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05 July 2011

Keaveny: Salute to Veterans Air Show, Free Health Fair, Budget Withholdings

23rd Annual Salute to Veterans Air Show

At left: I had the pleasure of flying in a military aircraft over Memorial Day Weekend last May.

Over Memorial Day Weekend, I had the honor of participating in the 23rd Annual "Salute to Veterans Air Show," and I was invited to fly in a military aircraft.

I was truly honored to participate in this flight. The opportunity to stand alongside our admirable veterans was a humbling experience, and I am very grateful for all the sacrifices they have made to keep our country safe.

I serve on the Senate Veterans' Affairs, Emerging Issues, Pensions and Urban Affairs Committee, and remain extremely dedicated to ensuring that veterans receive the care and respect they deserve.

St. Louis offers a Veterans Ombudsman program, located at 8702 Manchester Rd. in Brentwood. For more information about the Veterans Commission or Veterans Ombudsman, please visit or call (573) 751-3779. Also, please click here for helpful information regarding benefits for you and your family.

City of St. Louis Website

Our great City of St. Louis is host to hundreds of fun events, attractions, restaurants, and state monuments. Our city also offers several beneficial services.

A great resource is our city's website, There, you can view services the city offers ( — this page serves as the "Yellow Pages" of the website), links to your government officials, pages of great family-friendly attractions, information for businesses and potential investors, and news and media information.

Another helpful resource is the Citizen Service Bureau, which handles the City of St. Louis' nuisance issues and complaints. If you have concerns about refuse collection, street maintenance, traffic control signals and signs, street lights, requests for building inspections and health inspections, stray or vicious dogs, accumulations of trash and weeds or similar problems, contact them at (314) 622-4800 or click here to directly visit the website.

The Governor's Response to Passed Legislation

The July 14 deadline for the governor to act upon measures passed by the Legislature is approaching. Here is an update on the governor's actions toward several bills.

On June 17, the governor vetoed SB 3, a measure that would have established unjust requirements for voting and voter photo identification for elections. I believe that the proposed photo ID requirements for voting would have done nothing to prevent voter fraud, and would only have excluded many eligible citizens from voting. In the end, I did vote in favor of SB 3, because I agreed with the provision regarding advance voting, but disagreed with the voter photo ID requirements.

The governor understood my point of view, stating that the SB 3 photo ID requirement would "disproportionately impact senior citizens and persons with disabilities, among others, who are qualified to vote and have been lawfully voting since becoming eligible to do so, but are less likely to have a driver’s license or government-issued photo ID."

The governor has acted upon several other bills passed by the Legislature:
  • Senate Bill 19 was signed by the governor on April 26. This bill will phase out the corporate franchise tax over a five-year period and will attract more business opportunities for our state.
  • Senate Bill 38 was signed by the governor on June 17. The legislation will establish a prostate cancer pilot program to provide screening, referral services, treatment, and outreach to men battling cancer. In 2010, more than 217,700 new cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed in the United States, and many men can't afford medical care. This legislation will help those men fight the deadly disease.
  • Senate Bill 188 was vetoed by the governor on May 13 — I was happy to be present at the Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis with my constituents to support the veto. The bill would have made it more difficult to identify discrimination in the workplace, and would have diminished the voices of those who have been discriminated against.
  • House Bill 163 was signed by the governor on April 13. The bill granted an extension of unemployment benefits to thousands of Missourians who had been out of work for more than 79 weeks. While the bill was moving through the Legislature, a handful of senators filibustered the bill, much to my disappointment. Although this measure went through a lengthy battle and compromise had to be made, I am glad this bill was enacted into law and Missourians got the assistance they need.
  • House Bill 412 was signed by the governor on June 10. The bill will will continue the Missouri Rx program, which helps pay the prescription drug costs of low-income seniors and disabled citizens covered by Medicare.
For more information about the governor's actions on legislation, please click on this link, or visit the Missouri Senate website at and click on "Governor's Action on Truly Agreed Bills" under the "Legislation" tab.

St. Louis Veterans Affairs Medical Center

At right: Director of St. Louis Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, Rimaann O. Nelson, and I at the hospital.

I had the pleasure of touring the St. Louis Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center with Director Rimaann O. Nelson, RN, MPH/HSA.

The hospital serves veterans across Missouri and Illinois, and offers outpatient clinics in Belleville, Illinois; North St. Louis County; St. Charles County; and Washington, MO. The hospital has two divisions, the John Cochran Division and the Jefferson Barracks Division. Both provide inpatient and ambulatory care in medicine, surgery, psychiatry, neurology, and rehabilitation, and many other subspecialty areas.

The John Cochran Division, named after the late Missouri congressman, is located in midtown St. Louis and has all of the medical center's operative surgical capabilities, the ambulatory care unit, intensive care units, outpatient psychiatry clinics, and expanded laboratory.

To learn more about this hospital and its caregivers, please visit To contact the St. Louis County facility, please call toll free (800) 228-5459, or visit its location at 6854 Parker Road in Florissant.

My Free Health Fair

Click on flyer for a larger version.

Remember to mark your calendars for my FREE health fair on Saturday, Aug. 13. The fair will be held at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church (located at 5515 Martin Luther King in St. Louis), from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

My annual health fair is an excellent opportunity to learn how to stay healthy. More than 40 organizations will be present at the fair and will offer complimentary screenings. These professionals will check your blood pressure, eye health, posture, and body fat percentage.

Some of the health organizations that will be happy to help you at the health fair include:
For more information about the health fair and volunteer opportunities, please call (573) 751-3599 or (866) 783-1534, or e-mail Stacy Morse or Wilma Rowden.

FY 2012 Budget Withholdings

On June 10, the governor approved Missouri's operating budget for Fiscal Year 2012, which begins on the 1st of this month. [Click on image at right for a larger version.] The governor decided to withhold $172 million from the budget. These cuts include $14.9 million for universities, $1.9 million for community colleges, and $8 million for school transportation.

I am disappointed that Missouri schools took a hit in the budget, but I understand that making these decisions aren't easy. Our state faced difficult financial times before we were hit with nature's wrath, so I understand that tough decisions had to be made.

To hear my interview regarding our Fiscal Year 2012 budget, please click on this link, or visit my "Multimedia" page and click on the "Audio" link for my full interview on June 20.

Energize Missouri Schools

Preserving energy and finding smart energy alternatives is helpful for both the environment and the pocketbook. In a news release issued by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR), it was announced that the department would provide Missouri school districts, local governments, and public colleges and universities up to $10 million in low-interest loans for energy efficiency projects though its Energize Missouri Schools and Local Governments program.

Some examples of eligible projects include:
  • Heating and air conditioning upgrades
  • Lighting improvements
  • Boilers
  • Window replacements
All applications must be submitted to the department by Sept. 30, 2011, and applications and additional information are available on the department's website, For more information about the program, please call (573) 751-7466.

I am thrilled that DNR is offering this program — it is a great step to provide clean energy for our state, stimulate our economy, and provide new opportunities for work and education.

Protecting the Welfare of Dogs in Our State

At right: Visiting the Humane Society of Missouri to ensure the protection of dogs.

A top priority to me and my constituents is ensuring that the well-being of Missouri dogs is protected. I am happy to announce that Missouri is taking positive steps forward in protecting our beloved four-legged friends.

On June 14, I met with the governor and Dr. Jon Hagler, director of Agriculture, and we visited the Humane Society of Missouri to discuss increased enforcement of dog breeding facility regulations.

A positive tool we possess is Operation Bark Alert, which was launched in 2009 by the Missouri Department of Agriculture. Since its creation, Operation Bark Alert has rescued nearly 5,000 dogs, and hundreds of unfit breeding operations have been eliminated.

To learn more about Operation Bark Alert, visit To report an unlicensed breeder, please click here.

St. Louis Police Officers and Canines Graduate From Canine School

I would like to applaud two police officers and their canine companions who have completed the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department's 14-week canine school program.

The officers work alongside their dogs throughout the entire program, and teach the dogs lessons in obedience, aggression, and searching. Dogs in canine school are educated to find either explosives or narcotics. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department has 11 canines that serve in the field. Congratulations to the graduating officers and their canines — a job certainly well done.

Prepare for Natural Disasters

This spring, our state has seen its devastating share of bad weather — from the flooding Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, to the numerous tornadoes that displaced entire communities.

When the tornado struck St. Louis in April, we were lucky in the fact that there were no fatalities. Unfortunately, Joplin was not as lucky. Please continue to keep the families affected by the EF-5 tornado in your thoughts and prayers as they recover and rebuild.

Although tornadoes usually occur in the spring and summer, one could form at any time if conditions are favorable. On New Year's Eve last year, a tornado hit several St. Louis communities, including the Lewis Place neighborhood. The community is still dealing with the after-effects of the tornado and residents need help. If you are interested in donating funds, please visit

It is important to be prepared in case your family is affected by Mother Nature. Please visit the FEMA website at to view storm safety tips. Another helpful resource is the Missouri Department of Public Safety website,, which also offers tips on how you can protect yourself and your family from harm.

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