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:

18 November 2010

Carter: September 2010 Legislative Report

With the Holiday season approaching, families will be gathering to spend time with their loved ones and give thanks for the blessings received over the past year. 

Let's remember that, due to job loss, illness, or just the economy, many families won't have food to help celebrate their Thanksgiving gatherings.  Take time out of your busy holiday schedule, by donating your time or just a few dollars, to help these families throughout the holiday season.

May your family have a happy and blessed Thanksgving holiday.


Join the Majic 104.9 family along with the Galloways as they give back to the community!  Feed the City is a community event where they offer a free, hot Thanksgiving style meal for underpriveleged families.  First come, first served.  Get health screenings from Molina Healthcare at no cost!  Also, get free information and resources from area non-profit agencies.

Saturday, November 20
12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m.
Starlight Room
8350 North Broadway (Baden)
St. Louis


From now until December 10, the Riverview West Florissant Housing Development Corporation (RWFHDC) in partnership with Alderwoman Dionne Flowers, Alderman Freeman Bosley, Alderman Greg Carter, St. Louis CAN, and the North Partrol Division are asking for donations of new or gently used blankets.

Blankets can be dropped off at:

27th Ward Office (6000 West Florissant)
RWFHDC (6085 W. Florissant)
Golden Shears Barber Shop (8713 Riverview Blvd.)
3rd Ward Housing (1400 Salisbury)

Financial donations can be dropped at the RWFHDC Office.

If you have any questions please contact the RWFHDC at 314-382-9000.


Thanksgiving Day 2010

Marching Band Contest sponsored by Schnucks and US Bank

The 2010 Ameren Missouri Thanksgiving Day Parade begins at 8:45 a.m. on Thanksgiving Morning -Thursday, November 25, 2010

2010 Honorary Grand Marshal - Ernie Hays

Giant Helium Balloons:
Ameren Missouri Louie the Lightning Bug - SPONSOR CHARACTER
U.S. Bank - Rudolph the Reindeer
Schnucks - Garfield Santa
Emerson - Theodore Toy Soldier
AT&T - Drummer Boy
Partnership for Downtown St. Louis - Mistletoes Snowman
Gateway Arch Riverfront/Metro Gingerbread Man
Clear Channel Radio - Toy Stocking
The Switch - Nutcracker
Variety, The Children's Charity Balloon
Wings of Hope Balloon
Lou Fusz Automotive - Ornament

Macy's Holiday Festival of Lights

Date: 11/19/2010
Location: Kiener Plaza in downtown St. Louis
Time: 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Christmas lights are turned on at 6:30 p.m. in downtown St. Louis on for the official start of the holiday season. Special holiday activities and a fireworks display will be held.


The Missouri House Democratic Caucus elected state Rep. Mike Talboy of Kansas City as minority leader. House Democrats also elected five other members to caucus leadership posts for the 96th General Assembly, which will convene on Jan. 5.

Talboy, 33, was first elected to the House in 2006. He replaces term-limited state Rep. Paul LeVota of Independence as minority leader.

House Democrats also elected state Rep. Tishaura Jones of St. Louis as assistant minority leader. Jones, 38, was first elected to the House in 2008 and replaces term-limited state Rep. J.C. Kuessner of Eminence.

State Rep. Mike Colona of St. Louis was elected minority whip. Colona, 41, was first elected to the House in 2008 and replaces departing state Rep. Jeff Roorda of Barnhart.

State Rep. Terry Swinger of Caruthersville was elected to a second term as caucus chairman. Swinger, 69, was first elected to the House in a 2003 special election.

State Rep. Sara Lampe of Springfield was elected to a third term as caucus secretary. Lampe, 61, was first elected to the House in 2004.

State Rep. Chris Carter of St. Louis was elected caucus vice-chairman. Carter, 29, was first elected to the House in 2008 and replaces state Rep. Shalonn "Kiki" Curls of Kansas City.  In addition to being elected democratic caucus vice-chairman, Rep. Carter has been elected to the Vice-Chairman position of the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus Foundation.

In addition, state Rep. Jill Schupp of Creve Coeur was appointed as chair of the caucus policy committee. Schupp, 55, replaces term-limited state Rep. Rachel Bringer of Palmyra.


Does someone you know need help with food or medical care for children or their family?

The State of Missouri's Family Support Division has applications for:
  • Food Stamps
  • MoHealthnet for the Aged, Blind and Disabled
  • MoHealthnet for Families
  • MoHealthnet for Kids
  • MoHealthnet for Pregnant Women
  • Uninsured Women's Healthcare Service
Applications are available through the internet at, or call toll free 314-933-7100 and ask to have an application mailed to you or visit your Family Support Division office anytime between 10:00 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. in St. Louis City.

You can complete an online application for MoHealthnet for Families, Kids, Pregnant Women and Uninsured and women's Health Care Services.  Please call toll-free, 888-275-5908 if you have questions about the on-line application.

After you complete the paper applications, you can:
  • Fax the application to us 314-933-7037
  • Mail the application to 3101 Chouteau Avenue, St. Louis, MO  63103 or
  • Visit your local office at 3101 Chouteau Avenue, St. Louis, MO  63103.
To report changes that might affect your benefits, you can:
  • Email or fax us at 314-933-7037
  • Mail 3101 Chouteau Avenue, St. Louis, MO  63103
  • Call Toll-free at 314-933-7000
  • Visit us at 3101 Chouteau Avenue, St. Louis, MO  63103
To check EBT Benefits, please visit or call 800-997-7777.


Throwing and Growing - The Myrle Mensy Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization that offers mentoring and educational outreach programs which provide young women 8-18 years of age an effective platform for building a better life.  Through their broad-based physical and character development plan, they encourage a balanced life through participating in the throwing sports:  shot put, discus, javelin, hammer throw.  They provide nutritional information, physical fitness training and etiquette programs.  All facets of their program help to create a healthy, successful and positive lifestyle with emphasis on self-respect, responsibility, leadership and sportsmanship.

They are hosting their first Throwing and Growing - YMCA Throws Camp for Girls on December 28-29, 2010 at the YMCA located at 1528 Locust Street in downtown St. Louis.  The YMCA is the first sponsor on board to help reach out to support young people.  This tow-day event will give girls an opportunity to have an enjoyable experience by mixing fun with technical development while improving their athletic performance in the shot put and discus.

Special instructional/exercised/techniques tailored for different ages and ability levels will be demonstrated by word class female throwers and coaches.  A shot put competition will take place on the second day of the camp.

There will be special guest appearances by Michelle Carter - 2008 Olympic Shot Putter, and Betty Jarvis (age 95) 2010 World Record Holder in the shot, discus, hammer, weight, super weight, weight pentathlon.

The cost of the camp is $25 and that includes transportation, lunch, a t-shirt and awards.

If you know someone who would like to register, visit to download a registration form. For questions, call 314-650-1008.


Gov. Jay Nixon's Tax Credit Review Commission voted 11-9 on Nov. 17 to recommend that the state sharply reduce the annual cap on historic preservation tax credits from $140 million to $75 million, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on Nov. 18. The historic preservation program, which encourages the renovation of old buildings, is one of the Missouri's most popular – and costly – tax credits and cost the state as much as $186 million annually in lost revenue before lawmakers instituted the current $140 million cap this year.

Proponents of lower the cap say the program is simply too costly and is diverting too much revenue from basic government services at a time when the state is facing deep budget cuts. Defenders of the historic preservation program say it has proven vital to the redevelopment of older areas, especially in St. Louis and Kansas City.

Nixon established the commission earlier this year to review Missouri's 61 tax credit programs, which combined are costing the state about $700 million a year, and recommend changes to ensure is program is yielding an adequate return on the state's investment. Lowering the cap on the historic preservation tax credit would require the General Assembly's approval.



During a Nov. 17 meeting with higher education reporters, Gov. Jay Nixon said he will urge Missouri's public colleges and universities to minimize tuition increases for the 2011-2012 school year even though he expects state higher education funding will face "substantial cuts" in the upcoming state budget, according to The Associated Press. For the previous two years, colleges and universities had agreed to keep tuition steady in exchange for limited cuts in state funding, but that deal won't be extended to a third year.


Missouri's unemployment rate rose by one-tenth of a percentage point in October to 9.4 percent, slightly better than the national rate of 9.6 percent. Missouri suffered a net loss of 2,900 jobs during the month compared to September.


Gov. Jay Nixon on Nov. 4 appointed members to the constitutionally required, but sometimes ignored, Citizens' Commission on Compensation for Elected Officials, a sign that the panel may begin meeting in the coming days to recommend pay rates for lawmakers, judges and elected statewide officeholders. Under the Missouri Constitution, the commission is required to meet four times and submit salary recommendations by Dec. 1, although that mandate has gone unfilled in the past.

The governor, secretary of state and Missouri Supreme Court all make appointments to the 22-member commission, which convenes every two years and whose members are supposed to serve four-year terms. The appointments made by Nixon should have been made in 2008 by then-Gov. Matt Blunt, who ignored his constitutional duty to do so. A 10-member rump commission consisting only of members appointed by the court and secretary of state nonetheless submitted salary recommendations that year, but the General Assembly exercised its authority to reject them.

In 2004, those responsible for appointing the commission didn't even bother and no recommendations were made. The appointments that should have been made in 2004 eventually were made in 2006, just weeks before the commission's constitutional deadline for submitting recommendations. The commission that year provided relatively significant pay increases for lawmakers, judges and statewide elected officials, and the General Assembly allowed them to take effect.


Missouri dog breeders and their allies in the General Assembly plan to seek the immediate repeal of a ballot measure Missouri voters approved on Nov. 2 that will impose new regulations on the industry, The Kansas City Star reported on Nov. 5. The measure, Proposition B, failed in 103 of Missouri's 116 election jurisdictions but passed with 51.6 percent of the statewide vote due to strong support in the St. Louis and Kansas City regions.

State and national animal welfare groups say Missouri has developed a reputation as a haven for so-called "puppy mills" where dogs are subject to inhumane conditions. Efforts to enact reform legislation over the last decade, however, were blocked by rural lawmakers, prompting the groups to bypass the General Assembly by placing the issue directly on the ballot via the initiative petition process. Proposition B opponents tout the strong rural opposition to the measure as justification for its repeal, but supporters say the will of the majority of Missourians should be respected.


Senate President Pro Tem-designee Rob Mayer, R-Dexter, plans to make anti-union "right-to-work" legislation a top priority in the 2011 legislative session, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on Nov. 5. Making Missouri a right-to-work state has long been on the wish list of business interests, but the issue hasn't been seriously pursued since Missouri voters soundly defeated a right-to-work ballot measure in 1978.

Missouri currently is considered a "closed-shop" state in which collective bargaining agreements between a labor union and an employer can require that workers join the union as a condition of employment. Right to work would prohibit closed-shop requirements and allow workers to forgo union membership and the payment of dues. Fewer than 40 percent of Missouri voters supported the 1978 ballot measure, Amendment 23.


Republicans picked up 17 seats in the Missouri House of Representatives and three seats in the state Senate in the Nov. 2 general elections. In addition, Republican challenger Tom Schweich claimed 50.9 percent of the vote for a 5.5 point margin of victory over incumbent State Auditor Susan Montee, a Democrat who was seeking a second term.

Republicans will hold a 106-57 majority in the House and 26-8 advantage in the Senate when the next legislative session begins in January for record-high GOP numbers in both chambers. In terms of percentage control of House seats, however, Republicans will have just their third-best showing historically with 65 percent of the chamber's 163 seats. In 1921, Republicans had 104 of 142 seats for about 73 percent of the total, while in 1929 the GOP had 103 of 150 seats for 69 percent of the total.

With her loss, Montee becomes the first down-ballot statewide incumbent executive branch official to lose since State Auditor John Ashcroft was defeated in 1974. Since the ratification of Missouri's current constitution in 1945, down-ballot statewide incumbents have now posted a 34-4 record in re-election bids, with state auditors accounted for three of the four who lost.


Missouri voters narrowly approved new regulations on large-scale dog breeding operations while overwhelmingly endorsing the other four measures on the Nov. 2 statewide ballot. Proposition B, which targets so-called "puppy mills," encountered significant outstate opposition but passed with 51.6 percent of the overall vote thanks to strong support in urban and suburban areas.

Another high-profile measure, Proposition A, garnered 68.4 percent voter support and will trigger elections in St. Louis and Kansas City in April that could lead to the repeal of the local 1 percent earnings tax on the wages of people of live or work in those cities. Proposition A passed in every election jurisdiction in the state except for St. Louis and Kansas City, which are the only two Missouri cities that impose a local earnings tax.

Also on the ballot were three amendments to the Missouri Constitution. Amendment 1 received 74.1 percent of the vote and will require most charter counties to have an elected, rather than appointed, county assessors. Amendment 2 received 65.8 percent support and exempts disabled former prisoners of war from paying property taxes on their homes. Amendment 3 received 83.7 percent of the vote and will prohibit the imposition of sales taxes on the transfer of real estate, a tax that Missouri has never had.


The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission on Nov. 4 selected Kevin Keith as the next director of the state Department of Transportation. Keith has served as interim director since April when Pete Rahn, the previous director, resigned. Keith has worked at MoDOT for more than 25 years, including the last nine as chief engineer.


Net state revenue collections for October 2010 increased 7.6 percent compared to October 2009, going from $442.7 million to $476.4 million. That boost helped Missouri continue its steady revenue growth for the 2011 fiscal year, with year-to-date collections through the first quarter of the fiscal year up 3.6 percent compared to FY 2010, going from $2.15 billion last year to $2.23 billion this year.


The Missouri Department of Transportation is indefinitely suspending approval of any new red-light enforcement cameras on state highways. The department, however, will allow local municipalities to continue to operate enforcement cameras that are already in place at roughly 90 intersections involving a state highway.

In an Oct. 15 story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, interim MoDOT Director Kevin Keith questioned whether many of the municipalities that operate red-light camera enforcement systems are doing so primarily to improve safety, which the department favors, or to generate revenue, which the department doesn't support. With no state law authorizing red-light cameras, the rules that govern their operation vary widely from city to city, with some question of whether they are even allowed under state law. Keith said MoDOT may ask the Missouri General Assembly to consider legislation that would provide uniform statewide regulation of traffic-enforcement cameras.


The Missouri Conservation Commission on Oct. 15 approved a plan to reintroduce elk in three southern Missouri counties. Elk were originally native to Missouri but were wiped out in the 1800s due to overhunting and habitat changes. The plan could be implemented next year with as many as 150 elk released into a restoration zone that includes parts of Carter, Reynolds and Shannon counties.

The Missouri Farm Bureau adamantly opposes reintroducing elk into the state because of the damage they could potentially cause to crops and other property. Farm Bureau helped defeat a the conservation department's previous elk reintroduction efforts a decade ago, in part by pushing for a bill in the General Assembly that would have made the department financially liable for any property damage caused by elk. The legislation was dropped after the department abandoned its elk reintroduction plans but could be revived now that department is again moving forward.


Missouri Supreme Court Judge Michael Wolff announced on Oct. 20 that he will retire from the bench in August 2011 and rejoin the faculty of St. Louis University School of Law, where he previously taught for 23 years. Wolff has served on the Supreme Court since his appointment by then-Gov. Mel Carnahan in August 1998 and was chief justice from 2005 to 2007.

Wolff's current term runs through 2012, when he could have stood for another 12-year term in a retention election. However, because the Missouri Constitution requires judges to retire at age 70, Wolff, now 65, would have been forced to resign in 2015.


Missouri's unemployment rate in September remained unchanged from the previous month at 9.3 percent, according to an Oct. 18 report by the Missouri Department of Economic Development.  However, the state suffered a net loss of 12,300 jobs from August to September.

The St. Louis area lost about 7,500 jobs during September and the Kansas City area 1,800 jobs. The Springfield area gained about 1,400 jobs.

Davis: Abortions for Military Women

What is the national government trying to spend our money on next?  Abortion, which is always bad because somebody always dies.  I saw a bumper sticker on a car that said something to the effect: "Abortion doesn't erase the pregnancy; it only makes you the parent of a dead child".  Here is an article about congress pushing a proposal to allow our American-funded military hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan perform abortions on U.S. military women.  Pentagon Bill to Include Abortion Amendment.

If we start with defining "abortion" as a health care bonus, we can understand why an anti-life congress would want to encourage military women to destroy their offspring.  However, if we understand "abortion" as a mark of our failure to appropriately protect and care for women, then it is not health care at all.  It becomes an act of degradation and abuse of humanity. Perhaps the crux of this issue is how we protect women.  Surgically removing their offspring, even if they claim they want the abortion, is a mark of treating them like second class citizens, animals or chattel.

Unwanted pregnancies are not the problem; they are a symptom of another problem.  Pregnancies don't happen by accident.  They happen by intentional acts between a man and a woman creating an irreversible, eternal, transcendental bond.  You can't separate the body from the soul.  For every baby that was conceived, there is a mother and a father who joined their hearts and souls.  Destroying the baby will never erase the act that created the baby.

Getting rid of the baby may end its life, but it never ends the fact that the baby existed.  Offering abortions to our military will increase the pressure on women to destroy their unborn children and depreciate the value of women to being strictly utilitarian.

Even in the cases where people have argued that abortion is an appropriate reaction to the crimes committed on women of rape and incest, remedying incest with abortions re-victimizes those women. Those who are ushered onto the operating table are made available for more abuse. The men who coerce women to abort their baby treat these women like sexual objects or prostitutes. Destroying the unborn will not correct the underlying problem and may actually exacerbate it.

The Uniform Code of Military Justice Article 134 states that adultery is punishable by court martial in all branches of the military.  While this is not always enforced, it sends a clear message that adulterous behavior, especially when it results in a pregnancy, is always a violation of the Military Code.  How can we run a well trained military organization without rules and consequential discipline? Ask any parent of young children how well that works when we start being inconsistent with behavioral expectations.

Elisabeth Bumiller a New York Times author said, "With no access to safe abortions outside the base, regulations require that a woman be flown home within two weeks of the time she finds out she's pregnant, a particular stigma for unmarried women that ends any future career advancement."

Rightfully so; why should we excuse people from the natural consequences of their chosen behavior?  Career advancement ought to be curtailed if you were, for example, caught stealing, cheating or lying. Why? Because character is foundational to job performance.

The men deserve just as much hardship as the women.  Nobody gets pregnant without a man.  Punishing those who participate in these indiscretions may prove to be a deterrent.  Some may ask, "What if women were to get pregnant just to go home?"  We have a volunteer military anyway.  Send them home.  War zones are inappropriate places for pregnant women and children.  The men left behind to fight are guaranteed to not get pregnant.

During the discussion about the Equal Rights Amendment some raised the question of whether the amendment would require women to serve in combat.  It appears that without the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment most of the provisions have been accomplished already.

Here is a picture someone posted on a Facebook page.  Even though it may look violent, abortion -tearing a child limb from limb- is also violent.  This picture gives a hypothetical illustration of what it would look like if these children were able to stand up for their fifth amendment rights: "No person shall…be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…".

"Keep your laws off my body"

Hearing from you is important, so please let me know what you think about taxpayer abortions for military personnel. You can send me your opinion by clicking here: Cynthia Davis

A Little Bit of Humor

A Modern Diagnosis

A woman went to the emergency room, where she was seen by a young, new doctor.

After about 3 minutes in the examination room, the doctor told her she was pregnant.

She burst out of the room and ran down the corridor screaming.

An older doctor stopped her and asked what the problem was; after listening to her story, he calmed her down and sat her in another room.

Then, the doctor marched down the hallway to the first doctor's room. "What the heck's wrong with you?" he demanded. "This woman is 68 years old, she has two grown children and several grandchildren and you told her she was pregnant?!"

The new doctor continued to write on his clipboard and without looking up said, "Does she still have the hiccups?"

17 November 2010

Ruestman: Marilyn on KOAM this Thursday

Watch me and Dick prepare this delicious recipe this Thursday, Nov. 18th, at 6:50 a.m. on KOAM...

Grilled butterfly trout

Step 1:  A day of peaceful fly fishing for rainbow trout on a beautiful Ozark stream.

Step 2:  "Butterfly" filet the trout, leaving head attached.  This will remove almost 100% of the bones.

To Grill:  Make a heavy-duty aluminum tray somewhat larger than the fish.  Spray the tray with cooking oil.  Preheat grill to 350.

Position the fish, skin down, and open "Butterfly" style" with the filets displayed.

Sprinkle the filets with lemon pepper.
Lightly season with seasons salt or cajun seasoning (for those who prefer spicy)
Cover the filets with thin-sliced sweet onion

Grill 10 minutes.

Suggested side dishes:
Long grain wild rice with fresh mushrooms
Baby string green beans with almonds
Chunked fresh vegetables in season, marinated in an italian dressing.
Homemade dinner rolls.

16 November 2010

Tilley: Mike McGhee Appointed Administration & Accounts Chair

Missouri Speaker elect Steven Tilley has announced that District 122 Representative Mike McGhee will be the next Chairman of the Administration and Accounts Committee. The Administration and Accounts Committee is responsible for all financial affairs of the House as well as the funds for individual member’s offices.

“It is an honor to appoint Rep. Mike McGhee to this position,” said Rep. Tilley. “With us facing over a $400 million deficit we have to start by cutting spending right here in the House. We are going to shrink government across the State but we have to lead by example and I believe that Rep. McGhee is the right man for the job.”

Rep. Mike McGhee has served in the House for six years and has been on the Administration and Accounts committee for the past four years.

“I am committed to more accountability in the Missouri House,” said Rep. McGhee. “In hard budget times, we have to tighten the belt of government and look at ways to reduce spending. I plan to look at areas within the House, such as travel by members, office expenses, etc. that can be cut so that we have more money for our schools, veterans and seniors.”