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22 September 2011

Lichtenegger: EcoDevo Measure Update, Listeria Outbreak, 9/11 Memorial

Some of you have been watching the daily news to track what is being accomplished during the special session. The following House announcement recently was released: Missouri House leaders have announced an important step in moving forward a landmark jobs bill [SB8] that is the centerpiece of the current special session. After working with Governor Jay Nixon, Representative John J. Diehl, Jr. (R-Town and Country) and House Economic Development Committee Chair Anne Zerr (R-St. Charles) have crafted a compromise proposal that would dramatically overhaul Missouri’s job creation tools while creating significant taxpayer protections. The proposal includes priorities from the House, the Senate and the governor.

The House Economic Development Committee is scheduled to meet Thursday at 2:00 p.m. and the Rules Committee, chaired by Representative Diehl, is scheduled to meet on Thursday at 5:00 p.m. Floor debate is scheduled for Friday.

With respect to our state’s economic situation, I also would like all my constituents to know that I am working very hard to conserve as much state funds as possible through my office and any other venue in which I take part. Below is a few examples of what I personally have done, or will do, and what the House of Representatives has done to conserve and / or reduce state expenditures.
  • This interim I distributed an educational booklet to every fourth grade teacher and their students in my district (fourth graders study state history). This 43-page booklet is usually given to the student to take home. I’ve asked teachers to save all the booklets for future use instead of sending them home with the students.
  • I am publishing the District 157 Directory bi-annually instead of annually. This spreads out to a savings of more than $1,000 per year, and if all 163 House members do the same it will save more than $163,000 every year!
  • I am not sending out constituent birthday greetings which should save more than $200/ month in postage.
  • My assistant and I conserve paper and other office products, using only the very essential supplies needed to operate the office.
  • This past year the MO House of Representatives ceased providing hard copies of the House Calendar, House Journal and Bill Summaries. This alone should save several tons of paper and cases of ink toner and therefore tens of thousands of dollars.
  • The House Appropriations Committee has drastically cut reimbursements for certain travel & lodging expenses related to legislative duties.
  • I hand-deliver as many constituent mailings, resolutions and communications as possible to save postage and shipping charges.
I will continue to look for ways to save state taxpaper revenue; after all, I also am a taxpayer!


The federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention notified the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services that one confirmed case of Listeria in southwest Missouri is associated with the national recall of cantaloupe produced by Jensen Farms, of Holly, CO. State and local health officials across Missouri continue to search for additional contaminated cantaloupe still for sale, but at this point have not found any of the contaminated product still on the shelves.

A total of five Listeria cases in Missouri have been referred to the CDC for testing because they were identified during the period associated with the recalled cantaloupe. Two cases originally had been suspect and later confirmed as one. Of the remaining three Listeria cases, two have been identified by the CDC as not of the strain associated with the recalled cantaloupe, while the remaining one case is still being tested by the CDC.

The (whole) cantaloupes in question were shipped nationwide between July 29 and Sept. 10, 2011. The (whole) cantaloupes have a green and white sticker that reads: Product of USA- Frontera Produce-Colorado Fresh-Rocky Ford-Cantaloupe, or a gray, yellow, and green sticker that reads: Jensen Farms-Sweet Rocky Fords. If the whole cantaloupe is unlabeled, please contact your retail store for sourcing information. Consumers who may have one of these cantaloupes should throw it away.

Constituent Corner

My hat’s off to Cape Girardeau County Commissioners and leaders for applying to and succeeding in securing a means to create permanent jobs through the Department of Economic Development’s Enhanced Enterprise Zone Program. The eligibility criteria is described as a discretionary program offering state tax credits, accompanied by local real property tax abatement, to Enhanced Business Enterprises. Tax credits may be provided each year for up to five tax years after the project commences operations.

I was honored to be invited to address the audience at the September 11 memorial service which took place at the Brookside Memorial Park. The event, sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), reflected the solemn respect due those that gave their lives for freedom. Below are a few photos taken at the service.

The event was well attended.

Group photo of the Daughters if the American Revolution.

Speaking in front of the memorial.

Special designated 9/11 flag presented by Shirley Young, DAR Chapter Regent, to Jackson Mayor Barbara Lohr.
The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission announced a contract award for bridge rehabilitation on the southbound Interstate 55 bridge over the diversion channel in Cape Girardeau County. The bridge is located north of Route AB near Scott City. Weather permitting; work could begin as early as mid-October 2011. As construction is underway, the bridge will remain open with two-lane traffic throughout the day. If a lane reduction is required, work will be performed from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Delays should be minimal, but up to 15-minute delays are possible. Completion is anticipated by fall 2012.

For more information, please contact Project Manager Eric Krapf at (573) 472-5261, Assistant to the Resident Engineer Darius Dowdy at (573) 243-0899 or MoDOT's Customer Service Center toll-free at 1-888-ASK-MODOT (1-888-275-6636).

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