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18 July 2011

Lant: Successful County Fair, Property Rights Forum, Inundated With Requests For Caylee's Law

We started this week out with a round table discussion at Anderson with the Ozark Property Rights Group. This group is dedicated to ensuring that legislators are aware of the encroachment of government, from local to Federal, on the rights of private property ownership. Senator Goodman, Representative Reiboldt and I were in attendance and it didn't take long for our education to begin. I truly enjoy these meetings as the members of the group are very well informed on the subjects at hand. They don't want smooth rhetoric from us, but instead they expect honest answers, even if it's "I don't know". Trust me, if you don't know, you very quickly will ! Among other things, they asked each of us what our agendas for the next session were going to be. My major emphasis is going to be to acquire as much knowledge about economic and work force development as I possibly can. Every issue that comes before us can be tied back to job development. If we have a healthy economic climate, taxes increase and the State is able to fund all kinds of programs that have suffered cuts in recent years. Most of our economic woes can be blamed on Washington, but there are a lot of things we can do on a State and local level to help ourselves. It's time for us to quit finger pointing and start doing the right thing!

Our Newton County Fair has to be counted as a great success. Not having adequate time to rebuild the Commercial Barn that was destroyed by the snow storm, tents were erected and although there were a few gripes about the heat, the displays were great and the hardy souls that braved the heat for hours on end to man the booths were to be commended. I do have to mention that the Republican Party Booth was right next to The Conservation Department booth. You guessed it, they had a snake in a cage and I couldn't find Jane for three days! The animals were great as usual. They had new poultry pens and there were some chickens and turkeys that looked way too pretty to eat. My hat's off to all the exhibitors. You could tell how proud some of those kids were the instant you saw the big grins when they showed you their ribbons. My cousins from Southern Indiana were here for a few days and they couldn't quit talking about how great our fair was. They are so busy growing crops back there that there are very few cattle or goats or horses. They also were amazed at the "Fancy Rabbits". I guess some folks are more easily impressed than others.

Elected officials all over the country have been inundated with "auto messages" concerning the Casey Anthony trial. It seems that a web site is encouraging legislators to enact laws making it a felony not to notify law enforcement officials of a child's disappearance within 24 hours. There are already five senior members of the House planning to pre-file bills as well as the committee chairman. It's very likely that his will be the bill presented on the floor but we need to be very careful here. When we seek to establish a severe penalty for "not doing something", we are getting into dangerous territory. A good example of that would be Obama's plan to penalize us if we don't buy government insurance. It's going to be interesting to see how this all plays out.

We've got two days in Jeff City coming up. I have been asked to set up an interim work group meeting with the Division of Social Services, Division of Mental Health and the Division of Health and Senior Services. We will have an informal meeting with each director for the purpose of information gathering. It is our hope that we, as freshmen, will be better equipped when we start appropriations hearings if we better understand the workings of each of these departments. I'll report on the meetings next week. Until then, I am and remain, in your service.

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