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

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

16 July 2010

Kander: 3 New Lessons Learned

Ok, here are 3 new lessons learned:

1. Never give up.

I'm often asked why, in the face of such strong opposition and long odds, I still believe that Missouri will eventually pass comprehensive ethics reform.

I had intended to answer with a long synopsis of the journey I undertook to author and pass the ethics bill this year.

But this past Wednesday, The Pitch wrote an article that chronicles it in great detail. If you're interested in how we got to where we are now (it is a pretty interesting story), you should read David Martin's telling of the tale. Or you can read an article from the following day, when the Governor signed the bill [SB844] into law.

But even my long-winded retelling wouldn't fully answer the question of why, despite everything, I remain so optimistic. The only way to really explain it is to tell you a story . . . [Read More]

2. You can change your mind.

The state of Missouri, unlike the federal government, is not allowed to print its own money and run a deficit. As mandated by our state's constitution, we must pass a balanced budget.

The experience of serving on the budget committee during the worst economic downturn since the great depression has been eye opening. Members of the budget committee see the numbers every day during the session. We prize revenue more than other legislators because we know just how scarce it is in tough times.

One proposed way for the state to close its substantial budget shortfall this year was to freeze K-12 education spending at last year's level.

Politically, this doesn't seem to play well in any district in the state. The simple fact is that even the reddest, most fiscally conservative pockets of this state are full of voters whose children attend public school. As a result, most politicians never want to freeze education spending.

Because of House procedure, this proposal came before the body for a vote on two occasions . . . [Read More]

3. The older I get, the more I value home.

Yesterday morning, as I was getting ready for work, I finished shaving and went to put my razor back in my travel kit when I realized something: I'm home for the next three weeks. Believe it or not, that's a rather big deal for me. I've been on the road so much lately that I've taken up the habit of just repacking my shaving kit every morning.

Session took place in Jefferson City from January through May (where I didn't always manage to keep up new year's resolution number four). Of course, I made it home nearly every weekend that I didn't have Army duty at Fort Leonard Wood, but weekends in Kansas City just aren't long enough.

Then in June I spent three weeks away with the Army training officer candidates as a platoon trainer. Spotty cell signal, long hours and hot days – all the makings of a pretty great time actually. But as I get older I've started to realize that nothing beats home for me. Not even great training and motivated soldiers.

When I was younger . . . [Read More]

So those are a few of the lessons I've learned halfway through 2010.

15 July 2010

Davis: Ford Bail-out

Rep. Davis Welcomes a New Dental Office

Recently we cut the ribbon at the Boardwalk Family Dental Office. Dr Hurtte’s office is located in WingHaven.

The Ford Bail-Out Bill

This week we went back to Jefferson City again to vote on a bailout bill [HB2] designed to keep Ford in the Kansas City area. This is Missouri’s version of a federal bailout. Where is the bailout for Missouri families? It’s up to free-market consumers to pick winners and losers, not government. Perhaps if we had real tax reform everyone in Missouri would be more prosperous. Wouldn’t it be great if Ford wanted to stay in Kansas City because we had such great workers and low taxes?

When you see the image of “lady justice” she is blindfolded. I love that image because that is how all branches of government ought to conduct themselves. Taxation ought to be blind as well. Government cannot be all things to all people. From a principled perspective, government must be the same thing to all people. Government should not give to some at the loss of others.

Our taxes ought to be structured in such a manner that we can have fairness to everyone regardless of how many lobbyists they have in Jefferson City. In an ideal world there would be no lobbyists because it wouldn’t make a bit of difference which wheel squeaked the loudest or who bought the cigars. I have always felt like the best lobbyists are my own constituents. They are the ones who sent me to Jefferson City to cast votes for that which reflects their values.

The valid question people are asking me is this: “If Ford posted over 2 billion in profits last year, why do they want a bailout?” If it’s a good deal for Ford, it should be a good deal for everyone in Missouri. What would happen to our state if we allowed all our businesses to keep the income taxes they collected from their employees and use that money for capitol improvements?

I enjoy a reputation of being one of the most pro-business legislators in the Capitol. The business community in my district knows I spend more time and energy attending ribbon cutting ceremonies than any elected official. My goal is to welcome, encourage and support all legitimate business endeavors. You can be assured that I support Ford manufacturing in Missouri. I even drive a Ford 150! It is important that whatever legislation is passed applies to all businesses equally. One of our O’Fallon businesses has a sign that says, “Please don’t ask for special discounts. We consider all our customers to be special and want to offer the best prices to everyone.” I really like that. In Missouri we should consider all our businesses to be important and offer the same good service and benefits to everyone. That is the right way to govern.

Additional bits and pieces to consider:
  • As Senator Purgason points out in this The Daily Star-Journal article, the Ford bill doesn’t really create job growth throughout all Missouri enterprises. We all should like to see tax breaks for all businesses not just Ford and its suppliers.
  • Two news-article links that describe Senate action meant to move the Ford Bill forward: Political Maneuver to Catapult Bill with a $15 million annual Cost and
  • How do lawmakers think the tax incentives will be paid for? Through state pension reform! Read more: Post-Dispatch article and Pension Reform Plays a Role.
  • And legislators are actually considering passing this bill when Ford has not even promised to keep or create jobs! Read this editorial in the: KC Star / Midwest Voices
Your thoughts are important to me, so please let me know what you think about bailouts. You can send me your opinion by clicking here: Cynthia Davis

A Little Bit of Humor

The owner of a large factory decided to make a surprise visit and check up on his staff. Walking though the plant, he noticed a young man leaning lazily against a post.

"Just how much are you being paid a week?" said the owner angrily.

"Three hundred bucks," replied the young man.

Taking out a fold of bills from his wallet, the owner counted out $300, slapped the money into the boy's hands, and said "Here's a week's pay -- now get out and don't come back!"

Turning to one of the supervisors, he said "How long has that lazy bum been working here anyway?"

"He doesn't work here," said the supervisor. "He was just here to deliver a pizza!"

Nodler: Bills Signed into Law Before Constitutional Deadline

The last day for the governor to sign bills passed by the General Assembly during the 2010 legislative session was July 14. Measures not receiving his signature are automatically enacted on their designated days. Since the last day of session, the governor has signed more than 80 bills.

A measure I drafted was included in Senate Bill 583 this year, which was signed by the governor on July 13. The legislation was motivated by the story of a Jasper County resident who was hit by an uninsured Oklahoma driver. Before the legislation, police could not cite uninsured, out-of-state drivers. Thanks to the provision that was passed by the Legislature, non-residents must adhere to the financial responsibility laws of their state of residence and Missouri law enforcement officials have the ability to take action. This bill takes steps to make sure that uninsured drivers, regardless of their residency, are held responsible in Missouri.

This session, I sponsored a bill that prevented our local assessors from facing an unfunded mandate. Senate Bill 588, which was signed by the governor on July 8, is designed to help local assessors in out-state Missouri be able to meet projected tax liability requirements. This legislation will give local assessors extra time before implementing a law to provide projected tax liability notices with a notice of increased assessed value. Assessors will be able to wait until they receive software from the State Tax Commission, which is necessary to provide such notices. This makes sure that the public will be informed, as was the original intention of the law, without being unfair to local assessors.

Here are some additional bills approved by the Legislature and signed by the governor:

SB 851 - Requires at least four days notice before voting by governing bodies of local governments on tax increases, eminent domain, and certain districts and projects.

SB 940 - Lets bingo parlors open earlier, close later and offer games twice a week. The bill also increases the amount of money bingo operators can spend on advertising.

HB 1311 – Requires health insurance companies to offer coverage for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, including coverage for ABA therapy for those under 21.

HB 1472 – Makes the sale and distribution of K2 illegal in Missouri.

HB 1524 – Streamlines absentee voting and registration for Missouri military personnel serving away from home, allows the Adjutant General to establish the Missouri Youth Challenge Academy for at-risk youth, and creates an exemption for the A+ Schools Program for certain military dependents who move to Missouri.

Most bills will go into effect on August 28, unless they contain an emergency clause.

14 July 2010

Goodman: Statement on Special Session Filibuster

“The government should never be in the business of picking winners and losers. Just as I personally oppose the federal bailout of auto companies and Wall Street executives, and spending billions on a failed stimulus package, as a state Senator I cannot support this new spending that we cannot afford. I am deeply disappointed to see this taxpayer shakedown [HB2] pass in spite of our opposition and efforts. The last year and a half of President Obama's failed economic policies have proven that you can't spend your way out of a recession, and it's not fair for people in southwest Missouri to continue footing the bill for these government giveaways."
– Sen. Jack Goodman, R-Mt. Vernon

Tim Jones: Important Issues Covered By Special Session

Heavy July heat and humidity, broken only by intermittent, yet strong fast moving storms, settled over the Midwest and most of the Nation this past week as summer soaked deeply into the city pavement and the country fields.  As I reported last month, the Legislature has been mired in a Special Session, called by the Governor, since June 24th.  I am very happy to report that all of your pocketbooks and liberties are once again safe as the General Assembly finally concluded the Special Session today with the passage of two bills that I will more fully describe below.  Even without a "Special Session" I typically make a trip once a month or so to Jefferson City to attend to business during the "Interim Session" which we will now return to until Veto Session in September.  In between visits, my hard working assistant, Jody, continues to staff our office and is always available if you need our assistance.  I also continue to "remotely" monitor e-mail and voice mail so if you do need any assistance, please know I remain available and ready to serve!

"Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women."  -- Ronald Reagan

Important Issues Considered by Special Session

As I mentioned, during the last week of June, the Missouri House of Representatives fulfilled the Governor's call and convened for a Special Session.  He ordered the General Assembly back to the Capitol to pass two bills which were debated during the regular session which ended in mid May.  One of the bills [HB2] provided tax incentives for automotive manufacturers and suppliers – the other seeks to revamp the state employee retirement system [HB1].

The Governor's call was surprising for several reasons.  The Governor did not express interest in these issues during the regular Session and did not list them as priorities.  The House and Senate did not have a consensus during the regular Session, nor did the Governor work with us to gain the consensus needed on these two items.  Missouri tax dollars pay for Special Session, and in a time when fiscal responsibility is a top priority, it seems that the wisest decision would have been for the Governor to lobby the bills during the regular Session and work with members to reach a consensus.

Even though I believe there was a better way to seek passage of this legislation, the Governor made the call to Special Session, and we answered that call.  House Republicans acted swiftly, utilizing as few Missouri taxpayer dollars as possible.  In fact, we passed an initial version of both bills, in a strong bi-partisan fashion, after only one day of debate.  We worked ahead of time to gain the consensus needed to pass both bills.  We then proceeded to reconcile the House and Senate versions of this legislation which I will now describe.

Growing Missouri Jobs

I certainly had reservations about a targeted tax incentive to a particular industry.  However, we also have to face the reality that Missouri finds itself in competition with the other 49 states for good jobs.  Other states offer tax incentives much more generous than Missouri.  If we are to grow and prosper as a state, we must grant tax breaks to attract and retain good jobs.  Under the leadership of House Speaker Ron Richard, Republicans in the House of Representatives have been champions for economic development in our state.  HCS House Bill 2, sponsored by Representative Jerry Nolte, R-Gladstone, was passed in the House several times but stalled in the Senate until today.  I worked with Representative Nolte on the House floor when the House passed the bill earlier this year.  The bill provides tax incentives for automotive manufacturers and suppliers in Missouri.  By reducing the amount of tax dollars these companies would owe the State of Missouri (and I am all for reducing taxes for everyone and anyone), they are able to create more jobs and retain the employees already in place.  As you know, this economy has left thousands of Missourians unemployed.  With the number of jobless citizens on the rise, job creation and retention is imperative.  One of the projects that this legislation is directed is the possible loss of 3,000 to 4,000 jobs in the Ford Claycomo Plant near Kansas City.  If Ford leaves Missouri, these jobs and many other jobs in related industries will also be lost.  As I mentioned, the House and Senate continued to work very hard on the bill and I am convinced that the final version is not a giveaway or a bailout in any sense of the word.  If you are being intellectually honest about the bill, you will find that the legislation is a responsible approach to offering incentives that will produce results that benefit our entire state. There is no benefit to any company until the company makes a commitment and spends their own money on their own plants, factories or businesses.

My concern is more for the suppliers of goods and small businesses that rely on larger businesses such as the Ford Claycomo Plant. Without Ford, those suppliers and small businesses would not have a market for their goods. This bill received overwhelming approval from business groups, organized labor, economic development groups, school districts, chambers of commerce, county and municipal governments, and others, most importantly the citizens of the Districts in and around the Clay County region.  All Missourians must continue to work together for economic development across our State.

Re-organization of State Employee Retirement Benefits to Save Tax Dollars

The State of Missouri has an extensive and quite generous set of retirement benefits for employees.  However, given economic conditions and declining revenue numbers, the current system is unsustainable.  Because of fiscal restrictions, a change needed to be made.  HCS for House Bill 1, sponsored by Representative Jim Viebrock, R-Republic, made the necessary changes needed to allow the state retirement system to thrive in years to come.  Attracting responsible, hard-working employees is something the State of Missouri takes very seriously, so we must be careful to continue to have an attractive retirement package, just not one that could bankrupt our state.  In addition, we want to ensure fairness to current state employees.  Through this legislation, existing employees would retain the retirement benefits they receive in the current system.  A fiscally responsible retirement package that our state can afford, while continuing to attract good employees to Missouri government positions is important – and we took a good, first step when we passed this bill.  Just like with the jobs bill mentioned above, this public employee pension reform bill underwent a great deal of work and compromise between the House and Senate positions.  I am happy to report that this bill passed as well which will mean that meaningful, cost-savings directed reform will be implemented upon our public employee pension system.  The bill will only affect new hires and it will still provide a meaningful benefit to workers while protecting your hard earned tax dollars.

As Tragedy Strikes in the Gulf, We Must Step Up to Help

Let us not forget that millions of Americans continue to be affected by the oil spill in the Gulf. Even though many of us feel like there is nothing we can do to stop the damage, WE can help those in need.  While the federal government continues to bumble and stumble its way clumsily through this crisis, great leaders like Governor Jindal and Governor Barbour continue to rally the spirits of the citizens of their States and take specific actions to solve the challenges presented by this crisis.  We have seen the ineptitude of the federal government on full display and it has once again been confirmed that it is we, the people, who can best help our fellow Americans.  I encourage all of you to step up and do what you can to help those who need us the most.  Several websites are accepting donations to aid the people and wildlife of the affected region such as the following:If you are not able to give financially, please do continue to keep the families of the Gulf region in your daily prayers.

Visiting the Capitol

Yesterday, as our Special Session continued, I had a very pleasant surprise as I welcomed two constituents, Dan Harms and his granddaughter, Emily to the Capitol.  Dan and Emily both had a "day off" and decided to hop on the Amtrak train and make a day trip to Jefferson City.  They had a nice surprise when they discovered the Legislature was actually in Session!  Dan and Emily were welcomed in the Senate Chamber and I also had the privilege and opportunity to introduce them to the House of Representatives on the House Floor.  I want to thank Dan and Emily for visiting me and if you ever find yourself in or around Jefferson City at any time during the year, please feel free to visit us!  Stop by Room 114A and, even during the interim session, Jody will be happy to meet and greet you!

Personal News & Notes

Being "out of Session" has definitely not resulted in life slowing down much at all. Working almost daily at the law firm, keeping up with constituent services and attending different events in and around the District have kept me more than occupied during the Interim Session.  I continue to owe a huge debt of gratitude to my wife, Suzanne, whose daily sacrifices enable me to continue to serve my constituents and to continue to work towards my vision and goal of making Missouri a better place to live, work and raise a family.  My two daughters, Katie and Abby are a constant reminder of why I have chosen public service as part of my career and that there are future generations and a "greater good" that we are all striving for when we "set to the task" each year in Jefferson City.  Please do not hesitate to contact our office if we can ever be of any assistance and I hope you continue to have an excellent and safe summer!

Until our next update, I am, and remain, in your service.

Nance: Yes to Jobs Bill

Today, we passed the Manufacturing Jobs Act [HB2]. This bill is our opportunity to preserve thousands of good-paying jobs with benefits. The Ford plant is a vital part of our economy and we cannot afford to lose it during a time when we’re already hurting. This is not a corporate give away, but a responsible approach to offering incentives that will produce results that benefit our entire state. There is no benefit to Ford until they have made a commitment and started spending their own money on the Claycomo factory.

My concern is more for the suppliers of goods and small businesses that rely on the plant. Without Ford, those suppliers and small businesses would not have a market for their goods. This bill received overwhelming approval from business groups, organized labor, economic development groups, our school district, chambers of commerce, county and municipal governments, and others, most importantly the citizens of our District.

The decision is now up to Ford Motor Company as we have done all we can to preserve those jobs.

HCS HB 1 on retirement was passed out of the House. All new state employees will contribute 4% of their salaries towards retirement. This will save the state pension plan in the long term. The state previously required the contribution, but as more money flowed to the state in the middle 70’s, the legislature paid the entire retirement costs. The most controversial part of the bill that added the Missouri State Retirement Investment Board was pulled from the bill. The teacher’s retirement fund is not affected by the bill.

Nance: Ford Bill Update, Encouraging Participation in S-CHIP, Visit From Super Bowl Champ

“The House went back in session Tuesday evening to pass the Manufacturing Jobs Act (also known as the Ford Bill). The bill [HB2] has been narrowed to apply only to the automotive industry. I will send an update as soon as we conclude voting.”

At the Capitol

HCS SB 583 was signed by the Governor on Tuesday. The bill provides that for each school year beginning July 1, 2010, the Department of Social Services is required to provide all state-licensed child-care providers who receive federal or state funds and all public school districts with written information regarding the eligibility criteria and application procedures for obtaining health insurance coverage through the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

Information is to be distributed to the parents at the time of their children’s enrollment in child care or school. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education must add an attachment to the application for the free and reduced-price lunch program which will require the parent or guardian to check a box indicating whether the child has or does not have health insurance.

If the child does not have health insurance and the parent or guardian’s income does not exceed the highest level established by federal law, the school district must provide a notice to the parent or guardian that the uninsured child may qualify for health insurance coverage under SCHIP. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, in collaboration with the Department of Social Services, must submit an annual report to the Governor and the committee chairs of the House of Representatives Budget Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee on the number of families in each district receiving free or reduced-price lunches, the number of families who indicated the absence of health insurance coverage on the forms, the number of families who received information on SCHIP, and the number of families who applied for coverage under SCHIP because of the receipt of the information.

With estimates of between 80,000 and 100,000 kids without insurance, we hope this will get more kids coverage and the information obtained will be a valuable resource.

Citizens for Missouri’s Children worked with me on this legislation.

In the District

The Lawson Picnic was a huge success this past weekend.

Gregg Williams [At right, visiting with Jerry and Brock Dover] brought his NFL Super Bowl experience to Excelsior Springs for the annual fundraiser for local kids. The foundation has given over $300,000 to local school and children’s organizations over the last seven years.

Don’t forget the Ray County Fair begins this week.

13 July 2010

Joe Smith: Congressman Luetkemeyer Announces Constituent Service Day in Weldon Spring

COLUMBIA - As part of his ongoing efforts to communicate with people throughout the 9th Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-9) today announced that his staff will be available next week for another round of Constituent Service Days designed to address the concerns of district residents.

“We have had great success with our Constituent Service Days in the past and my staff is looking forward to again meeting face-to-face with folks and sharing with me the issues impacting people,” Luetkemeyer said. “These meetings have been instrumental in helping me take important Main Street issues back with me to Washington, D.C.”

Thursday, July 22
10:00 – 11:00 am

Weldon Spring City Hall
5401 Independence Drive
Host: Deputy District Director Dan Engemann

Joe Smith: MoDOT activates new signal on Route 94 Wednesday

ST. LOUIS – The Missouri Department of Transportation and its contractor, Kolb Grading, will activate a temporary new signal on Route 94 between Kisker Road and Mid Rivers Mall Drive Wednesday at 9 a.m.

The signal will start flashing yellow at that time. Within the next few weeks, the signal will start cycling between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. This will let construction traffic safely move dirt from the outer roadway between Kisker and Mid Rivers Mall Drive.

Holsman: Governor Signs Urban Farming and PACE Legislation, Summer Jobs Program

Governor Nixon Signs Urban Farming Bill

On July 12th, shortly after noon in Kansas City, Governor Jay Nixon signed House Bill 1848, completing the bill's long journey through the Missouri General Assembly.

H.B. 1848 was sponsored by Rep. Jason Holsman, who has represented portions of South Kansas City and Grandview since 2007.

The bill creates a Joint Interim Committee to study Urban Agriculture in Missouri. The end result will be a report on urban farming and sustainable living communities that will be the first of its kind in the nation, which could eventually be used by other states in drafting legislation and creating policy relating to urban agriculture.

At left: Governor Nixon hands a signed copy of H.B. 1848 to Representative Holsman

An old concept with new technology, urban farming is being practiced by people from different walks of life producing a wide variety of food.

Urban agriculture has been embraced by public health officials, economists, community planners, small businesses, members of the traditional agriculture community, educators, local elected officials, and even national security experts.

The benefits of growing food locally include fresher fruits and vegetables with no pesticides or preservatives, the educational aspects of introducing farming and gardening to metropolitan populations, cost-savings related to reduced transportation needs, and security benefits that come from making large cities less reliant on outside networks for their food source.

One of the focal points that attracts community leaders to the urban agriculture discussion is the abundance of abandoned lots and buildings throughout the urban core of most major cities. Urban farms can be established inside vacant buildings such as warehouses and factories or in overgrown residential lots. Their produce can be donated or sold to others within the community, or consumed by the growers themselves.

At right: Rep. Kiki Curls speaks at the House Bill 1848 signing ceremony.

"Cities like Kansas City and St. Louis have many abandoned properties where urban farms can be established in order to reverse blighting trends to improve the overall health and food options of the community, while creating good jobs that can't be outsourced," said Holsman.

At the ceremony, Rep. Kiki Curls (D-Kansas City) also touted the need for fresh, nutritious food available to the residents of Kansas City's developed areas.

Governor Signs PACE Legislation

At the same ceremony in which Governor Nixon signed the Urban Farming Bill, he also signed House Bill 1692.

H.B. 1692, sponsored by Rep. Jason Smith (R-Salem), contained several provisions, including the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Act originally introduced by Representative Jason Holsman (D-Kansas City) in H.B. 2178.

PACE allows political subdivisions to pass bond measures to fund programs that allow property owners to weatherize their homes and install clean-energy generation technologies.

At right: Representative Holsman and Governor Nixon celebrate the passage of PACE.

These bonds which fund these improvements will be paid off by the property owner through a surcharge placed on their annual property tax assessment. Therefore, the PACE program doesn't cost a penny to taxpayers who choose not to participate.

The program has been touted as helping the environment by reducing each property's net energy requirements, saving money for the property owners on their utility bills, and creating "green collar" jobs by putting people to work building and installing the energy generation and consumption reduction technologies associated with the program.

"This is the right bill at the right time to help create jobs, lower utility costs while protecting our environment without expanding government or spending tax dollars" said Holsman at the signing ceremony.

Nixon and Cleaver Announce Summer Jobs Program

At left: From left to right, Rep. Jason Holsman, Gov. Jay Nixon, Former Rep. Judy Baker, House Minority Leader Paul LeVota

Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver II and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon are proud to announce the "Jobs Now" Summer Jobs Program.

Jobs Now is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and is designed to provide short-term, full-time summer employment to area youths.

At right: Congressman Cleaver with Rep. Holsman

The program will be available to young men and women aged 16 - 24. The positions, which will be classified as 'green jobs' through ARRA, will pay $10 / hour for 40 hours a week, six weeks in duration. In total, 1,200 jobs will be available.

The program is being run by the Full Employment Council and anyone interested can apply there. Positions are still available, although income guidelines do apply.

Mama Leone's Family Italian Pizza Opens in the 45th District

The Leone family are no strangers to making a delicious pizza. Original Pizza, a longtime favorite of Kansas City area pizza lovers, was opened by Jack Leone in 1978.

Now Jack's sons, Anthony and Frank Leone are carrying on the tradition, opening Mamma Leone's New York Style Pizza & Italian Restaurant at 650 East Red Bridge Road.

Hours of Operation Are:
Mon. - Thurs.: 10 AM - 9 PM
Fri. - Sat.: 10 AM - 10 PM
Sunday: Noon - 9 PM

Mamma Leone's menu:
Whole Pizza
Pizza by the Slice
Hot Sandwiches
Deli Sandwiches
Greek Dishes
and Italian Dinner Entrees

They will also offer custom catering for private parties and corporate functions.

According to Frank Leone, "We can make just about any authentic Italian dish, from Chicken Spiedini to Italian Steak Milanese, but I'm really a pizza guy at heart."

Holsman Tours Sweet Water

At left: President Josh Fraundorf teaches Rep. Holsman about the system

While in Milwaukee at the DLCC Midwest Leadership Conference, I had the chance to tour the Sweet Water Organics urban farm / aquaponics operation. The facility, pictured to the right, is an older industrial building, much like those that dot the landscape in the Kansas City-area.

Sweet Water is somewhat unique as, in addition to farming produce, the facility also raises fish. The fish waste is used as a fertilizer for the plants and the plants act as a natural water filter for the fish.

The concept behind Sweet Water Organics can easily be adapted for use in Jackson County, or anywhere across the county. The operation is a sustainable, job-creating resource that prevents an old building from blighting the neighborhood, and produces safe, healthy, and tasty food for local restaurants and consumers.

In my tours of Growing Power and Sweet Water, I took far too many pictures than I could include in this newsletter. However, if you would like to see for yourself how these new forms of sustainable living are put into practice, check out my Facebook photo album.

Holsman Tours Will Allen's Growing Power Urban Farm

In addition to touring the Sweet Water Organics facility in Milwaukee, I also toured Growing Power, one of the country's premier urban farming organizations. Former ABA basketball standout Will Allen purchased the Growing Power facility in 1993 and has been the key factor in the organization's success throughout the past two decades.

Growing Power isn't just an urban farm, its also an educational facility to teach agriculture, gardening, and the basics of food production. Growing Power hosts workshops and conferences -and has its own outreach program- to teach skills to both young and old alike. It is a place where urban farmers can go to network, learn new skills, and get help in making their own activities a success. A multifaceted The 'Growing Power' Urban Farm founded by basketball star Will Allen.organization, Growing Power has satellite farms and practices various types of sustainable growing, including composting, aquaponics, beekeeping, and livestock.

In my tours of Growing Power and Sweet Water, I took far too many pictures than I could include in this newsletter. However, if you would like to see for yourself how these new forms of sustainable living are put into practice, check out my Facebook photo album.

Holsman Visits Newhouse Women's Domestic Violence Shelter

At right: Rep. Holsman with the staff from Newhouse Domestic Violence Shelter

Earlier this summer, I had the privilege to tour the Newhouse Domestic Violence Shelter. Newhouse provides shelter and other critical services to women who are victims of domestic violence. Their goal is to end the cycle of abuse and provide women with the tools necessary to lead self-sufficient lives. My hosts at Newhouse were very gracious in showing me their facility and the services they had to offer. For more information, visit them online at

Ruestman: Washington Tax Increases Coming

Last week, we reported that the Republican majority in Jefferson City has been able to balance the budget for eight years with no tax increase.  While we have made a solid effort to protect individuals and small businesses, it appears the Federal Government is working just as hard to take money away from you.  Please note: my office received this information from Americans for Tax Reform ( and the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation (

In less than six months, the Democrat majority in Washington will begin the largest tax increases in American history.

The first increase to hit us will be on January 1, 2011.  On that day, the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts will expire.  These tax breaks were passed for investors, small business owners and families.  What does that mean for you?

Personal income taxes will rise.  Itemized deductions and personal exemptions will phase out which has the same effect as higher marginal tax rates.  Here is the full list:
  • 10% bracket rises to 15%
  • 25% goes up to 28%
  • 28% rises to 31%
  • 33% increases to 36%
  • 35% rises to 39.6%.
It doesn't stop there.  The "marriage penalty", as it is known, will return.  The child tax credit will be cut in half from $1000 to $500.  The standard deduction will no longer be doubled for married couples.  The death tax will reappear.  After January 1, all estates over $1 million will be taxed at 55%.  A person leaving two homes and a retirement account could leave their children owing the government.

Savers and Investors?  Get ready to be punished for good decisions.  The capital gains tax will rise from 15 to 20% next year.  The dividends tax will more than double going from 15 to 39.6%.  It doesn't stop there; they will go up by another 3.8 percent in 2013.

On top of ALL that, the dependent care and adoption tax credits will be cut.

These taxes only further compound the bad economy state legislators are dealing with.  As a state, it is difficult to turn the boat around when the federal government increases the hole in the stern.  Now is the time to make educated decisions at the polls and let your voice be heard in D.C.!

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.

Keaveny: Summer Jobs for St. Louis Youth

The key to the future of St. Louis lies within our city's ability to develop an educated workforce.  This summer, I encourage young adults 14-24 years old to take advantage of the Missouri Summer Jobs Program and gain the valuable experience that prepares them for the future.

The Missouri Summer Jobs Program gives young adults who meet specific qualifications the opportunity to earn money while working with some of the finest employers in St. Louis. By developing skills and showing work initiative, those who utilize this program will gain on-the-job training that will benefit their career and eventually the entire city, because a vibrant workforce makes our city more attractive to businesses.

There are several specific income eligibility requirements, and a full description as well as an application can be found at Once your application is processed by the state, they will send your application to the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE), who will then set up interviews, if applicable. It is important to note that filling out an application does not guarantee job placement, and that the SLATE office cannot accept applications.

Last year, more than 7,000 Missouri youth – including many from St. Louis – gained the knowledge and the skills that this program provides. If you know a Missouri student who meets the income requirements and who could use career experience, be sure to tell them to fill out an application.  You could help them take that first step into a bright future.

And, if you're an employer who would like to participate in the program, it could benefit your business to visit the website as well. Once again this year, the state of Missouri will pay the youths' wages and workers' compensation. Plus, the state still provide personal assistance from more than 320 professional career counselors and business liaisons from 14 local Workforce Investment Boards.

If you have any questions regarding the Missouri Summer Jobs Program, please visit the website, call (800) 592-6020, or e-mail: SummerJobs{at}ded{dot}mo{dot}gov.

The program ends September 30, so don't delay!

12 July 2010

Sen. Gary Nodler Named Senator of the Year by American Legion

Jefferson City — Senator Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, was recently named Senator of the Year by the American Legion, Department of Missouri. The award was presented at the American Legion’s annual convention on July 10.

“I am honored to have been chosen as a recipient of this award by the American Legion, and I would like to extend my thanks for the good work the organization accomplished for our veterans,” said Sen. Nodler. “We are reminded daily of the sacrifices made by our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines, and I am pleased with the work we have accomplished in the Senate to make sure our veterans get the benefits they need and deserve.”

Senator Nodler has been dedicated to passing legislation and policies to honor, aid, and show appreciation to Missouri’s veterans throughout his time in the Missouri Senate. During the 2010 legislative session, the General Assembly approved a bill [HB1524] making it easier for overseas military members to vote in elections, requiring the state and local government entities to give a measured preference to service-disabled veteran businesses when selecting contractors for any job or service, and establishing the Missouri Youth Challenge Academy for at-risk high school age youth. In 2009, the General Assembly passed legislation extending state income tax exemptions on retirement income to all veterans [HB82]. In 2008, the Legislature passed the Missouri Returning Heroes’ Education Act [HB1678] to provide discounted tuition at state universities to veterans returning from combat.

During his time as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Sen. Nodler ensured that Missouri Veterans Homes received the funding they needed to fully staff facilities and keep up with food and medical inflation.

The Missouri American Legion is an organization of veterans committed to serving veterans, their families, and their communities. Senator Nodler is a member of the American Legion, having served in the United States Army and the Missouri National Guard. The American Legion, Department of Missouri was chartered on August 1, 1920. There are more than 44,000 members that make up American Legion posts located throughout the state.

11 July 2010

Schupp: Special Request

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Please consider how you can help craft public policy by moving the issues you care about to the top of the State's agenda.  Prior to the August Primary elections and the November General elections, candidates whose policies you support are working hard to meet and build relationships with voters in their districts.

Due to term limits, an unprecedented number of legislators will be replaced in November.  Together, we can work to support issues we care about by helping candidates across the state who share our values get elected!

Please consider being part of this opportunity for positive change in Missouri!



Article Headline

Please Help Us Win Back the House!

Good Candidates around the State need our help! 

Representative Jill Schupp's Team 82
...As we work to help elect a new majority!  

We can set the agenda on job creation
...with a majority of 82!
We can help make college affordable
...with a majority of 82!
We can protect our seniors from being taxed out of their homes
...with a majority of 82!
We can eliminate second hand smoke from our public places
...with a majority of 82!

Please sign up to help.  We will travel around Missouri, knocking on doors, making calls, doing whatever our Candidates need to help them win their elections!

Our time is the most valuable resource we can offer!

Join us for an hour, a day...or more.  We will provide transportation and overnight accommodations when needed. 
Contact Jill Schupp at JillSchupp{at}gmail{dot}com or (314) 225-1410

Which of these dates are you available?
Sunday, July 18 
Thursday, July 22
Monday, August 2
Tuesday, August 3
Tuesday, August 10
Wednesday, August 11
Thursday, August 12
Monday, August 16
Tuesday, August 17
Wednesday, August 18

(314) 225-1410