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02 June 2011

Tim Jones: Tragedy in Joplin, Remembering Our Veterans, Session Accomplishments

Warm, humid, stormy days have led into cool evenings as many of us across the State have been bombarded with a cacophony of sound produced by the “13 year” cicadas. But these bizarre creatures and their “interesting” noise will soon cease as they end their short little circle of life and do not reappear again until the year 2024. The Midwestern summer has descended gently upon us as we have all returned to families, careers and summer chores back home…

Tragedy in Joplin

The tornado that struck Joplin on Sunday, May 22 was the deadliest in the United States in over 60 years. Over 100 people were killed and 1,000 injured. The city of Joplin was left in utter devastation. Representatives Bill White, Charlie Davis, Bill Lant, Bill Reiboldt, Tom Flanigan, Mike Kelley and Senator Ron Richards all reside in and around this area of the State but, thankfully, they and their loved ones are safe. They are working through serving constituents, taking care of family needs and assisting in all means possible. If you would like to make a donation to the American Red Cross’ Disaster Relief, visit their online donation page at and enter the zip code for Joplin, 64801. If you wish to donate blood, please contact the Red Cross location in your area at I have been told that they and their constituents have felt your thoughts and prayers and these men all want to thank you for your compassion, your contributions and your willingness to help.

Rebuilding Joplin for the Future

A Bright Futures team from Joplin has launched a website called This website is a comprehensive resource for people affected by the storm AND for those who wish to help. If you are able to help, please consider going to the website and get connected with verified agencies. Also, please help us spread the word that is the primary website for sending help to Joplin. It is by Joplin, for Joplin. These agencies and resources are screened and verified. is endorsed by the City of Joplin, Joplin Schools, Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce and United Way 2-1-1., an initiative launched by Bright Futures, will adjust to the changing needs of community relief efforts. Joplin Schools created Bright Futures as a grass roots, community based program that creates partnerships and utilizes community resources for the common goal of helping our kids and strengthening our families and community. In the wake of the destruction, Bright Futures is adapting a successful program to meet the needs of those impacted by the tornado. Together we can rebuild Joplin. A local contact person with is Garen McMillian 417-483-5136. We are all so proud of the courageous people of the great State of Missouri for pulling together and demonstrating what is best about our nature as human beings! May God bless and remember the Joplin residents in your prayers…

“Courage is the most important of all virtues, because without courage you cannot practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.” – Maya Angelou

Remembering our Veterans

I was given the distinct honor of paying tribute to our Veterans at the Eureka VFW Post 5468 Annual Memorial Day Event. We must remember those who serve and have served their country as well as our fallen heroes. Here is a link, prepared by the VFW, with more information about the event, including photographs:

A good family friend, Marine Corporal Riley Baker from Eureka, was killed in action at the age of 22. He sacrificed his life during his second tour of duty fighting in defense of his nation in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was loved, and he will be missed…every day. Thanks to his service and commitment, we will never forget his actions or the actions of his fellow soldiers.

Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer, but we must never lose focus of the true meaning of Memorial Day. It is not about beaches, picnics or auto races, it is a day to remember the brave American men and women who fight for our freedom in all corners of the world. It is important that all veterans, their families and all Americans reflect, remember and give thanks to our many heroes. We owe them no less. God bless our veterans, our fallen and God Bless America!

Accomplishments of the 2011 Legislative Session

Following are just a few of the many Republican-led accomplishments of the 2011 Legislative Session:
  • Balancing the budget without a tax increase: This budget, which makes educating Missouri’s children a priority, slashed budgets for state departments and elected officials, reduced the salaries of high-level public employees and eliminated funding for unnecessary employees such as the Governor’s personal chef.
  • Strengthening the business climate: The General Assembly cut taxes, reduced costs and increased regulatory certainty for Missouri’s job creators so they can invest and thrive.
  • Securing our elections: We passed legislation to secure our elections by allowing Missourians to vote on a constitutional amendment requiring photo identification for voters. One of our most sacred fundamental rights deserves this level of protection.
  • Drug testing for welfare recipients: This legislation requires applicants and recipients of certain welfare programs to be drug tested. Your tax dollars should go to assist the neediest among us, not to purchase illegal substances that only perpetuate problems and ruin lives. Your Legislature continues to offer not a hand out, but a hand up.
  • Protecting life by ending late-term abortions: By an overwhelming, veto-proof majority, the General Assembly passed legislation banning elective late-term abortions. I am very pleased to report that I was the chief sponsor of this bill.
  • Second Amendment Rights: The General Assembly lowered the age necessary to obtain a concealed carry permit from 23-21. Prior to this legislation, Missouri’s age limit was one of the highest in the nation. We continue to work hard to protect your Second Amendment rights.
These legislative initiatives have been sent to Governor Nixon and await his approval and signature in order to become effective.

Visiting the Capitol

At left: It was my pleasure to meet Herman Cain at the Capitol on April 12.

I welcomed many visitors to the Capitol this year. I always enjoy it when constituents visit, and I want to thank all who made the journey. If you ever find yourself in or around Jefferson City at any time during the year, please feel free to visit us! Stop by the Majority Leader’s Office in Room 302 and Jody will be happy to meet and greet you!

Personal News & Notes

My youngest daughter, Abigail, turned 2 on May 20th and we had a lovely family celebration in her honor. On May 25th, I turned 40 and entered yet another new decade of life. And on June 15, our oldest daughter, Katie, turns 6 and prepares to enter First Grade in the Fall! All of that is hard to imagine. Life is indeed all about the journey, and I am ever grateful to my parents, Bill and JoAnn for raising me in a very loving, spiritual family environment. I also want to thank my patient, incredibly caring and beautiful wife, Suzanne, for her constant love and support. I look forward to the years ahead and raising our daughters, Katie and Abby with all the challenges and joy that life brings forth!

Thank you for reading this Interim Report. If you happen to see me in and around the District this summer, please feel free to introduce yourself and say hello! 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.

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.

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

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