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14 July 2011

Nance: Grandkids Visit, Caylee's Law, TANF Drug Testing Becomes Law

Pictured at right are Elizabeth and Jacob Nance, grandchildren visiting from Phoenix. I was able to give them a tour of the Capitol Building last week.

The recent Anthony trial in Florida has motivated many constituents to request a law be passed to require parents or caretakers to notify authorities within 24 hours of the disappearance of a child. Failure to do so would be a felony.

This was a rare case of an unusual parent, but it will get attention in the coming General Assembly. First, we must agree on an age level. Then we must decide who is considered in custody of the child at the time of disappearance. As in all other legislation, more questions will be raised and dealt with. I know legislation is being drawn up at this time.

At the Capitol

Drug-testing legislation [HB73] was approved by the Legislature this session and signed into law without fanfare by Governor Nixon on Tuesday. The state Department of Social Services is to develop a program for screening applicants and recipients of the welfare program and then for testing those for whom there is reasonable cause to suspect illegal drug use.

People who refuse to be checked, and those who test positive and do not complete a substance abuse program will be ineligible for benefits through the welfare program for three years. While participating in a substance abuse program people could keep their benefits. If state benefits are cut off, children in that household could keep receiving them, with the state selecting a third party to receive them on their behalf. The drug-testing requirement applies to Missouri's welfare program called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. This past May, there were 42,038 families consisting of 108,180 people that received benefits through the program.

In the District

The Gregg Williams Golf Foundation Tournament and events raised over $26,000 for local kids.

The Lawson Rotary Club raised funds for scholarships with a Tennis Ball Race and Bingo at the Lawson Picnic last week-end.

I spent four hours in Orrick Tuesday laying sand bags at the levy with other concerned citizens. Wednesday I had the opportunity to work with Orrick residents and about thirty model prisoners from Cameron (over 10,000 sand bags were filled). The inmates enjoyed helping. They worked hard and were happy about helping make a difference and just being able to work with the other volunteers. One inmate told me “we are the best of the best of the worst”. The local Lion's Club was the site of lunch and dinner for the volunteers.

The Ray County Fair gets in full swing next week. Farmer's Appreciation is Wednesday evening.

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