, MN), chair of CLEAN, the Coalition of Legislators for Energy Action Now working with the White House and the United States Senate. “Action in Copenhagen and in Congress is critical to scale up the job opportunities.

“Our dependence on oil is a serious threat to America’s national security, which is why both young people and veterans have called on making America more secure by taking control of our energy future," said Rep. Alex Cornell du Houx (Brunswick, ME), an Iraq war veteran in Copenhagen with the Truman National Security Project.

“The world is looking to the United States to lead again on climate solutions,” said Representative Kate Knuth (New Brighton, MN), attending the conference as a policy mentor to a youth delegation from the Will Steger Foundation.

“America cannot afford to be on the sidelines of the new, clean energy economy,” said Deputy Town Supervsior Dominic Frongillo (Caroline, NY). “Congress and President Obama can help regain our competitiveness and ensure the most advanced wind turbines, solar panels, and electric cars say ‘Made in America.’”

The statement presented to the United States delegation reads as follows:

“We, young elected officials of the United States, believe freedom, independence, and self sufficiency are at the heart of America, and should be at the heart of our strategy for energy independence in the 21st Century.

As elected representatives with a personal stake in our future, we believe it’s time for a bold, new vision for America’s future. We call on Congress to start investing in new, safe energy technologies like wind and solar power that will rebuild our manufacturing base, create jobs, and grow our economy. We need to put millions of Americans back to work refitting our homes and buildings for energy efficiency with jobs that can’t be shipped overseas.

The United States can lead once again by forging a bold, binding, and just agreement in Copenhagen that will secure a safe and abundant world for future generations of Americans.”

Tishaura O. Jones, 37, is a Missouri State Representative and Deputy Minority Whip

14 December 2009

Ruestman: Government Continues to Grow

You probably thought you'd seen it all when the liberals in Washington introduced socialized medicine and Cap and Trade, but they're not done.

New legislation introduced by Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold titled The Clean Water Restoration Act greatly expands the powers of the Environmental Protection Agency to allow them to regulate ALL water.  Currently, the EPA has jurisdiction over all "navigable" water; however, the new bill removes the word "navigable".  This means the EPA would have authority to regulate anything from mud puddles to melting snow on your land.

In 2005, the Supreme Court handed down a decision in Kelo vs. City of New London which allows the government to seize land from one private party to give to another private party.  It is appalling to learn that in the State of New York people are being forced to sell their property for a development aimed at giving the New Jersey Nets a new home with nearby shopping.  It seems that now your property only belongs to you until local elected officials determine tax dollars could be made by giving your land to developers.

California recently raised taxes 10 percent.  Due to years of poor decisions and bad spending habits by their politicians California is facing bankruptcy.  They now are shoving a huge tax increase down the throats of their constituents.  How do they explain this?  They say to consider it a "forced, interest-free loan" to the government.

Despite shocking evidence of unethical practices in research indicating global warming, President Obama and several high-ranking officials went to the environmental conference in Copenhagen last week.  The results of such a conference can only serve to chip away at America's sovereignty by agreeing to environmental protections determined by some other nations.  China, one of the world's largest polluters, is participating in the talks but will likely not sign the pact.  Without complete consensus, including China, the agreements are worthless.

It is time for all Missourians to take notice of what is going on around them.  We must begin to push back against these atrocities.  As we enter 2010 I encourage everyone to pay close attention to what is in the news.  The only true way to make a change is with your vote.  Think about it.

If you have problems, questions or wish to express concern over an issue, please do not hesitate to contact me or my Legislator Assistant, Jonathan, at my Capitol office either by phone 573-751-9801 or by e-mail at Marilyn<dot>Ruestman<at>house<dot>mo<dot>gov.

MO Expat: About Missives From Missouri

Welcome to Missives From Missouri, a blog aimed at letting the average Missourian (and Missourian at heart) in on what their elected representatives are up to.  This is achieved by allowing all 197 members of the Missouri General Assembly (163 House Representatives and 34 Senators) the opportunity to send us the weekly reports and press releases they send home to their constituents and media outlets.

I like to call these entries missives.  The word missive has been in the English language for almost 600 years, derived from Latin and Middle French words meaning "letters to be sent".  Today, missive is not used as often as its synonyms like "report", "letter", "dispatch" or "Facebook status", but when it was commonly used, the word conveyed a sense of authority, usually church, political or scholarly in nature.

I wish to stress that this blog does not nor cannot replace face-to-face contact with your elected officials.  If you wish to discuss an issue with them, it is easy to e-mail your representative or senator, or phone their office in Jefferson City.  If you are unsure who your representative and senator is, just click "Find Your State Leaders" on the left of this page and type in your ZIP Code.  Also, while you have the ability to comment on any missive (provided you have an active Blogger account) you will have a much better chance of receiving a response by directly contacting your representative or senator.

I also wish to stress that each missive and press release posted is as e-mailed to me and written by your elected representatives and senators. This blog only contains the opinions and viewpoints of those officials, as e-mailed to their district's constituents and media outlets, and will not necessarily reflect the opinions of the operator of Missives from Missouri, Kyle Hill.  All I'll do on this blog is upload each missive and press release.  But if you really want to know what I'm thinking, head over to my other blog, The Missouri Expatriate.

This blog is provided as a public service to all Missourians, and it is my hope that Missives from Missouri will be of service to you.  If you are a media outlet or fellow independent blogger looking for a particular missive, please do not deprive your readers, listeners, or viewers of where you found the missive.  If you are posting online content from which you used this blog as a source, I ask that you link to us, particularly the missive quoted. This service is as important to your readers, listeners and viewers as it is to you, and we're both in it to preserve government transparency and an open representative democracy.

I look forward to continually fulfilling this service to the residents of my native Missouri.

Kyle Hill (AKA The Missouri Expatriate)