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31 October 2011

Lant: Still Waiting For Free Time

I'm still waiting for all that free time that Kevin Wilson and Marilyn Ruestman told me I would have during session recess. It's been over five months since session ended and I still don't have any time to get stuff done at home. Of course, that doesn't count "Special Session" and the time spent there. There has been a lot of confusion about the special session and why it was called and what we were supposed to accomplish. Early in special, we addressed the Mosira Jobs Bill and passed it with overwhelming bipartisan support. Just two years ago this was the Governor's flagship bill. One of the major reasons the Governor called the Special Session, and remember it was he who set the agenda, was to address this bill. The other main reason for the call was to try to work out a compromise on the economic development package. Past administrations have gotten very involved in the negotiations but you have to remember that this is an election year and the Governor has no wish to become embroiled in a contentious debate over tax credits. I have no doubt that early next session we will revisit the best points of the Economic Omnibus package and pass those bills that are good for all Missourian's.

On Monday I was at the Courthouse in Pineville to visit with Congressman Long's area representatives who were on a listening tour. I applaud the Congressman for reaching out to those of us in the far reaches of his district. Every time I'm in Pineville I find something else to be proud of. Have you seen the new community Center? It sure looks to me like it is nearing completion. What a nice addition to the community.

Tuesday morning Bill Reiboldt and I met with Sheriff Copeland and his staff for an informational update on the Meth problems in our county. The Sheriff offered to provide educational seminars for local groups who wish to become more informed about this horrible affliction. The better informed we can become on the production of this chemical, the better able we will be to help the authorities curb it's manufacture and abuse. We then attended a great luncheon meeting with the Conservation Department, the Fish Hatchery, the Historical Society and Neosho City Management concerning future possibilities for Morse Park. It was a well-organized and informative presentation. Later, in the afternoon, Lt. Governor Peter Kinder was at the Lampo Building for a short meeting and of course, a campaign speech. Tuesday evening found us at Daddy Jim's for a Conservative Network meeting where former State Representative Ed Emory gave a very informational PowerPoint presentation on the "Fair Tax". I have to admit, I had a lot of misconceptions about the tax that he was able to clear up.

Friday we attended a lunch meeting at the Kelly Club. Cy Werner chaired the meeting and the purpose was to find ways to let people know about the club and the wonderful help it offers to those afflicted with drug and alcohol diseases. As he stated, if just one life can be turned around or one family saved, it's worth all the efforts.

Saturday morning we went to Joplin to participate in a "Wall Raising". The Tulsa Habitat for Humanity chapter has obtained ten lots on Kentucky Street and are building ten homes for Joplin families. There were literally hundreds of volunteers from Tulsa on hand to build the homes. At the appointed time a horn was sounded and a wall was raised at each home simultaneously to officially start the project. We certainly owe many, many thank you’s to all the volunteers from all over this country that have come to our area to offer their labor and money to help us over an awful time.

In case you didn't hear, Mark Lindquist and his rescuer and new found buddy Staff Sgt. Michael Byers got to go to game 7 of the series!! An anonymous donor heard Mark's story and donated two tickets for the seventh game. I can't think of two guys who deserved to go more than they did. One final note, Jane and I were down at Pineville with our grandson Saturday afternoon and he insisted that we stop at Burger Time for dinner. If you haven't been there, you won't believe it. Gourmet burgers and world class desserts in a little place like that? You bet! Scott Poe and his staff are unbelievable. I guess that's why you can't find room to park at lunch. More next week, until then I am and remain in your service.

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