Weather-Related Disclaimer: missives from legislators concerning road conditions, although timely and important, should be considered snapspots in time. For the most recent travel information, please consult MoDOT's Web site at

except when the post starts "MO Expat", all content published on Missives from Missouri is written and supplied by the noted legislator. Said missives will not necessarily reflect the views of Kyle Hill, the operator of Missives from Missouri, and as such the operator does not assume responsibility for its content. More information
Share this missive:

07 April 2010

Roorda: Opposition to St. Louis Police Local Control, FY2011 Budget Facts, Appliance Rebate Program


My colleagues and I continued our work at the State Capitol this week, focusing on local control issues in the House.  As some of you may know,  I served for 17 years as a law enforcement officer.  Decisions concerning law enforcement are very important to me.  HB 1601 would have the St. Louis police chief report to a public safety director, appointed by the mayor. As it stands now, the police chief reports to a board, made up of the mayor and four citizens appointed by the governor.  I have serious concerns about the pension systems that could be affected if this bill would have passed.  I voted against this bill to protect the police officer's pensions from future decisions that could have a negative effect. The bill was defeated by the vote of 66-86. For more information or to read the St. Louis Police Officer Association March paper click here.

Many of you have also written to me about tax issues.  The "Mega Tax" bill - HJR 56, which proposes a constitutional amendment replacing the individual and corporate income tax and sales and use tax with a Mega sales tax on retail sales, was given a hearing by the House Ways and Means Committee on March 18, but has not been voted on.  The fact that this bill presently seems to be stalled in committee, is a victory for the citizens of Missouri.

The Missouri Senate is taking a closer look at the more than $650 million in tax credits our state hands out each year. These credits allow developers and businesses to retain some of their tax dollars to reinvest in their projects and facilities. For years we've hoped these credits would help create new jobs and stimulate our economy. Now, as we deal with the reality of a sluggish economy and a budget that is $500 million out of balance, it's only right that we take a closer look at these credits to determine their true value. I'm hopeful the House will follow the Senate's lead by carefully reviewing our existing tax credits.

FY 2011 Budget Facts

The House budget process has been one-sided.  Although cuts needed to be made, cutting alone will not put Missouri on a sound financial footing.
Over the last decade, the Republican-controlled General Assembly has steadily eroded the state's tax base by granting tax credits to the politically well connected. These tax giveaways now cost the state $600 million a year and the amount is growing.

House Democrats voted for some of these credits because they were supposed to create jobs and increase state revenue. But the promised jobs haven't materialized. It is time for the state to re-evaluate its 60-plus tax credit programs and eliminate those that aren't producing a positive rate of return for the state. House Republicans refuse to even have the debate.
Under the Missouri Constitution, the first item lawmakers must fund, after paying the state debt, is our public schools. In reality that is no longer the case. Because tax credits aren't part of the budget, they are taken off the top and are funded automatically - before the state pays the debt or funds public schools.
When he submitted his proposed budget to lawmakers in January, the governor recommended an $18 million increase for public schools for the 2010-2011 school year. The House Budget Committee chairman bumped that amount by $87 million to $105 million, despite knowing that amount wasn't sustainable.
House Democrats warned that it was unfair for House Republicans to make promises to local schools that they had no intention of keeping. Sure enough, House Republicans not only stripped out the $87 million added in committee but the $18 million increase suggested by the governor.
As the House worked its way through about $224 million in cuts - some good, some not - House Democrats made sure that lawmakers shared in the pain, much to the dismay of House Republicans, by offering an amendment to cut $500,000 from the House's administrative budget. With nearly all state services being scaled back - many significantly - it is only fair for the House to also make sacrifices. NOTE: When looking at the overall $23 billion state budget, a $500,000 cut may seem insignificant. However, one must keep in mind that the House administrative budget is $11.3 million, meaning the cut comes to about 4.4 percent.
House Republicans complain that House Democrats haven't cooperated in the budget process. However, their idea of cooperation is for Democrats to do whatever Republicans want.
House Democrats have offered numerous ideas for a balanced approach to creating long-term financial stability for Missouri and mitigate the need to eliminate or reduce vital state services. House Republicans have ignored those suggestions.

Energize Missouri Appliance Rebate Program begins April 19

Department announces new Web site and toll-free line

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, MARCH 31, 2010 - Is that old water heater taking money out of your pocket? Is the air conditioning unit that strains and struggles to keep up during the summer heat taking all the dollars out of your vacation fund?

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has a solution: Swap out that old, energy-eating appliance for a new, energy-efficient appliance. Starting April 19, the state has $5.6 million for Missouri residents who want to reduce their energy bills.

Additional information about the Energize Missouri Appliance Rebate Program is now available online at and through a toll-free consumer information line at 877-541-4848. The consumer information line will be available from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m Monday through Friday.

The Energize Missouri Appliance Rebate Program will launch April 19. It is designed to maximize rebate eligibility and features a reservation system that will allow residents to reserve rebates in three different ways:

Through a participating local retailer or installation contractor at the point of purchase, beginning April 19.  Online via the program's Web site, beginning April 21.   Via the toll-free phone number, beginning April 21.

The program will roll out in two phases. Phase one begins April 19, when rebate reservations will be available only through local appliance retailers and installation contractors that have signed up to participate in the program. Participating retailers and installation contractors will be able to reserve rebates when qualified residents purchase a qualified appliance. Upon completion of the sales transaction, retailers and contractors will provide purchasers with a rebate application form that contains a unique reservation number. Missouri residents will be able to claim their rebate funds by mailing this form in along with their proof of purchase and recycling.

A limited amount of rebates will be set aside for the second phase of the program which starts April 21 and runs until all rebate funds have been exhausted. During phase two, residents will be able to reserve rebates online or via a toll-free phone number in addition to reserving through retailers and installation contractors. Residents will be able to reserve their rebate either before or after they purchase their qualifying appliance. They will be provided with a reservation form that contains a unique reservation number and will be able to claim their rebate by mailing this form in along with their proof of purchase and recycling.
Basic Eligibility Requirements
Consumers will qualify for a rebate when they meet all of the following conditions:
  • Must be a resident of Missouri, 18 years of age or older.
  • Must own the property where the appliances will be install, with the exception of clothes washers. Renters are eligible for clothes washer rebates.
  • Limited to one appliance per appliance category per address up to a total rebate of $575.
  • Purchased appliance must be ENERGY STAR® rated and qualified.
  • Must reserve the rebate and mail it along with all required support documentation within 60 days of making the reservation.
Appliances must be purchased after the April 19 commencement of the program. Appliances purchased prior to the start of the program will not be eligible. New appliances must be a replacement for a comparable item and the old appliance must be recycled. Rebates will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis until all rebates funding is depleted.  

Appliance retailers and installation contractors who wish to participate in the rebate program and assist customers with the reservation of rebates must register with the program. Those interested in registering can do so online at or by calling 877-233-1682.

The April 19 launch is scheduled to begin in conjunction with the "Show Me Green" ENERGY STAR Sales Tax Holiday, which runs from April 19-25.
To learn more about the Energize Missouri Appliance Rebate Program, please visit

U.S. Census Bureau Unveils Web site Detailing Participation Rates

Missouri among Top States to Return Census Forms

Jefferson City, Mo. - - The U.S. Census Bureau has launched a Web site that tracks participation rates in the 2010 Census by state, county and city. As of March 24, 2010, Missouri's response rate of 31 percent exceeded the national rate of 20 percent. The site also compares 2010's response with 2000 data. The Take Ten map updates data Monday through Friday and can be found at
"We are pleased to see these early indications of participation in the census," says Office of Administration Commissioner Kelvin L. Simmons, chairman of the Missouri Statewide Complete Count Committee. "Our committee has been working hard for the past year to educate residents about the census and to encourage them to look for the form, fill it out and mail it back. It looks like our efforts are paying off."

However Simmons warns residents to not get complacent. "There are some counties that are below the national rate. We will continue with our marketing efforts to encourage those residents to fill it out and mail it back. Census data is used in a variety of ways to determine how federal funds are distributed. We need to count every Missourian to ensure that our state receives funding for roads, jobs, teachers and healthcare."

Additionally, the latest research indicates that Missouri could retain or lose a seat in Congress by counting or missing less than one percent of the population. 
The Census Bureau estimates that if 100% of households mail back their forms, taxpayers would save $1.5 billion dollars that would be used on follow up, which includes having enumerators visit homes to gather census data.

DNR Announces 2009 Boost in Visitors to Mastodon State Historic Site, 6 Percent Growth in Visitors to State Parks Last Year

JEFFERSON CITY, MO., MARCH 29, 2010 -- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources announced today that Mastodon State Historic Site in Imperial saw a 36 percent increase in visitors in 2009.  The announcement follows an earlier announcement by Gov. Jay Nixon that Missouri's system of state parks saw an overall increase in visitors of 6 percent last year.

"Mastodon State Historic Site is just one of the many gems to be found in Missouri's state park system," Gov. Jay Nixon said.  "With the opportunities for inexpensive recreation and family activity that Mastodon State Historic Site provides for folks in the St. Louis area and beyond, it's no wonder that people flocked to the site last year in growing numbers."

The Division of State Parks reports that 463,250 visits were made to Mastodon State Historic Site in 2009. The previous year, the division recorded 340,183 visits to Mastodon State Historic Site.  The 36 percent increase in visitors over the previous year at this park is reflective of a larger trend that shows the number of visitors to Missouri state parks on the upswing for the first time in a decade.

Mastodon State Historic Site contains an important archaeological and paleontological site -- the Kimmswick Bone Bed, where scientists found the first solid evidence of the co-existence of humans and the American mastodons in eastern North America. The site's museum displays ancient artifacts, fossils and a mastodon skeleton replica. The area also includes hiking trails and picnic sites.

On Friday, Gov. Jay Nixon noted in his remarks at the initial meeting of the Children in Nature Challenge initiative, which he created via Executive Order 10-18 on Feb. 26, that total attendance at Missouri state parks in 2009 had risen to more than 15,890,785 visitors.  This is an increase of nearly one million visitors from the 2008 attendance figure of 14,937,471.

Gov. Nixon has implemented several initiatives encouraging awareness and use of Missouri's tremendous system of State Parks and Historic Sites.  In addition to the Children in Nature initiative, Gov. Nixon has created the State Parks Youth Corps, which will put one thousand young Missourians to work this summer on projects beautifying and maintaining state parks and historic sites.  He has also worked with the Missouri Division of Tourism to encourage people from Missouri and neighboring states to vacation at or near state parks.

Mastodon State Historic Site is located on 1050 Charles J. Becker Drive in Imperial. People requiring special services or accommodations can call the site at 636-464-2976 or the Department of Natural Resources toll free at 800-334-6946 (voice) or 800-379-2419 (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf). For information about state parks and historic sites, visit the Web at

If there is anything I can do for you, please do not hesitate to contact my office.  I enjoy serving my constituents as "their" voice in the Missouri State Capitol.

Look What the Easter Bunny brought....

Kellan Patrick McKenna
Arrived: Thursday, April 1st
Weight: 7 pounds 5 ounces
Length: 23 inches

Congratulations to Senator and Mrs. Ryan McKenna

No comments:

Post a Comment