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28 May 2010

Stouffer: Session in Review - Veterans' Issues

The 2010 legislative session proved to be fairly successful in terms of helping folks in the military. I think it is fitting that the session ended during May, which is Military Appreciation Month.

Among the bills that have been sent to the governor is House Bill 1524, which is an omnibus veterans bill. Part of this measure creates the Missouri Youth Challenge Academy, under the Missouri National Guard. This academy would provide residential, military-based training and supervised work experience to at-risk high school age youth. The act also creates the Missouri Youth Challenge Fund to support the academy, which would consist of gifts, donations and appropriations. This provision was also in a bill that I handled in the Missouri Senate, House Bill 2262, which was passed by lawmakers this session as well. Both bills were signed into law by the governor on May 27.

Other aspects of House Bill 1524 recognize "prisoner of war" and "missing in action" designations as valid descriptions of casualty status and category classification for military personnel; define the "primary next of kin" in order of precedence — a surviving spouse, eldest child, father or mother, eldest brother or sister or eldest grandchild — for the purposes of the Uniform Code of Military Justice; and allow for overseas voting for active military members.

Another measure that I sponsored, but was not successful was Senate Concurrent Resolution 45. This was written to tell Congress to continue to support the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Federal lawmakers are threatening to do away with this policy, despite the fact it has worked very well. I have said many times that this is not the time to be changing a major policy. My hope is that the will of the American people will win out over the bureaucrats on Capitol Hill.

We worked really hard with the available resources and small amount of funding this year. I always try to do everything possible in the Missouri General Assembly to help our men and women in the U.S. military. I pray for all the folks who are currently in harm's way, their families and all of those who have given their lives to help keep this the greatest country to live, work and raise a family.

27 May 2010

Rupp: Session Ends on Successful Note

A flurry of activity was ended with the loud bang of the gavel, as the Senate session came to a close at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 14. For those of you keeping score at home, there were 491 Senate bills, 1,265 House Bills, and 83 Joint Resolutions filed this session, yet only a handful of these measures made it out of the Legislature, where they now sit on the governor’s desk and await his signature.

A portion of the legislation that made it to the executive branch were my efforts, while others contained language that I had worked on this session. My biggest priority was to protect taxpayers by balancing the budget without a tax increase. Reducing government spending was also accomplished and will continue to be priorities next session. We tackled the worst budget crisis in our state’s history head-on by advancing several “Rebooting Government” ideas to make government smaller and more efficient (click here to learn more about “Rebooting Government” initiatives.) You may always see my work at my website, but here’s a quick recap of my other priorities:

Autism Spectrum Disorder Insurance Reform – This year we finally were able to get this much-needed insurance reform out of the Legislature and ready for the many families whose lives will be impacted by this historic measure. Under House Bill 1311, insurance companies would no longer be able to deny or cancel coverage just because a child has autism. The proposed insurance coverage would include a physician or psychiatrist’s referral of Applied Behavior Analysis therapy — up to $40,000 per year for individuals — with a cost-of-living adjustment included. This measure makes Missouri the 20th state to cover the diagnosis and treatment of those on the autism spectrum.

Abortion – Language that I wrote that banned any health exchanges in Missouri — including the ones proposed in the federal health care legislation — from offering insurance coverage for abortion, was passed in a bill that also increased the requirements for abortion. These expanded requirements found in Senate Bill 793 include a chance for the mother to hear the child’s heartbeat, see an ultrasound, and view printed materials that detail the child’s development. It also includes mandatory referral to counseling and the Alternatives to Abortion program, and an explanation of the father’s responsibility for child support. Missouri continues to be a leader in protecting life, and I am blessed to be a part of this huge victory for life.

Health Care Freedom Act – This legislation, House Bill 1764, takes the issue to the voters and allows Missouri to be one of the first to sound off on the federal health care plan. If passed in August, no Missourian would be forced to participate in any government or privately run health care system, and it would ensure Missourians remain in charge of their own healthcare decisions without facing fines or penalties from the federal government.

For a complete listing of all Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed bills for the 2010 Session go to the Senate website at and click on “Session Information” on the right hand side for drop down menu. Then click on “Truly Agreed Bills” for the list.

All in all, I’d have to say that it was a very successful session, as my legislation continued to put Missouri at the forefront of the nation in conservative values. Thank you for your support this session, and I hope to see you in the community.


If you have not done so, please fill out and mail in your census forms. It is important that everyone is counted. There are two options if someone did not receive a census form or misplaced it.
  1. Call the Kansas City regional office to complete a census form over the phone. The number is: ENGLISH - 1-866-872-6868
  2. Call one of the regional centers to request to be placed on a list to receive a door to door visit from a census taker. The location and numbers of the regional centers are as follows:

    West US Highway 40
    Odessa, MO 64076
    Phone: 816-565-4054

    Cape Girardeau
    South Silver Springs Road
    Cape Girardeau, MO 65703
    Phone: 573-290-3220

    Business Loop 70 West
    Columbia, MO 64108
    Phone: 573-818-3330

    Kansas City
    Pershing Square
    Kansas City, MO 64108
    Phone: 816-977-2140

    Springfield, MO 65806
    Phone: 1-866-861-2010

    St. Joseph
    Frederick Boulevard
    St. Joseph, MO 64506
    Phone: 816-385-5180

    St. Louis City
    Goodfellow Boulevard
    Saint Louis, MO 63120
    Phone: 314-802-9410

    St. Charles
    Bass Pro Drive
    St. Charles, MO 63303
    Phone: 636-866-2020

    Watson Road
    Crestwood, MO 63126
    Phone: 314-800-0680
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.

Engler: Urging Your Participation in the 2010 Census

The U.S. Census, completed every 10 years, counts every resident in the United States and is required by the Constitution. In March, census forms were mailed to households, and census takers are now working to collect census data from those who do not return their census forms. By law, the Census Bureau must deliver population data to the President of the United States in December for reapportionment.

The census is very important to our state due to redistricting. In Missouri, Congressional redistricting is the responsibility of the Legislature, and must be done after the Census. Redistricting is a key component to fairness in our government and it’s absolutely essential that our state’s census figures reflect our true population. Census Bureau statistics determine the allocation of Congressional seats, electoral votes, and government program funding.

Missouri currently holds nine Congressional seats. There has been great concern that our state could lose one of those Congressional seats if our population declines. Currently, Missouri is performing poorly in census collections, especially in rural and outstate areas. Some of our worst performing areas are south of I-70, including the 3rd Senatorial District.

According to the US census 2010 projections released in December, Missouri could get the 435th seat in Congress. However, Missouri’s participation is just above the national average, and as opposed to Minnesota, which is among the top two states for mail participation. According to census predictions released in December, the difference between Missouri and Minnesota’s count is only 10,000 people. If Minnesota’s census count is favorable relative to Missouri’s, they could keep their seat in Congress, and we’ll lose ours.

If you have not yet participated in the census, I urge you to respond. If you did not get a census form or misplaced it, you can still be counted. Call 1-866-872-6868 to complete the census over the phone. You can also call one of the regional centers to request to be placed on a list to receive a door to door visit from a census taker. Regional centers are located in Crestwood (314-800-0680) and Cape Girardeau (573-290-3220).

As well as helping to determine our Congressional seats, the 2010 census will help communities receive federal funds each year for things like, hospitals, job training centers, schools, senior centers, bridges, tunnels and other-public works projects, and emergency services. By answering 10 questions, you are making a difference in your community and your state.

Nodler: Taking Time to Reflect this Memorial Day

On May 31, many families will gather for picnics, barbeques, and other celebrations of summer, but it is important that we remember the reason for Memorial Day — to reflect and be thankful for the sacrifices of our service men and women. The day is set aside to recognize our fallen heroes and keep their memories strong.

Memorial Day originated in the years following the Civil War and was first called Decoration Day. May 30, 1868 marked the first celebration of Decoration Day, which was designed to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers. This first observance included the participation of 5,000 individuals, who decorated the graves of 20,000 soldiers with flowers and ribbons.

Communities throughout the nation continued to take the time to observe Decoration Day, holding ceremonies and taking time to honor their fallen heroes. In 1917, the United States first joined the global stage when President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany in order to “...make the world safe for democracy, and fight this war to end all wars.” America lost more than 130,000 soldiers, and the nation’s shared loss led communities to set time aside to honor all of those who had died in all of America’s wars. Memorial Day became an official federal holiday in 1971.

Memorial Day is set aside to recognize the fallen service men and women of every generation, from the earliest fighters to those who are serving today. It is our most solemn holiday, one designed to give us the opportunity to reflect on those who gave everything to protect our freedom. All across America, people gather to pay tribute to those who gave their lives for their nation’s freedom.

I hope you will join me this Memorial Day to take the time to remember the service men and women who do not return home to their families, as well as supporting our troops who are fighting today.

Schupp: Session Recap, Happy Memorial Day, Visitors To The Capitol

The second session of the 95th General Assembly ended Friday, May 14, at 6:00 PM. I have read accounts of the session on blogs and in print and listened via radio and television. It is fascinating to hear the perceptions about the session.
We all seem to walk away with varying impressions.

That stated, you can each draw your conclusions by looking at the bills that were and those that were not passed. The Governor will have to work to balance the budget, the one area most agree still requires significant overhaul.

Thank you for keeping in touch with me as I work to serve our district and state. I so appreciate the opportunity.



Session Recap


If you read my bulletin, you are aware that the General Assembly passed legislation [HB1311] that will require state-regulated insurance companies to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder. The legislation passed with overwhelming support in both chambers.

Key provisions of the bill would require insurers to provide up to $40,000 a year in coverage for behavioral therapy for children with autism through age 18.


Unanimous approval was given to a top legislative priority that was brought front and center through a St. Louis Post Dispatch series on persistent drunken driving offenders. The legislation [HB1695] is a good start. It helps move offenders to the state court system in an attempt to identify repeat offenders and keep them from plea bargaining their way back behind the wheel.

It prohibits offenders caught driving with a blood alcohol content of .15 or higher from receiving a suspended imposition of sentence. The bill would allow some offenders to have their driving privileges partially reinstated earlier if they successfully complete a treatment program.

The final version of the bill removed a section characterized as the "vampire provision" that would allow police to forcibly extract a blood sample from DWI suspects without a warrant. It was argued successfully that this provision would violate constitutional protections against warrantless searches.


Conspicuously absent from a final passed version of the Ethics Reform legislation [SB844] are provisions that would cap campaign contributions, prevent the revolving door concept of legislators moving right into the role of lobbyist, and keep legislators from serving as paid campaign consultants during their legislative term.

Included in the final legislation was passage of a provision that will make it harder to obscure the sources of campaign contributions.


Noteworthy for what it did not do as well as what it did, the Education bill did not expand the amount of time for implementation of the school funding formula, which was of great concern to many districts throughout the state. It does not allow school construction to be exempt from prevailing wage law.

It revises the Parents as Teachers program to focus on high-needs families. It also allows districts to charge for Parents as Teachers services on a sliding scale based on income. With the significant budget cut for Parents as Teachers, this is likely one of the few ways we can continue to provide the program.

The bill exempts school districts from MSIP (Missouri School Improvement Plan) resource standards, professional development spending requirements and teacher fund placement requirements for the next three years. These cost cutting measures can have the effect of undermining ongoing improvement at our schools around the state.

That stated, I believe that the school districts within the 82nd state house district: Ladue, Parkway and Pattonville, will use their resources to continue to make the best decisions in support of providing quality education to students.


Students who receive need-based scholarships from our State to attend either Missouri's public or private colleges and universities will begin receiving equal amounts starting in the 2014-2015 school year.

Currently, private school participants in the Access Missouri Scholarship program receive up to $4,600 annually while students attending public colleges and universities get less than half that amount -- $2,150 a year. The amount will equalize at a maximum of $2,850 per year regardless of the four year institution, subject to appropriations. [SB733]


A synthetic substance that is supposed to mimic the effects of marijuana will be banned if the Governor signs the bill [HB1472] into law. The substance is applied to a mixture of dried herbs and sold under several brand names, one of the most common being K2.

Punishment for possession would be similar to that for marijuana, with possession of 35 grams or less a misdemeanor and possession of larger amounts elevated to a felony.


At a college graduation event, friends and I discussed the idea that the press was characterizing this as an unproductive session because of the relatively lower number of bills passed. I do not subscribe to the idea that more is better, but I do believe that fact that we did not pass an economic development bill...a "jobs" bill leaves us wanting this session. I look forward to reviewing our cuts versus revenue opportunities, and reinvigorating our economy.

26 May 2010

Gatschenberger: Town Hall Report, Constitutionality of Adult Business Regulations, School Safety Measure Passes

Town Hall Report

Last week I held a Town Hall Meeting at the Lake St. Louis City Hall. Larry Schepker, Director of House Appropriations and Mike Price, Budget Analyst III, presented the 2011 State Budget and answered questions regarding funding cuts. They also explained why the 2012 budget will be even more of a challenge for us to balance during the next legislative session due to an $850,000,000 decrease in Federal funding. A detail of his report will be in my next Capitol Report.

Representative Brian Nieves, R – District 98… Candidate for Missouri Senate District 26… explained the State Sovereignty Legislation we passed and the resulting vote that will be put before you on the August ballot giving you the opportunity to exempt yourself and your business from the new Federal Health Care requirements.

Representative Brian Nieves speaks to Town Hall Attendees

Please be my guest!

What: Town Hall Meeting
When: June 24th – 7:00 pm
Where: Wentzville City Hall – 310 W Pearce Blvd
Information on what the University of Missouri Extension Office can do for you as an individual… or as a small business. Scott Killpack from the University of Missouri Extension Office in St. Charles County will explain what is available and how you can take advantage of their services. For example… did you know they can help you with your yard problems? Your health & nutrition questions? Your small business ideas? Your needs as a dislocated worker? Your family financial maze?

Also, James Gremaud from the Missouri Department of Transportation will be on hand to give you an update of MoDot projects in the 13th District and get your thoughts on Truck Lanes.

You won’t want to miss this very important information session… so please mark your calendars now!

More than 70 people attended my last Town Hall Meeting in Wentzville

For questions on the content of this meeting you may contact my Capitol office at (573) 751-3572 or e-mail me at Chuck{dot}Gatschenberger{at}house{dot}mo{dot}gov

Legislative Update

I heard from many of you regarding the Sexually Oriented Business Regulation Legislation in SB’s 586 and 617… so I am sharing a summary that details the intent and provisions of HCS SS SCS SBs 586 & 617 as follows:

Key Elements of the Legislation…

  • Restricts placement of sexually oriented businesses
    Cannot be within 1000 feet of a preexisting school, house of worship, state-licensed daycare, public library, public park, residence, or other sexually oriented business.
  • Restricts ownership
    No person shall establish a sexually oriented business if a person with an influential interest in such business has been convicted of, or released from confinement, for certain crimes within the last eight years.
  • Limits nudity and contact with patrons
    Employee must remain on stage at least six feet from the patrons and at least eighteen inches from the floor
  • Requires an unobstructed view of each area that patron’s are permitted
    The worst offenses take place behind closed doors.
  • Allows 180 days to come into compliance
  • Restricts hours and alcohol
    No sexually oriented business shall be open between the hours of midnight and 6:00 a.m.
    Prohibits alcohol sales, use, or consumption on premises of sexually oriented business.
  • Establishes the standard that violations are committed “knowingly or recklessly”
  • Penalty of violations
    A misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $500 or imprisonment not to exceed 90 days.
    Any business repeatedly operated in violation of this act shall constitute a public nuisance and shall be subject to civil abatement proceedings.

Constitutionality of this Legislation:

The Supreme Court has ruled that regulations of sexually oriented businesses are constitutional so long as they are not aimed at preventing speech ("unrelated to the suppression of free expression"), but rather are directed at stopping the "negative secondary effects" associated with "adult" establishments. Thus, if your intent is to protect neighborhoods keep crime down and preserve property values, and if you still allow the pornographic speech to occur subject to certain regulations, there is no constitutional violation.

Court Cases
8th Circuit Court – 10 cases:

There are at least 170 sexually-oriented businesses in Missouri (55 cities, 31 counties)

School Safety Measure Passes

A wide ranging school safety bill that I cosponsored (HB 1543) passed the General Assembly on the last day of the session and includes the following:
  • Expanding the reporting of violent acts to include all teachers at the student’s school and other employees who need to know.
  • Specifying that a suspended student who is not allowed on school property without permission is also prohibited from attending school events occurring elsewhere.
  • Requiring a notice of reportable offenses to be attached to an offending student’s record and transcript.
  • Allowing school districts to require a school uniform or restrict student dress.
  • Exempting unqualified employees who refuse to administer medication or medical services from disciplinary action.
  • Exempting qualified employees from civil liability for administering medication or medical services, in good faith and according to standard practices.
  • Requiring any spanking to take place in front of a witness who is a school district employee.
  • Specifying that use of reasonable force by school employees to protect people or property is not considered child abuse.
The bill also requires districts to change the definition of “bullying” to include cyber-bullying. Also, contractors or subcontractor working on construction projects at public and charter schools must conduct random drug and alcohol testing. St. Louis City schools will be allowed to use a hearing officer for employee termination hearings as long as they are under control of a Special Administrative Board.

Schools given funding flexibility

School districts will have some spending flexibility during the next few years, because legislators aged to relax some stat e requirements during times of financial difficulty. The changes are included in the same bill I co-sponsored (HB 1543).

School districts will be exuded from required spending 0n professional development in fiscal years 21011, 2012, 2013 if the foundation formula is not funded at the level that is needed to meet the phase-in percentages for the new formula. They will also be excluded for the same years if transportation funding is not enough to reimburse 75 percent of costs.

School districts must send at least 1 percent of their state money on professional development. Under this proposal, when the state does not meet its obligation for funding the foundation formula or transportation, the state would not require schools to send money on professional development. Schools would also be relieved of their required fund placement and expenditure requirements.

The flexibility extends into the Missouri School Improvement Program as well. If the state fails to meet the same financial commitments, the school districts will not be penalized for failure to meet the resource standards that are part of MSIP.

Ed Departments to Stay Separate

“A proposal to combine state education departments provided too many questions and not enough answers”, said committee member Chuck Gatschenberger.

As a result, voters will not decide on this issue in a constitutional referendum this November. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will not merge with the Department of Higher Education.

SJR 44 and 45 (Senator Charlie Shields) were intended to streamline education, from early childhood to post secondary. The committee became bogged down discussing the proper size of the board and whether board members should be appointed at large from geographical areas, or represent certain segments of education.

Committee members also became concerned about the actual duties and powers a new board would have. Many of these would not be defended in the constitution, but in state statuettes that would have to be developed upon voter approval. The merger would not have made dramatic changes to K-12 education, but committee members were uneasy about its potential impact to higher education. As a result, the proposal did not move forward in the committee.

Representative Gayle Kingery announced he intends to send a letter to the speaker of the house requesting the Joint Committee on Education discuss this issue, and make a report available before the next legislative session.


As always, please let me know your thoughts about these or other matters of concern by calling my office at: (573) 751-3572 or by emailing me at chuck{dot}gatschenberger{at}house{dot}mo{dot}gov


Listen to a free Chorus… courtesy of Mother Nature and the Gray Tree frogs this month… also bird song at daybreak is at its peak this month.

Stake out a den and watch the parade... young beavers, woodchucks and groundhogs… even coyote pups… emerge from their dens and take a look around.

Nance: Memorial Day Reflections, Road Work This Summer

"We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies."
–Moina Michael, 1915

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

After World War I the holiday was changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war.

It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971). I will have the honor to speak at two Ray County cemeteries for the Richmond VFW on Memorial Day.  There will also be a ceremony at the Clay/Ray Vets Club in Excelsior Springs. Both events start at 10 am. Have a safe week end.

In the District:

Road Work Scheduled for Ray County 2010:

Road Projects
  • Route D: Pavement treatment from eastern Lawson City Limits to Route C in Ray County
  • Route Y: Pavement treatment from beginning of state maintenance to MO Route 10
  • Route O: Pavement treatment from MO Route 10 to MO Route 210
  • Route B: Chip seal from Route K to MO Route 13
  • Route C: Chip seal from beginning of state maintenance to Route M
Safe & Sound
  • MO Route 10: Rehabilitation of Bridge G0950 over Fishing River east of Route Y
  • Route A: Replacement of bridge S0005 over drainage ditch north of MO Route 10
  • Route B: Replacement of bridge X0771 over Cottonwood Creek east of MO 13
  • Route E: Replacement of bridge N0298 over south Mud Creek north of Route PP
  • Route K: Replacement of bridge P0793 over Crooked River south of Route B
  • MO Route A: Replacement of bridge S0487 over Crabapple Creek near Route K
  • MO Route T: Replacement of bridge S0699 over Rollins Creek near MO Route 210
  • MO Route 13: Pavement treatment from Route 10 in Richmond to the Caldwell County line
Bridge work of note in Clay County:
  • Route:  MO 10 at US 69
    Bridge No.:  L0535
    Construction Start: Summer 2010
    Scheduled for May 2010 letting.
    Daily traffic volume: 8735
  • Route: Route N at Fishing River
    Bridge No.:  K0648
    Construction Start: Late June, 2010
    Days closed: 54
    Daily traffic volume: 998
Additional Programmed Construction Projects on Various Routes
  • Asphalt repair at various locations
  • Concrete repair at various locations
  • Add rumble strips on various rural major routes

I had the opportunity to present end of session updates to the Excelsior Springs Rotary Club on May 18th and to the Clay County Economic Development Council on May 25, 2010.

Davis: STD Bill

The last week of session, I presided for the last time in the House since I will be term-limited out of this office.  Some people think the Speaker of the House is always presiding, but he can designate others to help with the task, especially since the hours we spend can be very lengthy.  My new motto is, "Walk softly, but carry a big gavel".

The Surprise STD Bill

While I feel very positive about the legislative accomplishments of this session, one of the most misguided bills that survived the legislative process will become law.  There's an old expression that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The last day of session the legislature sent a bill to the governor's desk that is like putting a band-aid on a gun shot wound and does nothing to actually solve the problem.  The root cause of many public healthcare issues stems from sexual promiscuity.  The cost for living an immoral lifestyle has an economic impact on our state, which ultimately costs the taxpayers.

Some call this the "Doggie Bag" bill or the "Promiscuous Partner" bill.  It is about "buy one, get one free" drugs to treat two sexually transmitted diseases. HB 1375 allows doctors to give out extra prescriptions to the sexual partner(s) who are too low to even show up at a free STD clinic and get their own prescription.  The state may pay for both the doctor visit and the drugs.  When this bill came through my Healthcare Policy Committee, I was successful in adding an amendment that would at least require the anonymous person to fill out a "health history" form.  This would disclose any known allergies.  The senate striped this provision out of the bill.

Attempting to remove more natural consequences yet, the senators added another section to the bill requiring the state to produce a brochure encouraging parents to get their children the HPV vaccine.  This is a vaccine for another STD.  Were it for people being responsible, faithful and moral, this would not have been a topic of discussion!  So the state's answer is to push the drug company's remedies so that people can get worse diseases that will not be cured with a simple pill or shot.  There is no drug ever made that can fix a broken heart or a broken conscience.

During the debate I argued that this vaccine has had some negative reactions and questioned why we are involving the state in part of the marketing strategy for private "For-Profit" companies.  If the drug companies want to sell more vaccines, they ought to be the ones promoting their products, not the government.  This is one difference between free markets and socialistic governments.

Why should the government be involved in promoting something that may harm our citizens? Follow this link to read an article on HPV vaccine deaths: safety-analysis

Good public policy is about standing up for what is right, not what is "politically popular".  Several other Representatives joined me in voting against this bill. Tom Dempsey from St. Charles also deserves credit for being one of seven Senators who did not support this bill.  However the majority of the General Assembly passed it.

So what is the ounce of cure?  The only real hope is for parents to teach their children the benefits of chastity.

Your thoughts are important to me, so please let me know what you think about the STD bill that is now the desk of the governor. You can send me your opinion by clicking here: Cynthia Davis

Memorial Day

On Friday, May 28, I will be speaking at the Memorial Day Ceremony at Logan College of Chiropractic in Chesterfield, Missouri.  I urge you to attend a Memorial Day service this weekend.  While barbeques and family gatherings are important, it will add to the richness of your weekend to take some time to demonstrate gratitude for those who died serving our country so that we could enjoy life, liberties and pursuit of happiness.

A Little Bit of Humor . . .

This is cooler than the terrorist fist bump, no?

Photo source: Doctors learn elbow greeting to lower swine flu risk

25 May 2010

Joe Smith: Thank You and God Bless

Dear 14 District Constituents,

May God Bless everyone that helped me out over the years with my State Representative career. I am truly thankful for what all of you have done to get me to Jefferson City as your State Representative over the last 8 years. I really do appreciate it. Thank you so much.

Joe Smith

Joe Smith: MoDOT Lists 10 Work Zones to Watch Out For

JEFFERSON CITY – To help ensure your travels are as carefree as possible, the Missouri Department of Transportation has developed a list of 10 work zones to be on the lookout for this summer.

The list provides information on how the work zones will affect travel and for how long. A video and clickable map providing more details about the projects can be found at In addition, information on work zones statewide is available up to a week in advance on the department’s Traveler Information Map located at or by calling toll-free 888-ASK-MoDOT. While most work zones will not be active over the Memorial Day weekend, it may be necessary for lane closures to remain in place.

Besides these highway improvements, more than 200 bridges are scheduled for work this year under the department’s Safe and Sound Bridge Improvement Program. In almost all cases, the bridges will be closed during construction to lower the cost and allow for speedy completion.

Motorists are asked to rate MoDOT’s work zones by visiting the department’s website – - and clicking on the Rate Our Work Zones button.

Ten Work Zones to Look Out For in 2010

  1. Kansas City – kcICON - Interstate 29/35 reconstruction
    Interstate 29/35 from Route 210/Armour Road to the northeast corner of the downtown Kansas City central business district loop will have restricted lanes and various ramp closures through July 2011. Two restricted lanes will be open daily 6-8:30 a.m. and 3:30-6:30 p.m. Expect delays during both peak and non-peak hours. This project includes construction of the new, landmark Christopher S. Bond Missouri River Bridge. The route carries 102,000 vehicles per day. For more information, visit
  2. St. Louis - Interstate 270 and Dorsett/Page - interchange improvements
    Traffic on Interstate 270 at Dorsett will be diverted to a bypass with reduced lanes during construction of a new I-270 bridge over Dorsett. The project also includes construction of a second auxiliary lane on northbound I-270 between Olive and Page. Work will continue day and night through fall 2010. The project is estimated to impact 171,000 vehicles.
  3. Springfield - Route 60/65 interchange reconstruction and six-laning project
    Highway work in southeast Springfield at the Route 60/Route 65 crossroads involves rebuilding an interchange; adding two new "flyover" directional ramps; building bridges to carry Route 60 traffic and ramp track over railroad tracks; and replacing, rehabilitating and widening several bridges. Lane and ramp closings will take place mainly at night. Delays are possible at the interchange due to traffic shifts and narrowed driving lanes. This portion of the project, scheduled for completion in October 2012, affects about 125,000 vehicles a day. In addition, eight miles of Route 65 between Route 60 and I-44 in east Springfield will be widened to six lanes. The project also includes replacing, rehabilitating and widening a number of bridges. Delays are possible due to traffic shifts, narrowed driving lanes and reduced speed limits. Work will be finished in October 2011.
  4. Cape Girardeau, Perry and Pemiscot Counties - Interstate 55 improvements
    Work to improve northbound Interstate 55 from Route 61 at Fruitland to Route B at Biehle is under way. Traffic is shifted to use the southbound lanes and is running head-to-head from Route 61 to south of the Route KK ramps. The Route E northbound on and off ramps will also remain closed. The northbound lanes of Interstate 55 in Cape Girardeau and Perry counties carry approximately 8,300 vehicles daily. Completion is anticipated in fall 2010. In addition, improvements to northbound I-55 from Route U/J to Route 164 in Pemiscot County began this April. Traffic will be shifted to the southbound lanes only. This section of I-55 carries approximately 19,200 vehicles a day. Work is expected to be finished this summer.
  5. Kansas City – Interstate 70 improvements
    MoDOT is rehabilitating 14 bridges on I-70 and improving the I-70 and I-435 interchange. To repair the bridges, I-70 will be reduced to two lanes on eastbound I-70 from downtown Kansas City to Van Brunt Boulevard until December. Afternoon rush hour eastbound traffic likely will be slowed into late fall. At the same time, work to improve access at I-70 and I-435 will impact more than 200,000 travelers heading to the Truman Sports Complex and other destinations. Work this summer is centered on 40 Highway and I-435 at the I-70 interchange. This project will slow traffic on the interstates and will close 40 Highway during the summer while a new bridge is constructed.
  6. Jefferson City - U.S. 54 Eastbound/U.S. 63 Northbound Missouri River Bridge
    Construction of a pedestrian/bicycle attachment on the existing bridge will close the Main Street ramp. Lanes across the bridge will be narrowed and some lane closures may be necessary at times. Motorists should expect delays. The route carries nearly 50,000 daily motorists. Work will be ongoing through May 2011.
  7. Franklin County – Lane additions and improvements on Interstate 44 between Pacific and Route 100
    This project consists of grading, drainage improvements, pavement replacement, a median closure and an additional lane added in both directions on I-44 between Pacific and the Route 100 (Washington) exit. This project will be completed in October 2010.
  8. Crawford County - Interstate 44 resurfacing
    More than 10 miles of the eastbound lanes of I-44 from just west of Route H to the Franklin County line will be resurfaced under this project. Restricted lanes and various ramp closures will begin this fall. This area carries 30,000 vehicles per day, and motorists should anticipate delays during day and evening hours while work is in progress.
  9. Andrew County - Interstate 29 Overpass (Safe & Sound bridge)
    Two bridges at the intersection of Routes 59/Business 71with I-29 will get new decks. MoDOT will close one bridge at a time and move traffic head-to-head on the other bridge via crossovers. Daily delays are expected during morning and evening commutes. Work will continue through December 2010. The project will impact about 10,000 vehicles a day.
  10. Chillicothe - Resurfacing Route 65 from Route 36 at Chillicothe to Iowa
    This project involves resurfacing 57 miles across three counties of Route 65 from Chillicothe to the Iowa state line. Work includes shoulder improvements, as well as centerline and edgeline rumble strips. Traffic will be reduced to one lane in the work zone areas. Route 65 carries more than 10,000 vehicles per day depending on the location. Moderate delays can be expected. Work will begin in May and be completed late fall.

Schaefer: End of Session Report

The end of the session has finally arrived! I am happy to report that, despite a tough budget year, we have worked hard to pass legislation that will improve our state in a fiscally responsible way. In my position as the vice-chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, my colleagues and I made some extremely tough decisions. It is always disheartening to cut funding to important state programs and agencies, but I was encouraged by the manner in which the Missouri Legislature worked together in these tough times.

There were a number of bills I was involved in since the start of the year that passed in the final days of legislative session. House Bill 1472, regarding the banning of possession of spice cannabinoids, commonly known as K2, was passed. This bill was sponsored by Rep. Franz, and I was proud to sponsor it in the Senate and help shepherd it through the legislative process. The final bill made the possession of spice cannabinoids a misdemeanor.

Additionally, changes to the Access Missouri Scholarship program, which included equalizing the amount ($2,850) students receive for attending a public or private four-year institution was passed in Senate Bill 733. I worked very hard with Universities and private institutions to come to an agreement that would please all those involved. I am happy that we were able to find a solution before this important scholarship ran its course.

I am also pleased to report that my legislation concerning DWI courts also passed. House Bill 1695, which I handled in the Senate, was passed during the last week of session. The bill creates, among other provisions, DWI courts for those accused of intoxication-related traffic offenses. Law enforcement agencies and prosecuting attorneys must now adopt a policy to report the arrest information for all intoxication-related traffic offenses to the State Highway Patrol, and the State Highway Patrol must maintain regular reports of alcohol-related arrests, charges, and dispositions based on this data. I am hopeful that this legislation will help keep first-time offenders from driving under the influence in the future and solve any problems with multiple DWI offenders receiving little punishment.

I was also happy to help pass HB 2070, this session. This bill allows any town or fire protection district to use funds derived from the central fire and emergency dispatching services tax to purchase equipment, especially updated communications equipment. Currently, the funds can only be used for establishing and providing services.

Senate Bill 884, which I introduced at the beginning of session, also passed. This bill requires all tobacco manufacturers selling cigarettes in Missouri to report to the Department of Revenue and the attorney general’s office each year to ensure they are in compliance with the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. This bill closes a loophole that will better protect Missouri citizens.

House Bill 2201, which I handled in the Senate, was also passed. Currently, a conservator of an estate can only invest liquid assets in a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insured financial institution. This bill revised the probate code to allow conservators to also invest in credit unions insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund.

I was very pleased with what the Legislature was able to accomplish this year, but as always, there is much more work to be done. The citizens of Boone and Randolph counties, and all Missouri residents, are extremely important to me. As your state senator, I seek to represent you fairly and honestly. I will continue working on your behalf during the interim, and I look forward to the next legislative session. If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Purgason: A Summary Of Legislation Passed

The work of your 95th General Assembly second regular session has come to a close with the passage of 94 policy bills and 13 budget bills which now await the Governor's signature.  For the first time in many years lawmakers have succeeded in limiting the number of bills truly agreed and finally passed to less than 100 pieces of legislation.

Yes, some new laws and improvements to old laws are need from time to time, however, we do not need a law for everything or government to hold our hand in everything we do.

After putting forth a smaller budget without a tax increase, which dominated the majority of the legislative session, lawmakers pushed forward to truly agree and finally pass some important legislation.

In the last week of session the House and Senate agreed to send the "Health Care Freedom Act" [HB1764] to a vote of the people in upcoming August 2nd primary election.  This August 2nd ballot proposal will ask voters to decide whether to amend state statutes to deny the federal government's new found authority to penalize citizens and businesses for refusing to purchase health insurance.  Now, you can decide with your vote and send a meaningful message to Washington regarding the federal government's recent takeover of your healthcare.

Missouri is the first state in the union to put the new federal health insurance mandate before a vote of the people. At this time, similar measures are scheduled to appear on statewide ballots in Arizona, Florida and Oklahoma.

The Senate also agreed with the House to add the synthetic "marijuana like" drug found in K2 or "Spice" to the list of Schedule I controlled substances. As you may know, the use of K2 has become widespread among teens and young adults in recent months. This dangerous drug, which is sold over the counter in potpourri, is not safe and will soon be illegal to sell in Missouri. [HB1472]

Your lawmakers also agreed to strengthen Missouri's informed consent requirements for an abortion which will allow women to better understand the abortion procedure and be made aware of the resources available to help after the birth of her child. [SB793]

In addition, lawmakers also sent the "Mother Child Protection Act" to the Governor for his approval. This important measure will give a pregnant mother the right to defend her unborn child with the use of deadly force if necessary. As you know, violence against women and their unborn children is far from rare with thousands of pregnant women hurt each year by their spouse, boyfriends, ex-husbands or even other women. [HB2081]

And last, but not least, important revisions to our state's DWI laws were approved which requires state courts to handle any DWI case involving a defendant with two or more alcohol offenses as well as mandatory jail time for offenders who refuse to complete the requirements of a DWI court. [HB1695]

As your General Assembly adjourns each legislative session, I am always reminded of Mark Twain's humorous quote, which says, "The only time the people can rest is when the legislature is not in session".  Thankfully, your 95th General Assembly has taken its job seriously and worked diligently to help move our state forward in the very difficult challenge of navigating our ship of state through the financial wreck of our national economy.

As always, I will listen to you and I appreciate any suggestions you may have that will help improve the lives of the people of this state. You are welcome to contact me at: 201 West Capitol Avenue, Room 420, Jefferson City, MO 65101, call me at 573-751-1882 or email at Chuck{dot}Purgason{at}senate{dot}mo{dot}gov.

Brandom: End of Session Legislation

Over the course of the next few weeks the focus of these Capitol Reports will be to inform the reader of additional pieces of legislation that passed the General Assembly this past session.

Auto-Dealer Franchise Protection

The Missouri General Assembly has passed legislation that keeps the “playing field” level for Missouri’s local, new vehicle franchise dealerships and their respective manufacturing companies. This bill [HB2198] changes the laws regarding the Motor Vehicle Franchise Practices Act and designs a compromise of rules and regulations for franchises and their franchisees.

Contacts between manufacturers and dealers are currently non-negotiable and make it difficult for franchisees to stay in business. Because of this problem, legislators worked to find common-ground through negotiable contracts between the two parties.

Missouri’s had an unfortunate series of terminations of family-owned and operated General Motors and Chrysler franchise dealerships, and we need to protect the over 400 remaining dealers in the state. Something had to be done for these dealers.

By protecting business owners, we protect thousands of good jobs in our state.

Strengthening DWI Laws

According to studies, about three in every ten Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related accident at some time in their lives. Many times, these accidents result in serious injuries and even death. In Missouri, we made it a priority to strengthen the existing drunk driving laws, taking a further step to help safeguard our citizens.

This legislation [HB1695] moves DWI cases to state courts in any case involving defendants with at least two alcohol related contact with authorities. State courts, in comparison to municipal courts, have more severe penalties for drunk-drivers.

Also, municipal judges must report all DWI case dispositions to a centralized databank. This in turn holds them more accountable to the process and ensures all courts have access to a defendant’s complete background.

This bill adds penalties to the DWI laws and encourages some DWI offender to go to special courts. Additionally, it removes the requirement that no test can be given when a person stopped for an alleged DWI refuses to submit to a chemical test at the request of a law enforcement officer.

I am confident that the steps we have taken will go a long way in protecting the citizens of Missouri and the residents of the 160th district.

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

Kraus: Remembering Our Fallen Soldiers

Next Monday, May 31, is Memorial Day – a day of remembrance for those who have died serving our country. As I go about the business of daily life, I remember that our freedom, our independence, and our way of life is, quite simply, due to those who have served in our armed forces, many of whom made the ultimate sacrifice of life itself. We all owe these men and women so much.

It is the ultimate sacrifice to lose life so that others can live in freedom. But for those who put themselves in harm’s way, they see their service, not as a sacrifice, but as a job that must be done. I honor this ethic in our military personnel. As a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve who has witnessed our military men and women get up and go to work every day, I never cease to respect their unwavering effort.

As a legislator, I can honor this effort by fighting for legislation to help our military personnel. Last session, I passed HB 82. Starting in 2010, this legislation exempts 15 percent of a military pension from state income tax. The size of the exemption will grow each year until it reaches 100 percent in 2016. It is a small way to give back, but one that I was very glad to sponsor.

This session, I also introduced legislation to help the children of retired military personnel benefit from the A+ School Program after a constituent contacted me. After retiring from military service, he moved back to Missouri with his family. He wanted to enroll his daughter in the A+ school program, but found that it required three years residence in Missouri. While state law specifies an exemption for active military, it does not extend to retired military families.

Therefore, I filed a bill, HB 2261, that extends the exemption to students who are dependents of retired military who relocate to Missouri within one year of the date of the parents’ retirement from active duty. This bill was combined with other legislation to become HCS HB 2147 & 2261, and it is also included in the omnibus bill described below. I was extremely pleased with successful passage of this bill in the General Assembly and hope to see it signed by the governor. Our military personnel should not have to sacrifice educational benefits for their children in order to keep us all safe back home.

As a way of remembering, I’ve listed below the most significant military-related bills that were Truly Agreed To and Finally Passed in the 2010 Session.

Veterans and Members of the Military

SCS HCS HB 1524 & 2260 is an omnibus bill passed this session that covers several military concerns. In its main provisions, the bill:
  • Requires all agencies and political subdivisions of this state to give a three-point bonus preference to a service-disabled veteran business operating as a Missouri business when letting a contract for the performance of any job or service;
  • Specifies that the State of Missouri recognizes the designations of Prisoner of War (POW) and Missing in Action (MIA) as valid descriptions of casualty status and category classification for military personnel;
  • Requires the Secretary of State to establish procedures for absent uniformed services and overseas voters to request voter registration applications and absentee ballot applications.

Gaming Funds

Currently, early childhood education and veterans' programs are supported by gaming money. This bill, SS#2 HCS HB 1893, changes provisions of current law that governs this distribution. The changes require grant funds to be made available for service officer training for outreach programs between veteran service organizations and the Missouri Veterans Commission and add the Vietnam War to the list of conflicts for which service medals are awarded.

Beginning in Fiscal Year 2011, the Veterans' Commission Capital Improvement Trust Fund and the Early Childhood Development Education Care Fund will each receive, subject to appropriations, an additional $600,000 per year if the Gaming Commission Fund reaches the 2009 appropriation level for early childhood education. Once the $1.2 million is distributed to these two funds, any additional moneys will be deposited into the Early Childhood Development Education and Care Fund.

Missouri Youth Challenge Academy

This bill, HCS HB 2262 & 2264, allows the Adjutant General to establish the Missouri Youth Challenge Academy for at-risk high school age youth. The residential military-based academy will provide work experience and training in life skills, citizenship, life-coping and academic skills, among others. The Missouri Youth Challenge Foundation Fund is created consisting of gifts, donations, appropriations, transfers, and bequests. The Adjutant General is authorized to make grants from the fund to support the academy. Language to create this academy is also contained in the omnibus bill.

With the ending of the 2010 Legislative Session, the Capitol Report will be issued about twice a month. 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 e-mail at will{dot}kraus{at}house{dot}mo{dot}gov.

24 May 2010

Ruestman: Health Care: You Decide

The issue of states’ rights seems to be a continual battle. The national radical progressive agenda has put every state on notice as individual and state rights are quickly being diminished.

The strongest example of this is the national health care plan passed by the Democrat majority in Congress in February. It is appalling that the federal government wants to mandate you to purchase health insurance. This bill also infringes on your right to privacy as the federal government is now going to be aware of medical decisions you make and the cost of your insurance and treatment.

Beyond all that, this bill was originally estimated to cost approximately $940 billion. This is a staggering number when you take into account our national debt, which will soon be $13 TRILLION. Worse yet, the Congressional Budget Office recently announced their original estimates were short by $115 billion! This is a fine example of how inefficient government programs are. In April, Alan Greenspan was quoted as saying that the consequences were “severe” if the CBO estimates were wrong.

In the General Assembly we felt the issue was of such consequence that it should be decided by the voters. Congress seems to have ignored the cry of Americans in our state and nationwide to leave our health care alone forcing us to act on the state level. House Bill 1764, which is going to a vote of the people on the August 3rd primary ballot, prohibits any person, employer or health care provider from being compelled to participate in a health care system.

In addition to the above clause, it protects your right to pay directly for lawful health care and providers can accept payment from any individual without being subject to fines or penalties. If passed, the purchase or sale of private health insurance could not be prohibited by any law.

This bill is essential to protecting the free enterprise in health care. We know the government doesn’t run any program well (remember Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae?). Why would we trust it with something so personal and important to our well-being?

On August 3rd I encourage you to support this measure and protect our liberties in Missouri.

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.

Roorda: Next Legislation Session "The Perfect Storm", At Least 65 Members In Next House Will Be Freshmen


After more than four months of head-scratching, hand-wringing, late nights, early mornings and lots of hard work, the Missouri Legislature concluded its regular 2009-2010 session on May 14th, following several days of intense floor activity, marathon session days and joint assemblies "burning the midnight oil". With the bang of the Speaker's gavel, the 2nd Regular Session of the 95th General Assembly came to a close.  Members of the Missouri House engaged in the traditional paper-toss, clearing their desks of documents accumulated during a session that resulted in the passage of a mere 74 House bills (1,328 bill filed) and 32 Senate bills (528 bills filed).

Although 2010 was a tough legislative session, it has already been established that the 2011 legislative session will be even tougher, as the state budget director, Linda Luebbering, projects that the state's revenue will again take another blow.

In the movie "The Perfect Storm", the force of nature that takes the life of the fishing boat sailors forms due to the combination of four violent weather systems.  I see a similar combination coming together in the 2011 Missouri Legislature.

With a full blown budget crisis, combined with the uncertainties of term limits, redistricting, and the coming fall elections, the potential for disaster is great.

Now is our moment of truth.  The number one priority for the 2011 Missouri House of Representatives will be to fully fund the foundation formula for public education.  Education equals opportunity.

Term Limits To Take Second-Biggest Bite Out of House of Representatives

The remaining members of the largest freshman class in the history of the Missouri House of Representatives will be forced out office at the end of the year as the same legislative term limits that made it possible for many of them to win their seats in 2002 will bar them from seeking re-election in 2010. With the conclusion of this year's legislative session on May 14, that means their careers in the House are all but over, although they will convene for a final time in September for their annual veto session.

Missouri voters overwhelmingly approved legislative term limits in 1992, but they only applied to terms won at subsequent elections, which delayed the first limits-induced mass exodus to the 2002 elections. Lawmakers are restricted, with some exceptions, to serving no more than eight years in the House and eight years in Senate.

Due in large part to the implementation of term limits, 90 new House members won office in 2002, making that year's freshman class a sizable majority in the 163-member chamber. Some members of the 2002 election class left early or were defeated for re-election, leaving 52 of them remaining to be termed out.

With another 13 representatives who are eligible to seek re-election this year choosing not to, that guarantees there will be at least 65 new House members elected in 2010, making the next freshman class the second largest in history with about 40 percent of the seats.

Downsizing Government

We also gave final approval to legislation that will reduce the size of state government. HB 1868 will transfer the powers and duties of the State Water Patrol to the newly established Division of Water Patrol within the State Highway Patrol. The change could save the state millions of dollars each year. The bill is similar to legislation I sponsored (HB 2417).

Motor Vehicle Franchises Practices Act

This session we also gave final approval to legislation that will change the laws regarding the Motor Vehicle Franchise Practices Act. HB 2198 is necessary because contracts between manufacturers and dealers are currently non-negotiable, which makes it difficult for franchisees to stay in business. The legislation we approved will create a more equal relationship between auto dealers and manufacturers, preventing abuse by manufacturers and giving dealerships more freedom and site control of their businesses. In addition, the bill places additional restrictions on manufacturers regarding what they can require from a dealership.

Fire Department Residency Requirements

Another piece of legislation passed this session (SB 739) will allow St. Louis firefighters to live outside the city. Under the bill, city firefighters who have been in the department for 7 years will be able to live outside the city as long as they are within an hour from their home fire station. This change will create a policy similar to the one under which the city's police officers currently operate.

Emergency Dispatching Services Taxes

Legislation I sponsored to give additional budget flexibility to fire protection districts in Jefferson County was added to a bill that received final approval from the General Assembly this session. The bill I sponsored (HB 1663) was amended onto HB 2070. The provision I added will allow fire protection districts in Jefferson County that have levied property taxes and imposed any communications tax for central fire and emergency dispatching services to use, upon voter approval, the property tax revenue for general revenue purposes

Emergency Services

Another bill I sponsored (HB 1282) was added to legislation that received final approval from the House and Senate. HB 1977 requires all basic life support ambulances and stretcher vans to be equipped with an automated external defibrillator. It also requires the equipment be staffed by at least one person trained in its use.

Upcoming State Budget $350 Million Out of Balance

Gov. Jay Nixon will need to cut $350 million from the $23.27 bill state operating budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, State Budget Director Linda Luebbering announced on May 18. Nixon can accomplish the savings by using his line-item veto to reduce or eliminate certain spending items before signing the budget bills into law, by imposing spending restrictions once the budget year begins or a combination of both, which is what he did last year.

When it granted final passage to the FY 2011 budget bills last month, the General Assembly had cut $484.23 million in general revenue from the proposed budget Nixon had presented in January. The legislature's reductions were on top of the roughly $300 million in spending cuts Nixon called for in his original proposal. Despite those actions, however, most lawmakers acknowledged that the budget that cleared the legislature remained significantly out of balance.

Luebbering attributed the remaining $350 million deficit to three factors: The lack of passage of several key pieces of legislation that had been counted on to reduce expenses or boost revenue; unrealistic assumptions by budget writers concerning certain costs; and the continuing failure of monthly state revenue collections to meet estimates.

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.