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22 June 2011

Allen: Interim Work Groups, Governor's Vetos, No More Cicadas!


Attached is the latest Capitol Report. God Bless, stay cool, and try and enjoy the outdoors - it FINALLY sounds like the cicadas are no more!

Personal note

Many weeks ago following the end of the first session of the Missouri 96th General Assembly, I started writing a summary of the session, then REAL LIFE got in my way. My 93 year old mother passed away following a short, but sharp decline. We are very blessed to have had her with us and she had 90 good years. She worked part-time until the age of 85. Our kids, grandchildren, extended family and friends helped us celebrate the life of Mom up in Brookfield, Missouri and in Chesterfield.

We are putting together a District Directory to be mailed out next month which will include a session summary. In the meantime if you have questions regarding specific bills, you can go online to to find a list of Truly Agreed and Passed bills.

Matt, my Legislator Assistant, is in my Capitol office daily, although he will be taking some vacation time this summer. He has been working on various district issues and has taken on various research projects to help prepare us for next year. I plan to pre-file my bullying bill and comparative audit bill in December.

Interim Work Group

Rep. Tom Flanigan and I held our first two "work group" sessions on June 6-7 and this past Monday and Tuesday. The group consists of mostly freshman legislators as well as some members on appropriations committees. Much of our work group discussions have focused on two fundamental questions: What is the role, or core function, of government, and how can we cut waste? We met with the Deputy Commissioner from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Commissioner of Higher Education to better understand functions and funding issues of those departments. The meetings were very fruitful and eye-opening. We will next meet with the Department of Social Services on July 18 and 19. Some freshman representatives will be organizing this meeting. Rep. Flanigan and I have focused on helping our most newly elected to step up and begin this oversight function which is key to our legislative responsibility.

Saving YOUR Tax Dollars

Every quarter my office is allotted $2,100 for supplies, mailing, and other expenses. I am happy to announce that for fiscal year 2010 my office has returned over $2,000 of your tax dollars to the state. This is in part due to our increased use of electronic communications and careful monitoring of expenses. I hope all state agencies and departments are performing as efficiently.

Governor Vetoes

Last week Governor Nixon vetoed legislation that would have required voters to show photo identification and created an early-voting period in Missouri. Photo identification was one of the most supported items on my last district-wide survey and received many supportive comments. I will continue to work on this measure. I was recently told the Grand Glaize Library in Manchester displays a sign stating that a photo ID is required just to get a library card!

The governor withheld $300,000 from the state budget which would have funded a comparative audit to be performed by the state auditor’s office. This was a key issue I worked on this past session due to the need for oversight and government working most effectively. The savings in revenue from a similar audit by Washington State is reported to have saved $65 million per year once appropriate changes were implemented. This was not a one-time savings, but a yearly savings.


In light of the Joplin tornado relief and the recent and expected flooding in MO, we are looking at possibly $50-200 million of state expenditures. The questions are many: How is that number generated? What does it cover? And where does that additional spending come from? Remember, with a balanced state budget, what you give to “one” you take from “another.”

Also, thank you to all of you who dropped off donations and supplies at the Town & Country Municipal Center. Your generosity was greatly appreciated. The donations were delivered to Joplin on June 8. Missourians demonstrate the great ability to pull each other up when our neighbors need a hand.

Town and Country Fire & Ice 2011

The Town and Country annual Fire & Ice event will be held this Saturday from 6:30-9:30 at the Town and Country Crossing. It’s a great event for friends and families to gather and have a real good time. I plan to be there and hope you will too!

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