Recap of the First Extraordinary Session of the 96th General Assembly
The special session (called by the governor on Sept. 6) ended on Oct. 25. Although I'm glad we were able to pass two beneficial measures (SB 1 and SB 7 — signed by the governor on Oct. 21), I am very disappointed that, once again, local control of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) was pulled aside from the legislative agenda.
Since I was elected to the Senate in 2009, I have fought to end this inefficient governing system. If the local control bill (HB 1) had passed during special session, the City of St. Louis could have saved up to $4.1 million by combining services with the police department. Also, the state of Missouri could save up to $1 million by eliminating the Legal Expense Fund.
I will remain dedicated to pushing for local control, and will fight to get this important measure passed during the 2012 regular session, which will begin in January.
Please click here to read a press release I issued regarding local control and special session. You can also listen to my full interview from Oct. 24, which highlights my thoughts on special session. You can find this interview on my "Multimedia" page, located on my Missouri Senate website.
Meeting for the Senate Interim Committee on Health Insurance Exchanges
My colleagues and I on the Senate Interim Committee on Health Insurance Exchanges will hold a meeting to listen to public testimony regarding a state health insurance exchange.
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Location: Dunseth Auditorium in Harmon Hall — Lindenwood University
209 South Kingshighway, St. Charles, MO 63301
The Senate Interim Committee on Health Insurance Exchanges is charged with researching Missouri’s options regarding the establishment of a health insurance exchange and to study its effect on existing state laws.
Open Enrollment Reminder for MissouriansAt left: Senator Keaveny greets guests at his open enrollment event.
On Oct. 18, I held my open enrollment event at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis. I'd like to thank everyone for participating, and I'd especially like to applaud all the volunteers who helped assist our community.
Please click here to view pictures from the event.
Medicare beneficiaries interested in changing their prescription drug plans under the federal health insurance program have from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 to do so.
Volunteers from Community Leaders Assisting the Insured of Missouri, or CLAIM — a program funded by the Department of Insurance and Medicare that is dedicated to providing free and expert counseling to Missourians with Medicare — will be available to help throughout this timeframe.
For more information about Medicare open enrollment, please call
800-390-3330 or visit the CLAIM website at www.missouriclaim.org.
Volunteer with a Food Bank this Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is a time for us to be grateful for the love and support of our family and friends. Many people think of Thanksgiving Day as a time to sit down and enjoy a delicious feast with loved ones. However, many people are struggling with the high cost of food — especially during this difficult economic time — and can't afford a turkey dinner this year. It's estimated that 1 in 8 Missourians receive emergency food assistance each year.
During this time of generosity, I encourage you to donate to the Missouri Food Bank Association, which helps millions of people throughout our state with meals. Whether you can donate time, money, or a few cans of nutritious food, all help is appreciated.
Our local foodbank, the St. Louis Area Foodbank, has countless volunteer options. If you'd like to help, you could:
If you'd like to learn more about volunteer opportunities, visit:
The St. Louis Area Foodbank
The Missouri Food Bank Association
I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a safe weekend. If you are traveling, please remember to wear your seat belt, and always appoint a designated driver if need be — and please be cautious if you decide to fry a turkey! (Please click here for some helpful safety tips for turkey frying.)
Find the Least Expensive Gasoline in Your Community
Throughout past several years, we have watched the price fluctuate on gasoline. While we can't always predict the price of gasoline, we can follow some guidelines to help us save some green.
A great resource is www.fueleconomy.gov. On the website, there are various links to information about:
- National and regional prices of gasoline
- Understanding what determines the cost of gasoline
- Gas mileage tips
- Fuel economy and vehicle information
- What you spend on gas and how you can save money
One of the best ways to save money on gas is to drive responsibly. Here are a number of ways you can save money at the gas pumps:
- Don't drive aggressively. Speeding, rapid acceleration, and excessive breaking waste gas, and also increases your chances of being in a car accident.
- Obey the speed limit. Gas mileage can decrease rapidly at speeds exceeding 60 mph.
- Remove excess weight from your car. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by up to 2 percent.
- Use cruise control to help maintain a consistent speed.
- Use overdrive gears — when you do this, your car's engine speed goes down, saving gas and reducing engine water.
Researching the Mamtek Project
Work continues in researching information related to the Mamtek deal — a project designed to create a manufacturing plant and up to 600 jobs in mid-Missouri — and the role the state played in dealing with the company. Due to the fact that Mamtek has failed to create the jobs it promised, as well as the performance-based nature of the economic incentives offered to the company, Mamtek has received no funding from the state of Missouri.
The Senate Governmental Accountability Committee (on which I serve) has conducted two meetings. At the first meeting, we reviewed information regarding Mamtek, Wi-Fi Sensors (a company based in Kirksville), and other related businesses. Our second meeting was conducted to hear testimony regarding appropriation bonds, EB5 VISAS, and the issuance and sale of municipal bonds.
To follow our hearing schedule, visit the "Hearing Schedule" link on the right-hand side of the Senate website. You can also click here to watch videos from our first committee hearing. You will find the videos listed under Oct. 5, 2011. (Note: Senate Daily Audio/Video Clips are posted on a rotating basis and may not be available for future reference.)
Certificates of Lien
Individuals and businesses that have not paid their taxes may have a certificate of lien filed with the recorder of deeds and the circuit court in the county where the individual resides or the business is located.
A certificate of lien is defined as, " A certificate of claim against property that has a lien placed upon it as a result of unpaid property taxes. "
The certificate of lien filed with the recorder of deeds attaches to the taxpayer’s real and personal property. The certificate of lien filed with the circuit court is treated like a judgment of the court.
Please click here to conduct a lien search, provided by the Missouri Department of Revenue.
St. Louis Board of Election CommissionersAt left: With members of the St. Louis City Board of Election Commissioners.
The St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners has the important job of ensuring that every eligible resident of the city of St. Louis is encouraged and provided ample opportunity to register to vote. They also must be sure that:
- Voter files are kept accurate and up-to-date;
- Voter education and turnout efforts are maximized;
- And public elections in the City of St. Louis are conducted in an efficient, fair, honest and impartial manner.
Please feel free to call the board's office as well, at (314) 622-4336, to learn more about voting in Missouri.
Remembering Veterans Day
Friday, Nov. 11, is Veterans Day — a day to remember the sacrifices that so many Americans have made for our country, and to be grateful for their courage and selflessness.
Serving on the Senate Veterans' Affairs, Emerging Issues, Pensions and Urban Affairs Committee, I am dedicated to ensuring that our veterans are treated with all the care and respect they deserve. For all the bravery they have shown in defending our country, they are worthy of our utmost respect.
The Missouri Veterans Commission is available to help our veterans and their families find the appropriate services. On its website, mvc.dps.mo.gov, you can learn more about:
On Saturday, Nov. 5, I will attend the Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony in downtown St. Louis. Pre-parade ceremonies will begin at 11 a.m. at the Soldiers' Memorial. I encourage you to come out to support our veterans and have a good time in our awesome city. Please click here to learn more.
Please take a moment to reflect upon the fact that we live in a free and just country, thanks to millions of men and women who have served us over the years. To our veterans: you forever have our gratitude.
Prevent Domestic Violence
In Missouri, 22 percent of women report that at some point in their lives, they were physically hurt by an intimate partner. On a national level, nearly one-third of American women will be abused by a partner at some point in their lives. These figures are staggering, and we need to do what we can to prevent families from the damage of domestic violence.
There are some excellent resources regarding domestic violence on the City of St. Louis Circuit Attorney's website, at www.circuitattorney.com, under "General Information — Victim Services Unit." There are also hotlines available for people who need help:
- Child Abuse Hotline
- Domestic Violence and Rape Hotline
- St. Louis Regional Sexual Assault Center Hotline