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25 June 2010

Goodman: Adult Business Bill Receives Governor's Signature

SB 586 & 617 Enforces Time, Place, and Manner Restrictions on Sexually Oriented Businesses

JEFFERSON CITY — After several years of working to pass a bill that strengthens regulations on adult businesses, Sen. Jack Goodman, R-Mt. Vernon, and Sen. Matt Bartle, R-Lee's Summit, announce today that the governor has signed Senate Bill 586 & 617 into law.

Senate Bill 586 & 617 combats the negative secondary effects of sexually oriented businesses in Missouri by imposing several meaningful time, place and manner restrictions. After Aug 28, 2010, the legislation will prohibit a person from establishing a sexually oriented business within 1,000 feet of a pre-existing school, house of worship, state-licensed day care, public library, public park, residence or other sexually oriented business. It also bars a person who has been convicted of or imprisoned for certain crimes within the last eight years from establishing an adult business.

In addition, the bill prohibits nude performances and restricts semi-nude activity within sexually oriented businesses. It also prohibits adult establishments from operating between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m., and bars anyone younger than 18 from being on the premises at any time.

"This is a hard-fought victory for family values," Sen. Goodman said. "We have crafted an effective, yet well-measured and responsible bill that will regulate sexually oriented businesses within the defined parameters of the U.S. Constitution."

Senator Goodman's SB 617 was combined with Sen. Bartle's SB 586 during the Senate's committee approval process.

"This issue has been a top priority of mine for many years," Sen. Bartle said. "It's a tremendous relief to me that my colleagues recognized the importance of this issue and fought to get a bill passed before regular session ended. One need only take a short trip on any of Missouri's major highways to see that the proliferation of smut shops is out of control. There's no question that regulations need to be put in place so we can protect our communities from decreased property values and an environment ripe for crime."

Senate Leader Charlie Shields, R-St. Joseph, said Missouri communities will benefit from the bill.

"Adult businesses in Missouri have been allowed to open and operate with minimal oversight for far too long," Sen. Shields said. "The actions of the governor today will ensure that our state continues to be a family-friendly place to live and visit."

24 June 2010

Ridgeway: Update: Saving Clay County Jobs and Protecting Teacher Retirement

Today, I joined my colleagues in the Senate and House in the Capitol to convene for a special session. We will focus on two measures: the Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act [HB2] and pension reform [SB1]. I'd like to take a few minutes and go over the implications of each bill.

On the last day of the regular session, I led the effort that passed the Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act out of the Senate. This measure would have provided tax incentives to certain companies that create or retain Missouri jobs. In particular, this legislation was aimed at our Ford automotive assembly plant in Claycomo, and at saving the jobs of the more than 3,500 people who work there. Unfortunately, time ran out before the House could reach a consensus on the bill.

It looked as though we had lost our opportunity to strengthen Missouri's manufacturing and automotive industries. Since the legislative session ended May 14th, I have worked tirelessly with local community leaders and my Senate colleagues to build a case for Governor Nixon to call a special session.

For those who may not know, calling a special session is a unique power of the executive branch to call the Legislature back to the Capitol to revisit legislation that did not pass during the regular session.

Last week, we were given the news that the Governor called for the Legislature to convene for a special session to pass the job retention bill and offset the costs with a separate state employee pension reform measure. The session began today at noon, and is expected to run through July 1.

The bill we will work on in the coming days would allow qualified manufacturing facilities or suppliers that create or retain jobs and bring new product lines to Missouri to keep a portion of their employee withholding taxes. Ford has to invest in Missouri jobs right here in Clay County before they ever get any benefit. Further, the jobs must remain here or Ford will lose this incentive. In other words, Ford gets nothing unless jobs stay here or jobs expand here.

The time to act on the measure is now, as Ford is in the midst of deciding where to manufacture its new product lines. With other states and nations aggressively vying for these jobs, Missouri must step up and stand out as a prime location for Ford to produce next-generation vehicles. Losing out on a new product line at the Claycomo plant would be a terrible blow for the Clay County economy, as well as the entire state. You may be surprised to learn that Ford spends more than $1.5 billion annually in purchases from Missouri suppliers. To name just a couple local suppliers that would be immediately affected: Magna Seating in Excelsior Springs and Piston Automotive in Liberty. In fact, Ford purchases from suppliers in every county in Missouri except one.

To maintain Missouri's constitutional requirement to balance the state budget, we must also take steps to offset the costs of the job creation package. This is where pension reform factors into the special session, as lawmakers will also consider a bill that will make changes to the retirement plan for new state employees. Like the Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act, we discussed a pension reform bill during the regular session as part of our "Rebooting Government" efforts, but it did not pass before session came to a close.

Pension reform entails creating a new retirement plan for anyone who becomes a state employee on or after January 1, 2011 (the changes would not affect current state employees). Members of this new system would be required to contribute 4 percent of their pay to the retirement system and work for the state for at least 10 years to gain ownership of their benefits. For regular retirement eligibility under the new plan, employees would need to reach age 67 and have at least 10 years of service, or reach age 55 with the sum of their age and service equaling at least 90.

I've had many concerned constituents contact my office wondering how the retirement plan changes would affect teachers and other school employees. Bottom line: they wouldn't. The Public School Retirement System (PSRS) and Public Education Employee Retirement System (PEERS) would continue as is and the legislation would not affect members of these systems in any way. Teachers can rest assured that I have no intention to do anything other than protect their retirement.

I'll provide you with an update at the close of the special session.

Joe Smith: We Stand Together, From Sea to Shining Sea

On 4th of July we celebrate the birth of our great nation.  It's a celebration of liberty and independence.  It's a reminder of the red white and blue and of the thousands upon thousands who have died in the name of our freedom.

The birth of our nation has an unforgettable history and sparked traditional celebrations that have continued for hundreds of years.

It all started in 1776, on July 2nd, when the United States of America was separated from Great Britain.  Congress then focused on the Declaration of Independence, primarily authored by Thomas Jefferson, and agreed upon on July 4th of that year.  Around this time, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail that it would be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. He thought that it should be,

"…celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival," and that, "It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."

John Adam's instructions match our 4th of July traditions almost exactly.  As you know, Saint Charles County observes the 4th of July holiday by The Saint Charles City Jaycees Fair (with Parade), The Weldon Spring Picnic, O'Fallon Heritage and Freedom Fest (with Parade), New Town 4th of July Parade, and The July 4th Celebration in Wentzville Parade and The New Melle Festival this weekend (Parade).  Each of these events will be great to spend time with family and friends.

From the Boston Pops performance, to the fireworks illuminating the St. Louis sky over the Arch, to the red, white and blue celebration at Mount Rushmore, we honor our country.  As millions of us gather from sea to shining sea, we stand together – not as Republicans, not as Democrats – but as Americans.  It is my hope that we continue these traditions, from generation to generation, just as John Adams instructed in his letter.  May we always stand together in the name of our great country?

May God bless you, bless your family and bless the United States of America.

Joe Smith: What Does the American Flag Mean to You?

How many times a day do you drive or walk past an American flag?  If you take a moment to think about it, you may do this more than you think.  For example, the Lindenwood University and Saint Charles Community College campuses, along with any Government Building or secondary and elementary schools or most importantly any of our Veterans Organizations.  Do you stop and think about what our grand nation's streamer of red, white and blue really stands for?

I believe that a reminder of the flag's rich history and guidelines brings its meaning to light:

Our flag is a banner so sacred that it has its own pledge of allegiance.  It has a particular set of guidelines and standards for use, display and disposal.  For instance, it must never touch the ground and must be illuminated if flown at night.  If it is no longer useable, the flag must be burned.  Our flag must never be dipped.  This rule became most widely-known in the 1908 Summer Olympics in London when each country's flag bearer dipped their flag to King Edward VII -- the American flag bearer was the only one who did not.  After the ceremony, Team Captain Martin Sheridan was quoted as saying "this flag dips to no earthly king."

Old Glory has been planted on the moon and it has been bravely erected by the soldiers at Iwo Jima.  From the Revolutionary War, marking our freedom from Great Britain, to the current war in the Middle East -- our flag has flown proudly, serving as a great reminder to our nation and to the world that we are strong.  Though torn and tattered, ridden with frost in the winters and sweltering in the heat of the dessert sun, our flag still stands.

When I think of the American Flag, I think about the lyrics to an age-old song sung most frequently on the 4th of July holiday, "You're a Grand Old Flag".  The lyrics are simple, but the message is strong:

You're a Grand Old Flag, you're a high-flying flag and forever in peace may you wave;
You're the emblem of the land I love, the home of the free and the brave.
Every heart beats true 'neath the Red, White and Blue where there's never a boast or brag;
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, keep your eye on the Grand Old Flag.

Davis: Missouri’s Bad Bet on Gambling Addition

Gambling continuously increases its stranglehold on Missouri, thanks to the shortsightedness of some of our elected leaders. Its devastating effects on families are seen by shattered lives and hopes. Draining tens of millions from our economy, from local merchants and expanding gambling during a recession is bad public policy.

Yet the siren song of gambling advocates continues. I once asked my own State Senator, Scott Rupp, why he was sponsoring the repeal of the loss limits on casinos. He repeated the mantra of the pro-gambling crowd that it would mean more money for public schools. As a pro-family conservative, I have a real problem with destroying families and people’s lives in the name of ‘education.’

Missouri once stood as an example for all other states by having a $500 loss limit every two hours. While you could still lose more than you could afford under the old law, it had a tempering effect. It slowed people down. While waiting for another two-hour period to start, some gamblers would decide to go home. That is why the casinos didn't like it.

Legislators who accept campaign money from the gambling industry often justify their acceptance of such support by claiming that “tax revenues generated by gambling are for a ‘worthy cause,’” i.e. funding public education.

To begin with, casinos are not in business to fund education. They exist to make huge profits. And, their primary targets are the citizens of the State who can least afford to lose their hard earned money; senior citizens, husbands and wives with a gambling addiction, and people in desperate need who think that by gambling they can some how strike it rich and solve all their problems. Gambling doesn’t solve problems, it creates them!

Now that we have seen the devastating effects of removal of loss limits, how about the honey-coated promises of the casino industry to generate big bucks for education? It turns out that the schools are getting less than 1/3 the promised amount!

This year the pro-gambling State Senate was at it again. This time it was to spend our scarce resources directly on inducing more people to gamble via the State Lottery. Mathematically, the odds are astronomically against those who play the lottery. Over the course of a year, those who gamble that extra dollar, or two, or five at the cash register are simply paying hundreds of extra dollars in taxes to the State.

While the State of Missouri is recoiling with budget shortfalls, there is one budget line item that is obviously benefiting from the hardship - the lottery advertising budget. The following is a breakdown of how much the state has spent on advertising the Missouri Lottery from 2005 to 2010, plus what has been allocated for promoting the lottery for 2011.

Missouri Lottery Advertising Budget

Fiscal Year 2005$2.1 million
Fiscal Year 20062.1 million
Fiscal Year 20071.5 million
Fiscal Year 20081.3 Million
Fiscal Year 20091.3 Million
Fiscal Year 20101.3 million
Fiscal Year 2011$8 million
Yes, this last number is 8 MILLION of our tax dollars!

Who’s Responsible?

Governor Nixon recommended that the Legislature increase the lottery advertising budget from $1.3 million to $5 million for 2011. That alone would have been a horrendous increase. However, that wasn’t enough for the Senate and the gambling industry, so they decided to increase the Governor’s recommendation to $8 million - more than six times the current amount to advertise the lottery!

Why such a huge increase? The pro-gambling forces said we needed to drive more people to want to gamble so the State Lottery could rake in more money. My Senator was one of three Republican Senators on the Conference Committee who advanced the Senate’s pro-gaming agenda.

I am proud to say that I voted against this horribly destructive plan to lure people into gambling and thus lose more of their hard-earned money, but the Senate position prevailed.

A common legislative question I’m asked is “What happened to all that gambling money that was supposed to go to education?” The short answer is that the expectations were lowered as to the State’s obligation to fund schools. Since ‘gaming money’ was going into the school fund, there was less pressure to spend regular State revenues on education so the net effect was far less.

The longer answer is that the predatory nature of gambling causes significant harm such as bankruptcies, broken homes, gambling addiction, increases in crime, and even suicides. So, as long as the State and local municipalities are picking up part or all of the tab for these unmentioned hidden costs, a percentage of the money extracted from gambling is little more than a redistribution of wealth.

I voted against the State Budget because I believe it violated the Missouri Constitution, which requires a balanced budget. The budget that was passed by the Missouri General Assembly was around $350 million over what we should have spent. Yet some Legislators are now lying to the public and saying they balanced the State Budget.

But balancing the budget on the backs of the poor -or those with a gambling addiction- is not the solution. The recession didn't sneak up on us. We all saw a tight budget coming as we watched our economy diminish. The answer is to first turn our economy around and create more wealth for individuals -not attempt to wring the last nickel out of those who can least afford it and do more harm to the citizens of Missouri!

However, there is hope. Some of us are willing to stand on principles, rather than pandering to the pro-gambling lobby. It is hard to be in the minority on social issues, especially when your party is supposed to be in the majority. However, history is full of examples of one person who made a difference by standing strong against evil. Our citizens deserve moral leadership and one by one some of those pro-gambling legislators are getting replaced.

Your thoughts are important to me, so please let me know what you think about gambling revenue for education. You can send me your opinion by clicking here: Cynthia Davis

A Little Bit of Humor…

Webster's Definition of Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math.


A man rushed into his house and yelled to his wife, ‘Mary, pack up your things. I just won the National Lottery!’

‘Brilliant,’ replied Mary, ‘shall I pack for warm weather or cold?’

‘I don't care.’ the man sneered, ‘just so long as you're out of the house by noon!’


Did you hear about the man who won $20,000,000 on the Lottery?
He gets $20 a year for a million years.

Nodler: Eight Years of Protecting Life in Missouri

n overwhelming majority of Missourians consistently and resoundingly place the gift of life above all other matters. Around family dinner tables, at lunch counters and at the polls, the view that life is bestowed by the Almighty and not a “choice” to be considered has been clearly expressed for generations. Protecting the lives of the unborn has been an ongoing effort for me throughout the time I have served in the Missouri Senate, and the work that was accomplished during my eight years as a state senator has reduced the number of abortions being performed in this state.

More than 30 years after the Roe v. Wade decision that effectively legalized abortion in the U.S., legislative and educational efforts are decreasing the number of abortions in our state. One of our main ways of accomplishing this is making sure that women who are making this decision are educated. In 2003, our work began by passing legislation [HB156] that requires a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion can be performed to provide an opportunity to consider the gravity of the decision to abort a child. This year, we expanded on this law by requiring that a woman receives additional information including details on the emotional and physical risks of the procedure, information on the gestational age of her unborn child at the time the abortion is to be performed, and the opportunity to view, at least 24 hours prior to an abortion, an active ultrasound and hear the heartbeat of the unborn child. [SB793]

In 2005, we passed an important pro-life measure [SB1] during a special session. The law protects the safety of young women and the lives of the unborn by permitting lawsuits to be filed against people who help minors cross state lines to receive abortions. The measure is designed to support Missouri’s law requiring anyone under age 18 to have parental consent before receiving an abortion.

We again worked to protect life in 2007 when we passed legislation [HB1055] that prohibits abortion-providing or abortion referral organizations from conducting sex education courses in public schools. These entities bring an obvious and largely unaccepted bias into the classroom that simply isn’t helpful to building the futures of our schoolchildren. The bill also established the Missouri Alternatives to Abortion Services Program, which provides services and counseling to pregnant women as well as assistance to new mothers caring for their children or placing children up for adoption. The program also has an awareness component in which state agencies publicize alternatives to abortion.

Since 2003, we have worked to tighten restrictions on abortions performed in this state, educate women on the true nature of an abortion, and make sure that women are provided with easily accessible alternatives to abortion. I am proud of the work that was accomplished to save lives in this state.

Carter: Cooling Sites in St. Louis City, General Revenue Report, Additional Budget Cuts Made

Wow, this has been one hot, humid and wet summer so far.  With temperature readings in the high 90's and heat indexes of 100+, it is imporant to stay hydrated and as cool as possible.  Unfortunately, there are those out there who don't have the ability to stay cool.  If you our someone you know finds yourselves in this situation, please contact one of the cooling sites listed below.

In this report I have addressed the budget, budget cuts and the legislation that is being heard during Special Legislative Session.

If you have any comments or concerns please don't hesitate to let me know.


Cooling Sites offer the general public air-conditioned relief and cool water during the hottest part of the day. Sites will be activated if an Excessive Heat Advisory or Warning is issued by the National Weather Service. Heat Advisory issued - when the Heat Index (HI) is expected to reach 105 degrees F or air temperature reaches, at least 100 degrees F. Heat Warning issued - when HI is expected to reach, at least 110 degrees for 2 consecutive days with a minimum HI no lower than 75 degrees at night or if Heat Advisory is expected to last 4 or more days
Divoll Library
4234 N Grand Ave 
Mon & Sat 9-6pm,
Fri Noon-7pm,
Little Sisters of the Poor
3225 N Florissant
Mon-Fri 8-2pm
Schlafly Library Branch
225 N Euclid Ave
Mon-thurs 9-9pm, Fri-Sat 9-6pm
Buder Library 4401
Hampton Ave
Mon-thurs 9-9pm,
Fri-Sat 9-6pm, Sun 1-5pm
Kingshighway Library
2260 S Vandeventer Ave
Mon & Sat 9-6,
T-Thurs Noon-7pm and Fri 11-6pm
Carondelet Library
6800 Michigan Ave
Mon&Sat 9-6,
T-Thurs Noon-7pm and Fri 11-6pm
Carondelet Senior Center
6518 Michigan Ave
Mon-Fri 8:30-2:30pm
Grace Hill PATCH Center
7925 Minnesota Ave
Mon-Fri 8-4pm
Human Development Corp
6827 S Broadway
Mon-Fri 8:30-5pm
Cabanne Library
1106 Union Blvd
Mon & Sat 9-6,
T-Thurs Noon-7pm and Fri 11-6pm
Northside CommunityCenter
4120 Maffitt
Mon-Fri 8-5pm
Union Sarah Senior Center
1408 N Kingshighway
Mon-Fri 9-3pm
Julia Davis Library
4415 Natural BridgeAve
Mon-Thurs 9-9pm,
Fri -Sat: 9-6pm, Sun 1-5pm
Prince Hall
4411 N Newstead
Mon-Fri 6am-10pm
Wesley House Senior Center
4507 Lee
Mon-Fri 9-6pm
Bevo Senior Center
4705 Ridgewood Ave
Mon-Fri - 9-4:30pm
Grand Oak Hill Senior Center
4168 Juanita
Mon-Fri 8-5pm
Carpenter Library
3309 S Grand Blvd
Mon-Fri 9-9pm, Sat 9-6pm
Five Star Senior Center
2832 Arsenal
Mon-Fri 8-5pm
Salvation Army Temple Corps
2740 Arsenal St
Mon-Fri 8-4pm
Shrewsbury Senior Center
7677 Watson St
Mon-Fri 9-3pm
San Francisco Temple Multiplex
5341 Emerson
Mon-Fri 6am-8pm
Walnut Park Library
5760 W Florissant
Mon-Thurs 9-9pm,
Fri -Sa: 9-6pm, Sun 1-5pm
Kirkwood Senior Center
385 S Taylor St
Mon-Fri 9-3pm
Affton White Rodgers Community
9801 MacKenzie
Mon-Thurs 8-10pm,
Fri 8-5pm. Sat 8-4pm
South County Senior Center
9451 Gentry
Mon-Fri 8-3:30/
Human Development Corp
6356 Dr. Martin Luther King Dr
Mon-Fri 8:30-5:00pm
Northside Senior Center at
Northside Christian Church
9635 Lewis and Clark Blvd
Mon-Fri 9-3pm
Machacek Library
6424 Scanlan Ave
Mon&Wed Noon-9pm, Tues,
Thurs-Sat 9-6pm
Marketplace Library
6548 Manchester Ave
Tues-Thurs 11-7pm,
Fri 11-6pm, Sat 9-6pm
St. Louis Senior Center
5602 Arsenal
Mon-Fri 8:30-6:30pm
Brentwood Recreational Complex
2505 S Brentwood Blvd
Mon-Fri 6-10pm
Baden Library
8448 Church Rd
Mon&Sat 9-6,
T-Thurs Noon-7pm and Fri 11-6pm
Father Tolton Center SeniorProgram
1018 Baden Ave
Mon-Fri 9-5pm


State Budget Director Linda Luebbering announced today that 2010 fiscal year-to-date net general revenue collections declined 7.9 percent compared to fiscal year 2009, from $6.82 billion last year to $6.28 billion this year.

Net general revenue collections for May 2010 increased by 53.1 percent compared to those for May 2009, from $400.9 million to $613.8 million.


Individual income tax collections
  • Decreased 8.2 percent for the year, from $5.50 billion last year to $5.03 billion this year.
  • Decreased 0.2 percent for the month.
Sales and use tax collections
  • Decreased 4.4 percent for the year from $1.71 billion last year to $1.63 billion this year.
  • Increased 18.2 percent for the month.
Corporate income and corporate franchise tax collections
  • Decreased 8.0 percent for the year, from $453.7 million last year to $417.3 million this year.
  • Increased 2.8 percent for the month.
All other collections
  • Decreased 10.7 percent for the year, from $458.0 million last year to $409.1 million this year.
  • Decreased 28.7 percent for the month.
  • Decreased 5.7 percent for the year, from $1.28 billion last year to $1.21 billion this year.
  • Decreased 86.3 percent for the month.


The Governor has called a special session during the week of June 28 in order to pass the Manufacturing Jobs Act, similar to House Bill 1675 from last session.  This legislation [HB2] is primarily designed to save the 3700 jobs at the Ford plant in Claycomo, and the thousands of related jobs at auto suppliers throughout the state.  As a cost offset for this legislation, the Governor is also considering including in the call a state employee retirement reform package similar to Senate Bill 714 from last session.  These two pieces of legislation are summarized below.

Manufacturing Jobs Act ($15m cap/year for 10 years)

Under this bill, a qualified automobile manufacturer that creates or retains jobs may retain 100% of employee withholding taxes for ten years, up to $10 million/year for each company, if it meets the following criteria:
  • manufactures goods in Missouri
  • derives more than ten percent of its total sales from goods produced at the facility which are ultimately exported outside the United States or derives more than twenty percent of its total sales from goods produced at the facility which are exported outside of Missouri
  • manufactures a new product that has not been manufactured in Missouri by the company
  • makes an additional capital investment of at least $100,000 per full-time employee retained at the facility for a new product line, and
  • continues to manufacture such goods for a period of at least five years.
A qualified supplier that creates new jobs may retain 100% of employee withholding taxes for three years if it:
  • derives more than 10% of its total annual revenues from sales to a qualified manufacturing facility
  • adds five or more new jobs
  • pays wages for new jobs that are equal to or exceed either the county wage or industry average wage for Missouri (but not less than 60% of the statewide average wage), and
  • provides health insurance to employees and pays at least 50% of the insurance premiums.

State Employee Retirement Reform Package (MOSERS savings over ten years = $566m)

This package does NOT in any way impact teacher retirement, and specifically exempts PSRS, PEERS and LAGERS.  It contains the following components:
  • New employees hired after January 1, 2011 will be eligible for retirement at age 67 with 10 years of service, or Rule of 90 (currently age 62 with 5 years of service or Rule of 80)
  • New employees contribute 4% of pay on a pretax basis
  • Establish a public Investment Board to manage assets of MOSERS and MPERS to provide investment management and advisory services, and MOSERS and MPERS Board of Directors remain in place to address business affairs, including benefit management.


Gov. Jay Nixon signed the $23 billion state operating budget for the 2011 fiscal year into law on June 17 but cut $301.4 million in general revenue spending approved by Missouri lawmakers when they passed the budget in late April. These cuts, which potentially could be restored if the state's financial outlook improves but realistically probably won't, are in addition to massive cuts Nixon and lawmakers had already made for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1.

One of the most significant cuts made by Nixon is a $70 million reduction in state reimbursements to local school districts for student transportation costs. Combined with reductions made by the General Assembly, the state will reimburse about 30 percent of schools' transportation costs for the 2010-2011 school year compared to more than 40 percent in 2009-2010. The governor, however, didn't touch legislative appropriations for basic state aid to local schools.

Another budget action of note included reducing funding for the need-based Access Missouri Scholarship Program by $50 million. However, the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority has pledged $30 million for need-based scholarships that will largely offset this cut. The governor also cut the much smaller merit-based Bright Flight Scholarship program by one-fourth, or $4.1 million.

The administration is also banking on $47 million in savings from the state's more than 60 tax credit programs. State Budget Director Linda Luebbering said the savings will come from enhanced scrutiny of requests for tax credits that should result in fewer being granted and lower-than-expected redemptions of credits already issued.



Gov. Jay Nixon is seeking to develop a five-year strategic plan for improving Missouri's economy. The plan, which is expected to be prepared by the end of the year, will include targeting existing and future industries that are key to the state's economic growth.

Nixon on May 21 appointed an executive board to lead the effort that consists of Missouri Department of Economic Development Director David Kerr, Ann Marie of United Missouri Bank in Springfield, Paul Combs of Baker Implement in Kennett, Bill Downey of Kansas City Power & Light and David Steward of World Wide Technology in St. Louis.

A larger steering committee that includes industry experts, researchers, labor representatives, economic development officials and business leaders from throughout the state will be named by early June to provide additional input on the strategic plan.


Because legislation sought by Gov. Jay Nixon to eliminate the Missouri Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control and merge its regulatory operations into the state Department of Revenue failed to win final legislature approval, the agency will survive. However, thanks to significant budget cuts lawmakers did approve, the division's staff will be cut by more than half.

The budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 reduces the alcohol division's appropriation by more than $1 million from the current year. As a result, the number of full-time employees at the agency will drop from 41 to 17.

Because of the staffing reduction, the agency will no longer be able to carry out much of its field enforcement work, such as spot checks to determine if bars and liquor retailers are serving minors. The responsibility for such enforcement will instead shift to local law enforcement.


Black motorists were 70 percent more likely to be stopped by Missouri police in 2009 than white drivers and twice as likely to be stopped as Hispanic drivers, according to the 10th annual analysis of statewide traffic-stop data released on June 1 by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster. The statistics covered more than 1.7 million traffic stops made by 642 law enforcement agencies, which are required by state law to record the racial demographics of motorists from every traffic stop.

The statewide data show a growing disparity in traffic stops since the first report was released in 2001. That report, which covered stops in 2000, showed that black drivers were 30 percent more likely to be pulled over than white drivers. "These findings continue a disturbing trend for African-American drivers in Missouri," Koster said a in a statement attached to the report.

The report also found that police searched Hispanics at a higher rate than blacks or whites, who were searched at the lowest rate. However, of those three groups, Hispanics were the least likely to be found with contraband following a search and whites the most likely.


Gov. Jay Nixon on June 2 signed into law legislation that seeks to make it harder for repeat drunken drivers to avoid enhanced punishment while also directing more offenders into alcohol treatment programs. The push to revise state DWI laws resulted from a St. Louis Post-Dispatch investigation last year that showed record keeping difficulties often allows repeat offenders to avoid being charged with felonies and local practice in some municipal courts enable offenders to avoid getting another DWI conviction on their records even those they aren't eligible for such deals.

Under the overhaul legislation, HB 1695, offenders with at least two prior DWI convictions must be tried in state – not municipal – court. It also sets new standards for prosecutors and law enforcement to enter DWI offenses into a statewide database and requires municipal judges to undergo training regarding the proper disposition of cases.

In addition, the law authorizes local judicial circuits to set up special DWI courts to handle offenses in which the driver registers a blood alcohol content of at least .15 – nearly double Missouri's legal limit of .08 BAC. Participants would undergo intense supervision and alcohol treatment, but successful completion could allow them to regain limited driving privileges sooner than is normal.


Missouri's financial situation continued to show signs of improvement in May, although revenue collections were still well below where they were a year ago. Through the first 11 months of the 2010 fiscal year, which ends June 30, year-to-date net general revenue collections were down 7.9 percent compared to the same period in FY 2009. That's good news, however, when one considers that through April collections were down 11.7 percent for the year, which was an improvement from March when year-to-date collections were down 13.3 percent from the previous year.

May 2010 general revenue collections increased a whopping 53.1 percent compared to May 2009, from $400.9 million to $613.8 million. This was due in large part to an 86.3 percent decrease in tax refunds during May 10 compared to May 2009.


Gov. Jay Nixon on June 1 appointed Republican Kenneth Suelthaus, a lawyer from St. Louis, to Missouri State Highways and Transportation Commission, the independent governing authority of the state Department of Transportation. Suelthaus can begin serving on the six-member commission immediately, but the Senate must ultimately approve his appointment once it reconvenes.

Suelthaus earned a bachelor's degree in engineering from the University of Michigan and a law degree from the University of Missouri. If confirmed by the Senate, Suelthaus would serve for a term that expires March 1, 2015. He replaces fellow Republican Duane Michie of Hayti, whose term expired in March 2009 but who continued to serve until his replacement was named.


The Linn State Technical College Board of Regents plans to rescind a $3 per credit hour fee that it recently voted to impose for 2010-2011 academic year, The Associated Press reported on June 2. The hike violated a deal Linn State and other public colleges and universities made with Gov. Jay Nixon in which they agreed to hold tuition flat for the upcoming school year in exchange for limited cuts in state funding for higher education.

A Linn State official told the AP the board thought it was in technical compliance with the deal by labeling its revenue-boosting move a "fee" until informed by the governor's office that any increase in tuition, no matter what they called it, violated the deal. The board is scheduled to revoke the increase at its June 25 meeting.


Gov. Jay Nixon on June 10 signed into law long-sought legislation that will require state-regulated health insurance companies to offer policies that provide at least $40,000 a year in coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of children age 18 and younger with autism spectrum disorders. Insurance policies typically have excluded coverage for behavioral therapy for autistic children, which has proven effective but is financially out of reach for many Missouri families.

A similar bill appeared on track for easy passage during the 2009 legislative session until blocked by House Speaker Ron Richard, R-Joplin. This year legislative leaders of both parties declared the legislation a top priority and the bill, HB 1311, passed with overwhelming majorities in both the Senate and House of Representatives. The autism coverage mandate, however, isn't universal as it doesn't apply to insurance plans that are federally regulated, such as those of large businesses that self-insure their employees.


Gov. Jay Nixon's administration is placing tight restrictions on out-of-state travel by state employees to reduce expenses, The Associated Press reported on June 8 citing an administration memo to state department directors. The new policy generally prohibits state workers from traveling out of state, though there are exceptions for transporting prisoners, emergency responses and travel that is legally required, privately paid for or essential to conduct an audit or collect taxes or fee due to the state.


Bowing to intense criticism after it was revealed that employees of the Missouri State Employees Retirement System received lucrative bonuses in 2008 despite the fact that the system lost $1.8 billion that year from its investments, MOSERS agreed to eliminate bonuses for all but the system's top managers starting later this year. But the MOSERS Board of Trustees this month will consider a proposal to offset the loss of bonuses by increasing their employees' base pay.

Although MOSERS' investment staff received the bulk the bonuses, support staff, such as secretaries, also were given more modest bonuses. Under the proposed pay plan, the approximately 70 employees who are no longer eligible for bonuses would receive pay increases equal to 90 percent of what they used to get in bonuses. MOSERS oversees the pension system for most state employees.


After 25 years, Citizens for Missouri's Children, a respected child advocacy group that produces the annual Kids Count report, has ceased operations. In June 4 letter to supporters, CMC Director Scott Gee cited a lack of sufficient funding as the reason for the group's demise.

CMC was best known for its Kids Count report, which annually compiled comprehensive date on child poverty rates, health issues and other matters affecting Missouri children. Gee told the Missourinet that he hopes another group will take over the report.


The Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education on June 10 appointed University of Missouri System Vice President David Russell as the state's interim commissioner of higher education. Russell, who has worked for the UM System for 19 years, will replace retiring Commissioner Robert Stein effective July 1 and hold the post indefinitely.

The board likely chose a temporary replacement for Stein because the future existence of the Department of Higher Education is uncertain. Gov. Jay Nixon has proposed merging the higher education department and the much larger Department of Elementary and Secondary Education into a single agency. The Senate passed pair of proposed constitutional amendments to create a single Department of Education earlier this year but neither cleared the House of Representatives before the legislative session ended. Another effort to combine the departments is expected next year.


After enduring a decade of state funding cuts, the University of Missouri Board of Curators on June 11 voted to request a 30 percent increase in the UM System's state appropriation for the 2012 fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2012. System officials justified the request as necessary to give employees their first raise in three years and to pay for numerous other needs that have been neglected in recent years due to repeated cuts in state funding.

It is highly unlikely that the General Assembly will be in a position to honor the curators' request, even if inclined to do so, since substantial additional cuts are expected throughout state government when lawmakers begin work on the FY 2012 budget next year. As a result, instead of a funding increase UM System schools and the state's other public colleges and universities will likely endure another round of cuts.


Bank of America has agreed to pay the state $195,000 to settle complaints that it violated Missouri's telemarketing solicitation laws by calling Missourians who have signed up for the state's No-Call List. In announcing the settlement on June 10, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said the company also agreed to establish a comprehensive do-not-call program to ensure future compliance with state and federal telemarketing laws.

Nance: Special Session Begins

Special Session begins today with two items on the agenda. A bill [HB1] requiring NEW state employees as of January 1, 2011 to contribute toward their retirement and NEW state employees, statewide officials and legislators could not draw retirement until reaching the age of sixty two.

The second bill [HB2] is the Manufacturing Jobs Act. It is the most important legislation of the year. The original bill was sponsored by Jerry Nolte and me because of the impact it has on our districts. It could be used by any manufacturer, but in our area, it is sometimes called the Ford Bill.

Ford would probably qualify for $8 million of it. Some people think the $8 million Ford could keep from the state withholding tax from employees would affect state funds. If Ford does not get a top volume vehicle, many employees and the ancillary jobs like Magna Seating and other subsidiaries could also see closings.

To reap any benefit, Ford would have to invest $400 million. With that kind of investment, they would be making a long term commitment. The Claycomo plant is the second highest taxed facility that Ford has nationwide. We must do what we can as legislators to keep the Ford Plant. Final vote is expected Tuesday.

I will keep you posted.

Bob Bates and Ron White traveled with me to Jefferson City on Wednesday to accept a proclamation honoring Missouri Masonic Lodge’s MoCHIP identification program. The program just processed their 100,000th identification.

I was honored by personal comments the Governor shared about my work for the children of Missouri.

Excelsior Springs Waterfest is this weekend. The parade begins at 10:00 on Saturday.

23 June 2010

Nance: Emergency Repairs to Route 10 over Route 69 in Excelsior Springs.

Representative Nance would like for you to be informed of the following information:

Emergency Repairs Close Route 10 over Route 69 in Excelsior Springs

EXCELSIOR SPRINGS, Mo. - The Missouri Department of Transportation has temporarily closed the Route 10 Bridge over Route 69 to perform emergency repairs after maintenance crews noticed a hole in the bridge deck. The bridge will remain closed until repairs are complete by the end of day tomorrow.

Crews immediately closed the bridge once it was determined that a steel plate would not safely allow vehicles to pass over the damaged area on the bridge deck. The bridge was built in 1954 and carries 8589 vehicles daily. It is currently scheduled to receive a new bridge deck through the Safe & Sound Bridge Improvement Program beginning late-July. All work to rehabilitate the bridge is expected to be complete by Oct. 1.

A signed detour will be in place during this closure. Traffic can use the Route 10 Spur to bypass the bridge.

Inclement weather could postpone the project. For further information about this project and others, please visit MoDOT's Facebook page at, Twitter site at, or web site at You can also contact MoDOT 24 hours-a-day at 888-ASK-MODOT to find out information or report road concerns.

22 June 2010

Kraus: Standing Up for You

As a Representative who believes in open government, I want to keep readers informed on what bills we passed in the House, what I voted for and why.  But sometimes it is the legislation not passed or the "no" votes that tell the story.  This update is about the other side of being in Jefferson City - where standing up for the people meant standing up against both leadership in the House and special interests and voting no.

Fee Increase on Utility Bills Defeated

As it was first debated in the House, SB 791 created new revenue for the state by placing a fee on your utility bill. Once I discovered this, I was on a path to kill this legislation and argued against the fee.

I had made my opposition to this fee increase known both in committee and to my colleagues.  Therefore, it was tough when leadership did not recognize me to speak during the crux of the debate on the floor. I had to wait until the discussion of the date of effectiveness of the legislation to oppose the increase.

The good news is that the fee was eventually removed from the bill that passed.  I was happy to be able to stand up for consumers, not special interests.  We must keep our utility rates low and our state competitive with other states.

Funding for Education

With five family members who have taught in Missouri schools, I recognize the critical importance of education and the work that teachers do in our classrooms.  As such, I was particularly concerned with the passage of HB 2014, which penalized formula schools such as those in Blue Springs and Lee's Summit by denying them full funding, while providing full funding for hold harmless schools.  When this bill was first brought up in the House on March 18, I was disappointed when leadership stopped debate through a procedural move.  Legislators were then sent home at 10:25 a.m. on a Thursday when we should have been discussing the impact that cutting back funding would have on our schools.

After HB 2014 was sent to and passed by the Senate, it was taken up by the House again on April 8 for final passage. I was again ready to keep the discussion alive with my opposition to this bill.  Instead, it was pushed through by a series of motions.  These actions by the House were not in the best interests of schools in Eastern Jackson County. I voted no on HB 2014.

Missouri's Budget

Each year, we have the responsibility to approve a budget for the state of Missouri that is then sent to the Governor for signature.  I was most disappointed in the proposed $23.3 billion budget for next year – to the extent that I voted against it.  I was happy to see that State Senator Matt Bartle also voted against the budget.

Two principles guided my votes.  One, fiscal responsibility is of utmost importance to create an efficient and sustainable government and to protect the long-term welfare of our state.  We must balance our budget, not by raising taxes on citizens already beaten up by a poor economy, but by controlling expenditures.  I was pleased that we met our pledge of "No new taxes," but I am concerned that the budget relies on $900 million of one-time federal stimulus money.  That's neither wise planning nor careful stewardship of your taxpayer dollars.

Second, quality education should always be a top priority.  The future of our state rests with the abilities and accomplishments of our children, and education is the foundation upon which our children's future is built.  The legislature ended up flattening the education budget for next year, meaning that over $100 million of expected revenue to our schools will not materialize.  School districts have already announced plans to curb costs through such measures as reducing staff, changing schedules, combining class-rooms, and freezing salaries.  I would have preferred a budget that reined in the use of tax credits instead of reducing education funding.

Last Thursday, Gov. Nixon signed off on the budget after cutting nearly $300 million to keep it in balance. Those cuts hit public school busing, college scholarships, state tax credits, mental health services, and in-home car providers for the disabled.


Last Friday, I enjoyed speaking to the Lee's Summit Chamber of Commerce at its legislative wrap-up lunch. Unfortunately, my colleagues were unable to attend, but that allowed me more time to discuss the 2010 session and answer questions.

Unclaimed Property

The state may be holding property that belongs to you!  According to the State Treasurer, that office is currently holding close to $13 million that belongs to over 100,000 citizens who live in Eastern Jackson County. Statewide, one in ten people has Unclaimed Property with the average amount being $365.

One of those ten might be you.  To find out, go to and enter your name.  If you find that you are listed, you will need to file a claim form in order to receive your funds or property.  It's worth checking.  Several years ago, I was able to return a little over $30,000 to a woman living in Eastern Jackson County.

You can also contact my office if you need assistance or want more information.

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.

Nance: Notices from MoDOT for Three Bridge Closures

Two Route 10 Bridges Closing in Excelsior Springs

MoDOT Safe & Sound Bridge Improvement Program, with a Sunny Twist

EXCELSIOR SPRINGS, MO. - The Missouri Department of Transportation continues work on bridges as part of the Safe & Sound Bridge Improvement Program. MoDOT will rehabilitate the Route 10 Bridge over Fishing River in Ray County and the Route 10 Bridge over Route 69 in Clay County starting June 30, weather permitting.

Awarded to Widel, Inc., the Fishing River Bridge, built in 1938, carries almost 7,000 vehicles per day. Crews will close this bridge June 30 to replace the bridge deck. The Route 10 Bridge over Route 69 was built in 1954 and carries more than 8,500 vehicles per day. Crews will close this bridge by mid-July. Both bridges are expected to reopen by October 1. A signed detour will be in place during each closure.

MoDOT is also taking an innovative approach with these bridges and testing a new bridge deck heating system. Every winter, a considerable amount of labor, salt and other chemicals are used to remove snow and ice from the state's roads and bridges. Now MoDOT will become one of the first agencies in the nation to turn to solar energy in an effort to prevent the buildup of snow and ice on bridge decks by using a solar warming system from Pave Guard Technologies, Inc.

This system, developed by Pave Guard's Corey McDonald, operates much like radiant heating works in a home's floor. Tubing is installed in the bridge deck, through which a heated solution is pumped to keep the deck from freezing. The energy to heat the solution is provided by solar panels mounted near the bridge site. Excess energy produced by the panels when the heating system is not in use can be sold back to local utilities.

"Water and the chemicals used to melt ice and snow are a bridge's biggest enemies," State Bridge Engineer Dennis Heckman said. "If we can find a cost effective way to keep a bridge clear without using chemicals we can extend its life."

By installing this system at the same time the bridges are under repair, the department can test an innovative new technology and keep the Safe & Sound program moving forward efficiently and affordably.

As with any construction project, weather could postpone the project. For further information about this project and others, please visit MoDOT's Facebook page at, Twitter site at, or web site at You can also contact MoDOT 24 hours-a-day at 888-ASK-MODOT to find out information or report road concerns.

Route A Bridge Northwest of Hardin to Close for More Than a Month

HARDIN, Mo. - The Route A Bridge over the drainage ditch north of Route 10 in Ray County will close July 6 for 32 days so that contractors can remove and replace the 80-year-old bridge.

MoDOT has placed message boards near the bridge to redirect traffic to alternative routes for the next month.

The Route A bridge is the first of seven MoDOT bridges in Ray County to be repaired this year through the Safe & Sound program.  All work on these seven bridges is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

These bridges are among more than 800 throughout Missouri to be repaired or replaced in the next five years through MoDOT's Safe & Sound bridge program. Closing bridges lets the contractor complete the work quickly and get the bridges back open faster. It also keeps costs down, saving your taxpayer money.

For more information about other MoDOT projects, please visit MoDOT's Website at For instant updates, follow MoDOT_KC on Twitter or send questions and comments to kccommunityrelations{at}modot{dot}mo{dot}gov.

Gatschenberger: An invitation to 3.5 Million of Your Unclaimed Property and the next Town Hall Meeting

Help me return $3.5 MILLION to you!

A computer search indicates our State Treasurer is currently holding more than $3.5 MILLION, belonging to approximately 38,270 citizens who live in my district.  To file a claim, or check to see if they have your Unclaimed Property, you may visit or write to the State Treasurer at P.O. Box 1004, Jefferson City, MO  65102-1004.  This property, and another $70 to $80 million a year, is turned over to the State Treasurer from banks, government agencies and insurance companies from accounts that have been inactive an whose owner could not be contacted for five or more years.

Please be my guest!

What:  Town Hall Meeting
When:  Thursday, June 24th – 7:00 pm
Where:  Wentzville City Hall – 310 W Pearce Blvd
Why:  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

Please note:  My Capitol Office will be closed starting Friday, July 2nd until Tuesday July 7th… for staff vacation.

Job Creation Information

GM plant in Wentzville to build vans powered by alternative fuel

Production line answers demand, official says

By Joe Scott
Tuesday, May 25, 2010 3:11 AM CDT
[Link to Original Story]

General Motors' Wentzville assembly plant will begin producing compressed natural gas- and liquefied petroleum gas-powered cargo vans for 2011. The alternative fuel options will be offered on Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana full-size vans for fleet and commercial customers later this year.

"It won't have an impact on hiring or additional jobs, but it will allow us to get penetration into an additional market," said Bob Wheeler, a spokesman for the plant. "The demand is increasing enough to add this product to our portfolio. We've had fleet and commercial users asking about this."  Production of CNG- and LPG-powered versions of the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana full-size vans probably will begin in September, Wheeler said. About 85 percent of the vehicles made at the Wentzville plant are sold for fleet or commercial use. Alternative fuels have become more attractive for fleet and commercial users as gasoline prices increase, Wheeler said.

Wentzville Community Development Director Bob Swank said even if the plant doesn't add jobs, a new product line should further stabilize the workforce. "It's bringing back this product to the Wentzville area," Swank said. "The more environmentally conscious people get and the less we want to rely on oil, the more the LPG and CNG market grows."

Brian Small, general manager of GM's fleet and commercial operations, said in a news release that GM officials listened to fleet customers and dealers about offering options to help achieve business objectives.  "The industry commitment to expand the CNG and LPG infrastructure in key fleet markets was an enabler to allowing us to introduce these options now," Small said.

Swank said the city of Wentzville will offer a CNG fueling station on East Pearce Boulevard at Business Highway 61 near Pete's Drive-In for public use. The fueling station was put on hold after GM discontinued production of CNG-powered vehicles at the Wentzville plant several years ago, he said. "It will be one of three CNG fueling stations in Missouri," Swank said. "Fleet and commercial users can pull right off Highway 61 and refuel."

GM's announcement on the new Wentzville plant production line followed news the car manufacturer had a first-quarter profit of $865 million and is expanding manufacturing in North America. Before its bankruptcy, GM lost $6 billion in the first quarter of 2009.

MasterCard plans new research labs in O'Fallon

By Joe Scott
Tuesday, May 4, 2010 3:10 AM CDT
[Link to Original Story]

MasterCard Worldwide's O'Fallon location will be one of four sites to host a new research and development initiative.

The credit card company will invest "tens of millions per year" on people and resources through the company's new research arm, called MasterCard Labs, according to Bank Systems and Technology, a banking industry publication.

The O'Fallon site serves as the company's Global Technology and Operations headquarters. Other sites to receive the labs are in Singapore, Dublin and Purchase, N.Y., the company's global headquarters.

"With the launch of MasterCard Labs, MasterCard will create a robust global virtual team to execute our vision for the future of payments," Rob Reeg, president of Global Technology and Operations for MasterCard Worldwide, said in a statement released to the Journal Thursday.

"The team will include creative development engineers and programmers who know how to turn an idea into something that can be quickly and effectively brought to market and scaled to meet the diverse needs of cardholders around the globe," Reeg said.

Reeg said MasterCard will build the new team using a mix of internal resources, vendors and new hires. He said he couldn't provide specifics on timing or number of new hires in the St. Louis area, but the new positions would be posted online as needed. The company also announced Garry Lyons would oversee MasterCard Labs.

House and Senate Accomplishments, 2010 Legislative Session

Budget: Protecting Missourians, No New Taxes

Together with the Senate, we shaved a total of $484 million from the Governor's proposed budget, making the tough decisions necessary to keep Missouri afloat in our harsh economy.

While neighboring states are sinking further into economic crisis, raising taxes and having a difficult time paying their bills, Missouri has remained steadfast in our fiscally conservative practice.

Not only were we able to pass a balanced budget, we made the tough decisions necessary to avoid raising taxes on Missouri families.  Thirteen budget bills totaling $23.1 billion for the fiscal year beginning July 1 were agreed upon by both chambers and will be sent to the Governor for final approval.

I am pleased to report that we voted to maintain the school funding formula at its current levels. In addition, Missouri's K-12 schools will receive the same level of funding in the 2011 Fiscal Year as they did this year.

The largest savings, anticipated to be millions, came from looking at state departments and identifying how they may run more efficiently by eliminating more than 1,000 government jobs, including taxpayer-funded lobbyists and items like equipment, travel and expenses.

I am extremely proud that we completed the budget more than one week in advance of the deadline set by the state constitution.

Because we continued down a fiscally-conservative path while balancing our state's budget, we are able to keep Missouri in a leadership position when it comes to being financially stable.

Protecting the Lives of the Unborn

Both Chambers passed SB793, seeking to protect the lives of the unborn.  This act modifies the informed consent requirements for an abortion by adding new requirements to be obtained at least twenty-four hours prior to an abortion by adding the following provisions:
  • The physician who is to perform or induce the abortion or a qualified professional must present the pregnant woman with various new printed materials (to be developed by the Department of Health and Senior Services by November 30, 2010) detailing the risks of an abortion and the physiological characteristics of an unborn child at two-week gestational increments;
  • The woman must also be provided with the gestational age of the unborn child at the time the abortion is to be performed and must be given an opportunity to view an active ultrasound of the unborn child and hear the heartbeat of the unborn child;
  • Prior to an abortion being performed past twenty-two weeks gestational age, the woman must be provided information regarding the possibility of the abortion causing pain to the unborn child.
  • The abortion cannot be performed until the woman certifies in writing on a checklist form that she has been presented all the required information and that she has been given the opportunity to view an ultrasound, and to choose to have an anesthetic or analgesic administered to the unborn child.

Health Care Freedom Act: Opting Out of the Federal Plan

Missouri citizens are outraged with the health care legislation that President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have pushed through Congress.  I want my constituents to know that in the General Assembly, we share your outrage and we passed a bill that seeks to protect you and your family from these harmful federal mandates.

When the United States House of Representatives passed their health care bill, yielding over two thousand pages, they immediately took away our basic rights.  Congress and the President have ignored the cry of the American people and they pushed their own agenda – leaving our citizens to pick up the expensive tab.

There is a fine line when it comes to government mandates, and Congress and the President have crossed that line.  Even though no Republicans in the House voted for the bill, the Democrat majority found the votes they needed for it to pass.

The federal health care bill costs approximately $940 billion, which is concerning as we face such a serious economic depression, not to mention our national debt which has shot up into the trillions.  Someone has to pick up the tab, and that someone is you and me.  We will be taxed through penalties if we refuse to buy health care and adhere to federal guidelines.

I have no direct influence over the actions of our President and Congress, but I do have a say when it comes to what we do in the Missouri House of Representatives to protect citizens from federal health care mandates.  Why should the government dictate what you must and must not do – especially when it comes to your own health care insurance?

On the first day of this year's session, we introduced the Health Care Freedom Act on the floor of the House and approved it for final passage in early March.  Now that's it has passed the Senate, it [HB1764] will go to the ballot in August for a vote of YOU, the people.

The Health Care Freedom Act would give individuals and employers the opportunity to pay directly for lawful health care services without being subject to federal penalties and states that the purchase or sale of health care insurance in private health care systems cannot be prohibited by law or rule.

A majority of states in the country have filed legislation to oppose the federal health care legislation, and we are hopeful that you will join us in this fight.  States should retain the power to regulate health care and allow their citizens the freedom to choose between health care options in the open market.

To the Federal Government: Balance the National Budget!

You are a hard-working Missouri taxpayer.  You have bills, expenses and every day items that run up costs.  You know what it means to sit down and balance your budget so you can keep your family on track. In state government, we do the same thing.  Every year, we go through the budget line by line and make the tough decisions necessary to balance our budget.  It's not easy, but it's the right thing to do.

Our federal government is a completely different story.  It's almost as if a balanced budget is a foreign concept to them.  This year, the national budget was out of balance by over 40%.

We are in the midst of what economists are calling "The Great Recession" and spending our way to prosperity isn't the answer – but wise fiscal planning and responsible use of your tax dollars is the answer.

Both chambers passed House Concurrent Resolution 34 and 35 sponsored by our Budget Chairman, Allen Icet and Representative Chris Kelly, asking Congress to balance the national budget.

The HCR 34 & 35 comes as an official message from the Missouri General Assembly, and if adopted by Congress, it has a chance of becoming an amendment to the United States Constitution.  An official change will depend on ratification by ¾'s of our nation's states.

With a budget that is over 40% out of balance, and a recent vote to raise the debt ceiling by 1.9 trillion dollars, we need to bring our elected officials in Washington DC back to reality.

Congress needs to stop spending and start standing up for the future of America.  You, as constituents, can help.  If you agree with our resolution to require the national government to balance the budget, contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives and let them know you support us in this effort.


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


You made it over the hump!  June 21st… the first day of Summer Solstice:  the longest day of the year!

If you can stay awake that long… cast your eyes heavenward… there will be a Partial Lunar Eclipse on the 26th!

It's getting noisier out there… with cricket frog breeding at its peak and dog-day cicadas singing away… joining the fireworks melee for Independence Day!

21 June 2010

Keaveny: Healthy Help for Beautiful Smiles

It’s been said that a beautiful smile is the only language that the whole world can understand. Now residents who need to beautify their smile can get help right here in the community, as the Gateway to Oral Health Foundation’s mobile dental clinic will be at the Bevo-Long Community Education Full Service School at 5028 Morganford Road on Monday, June 28.

According to the foundation, oral health professionals will provide services such as exams, x-rays, cleanings and fillings in the mobile dental clinic. Children must be at least three years of age to participate. Any interested parent or adult should make an appointment in advance by calling Patrice Crotty at (314) 353-1034. Services will only be provided to those having an appointment.

Dental services are free to children three through 17 years old who receive Medicaid insurance. Others may inquire about hardship cases for children or reduced fees for adults when setting an appointment. The reduced-fee schedule is available at the Bevo-Long Community Education Full Service School and on the web at the following link:

The Gateway to Oral Health Foundation is proof that good things can come from a bad situation. Three dentists – Dr. Byron DuVall, Dr. Derrick Frye, and Dr. Joseph Erondu – formed the organization back in 1996, when the St. Louis Public Schools faced losing their free dental program. As products of the St. Louis Public Schools, these dentists understood the importance of this program and the difference it makes in the lives of kids. Since its creation, the foundation has helped thousands receive preventative and restorative care for their teeth, and taught children what it takes to keep those beautiful smiles.

If you know someone who needs this valuable service, please encourage them to make an appointment or give the foundation a call, because great health starts with a great smile.

Roorda: Community Meetings Reminder



Town hall meetings will be held to discuss the following issues:

Transportation, June 21, 2010 at 6:00pm
Antonia Fire House #2
6633 Moss Hallow Road
Barnhart, MO 63012

Children's Safety, June 22, 2010 at 6:30pm
Simpson Elementary
3585 Vogel Road
Arnold, MO 63010

Representative Jeff Roorda
201 West Capitol Avenue, Room 115A
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Phone: 573-751-2504
Email: Jeff{dot}Roorda{at}house{dot}mo{dot}gov

Rep. Tim Jones Receives 2010 Legislative Award from the St. Louis Business Journal

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Rep. Tim Jones, R-Eureka, is a 2010 recipient of the St. Louis Business Journal Legislative Award. The honor is given annually to a select group of lawmakers who most constructively addressed the business and community interests of the St. Louis region during the 2010 legislative session.

“I greatly appreciate this honor,” Rep. Jones said. “It is a special privilege to work for the residents of the 89th District in the St. Louis area, and I take my service to my community very seriously. I will continue to do everything I can in the General Assembly to further the interests of St. Louis area businesses and businesses across the state. If businesses are successful, then we create more jobs and this is turn benefits all of the residents of the St. Louis region.”

A breakfast honoring the recipients was held at the Old Post Office, 815 Olive Street, in downtown St. Louis on Friday, June 18.