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16 June 2011

Tim Jones: Fathers Day, Plant A Tree In Joplin, Missouri Rx A Legislative Priority

Only we Missourians have the “joy” of experiencing Bipolar Weather. We are often lucky enough to be able to use our heaters and our air conditioners all in one week. The recent hike in early heat and humidity has been followed by strong storms and then a return to otherwise cool and breezy early summer days. Following the spring floods and horrible Joplin tornado, we now anxiously await and prepare for the rising Missouri river that will affect another great portion of our State.

Honor your Dad on Father’s Day

On Sunday, June 19th, please take time to celebrate your dad, and all the great dads in your family, on Father’s Day. I want to take this opportunity to thank my dad, Dr. Bill Jones, for always being there for me, for believing in me and encouraging me. My dad has always been an inspiring presence in my life with his incredible work ethic and his devotion to his family, his friends and his community. He has always been there for me; he has always picked me up when I have been knocked down and always inspired me to reach ever higher. Thank you, Dad, and Happy Father’s Day!

“A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.” – Billy Graham

House Members Travel to Joplin After Deadly Tornado

At right: With Rep. Noel Torpey & others, waiting on chainsaw operators to clear debris as we assist with Joplin cleanup on June 9th.

On Sunday, May 22, a massive, EF-5 tornado set down in Joplin killing more than 150 residents and creating billions of dollars of damage. On Wednesday, June 9, nearly 40 members of the Missouri House, along with their family and staff, traveled to Joplin to view tornado damage and volunteer in the cleanup effort. Reps. Bill White (R-Joplin) and Rep. Charlie Davis (R-Webb City), along with many other Southwestern Missouri Representatives organized the trip. The tour began at Missouri Southern State University and traveled to the Duquesne neighborhood that lost 90 percent of its homes. Representatives were taken to stops near Range Line Road and Joplin High School. After a lunch break at Freeman Hospital, the group assisted in the clean up of debris at work sites on 22nd and 23rd streets in Joplin. The destruction we witnessed was completely indescribable. Having grown up in the “flood zone” around the Meramec River, I have witnessed my share of Mother Nature’s might during my forty years on this Earth. But never before have I stood in a disaster zone, like I did in Joplin, and been surrounded by utter destruction as far as the eye could see in every direction. The experience was surreal, mind numbing and heart breaking. However, the outpouring of humanitarian relief, the amount and type of “boots on the ground” from every civic and charitable organization that you can imagine, and the spirit, determination and drive that we witnessed from the community was inspiring and will be the forces that help rebuild this vital community. May God bless and remember the Joplin residents in your prayers and be with those during the long months and years ahead.

The City of Joplin has established an official website connecting needs with resources in the wake of the tornado. The mission of the site is to provide dependable and trusted avenues for those wishing to help those affected by the storm. You can lend a hand by volunteering time, donating needed items or giving money. This site shows you how. Go to:

Help Plant a Tree in a Missouri State Park and Joplin

You can help plant a tree in a Missouri state park and in the city of Joplin without lifting a shovel. Missouri State Parks is participating again this year in the Odwalla Plant a Tree Program that allows people across the nation to vote where they would like trees planted. Odwalla has committed $100,000 to the campaign and each vote will be equal to $1 that can be used for trees. The number of votes a state receives will determine the number of dollars it earns to purchase and plant trees in state parks. If you enter the six-character code printed inside the Missouri state park system’s new Welcome Kit, Odwalla will donate an extra dollar per vote. Voting will continue through August 31, 2011. This year the Missouri Department of Natural Resources is helping our neighbors in Joplin and will donate as many trees as they can to the city of Joplin and Joplin city parks. To vote for Missouri state parks and help the city of Joplin, go to and click on the link to vote and receive more information about the Odwalla Plant a Tree program. Please take a moment to cast your vote!

I also want to encourage you to get out and enjoy the beautiful trails and parks that Missouri has to offer. If you would like to plan your own family adventure in Missouri, please visit the Missouri State Parks website at

The Legislature Makes the Missouri Rx Program a Top Priority

In 2011, the General Assembly made the reauthorization of the Missouri Rx Program a top priority and it has been signed into law. The Missouri Rx Program helps more than 212,000 low-income Missouri seniors and those with disabilities afford essential prescription medicine. Without this three-year reauthorization, the program would have expired in August, but now it will continue until 2014. This program is true health care cost reform that is market based and effective.

Established in 2006, when Medicare Part D took effect, Missouri Rx works with Part D plans to lower the out-of-pocket expenses eligible seniors and individuals with disabilities pay for prescription drugs. The program pays 50 percent of all out-of-pocket costs for medications that are covered by a senior’s Medicare Part D plan, including the cost of the deductible and co-payments. In addition, Missouri Rx continues to provide benefits when seniors are in the Medicare Part D coverage gap, also known as the “donut hole.” There is no enrollment fee, premium or deductible to join Missouri Rx. Currently, more than 212,000 Missourians are enrolled in the program. Missouri Rx is open to Missouri residents who are enrolled in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan and who meet income-eligibility limits. Elderly and disabled Missourians enrolled in MO HealthNet are automatically enrolled in Missouri Rx. For more information on Missouri Rx, please contact the MoRx Plan Help Desk toll free at 1-800-375-1406 or visit

Personal News & Notes

On June 15, our oldest daughter, Katie, turned 6 and prepares to enter First Grade in the Fall! A fun-filled family party was held to honor this most joyous occasion.

This weekend my family will attend my younger brother’s wedding in Louisville, Kentucky where I am honored to serve as his best man. I want to wish Ryan and Kim all the warmest wishes for the best in life as they both look forward to a shared future of love and friendship.

Thank you for reading this Interim Report. If you know anyone who would be interested in receiving this Interim Capitol Report, please click the “Capitol Report Signup” button on my member home page at and enter the appropriate information to receive the Capitol Report. If you happen to see me in and around the District this summer, please feel free to introduce yourself and say hello! I have been very busy traveling all over the State and speaking to various groups about our many substantive and important legislative accomplishments. If you would like for me to speak to your group or community, please contact Jody at our office at 573.751.0562 and we will be happy to accommodate you.

Finally, if we can ever be of any assistance to you at your State Capitol during the coming months even while we are in the Interim Session, please do not hesitate to contact us at: 573.751.0562 or you can reach my primary assistant, Jody, at: jody{dot}williams{at}house{dot}mo{dot}gov. If you ever find yourself in or around Jefferson City at any time during the year, please feel free to visit the Majority Leader’s Office in Room 302 and Jody will be happy to meet and greet you!

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

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