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05 February 2011

Newman: Historic Blizzard, TANF Drug Testing Intrudes On The Poor, Budget Workshop


At left: Tuesday afternoon looking south at the Supreme Court Building during the storm.

As Missouri hunkered down in preparation and took precautions for an unprecendented storm this past week, we in the Capitol did our best to carry on. Many of us heeded the weather warnings and arrived in Jefferson City last Sunday evening to avoid potential icy highways. But we did not fully realize what lay ahead.

Monday afternoon we convened and determined that enough were present for a quorum to be able to conduct business on the floor and hold committee hearings through Tuesday. However by the next morning we were in the throes of an historic blizzard that left mid-Missouri with over 20 inches of snow. It was clear that many of us were not going to be able to even get to our Jefferson City apartments that evening.

The Missouri Capitol became the site of a mass sleepover Feb. 1st when the blizzard stranded about 100 of us, including staff and interns, in the building for the night. We shared food and supplies with each other while the State Emergency Management Agency provided blankets and pillows.

On Wednesday and Thursday the legislature convened for technical sessions only so lawmakers were able to drive home early pending highway openings.

The bipartisan comraderie of our overnight experience will be talked about for years!

Check out some of our media coverage -


  1. Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency on January 31.
  2. Interstates 70 and 44 were closed statewide for several hours due to heavy snowfall and whiteout conditions.
  3. It is estimated that over 100 million people were affected by the storm system in the U.S.
  4. The path of the storm stretched from Canada to Mexico, leaving the Midwest under a heavy blanket of snow and ice.
Facts courtesy of the MO House Communications Office



On Monday, Jan 31 we third read, passed House Bill 73 - drug testing of TANF recipients-by an overwhelming vote of 116 to 27. HB 73 would require the Department of Social Services to develop a drug testing program for applicants and recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program benefits.

This is the 2nd year we've seen this legislation - I voted no (as did other Democrats) because I believe this is an unlawful intrusion on those in poverty. We saw this bill last year but have no idea what will happen to it on the Senate side. An amendment was offered to also drug test all elected officials but was ruled out of order.


Regardless of the 2006 MO Supreme Court ruling that requiring photo identification to vote is unconstitional, this is the 5th year that subsequent legislation has been filed. I have committed, now for my 2nd year, to fighting this issue which would disenfranchise over 250,000 current eligible voters from utilizing their right to vote. Potential voters that would be affected include the elderly, disabled, college students and those in poverty.

As the House Progressive Caucus chair, I recently invited Denise Lieberman of the MO Voter Protection Project and Burt Newman, an attorney who challenged the 2006 law in the MO Supreme Court, to speak and provide information to our entire Democratic Caucus. They also testified against SB3 and corresponding resolutions SJR2 and SJR9 in the Photo ID hearing in the Senate.

This is a partyline issue which continues to surface and is being fast tracked in several state legislatures around the country. Arguments in support focus on voter inpersonation fraud which has never been documented or proven in Missouri.

As this legislation moves, I will keep you updated on our efforts.


Last week I was appointed to serve on Appropriations - General Administration because of a vacancy and my previous experience on the committee. We are in the throes of public hearings on the budget and meet often - sometimes twice a day.

In addition I serve on Children & Families which recently heard HB28 - restricting pharmacies in abortion drugs and HJR2 - proposing a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to pray. I will vote no on both when we hold an executive session.

My Elections Committee met on Tuesday, Feb 1 and we passed out HB107, HB 171, HB186 and HB217 by votes of 9-0.


I joined Dr. Charles Penberthy, Superintendent of the Brentwood School District, at a dinner and workshop on the Missouri public school foundation formula held recently in Jefferson City. The dinner and workshop were sponsored by the Missouri Association of School Administrators (MASA).

The Missouri public school foundation formula is the mechanism by which school districts receive state funds to operate their schools. It is the largest single appropriation from general revenue in the state budget. The 2011-12 school year is slated to be the sixth year of a seven-year phase-in of the current formula.


One of my favorite projects outside the Capitol is teaching those in the community about the legislature and encouraging citizens to become involved in the process.

I joined with Amy Blouin, executive director of the Missouri Budget Project and Jen Bersdale, CRC's Director of Advocacy, on Saturday Jan 22 to teach over 40 congregants exactly how the state budget process works. It was gratifying to work with so many who gave up their Saturday afternoon to learn how they themselves can affect the budget.

I also was able to sharpen up my own understanding of the involved legislative process - which is coming in handy on my own House Appropriations committee.

I highly recommend the excellent information about Gov. Nixon's budget proposal and our declining revenue situation at MIssouri Budget Project -

04 February 2011

Tilley: Coping With This Week's Blizzard

This week we witnessed a rare event as nearly the entire state of Missouri was under a blizzard warning. Unfortunately some Missourians and travelers were stuck at times in this severe weather, however thankfully a vast number of Missourians took cover and stayed indoors.

In Jefferson City we traversed to the Capitol and met Monday and Tuesday, but dismissed for the rest of the week, so everyone that could have time to get home. Other than the sheer display that Mother Nature put on, I was impressed with the job of our highway patrol, MODOT, and emergency personnel did in preparing and reacting to the weather.

In our own capacities many of us attempted to open as many communication lines as possible between local officials and public safety personnel and officials at the state level monitoring road conditions and weather. At times like these it was good that so many of us were able to work together so smoothly and in the end the benefit was improved public safety.

As we proceed with the legislative session I hope many of us in Jefferson City will take time to reflect on our experience this week. I believe it was an opportunity for many of us to be reminded that while we may disagree on issues; our first concern should be for the people of Missouri.

I would also like to take this opportunity and encourage everyone to get familiarized with the Missouri Department of Transportation website. In the event that we get more winter storms they have updated information on road conditions and travel information. Missouri Department of Transportation’s website is:

Thank you for the opportunity to serve here in the House of Representatives. As always, I welcome your comments. You may reach me at 573-751-1488, send your e-mails to or write to me at the Missouri House of Representatives, State Capitol, Room 308, Jefferson City, MO 65101.

Rupp: Senate Bill 134 Will Help Protect Parents with Disabilities

On Tuesday, Jan. 18, I was proud to introduce Senate Bill 134 to the General Assembly to address the subject of parental rights of parents with disabilities. The act would protect these parents and their children, and would clarify that just because a parent or both parents have special needs, does not mean they are unfit caregivers.

Part of my inspiration to file this measure came from a blind couple in Independence that became parents to a beautiful baby girl named Mikeala in May 2010. Both mother and father were overjoyed to become parents and were eager to take their new baby home. While at the hospital, however, Mikeala’s mother had some trouble breast feeding, and because of this minor issue, social services was called to take the baby away. It was claimed that the parents were unfit and couldn’t care for the infant. This course of action was completely unjust and the parents were discriminated against because of their disability. Both parents were devastated, and their child was in the custody of social services for 57 days. The couple is now preparing to file a lawsuit asserting that their parental rights were violated because of their blindness, with the hope that this type of action never happens again to a family. I’m glad to hear that baby Mikeala is now home and doing well, and I wish the very best to the family.

With this couple’s story in my mind, I am very determined to see Senate Bill 134 pass through the Legislature and receive the governor’s signature. I believe a child deserves to be with his or her family, and it makes no difference if that child’s parent cannot see or hear, or if that parent has other disabilities. In most cases, a disability does not affect a person’s parenting capabilities, and in this legislation, assistive services would only be called to assist parents if needed. The bottom line is that a child would always remain with his or her parents.

In Mikeala’s parents’ case, they are completely capable for caring for their child, and their care-giving abilities are not compromised because of blindness. According to a statistic by ABC News, more than one million U.S. citizens are blind, many of whom are parents. These remarkable people simply practice some different methods of parenting, including using tools that produce sound, such as “talking” thermometers. I admire these parents for their courage and strength for overcoming challenges, and I am sure they are better parents because they bravely conquer these obstacles.

I believe that Senate Bill 134 would benefit and protect parents with disabilities, and I know families in Missouri will have a brighter and more secure future with this legislation enacted.

As always, if you have any questions regarding this issue or any other matter within state government, please visit my website at Here, you can also subscribe to my RSS feed on the main page of my website; it will keep you up to date on all my columns, press releases, and multimedia postings. Always feel free to e-mail me or call my office toll-free at (866) 271-2844.

Munzlinger: Thank A Farmer Week

As we recognize this week as “Thank a Farmer Week,” I have some thoughts I want to share.

In rural Missouri, we sometimes take our lifestyle and abundances of material goods for granted. Our Heavenly Father provides many ways for us to provide for our families, neighbors, friends and community members. Just one of those is through farming and the lifestyle it allows. Many of us have chosen farming, as our fathers and grandfathers before us. However, what is different is that we now feed the world. We no longer farm to fill the shelves of the local grocery stores. Missouri’s agriculture industry is the largest revenue generator in our state.

As agriculture has grown, so has the number of decisions that have been taken from our control and placed in the hands of others. As your Missouri senator, I strive to protect and preserve the agriculture industry and our rural way of life. The family farm has been shrinking over the past few decades, but it is the small farms that continue to be the backbone of our state’s economy.

Among the highlights of my new job as Missouri senator is chairing the Senate Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources Committee. This committee hears all legislation that is related to the farming industry in Missouri, and my goal is to see to it that Missouri’s number-one industry is not
ignored. We have some great senators on this committee who feel as passionately about agriculture as I do, and I am confident we will work tirelessly on your

So, as we dig out of one of the heaviest snows in state history, we look forward to another safe and profitable spring planting and fall harvesting. When folks buy their groceries, I hope they will stop for a moment and remember how the food got there in the first place. In the days to come, I hope you take the time to thank a farmer. I know I will.

Thoughts on the job MoDOT has done handling the weather? Contact them: (888) 275-6636.

Engler: Winter Weather Shuts Down Activity at the Capitol

This week, legislative work came to a halt with the arrival of a historic blizzard throughout Missouri. Even with the snow bringing an early end to the week, we were able to move several pieces of legislation through the process.

Senate Joint Resolution 9 was approved by the Committee on Financial and Governmental Organizations and Elections on Monday. I sponsored the resolution which, upon voter approval, would require voters to show valid, government-issued photo identification in order to cast their ballot. The committee also approved Senate Bill 3, which contains additional measures relating to the photo I.D. requirement.

On Tuesday, the Senate approved Senate Bill 11, which bans drivers of all ages from texting while driving. A bill we passed several years ago made it illegal for drivers 21 and under to text while driving. Extending the law to include all drivers makes sense, because it is just as dangerous whether you are 20 or 50.

According to a University of Utah study, using a cell phone while driving delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. These statistics illustrate the danger of texting while driving, and this is why the Senate moved to put this legislation banning it for all drivers into law. This legislation makes everyone “feel good” that we took action and it does make a good point about the importance of safety, but in reality, we already had laws on the books that would have allowed law enforcement to deal with this.

By the time we had voted on SB 11, the blizzard had arrived in Jefferson City. About 100 people spent the night in the Capitol rather than risking their lives on the roads. Many legislators used the time to get work done without interruption, and spent more time actually working in their offices than they have their entire legislative career. Personally, the 18 inches of snow did not cause too much of an issue for me, other than being snow bound in Jefferson City until Wednesday afternoon. Winston, however, had a difficult time treading through snow over his head and learning how to pee upwards.

We will return to our normal schedule on Monday. Senator Kevin Engler, signing off from Antarctica…

Photos of the Big Snow in Jefferson City

My intern this year from Missouri State University, Keaton Ashlock, is an impressive photographer. He found himself among the group of people stranded at the Capitol during the snow storm, but he managed to make the best of it and snapped some photos.

Click on the photo to view a larger image.

South Steps of Capitol – this turned out to be good sledding for the staffers stranded in the Capitol.

Looking east on Capitol Avenue. The Governor’s Gardens and Mansion is to the left, but are totally hidden by the snow.

Sater: Winter Road Conditions (Friday, February 4, 2011, 5:20 a.m.)

Community Relations, 888-ASK-MODOT, 888-275-6636 or 417-621-6500

I-44 from the OK state line to Springfield is partly covered.

US 71 from the Cass Co line to the Arkansas state line is mostly clear.

US 160 from the Kansas state line to Route 39, Dade County is partly covered, from Route 39 to the Greene county line is covered.

US 54 Kansas state line to Route 32, Cedar Co line is partly covered, from Route 32 to Hickory Co line is mostly clear.

US 60 OK state line to Route 37 in Barry Co is covered; Route 37 to the Christian Co line is partly covered.

MO 13 Henry Co line to Polk Co line is mostly clear.

MO 37 from Route 60, Barry Co., to AR state line is mostly clear.

All other state routes in the Southwest District should be considered snow covered, but plowed.

Crews continue to treat and clear roadways.

Additional information is available at or by calling 888-275-6636.

03 February 2011

Stouffer: Missouri's Budget Presents Opportunity

When the governor presented his budget to the Missouri General Assembly last month, a lot of questions were left unanswered. One thing is certain: there are 280,000 Missourians unemployed right now and this must be the focus in 2011.

For the third year in a row, Missouri’s budget faces a shortfall. Depending on who you talk to, it is anywhere between $300 million and $700 million. We had so-called stimulus money as a part of the state budget for the past two years. Those funds are gone. Fortunately, we are one of only a handful of states in a solid financial position to weather the storm.

None of the three budgets this governor has submitted have been balanced; and projections for Fiscal Year 2012 are no different. This year’s budget hinges on $45 million in special legislation that will require passage. In addition, the governor’s proposal banks on $209 million in federal Medicaid reimbursements; $4.5 million from capping or cutting tax credit programs; $67.4 million from Medicaid cost containment; $25.6 million from debt collections by the Missouri Department of Revenue; and $20 million in a tax amnesty plan. I pray these all come together to work in our favor, but with $36 million in increased funding requested, it will be quite a challenge.

The Legislature is putting forward a plan to put Missouri back to work by getting out of the way. Preparing a skilled workforce through education is important, but we are also focused on reducing the size of government to appropriate levels. We want to cap franchise taxes, restore balance to Missouri’s employment laws and fix bad judicial decisions in the workers’ compensation system. If we can move forward on issues that help Missouri’s working families and those that employ them, prosperity will soon follow.

Sadly, the governor’s jobs bill from 2009 did not deliver. While it is good to see Ford keep its promise — and nearly 3,000 jobs in Missouri — that is a drop in the bucket compared to the 280,000 who are unemployed. Currently, one of every six Missourians is receiving food stamps; the number of Missourians who want to work full-time, but have to settle for part-time jobs, has doubled in the past two years; and the state has lost more than 104,000 jobs since June 2008.

We have a very tough job ahead of us in the Legislature and there is no simple solution. Cuts will have to be made everywhere. Our focus is on jobs and keeping education fully-funded. Over the next three months, we will be dealing with the budget for FY 2012.

In other Senate news, I would also like to let you know that my website now offers an RSS feed, which means the general public and the news media can get up-to-the-minute updates anytime we send out a new column, press release or updates our weekly audio. You can subscribe to this feed by going onto my Missouri Senate Web page: and clicking the orange icon at the top of the page.

Schupp: Special Event for an Important Cause


Occasionally I send a request or an invitation asking you to join me in a cause or for an event that will make a difference.

This year, Mark and I are hosting a fund raising event for the Alzheimer's Association. Mark serves on the Alzheimer's Board. We believe that with the prevalence of Alzheimer's and the growing numbers of people falling prey to this devastating disease, we want to do our part to make a positive impact. The money raised will support education for caregivers and families of those touched by the disease, respite care, and research.

Did you know that fifty percent of 85 year olds are afflicted with Alzheimer's? As we continue to live longer, this disease has the potential to be our generation's tsunami. Mark and I are committed to helping our community and our state make inroads into care and treatment.

In addition to being one of the Association's most important fund raisers of the year, we feel confident that you will find this event to be enlightening, entertaining and just plain fun!

Headlining will be recording artist Erin Bode as well as Eric Mead, a world renowned magician and mentalist!

We hope that you will join us as we further the fight to manage and explore the best practices in dealing with this disease.

Wishing you and yours good health,

Jill Schupp

Dempsey: Growing Our Economy with an Educated Workforce

As is typical at the beginning of the legislative session, debate on the floor of the Missouri Senate this week has been brief. Most of the work is being done in committees that have been recently appointed by the President Pro Tem. In the next few days, however, the bills approved by these committees will be returned to the full Senate and debate will begin in earnest.

At the top of our agenda this session is passing legislation that will help create a healthy business climate and bring more jobs to Missouri. In addition to litigation reform and reducing taxes on those who employ our citizens, another important goal is creating a workforce that is well-educated and equipped for the 21st century.

For a company looking to relocate or expand, a workforce that is capable and trained is an important consideration. We can help make Missouri a more attractive place for businesses by making sure that people have access to an affordable higher education at a four-year university, a community college or a specialized technical school.

For students ready to make the leap from high school to college, Missouri offers several programs to make that plan more possible. The A+ Schools Program, which is designed to give Missouri’s most hardworking students money for college, is a great example. In the current fiscal year (which will end on June 30, 2011), this program will receive $22 million in state funds. Also available are Bright Flight scholarships, which are merit-based plans for the best and brightest students. In the current fiscal year, Bright Flight is receiving $12 million. Likewise, Access Missouri, which is a needs-based program, is receiving over $32 million. All of these are great ways to get the financial boost needed to attend college in Missouri.

Next year’s funding for these and all state programs is currently under review by the legislature. The budget is unusually tight due to the sluggish economy, but it is my hope that we can continue to provide substantial amounts of funding for these important investments in the future of the next generation.

On another note, this week our legislative session was cut short by a historic blizzard that blanketed much of the state. However, the Senate was still able to advance important parts of our agenda before leaving town. Three pro-jobs bills were voted out of their respective committees and are ready for consideration by the full Senate when we convene again on Monday. This includes legislation that would remove an outdated lug on businesses seeking to expand here in the Show-Me State by phasing out, and eventually removing, the franchise tax on a company’s assets. The other bill would protect employees from lawsuits from co-workers when an accident occurs. The injured party would still have access to the workers’ compensation system which was created for such situations.

Constituents have been letting me know their thoughts about this weekly report. I want to thank you for taking the time to provide me with your feedback. If you have comments or questions about the topic discussed above or any other issue involving state government, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Hoskins Reaffirms Decision to Not Seek AG’s Opinion on Ballot Language

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – State Rep. Denny Hoskins, R-Warrensburg, has reaffirmed his decision not to seek an opinion from the Missouri attorney general on the meaning of ballot language for the quarter-cent jail sales tax. Hoskins has maintained that the ballot language is a local county issue rather than a state issue and that the responsibility for seeking an opinion falls on the shoulders of the Johnson County prosecutor’s office.

“A state representative has the authority to request an opinion from the attorney general’s office when it is relevant to their duties. In this case, this is not an issue of state law and thus not relevant to my duties as a state legislator,” said Hoskins. “This is a local county issue that needs to be addressed by the county’s legal counselor.”

Hoskins consulted with House legal staff on the issue. They referred him to Missouri Statute 27.040 which states that “any circuit or prosecuting attorney upon any question of law relative to their respective offices or the discharge of their duties” may request an opinion from the attorney general’s office. Hoskins said because the local county prosecuting attorney’s office includes serving as the county’s legal counselor that it is clearly relative to the discharge of their duties to seek an opinion on a local county ballot issue. If the county prosecutor’s office sees merit in the request, then their office can request an opinion from the attorney general’s office.

The local county ballot issue for the new jail was approved by voters six months ago in August 2010. In December 2010, former Johnson County Auditor Kay Dolan Reynolds asked Hoskins to seek an opinion on the ballot language. Reynolds was concerned the language would prohibit the county from spending funds from the jail sales tax before the bonds are paid off. The Johnson County commissioners, current county auditor, and bonding attorney Gilmore & Bell contain that as long as the bond payments are made, the county can spend any additional tax revenue on county jail maintenance and operation expenses.

Torpey: Unprecedented Blizzard Shortens Legislative Week

A Special Note

For the first time EVER in Missouri, a blizzard warning was issued for the majority of our state; the Governor issued a State of Emergency and the National Guard was activated. Many legislators did not make it to the capitol after the bad weather hit. I came down to Jefferson City early Monday and was forced to stay here overnight Tuesday into Wednesday, along with approximately 120 others.

As you may know, one of our own beloved members has been hospitalized after a serious car accident Monday morning. Our thoughts and prayers go forth to Rep. Wanda Brown, her family, and all who have been impacted by the severe weather conditions. Please be safe, take care of yourself, your families, and those who may need help in our community.

2011 Legislative Session continues

On Monday, the House third read and passed House Bill 73 by an overwhelming vote of 116 to 27. It will now be reported to the Senate.

The House also adopted and perfected the amended version of House Committee Substitute for HB 163. This legislation changes the laws regarding unemployment compensation benefits in order for Missouri to receive recently approved additional federal funds for those most in need of it. No Missouri tax dollars will be spent pursuant to this bill.

Tuesday, we third read and passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 1. This resolution disapproves a final order of rule making by the Public Service Commission with regards to the Electric Utility Renewable Energy requirements.


The weather made it difficult for committees to meet this week. We will resume next week and hopefully get much work done to make up for our snow days.

This past Friday, I had the opportunity to visit the Hope House in Lee's Summit. Hope House is a wonderful facility that protects, educates, and supports victims of abuse, over 10,000 people every year. We are a very lucky to have 2 Hope House locations in our community. For more information, visit or call 816-461-HOPE (4673).

Nance: Bill Concerning Residential Contractors Heard in Committee

"The men were wet and cold from the snow, their clothes and blankets in tatters, their shoes so destroyed that they wrapped their feet in rags. But, “naked and starving as they are,” said Washington, “we cannot enough admire the incomparable patience and fidelity of the soldiery.” –George Washington, Valley Forge, 233 years ago this week.

It has been a challenging week with the blizzard covering the entire state. The legislature was pretty much snowed in with some committee work being accomplished. Due to the blizzard conditions in Jefferson City, the House convened for technical sessions Wednesday and Thursday. The State of the Judiciary address scheduled for Wednesday was postponed.

HB 163 passed out of the House. This bill alters the provisions relating to unemployment compensation statutes in order for Missouri to receive recently approved additional federal extended unemployment benefit funds.

In Committee

The Insurance Policy committee heard HB 148 which I sponsored. Storm Chasers are individuals and companies that follow storms that hit large areas and are overwhelmed with huge losses.

The bill prohibits a residential contractor from advertising or promising to pay or rebate all or any portion of an insurance deductible as an inducement to the sale of goods or services including any allowance or discount against fees or paying the insured or any person directly or indirectly associated with the property any form of compensation or other item of monetary value.

An insured individual under contract with a residential contractor to receive payment for goods or services provided from a property and casualty insurance policy can cancel the contract if the insurer has notified the individual in writing that all or part of the contract is not covered under the insurance policy. The individual must notify the contractor in writing to cancel the contract prior to midnight on the fifth business day after notification from the insurer.

Before entering into a contract, the contractor must provide a form to any insured client stating the required contract cancellation information. Within 10 days of cancelling a contract, a residential contractor must return any payments or deposits made by an insured individual and any note or other evidence of indebtedness.

However, the contractor is entitled to the reasonable value of emergency services provided and documented to be necessary to prevent damages. A residential contractor violating any provision of the bill will be subject to the sanctions prescribed under the Merchandising Practices Act.

Contractors, Insurance Companies, and citizens were all in favor of the bill.

Tim Jones: Winter Doldrums

Vengeful Winter returned in earnest bearing down with no quarter given to the bulk of the Nation, gathering drenching energy from the Gulf and depositing a fury of blinding whitewash across the country’s mid-section, finishing its onslaught upon the oft storm battered Northeast. Treacherous conditions gave great challenge to our journey back to the Capitol as one of our own was caught in nature’s unyielding grip. Thankfully, Rep. Wanda Brown is recovering well and a frosty, desolate, yet sun drenched day made our paths somewhat manageable for the return home by mid-week…

Winter Doldrums & Legislative Update

An unusual winter calm descended upon the Capitol by midweek as many legislators and staff returned home by Wednesday afternoon due to the severe weather conditions that battered our State earlier in the week. Those of us who did succeed in reaching the Capitol on Monday continued with our legislative duties during our Monday and Tuesday sessions. The House third read and passed HB 73 (drug testing of TANF/welfare recipients) by an overwhelming vote of 116 to 27. HB 73 has now been reported to the Senate. We trust the Senate will see the necessity and practicality of the bill. The House also adopted and perfected the amended version of HCS HB 163. This legislation changes the laws regarding unemployment compensation benefits in order for Missouri to receive recently approved additional federal funds for those most in need of it. No Missouri tax dollars will be expended relating to this bill. Yesterday, we third read and passed SCR 1. This resolution disapproves a final order of rule-making by the Public Service Commission with regards to the Electric Utility Renewable Energy requirements. The Speaker has also placed HB 162 on the calendar for perfection. HB 162 addresses the precedent set by the Franklin v. CertainTeed Corp. court ruling which, in essence, moved occupational disease claims from the workers’ compensation system into the courts. In response to the business communities “Fix the Six” agenda, HB 162 essentially reverses the court’s ruling. Full explanations, summaries, text and information relating to these bills and all others filed this Session can be found at the Missouri House website: .

Blizzard Conditions

At right: The State Capitol During the Jefferson City Blizzard of 2011.

With a blizzard warning being issued for the first time EVER in the State of Missouri, the Governor issued a State of Emergency and activated the National Guard. Now that the snow has subsided, the long cleanup process has begun. We are also beginning to experience the forecasted single digit and subzero temperatures, so please continue to heed travel warnings and only travel when absolutely necessary. Attempts to travel in these conditions can become disastrous in seconds. Some of us have begun the long journey home to tend to family and community needs during this time. Those of us remaining are “holed up” safely here in the Capitol where hopefully by Thursday everyone will be able to make the return home. Near the close of our Tuesday morning Session yesterday, as House Majority Leader, I was tasked with the decision of what to do with our legislative calendar for the rest of the week. With the blizzard bearing down on us, I conferred with the Senate Majority Leader and the Speaker of the House. I decided to place the House in what is referred to as “Technical Session” for Wednesday and Thursday. That way, if members needed to hold hearings to keep committee work moving along, they could, in their discretion, but members would not be required to remain for any official Floor action for the rest of the week. Some of our members knew they would not be able to return home until later in the week (Joplin was forecasted to and did receive THIRTY INCHES of snow!) so by going into Technical Session, members had the option of returning home to tend to their families or to remain here at the Capitol continuing their work. Most members remained at the Capitol Tuesday night and began departing for home by Wednesday afternoon. As Majority Leader, I have remained to assist our Members as needed and make sure basic needs were taken care of throughout the storm. For all of you “back home”, please do be safe and be sure to check on any neighbors who may need assistance. In the meantime, we will be dreaming of Spring!


Six Flags of St. Louis announced on Monday they intend to hire 3,000 employees for the 2011 season. This will be the 40th Anniversary season for Six Flags which provides seasonal work for the community ranging from marketing/sales internships to front gate ticket takers.

Public Service Announcement

The Mid-East Area Agency on Aging is a not-for-profit agency providing services for anyone age 60 or older living in the counties of St. Louis, Franklin, Jefferson, and St. Charles. For more information about the services provided by MEAAA, please call (636) 207-1323 for services in St. Louis County, and toll-free 1-800-AGE-6060 for St. Charles, Jefferson, and Franklin counties. Especially during these weather conditions, many elderly may need assistance they normally may not need, such as, Meals on Wheels and Energy Assistance.

Visiting the Capitol

If you ever find yourself in or around Jefferson City at any time during the year, please feel free to visit us! Stop by our new office location in Room 302 and we will be happy to meet and greet you!

Personal News & Notes

I am finding that my duties as Floor Leader truly run the gamut. This week, during historic blizzard conditions for mid-Missouri (we received upwards of two feet of snow) I learned to play “Storm Coordinator”, “Caterer” and the “In General Answer Man.” I am sought out by members, of both sides of the aisle, for my advice and counsel on a number of issues, from legislation to human resources to office administration. I am very humbled by the fact that I can be of service to not only my own constituents, but to constituents and their Representatives all across the State. And because this makes for very long days and sometimes longer nights, I continue to owe a debt of gratitude and thanks to my excellent staff, my colleagues at my law firm, DosterUllom, LLC, and especially to Suzanne, Katie and Abby, who are a sight for sore eyes every Thursday evening when I return home! I am happy to report that the Jones Homestead did not receive the brunt of the storm and that Suzanne and the girls are doing just fine, enjoying the days off and playing with the neighbor kids. Everyone is warm and safe which is such a great relief! Here at the Capitol, if we can ever be of any assistance, do not hesitate to contact us at: 573.751.0562 or you can reach my primary assistant, Jody at: jody{dot}williams{at}house{dot}mo{dot}gov.

Kelley: The Blizzard of 2011

The State Capitol this week took on a definite resemblance to the Overlook Hotel. If that reference is too obscure, the Overlook Hotel was the featured location in the Stephen King movie, ‘The Shining’. Just as in the movie, snow was piled up around the Capitol and it was difficult to enter or leave. Veteran lawmakers and staff say the last time they can remember being stranded in or around the building was 1995 when Jefferson City received 18 inches of snow.

The winter storm which hit most of the state beginning early Wednesday morning did not spare the Jefferson City area. It began as rain on Monday and slowly turned to snow. On Monday we were reminded of what is important in life when one of the new legislators, Representative Wanda Brown (R-Cole Camp) hit a patch of ice and lost control of her vehicle. She sustained injuries to her back and neck and was taken to University of Missouri Hospital. As of this writing, she is still there, but the prognosis appears to be promising.

The House convened as usual on Monday, but already talk was centering around the weather and any implications it might have on the week. We immediately took up the bill [HB73] which would allow for drug testing of some welfare recipients. Since this was the final vote on the bill, otherwise known as third reading, there were no further amendments allowed, just debate for or against. When everyone was finished talking, the vote was not close. By a vote of 116-27, the House passed the bill and sent it to the Senate.

We also took up a resolution [SCR1] which challenged the authority of bureaucratic agencies to write rules contrary to legislative intent or approval. In this particular case, Proposition C was passed by the voters and contained a provision dealing with renewable energy. The language was unclear and the Public Service Commission took it upon themselves to write rules which went well beyond what was passed. When this happens, the legislature has the ability to challenge the rule with a resolution which must pass both the House and Senate.

The House did not adjourn when the weather turned bad, but we did have only technical sessions after Tuesday in order to take care of housekeeping duties. I did not expect we would be stranded in the building due to weather, but on Tuesday night, over 50 legislators stayed overnight rather than run the risk of going in the ditch. I think we will long remember the Blizzard of 2011.

Until our next update, I am, and remain, in your service.

Sater: I-44 Open


Community Relations 888-275-6636 or 417-621-6500

Just a reminder, I-44 both eastbound and westbound is now open through Missouri.

In the Southwest District, from Springfield to the Oklahoma state line it is partly covered.

In Oklahoma, I-44/Will Rogers Turnpike is considered snow covered but passable.

02 February 2011

Schupp: Appointment to Children's Trust Fund, What Did The People Say About Prop C?

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I am hopeful you are safe and warm this week. Weather hit us a little harder in Jefferson City: blizzard conditions with just shy of two feet of snow. Having an apartment within walking distance, I am able to bundle up and trudge to and from the Capitol.

Floor activity was cancelled for today and Thursday due to the weather and those who could made the trek home. I hope to leave later today, but am enjoying the opportunity to get some work done in a less hectic environment.

Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to serve.


Jill Schupp

This Week on the House Floor/Committee

Unemployment Benefit Extension

This week on the House Floor we perfected HB 163 with an emergency clause to extend federal unemployment benefits. The voice vote appeared to be unanimous.

Prop C ...What Did the People Say?

Rules promulated by the Public Service Commission (PSC) came under question as the utilities fight to purchase Renewable Energy Credits from anywhere in the world in order to ensure cheaper prices for consumers. The PSC pulled back a geo-sourcing rule that would force the growth of the renewable energy industry here in Missouri. It did so even as a committee was appointed to seek compromise about how to implement what the voters intended in the passage of Proposition C.

Passing this legislation [SCR1] after the Speaker had formed a working committee on the issue appears redundant; worse, this Resolution may severely limit Missouri's ability to move forward into renewable energy.

Sprinkler Systems and Local Control

In General Laws, we heard testimony and voted on legislation [HB90] that will prevent any political subdivision such as a municipality, neighborhood improvement district, subdivision, fire district etc. from mandating sprinkler systems for new residential structures. These structures include single family residences and multi-unit dwellings of 4 of less.

I did not consider this a question of mandating sprinkler systems; rather, this is a matter of the state overreaching in an issue of local control. Before acting on this, there are building codes and other safety concerns that must be fully addressed.

Interesting fact from Chief Ennis of the Cape Girardeau Fire District: In Missouri, no firefighter has died fighting a fire in a home that had a sprinkler system. I am learning quite a bit about response time and the working of sprinkler systems, so let me know if you would like information.

Rep. Wanda Brown update

We have heard reports about one of my colleagues, Freshman Representative Wanda Brown, who had a car accident on her way to session earlier this week. Despite a broken back and neck, she is apparently doing very well...there are even reports that she is up and walking! I am hopeful her recovery will continue at this miraculous pace. Meantime, be careful and wear your seatbelts when travelling!

Winter Wonderland

Bundled up the evening of February 1, in between falls, during the walk to my apartment from the Capitol.

Schupp appointed to Children's Trust Fund board

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Speaker of the House Steven Tilley officially appointed Representative Jill Schupp to the Children's Trust Fund Board of Directors on February 1, 2011, recognizing Schupp's leadership within her party as well as her ongoing commitment to children and families.

Schupp, D-Creve Coeur, was recently elected to a second term in the Missouri House of Representatives and currently serves as the Policy and Member Engagement Leader for the Democratic Caucus.

"I'm excited to be stepping into this role, both as a parent and a legislator, because it offers the opportunity to greatly impact children and families around the state," says Schupp. "The Children's Trust Fund is a leader in insightful and innovative ways to educate Missourians about child abuse and prevention, and I look forward to being a part of that work."

In addition to the highly successful Children's Trust Fund license plates, the organization provides child abuse prevention toolkits to communities and continues to offer conferences and events in communities across the state. Founded in 1983 and signed into law by Governor Kit Bond, the Children's Trust Fund Board of Directors is comprised of: 17 members of the general public, appointed by the Governor; two Senators, appointed by the President Pro Tem; and two Representatives, appointed by the Speaker of the House.

Sater: Winter Road Conditions (Wednesday, February 2, 4:00 p.m.)

Community Relations, 888-ASK-MODOT, 888-275-6636 or 417-621-6500

I-44 from Mile Marker 11 to OK state line is CLOSED.

I-44 from the Greene County line to Jasper County is partly covered.

US 71 from the Bates Co line to I-44/Jasper County is partly covered.

US 71 from I-44/Jasper County to the Arkansas state line is covered.

US 160 from Kansas state line to Greene County line is partly covered.

US 54 Kansas state line to Hickory Co line is partly covered.

US 60 OK state line to Christian County line is covered.

MO 13 Henry Co line to Polk Co line is covered.

MO 37 from Route 60, Barry Co., to AR state line is covered.

All other state routes should be considered covered to partly covered.

Crews continue to treat and plow all state routes.

Additional information is available at or by calling 888-ASK-MODOT (888-275-6636).

Sater: Snow Safety Video to keep your driveway clear

Figured we could all use this information! David

Watch this Youtube video link to learn how to keep your driveway clear when snow plows come down your route.

01 February 2011

Tim Jones: Majority Minute: House Passes Three Measures, Blizzard Conditions

As we enter our fourth full week of Session, severe winter weather bears down upon us. Travel is dangerous and at times impossible. As you may know, one of our own beloved members has been hospitalized after a serious car accident Monday morning. Our thoughts and prayers go forth to Rep. Wanda Brown, her family, and all who have been impacted by the severe weather conditions. Please be safe, take care of yourself, your families, and those who may need help in your communities.

House Bill 73

On Monday, January 31, 2011, the House third read and passed HB 73 by an overwhelming vote of 116 to 27. HB 73 has now been reported to the Senate. We trust the Senate will see the necessity and practicality of the bill. We cannot continue to provide taxpayer money for the irresponsible behavior of addicts or recreational drug users. TANF is temporary welfare assistance funded by your tax dollars, not to support bad habits but to help support families while searching for work.

HCS HB 163

The House also adopted and perfected the amended version of HCS HB 163. This legislation changes the laws regarding unemployment compensation benefits in order for Missouri to receive recently approved additional federal funds for those most in need of it. No Missouri tax dollars will be expended pursuant to this bill.

Perfecting SCR 1

Today, we third read and passed SCR 1. This resolution disapproves a final order of rule making by the Public Service Commission with regards to the Electric Utility Renewable Energy requirements.

Blizzard Conditions

For the first time EVER in Missouri, a blizzard warning has been issued for the majority of our state. The Governor has issued a State of Emergency and the National Guard has been activated. Please heed the warnings and do not travel. Attempts to travel in these conditions can become disastrous in seconds. We made a brief trip to our apartment here in Jefferson City and I can tell you firsthand that the road conditions are treacherous. Many of us are “holed up” safely here in the Capitol for the next few days, catching up on work and spending some quality time with our colleagues in the House and Senate. Hopefully by Thursday we will be able to make an attempt at returning home. Please do be safe and be sure to check on any neighbors who may need assistance. In the meantime, we will be dreaming of Spring!

Throughout Session, I will continue to send The Majority Minute to my constituents, colleagues and friends across the State. If you ever have any questions, feel free to contact my office at 573-751-0562.

Until our next update, I am, and remain, in your service.

Holsman: Robo-Calls From Energy Group, Dept. of Agriculture Receives Grant

Dear Friends

Thank you for reading this capitol review. This Jan 2011 newsletter marks the begining of our fourth year of publication.

The Missouri General Assembly moves fast. It is impossible to even scratch the surface in a monthly newletter. But, myself and staff will do our best to balance the big debates with my individual efforts on behalf of the 45th district.

There are many reps who do weekly publications and I encourage all of my readers to subscribe to theirs as well. It's free information that keeps our citizens connected to their state governement.

If your not a fan of recieveing more email then try the web sites which aggregate Missouri political news for you. Below you will find links on how to stay informed.

As always, all comments, questions, and suggestions are welcome. Thanks for the opportunity to serve you.

Jason Holsman

Robo-calls from Energy Group

It has become common in recent years for groups seeking to influence public opinion about a particular issue to make automated "robocalls" to people's homes that urge them to support or oppose that issue. Sometimes these robocalls give the recipient the option of pressing a button on their phone to automatically be connected to their state lawmaker's office so that they may share their opinions on the subject with their elected representatives.

I recently have been contacted by some constituents who received such robocalls and were upset because they were left with the impression that the calls originated from my office. That is absolutely not the case. Those calls were placed and paid for by special interest groups who are unaffiliated with my office, and I in no way support or condone the calls.

Introduction of Staff

Please welcome my new staff this session;

Legislative Assistant: Ryan Burke graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in Political Science. He is a member of Alpha Nu chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha. Ryan will be in charge of the capitol office handling constituent issues and policy management. He is a St. Louis native but is quickly getting to know South Kansas City and Grandview.

Legislative Intern: Shannon Dawson is a senior at the University of Central Missouri and will be graduating in May with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Criminal Justice. She is a member of the Zeta Zeta chapter of Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority and plans to attend law school back in her hometown of St. Louis in the fall.

Legislative Intern: Jason Copeland is a junior at the University of Missouri and will be graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English with emphasis in fiction writing and a minor in Philosophy. He is a member of the Alpha Nu chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha and hails from Independence, Missouri.


At right: Holsman Family

The 96th Missouri General Assembly was sworn into office on January 3rd 2011. In keeping with tradition the newly sworn in members of the assembly celebrated the occasion by participating in the Grand March held during the Legislative Ball.

Department of Agriculture Gets Grant for 5 Million Dollars

An exciting breakthrough for Missouri small farmers took place on January 21, 2011 in Jefferson City. Governor Jay Nixon announced the launch of the Missouri Agricultural Energy Saving Team - a Revolutionary Opportunity (MAESTRO) from the Missouri Department of Agriculture and the University of Missouri Extension. MAESTRO is a grant program that is offering 5 million dollars to help small farmers who want to reduce energy costs in their homes and farms.

The program will offer several financial incentives to farmers, including audit cost share, audit rebate, grants for interest buy down or down payments, and loan loss reserve. Missouri participated in a competitive grant process and was the only state to receive funding for this type of program.

State of the State

While the snow fell outside Governor Jay Nixon addressed the General Assembly on Jan 19th 2011. The state of the state speech highlighted economic successes of the past year. Governor Nixon was in his element communicating our budget challenges while laying out his legislative agenda.

State of the State Text

Speaker Tilley Forms Renewable Energy Committee Names Holsman Chairman

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - State Rep. Jason Holsman, D-Kansas City, has been named chairman of the newly created House Special Committee on Renewable Energy. House Speaker Steve Tilley, R-Perryville, established the committee and selected Holsman to lead it.

"Establishing energy independence from fossil fuels through the development of renewable energy is an important and long road to travel," Holsman said. "Missouri takes another step on that journey with the creation of a legislative committee dedicated to exploring all alternatives for making the state a leader in renewable energy production."

Holsman has established three priorities for the committee:
  • Conducting an energy audit of the Missouri Capitol and pursuing options for making it the first truly "green" state capitol building in the country.
  • Pursuing better implementation of Proposition C, which Missouri voters overwhelmingly approved in 2008 to establish renewable energy standards for Missouri power utilities.
  • Crafting legislation to assist residential, commercial and industrial users of electricity in investing in on-site energy generation.
Holsman is one of just four Democrats holding committee chairmanships this year in the Republican-controlled House.

Drug Testing TANF Recipients

Jefferson City - The Missouri House of Representatives gave initial approval to legislation that would implement a system of drug testing for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients suspected of using illegal controlled substances. The House perfected HB 73, sponsored by Rep. Ellen Brandom, (R-Sikeston), by a vote of 121-37.

HB 73 would require the Department of Social Services to develop a drug testing program for applicants and recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program benefits. Tests would be given to individuals who the department has reasonable suspicion to believe engage in the illegal use of controlled substances. An applicant or recipient who tests positive would be ineligible for benefits for one year. Household members of an individual who tests positive could continue to receive benefits as protective or vendor payments to a third-party payee.

An amendment offered by Representative Jeanette Mott Oxford (D-STL) would have allowed a third party to pay essential housing and utility bills on behalf of the suspended citizen if they voluntarily enter a drug treatment program. The change would have insured that no tax dollars would be used to purchase illegal drugs while protecting the necessary minimum resources for independent survival. The amendment failed along party lines and prevented me from supporting the bill. I am hopeful that the Senate will consider the sensible compromise and send us legislation I can support.

Resolution Asks Attorney General Koster to Join Healthcare Reform Lawsuit

The Missouri House of Representatives adopted a resolution that calls on Missouri's attorney general to file an independent or group lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal health care legislation.

During discussion on the House floor, Rep. Keith Frederick, R-Rolla, added an amendment to HR 39 that calls on Gov. Jay Nixon to urge Attorney General Chris Koster to join the lawsuit. Rep. Paul Curtman, R-Pacific, also added an amendment that urges the members of Missouri's congressional delegation to repeal and defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Curtman's amendment also requires that copies of the resolution be provided to the governor, attorney general and each member of Missouri's congressional delegation. The House approved the resolution Tuesday by a vote of 115-46.

If the Affordable Healthcare Act is repealed many citizens who have pre-existing conditions will once again find themselves locked out of coverage.

Stay Informed

I encourage everyone who reads this publication to also visit the following sites.

For corporate media's take on Missouri Politics

Newsletters from the General Assembly

31 January 2011

Mayer: Taking an In Depth Look at Missouri Government

In my opening day speech, I made several commitments and I want to discuss two of them in further detail with you this week. The first is a new Senate committee I created that is charged with investigating questionable practices in state government to ensure every dollar spent is held accountable to you, the taxpayer. The second is our continuing effort to Reboot State Government through more control, alterations or deletions. These two efforts are related in the fact that the new committee will look more in depth into areas and practices across state government, including some that were identified in our Rebooting Government recommendations.

Since we announced our 2011 Rebooting Government efforts, we have received more than 1,000 ideas submitted by Missourians on how to improve services and cut costs in state government. These ideas were considered by working groups of senators who then made recommendations. Several of those recommendations could become reality with action by the governor, while others will require the legislature to change the law. Then there are other recommendations that require more research before we can take action.

That is where the Senate Governmental Accountability Committee comes into play. This new panel will delve into some of the recommendations, such as whether or not it is practical and feasible to consider options such as opening the door to allow businesses outside of government to manage and maintain maintenance of state buildings, or even Missouri’s Lottery. These are ideas that merit further investigation.

The Senate Governmental Accountability Committee will also have the job of asking tough questions when it comes to investigating questionable practices or actions that occur in state government. One of the first events I have asked the committee to investigate involves a Cape Girardeau business’s dealings with the Department of Economic Development. Press accounts and charges filed by the local prosecutor show that the Department of Economic Development approved the application of a man, who was on probation for writing more than $90,000 in bad checks in 2007, for state aid totaling $2 million. The man represented a business that applied for the money to develop a dental and vision cooperative in downtown Cape Girardeau called “Watch Me Smile.” Fortunately, the state had not released any of the startup money, but we need to find out how his application was even approved in the first place. Safeguards must be in place and followed to protect taxpayer dollars from unfortunate events such as the one in this instance.

Every dollar spent should be held accountable to the taxpayers. Plus, by knowing how every dollar is spent, we can make sure that we eliminate waste, fraud and abuse and redirect those funds to our top priorities, namely K-12 classroom education. As we all know, every dollar counts when your budget is tight, and with the state facing a $300 to $500 million revenue shortfall the work of this committee is even more important. The committee will look into spending habits of all state departments and my hope is the panel will be able to recommend cost-saving ideas by indentifying inefficiencies and improving accountability.

This week I also had the honor of sponsoring Dorothy Rowland for reappointment to the Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board. Dorothy is a licensed practical nurse from Dexter and was first appointed to serve on the Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board in October 2010. Members of this board are responsible for providing an independent review of child abuse and neglect determinations in instances where the alleged perpetrator is not satisfied with the decision by the Children’s Division, located within the Department of Social Services. I believe Dorothy’s experience as a mother, grandmother and nurse will enable her to recognize signs and symptoms of abuse, helping ensure our children grow up in a safe and nurturing environment free from neglect and abuse.

Please feel free to contact me throughout the year with any comments, questions, or issues at the contact information listed below and on my website at

Dugger: Prop B Battle Continues, Constituent Survey

“I know in my heart that Man is good. And that right will always eventually triumph. And there’s purpose and worth to each and every one” –Ronald Reagan

The Prop. B battle continues

It is my pleasure to report to you that my house bill # 94 was heard in the Agricultural Policies Committee this week. HB94 is a total repeal of Proposition B. Thank you for the support of all those that have called or e-mailed my office as well as those of you who came to the hearings. I appreciate all the feed-back. It will be a long road but I think we will get this Proposition altered, so it won’t be a detriment to our local economy. Please follow our Committee meetings on the internet (, and I invite you to come to the Capitol and witness and even testify your views and opinions.

The Senate is taking this issue head-on as we are. Senator Mike Parson is sponsoring SB 113 and SB95, that make several changes to Prop. B. This bill had a hearing and was voted out of committee this week.

HB 73

HB 73 allows for the drug testing of welfare (TANF) recipients suspected of using a controlled substance. Despite attempts from some House Democrats to continue subsidizing the illegal drug use of some TANF benefit recipients, HB 73 overwhelmingly received first round passage, was ordered printed and perfected, and was placed on the House calendar for third reading. It is unconscionable to think the right decision is to continue to provide taxpayer funding for anyone’s drug use.


I am proud to say that we have the ability to get a survey out that is fast and easy for you and me. It is internet based instead of the paper surveys that have been used in the past. This is also very effective and beneficial to me because I have an opportunity to know sooner how you feel about a topic. With faster information sharing, I can be more properly informed on how you stand on many issues. Please take a few minutes, click on the link below, and fill out this survey.

Lant: Citizen Participation Shapes Legislation

The past week was a busy one for citizen involvement in our Legislative process. As the speakers office assigns bills to the various committees, hearings are held to take testimony for and against the various bills as well as information pertaining to the bills. The hallways were full of citizens from the four corners of our state who were wishing to have their opinions heard. The committee work will become more and more demanding as time goes on, as there are now close to 400 bills filed.

We engaged in a spirited debate on Wednesday where philosophical differences were presented on requiring adult welfare recipients to take a drug test if they are suspected of using a controlled substance. I was pleased to see the bill [HB73] get an overwhelming bi-partisan approval. We cannot continue to subsidize drug use with taxpayer dollars.

On Thursday the rules for the House Ethics Committee [HR274] were submitted and received unanimous support from every single Democrat and Republican present. The House Leadership team has pledged to maintain the decorum and ethics that our constituents demand of us and fully deserve.

A little known fact for most Missourians is that our Capitol Building is considered the most beautiful in the United States. The building we are currently in is actually our third Capitol building. The first was only temporary while the location for the Capitol of our brand new state in 1821 was pondered. When our present site was selected there was only a river, and rolling hills where Jefferson City is now located. The site was selected and work begun on a capitol building and shortly thereafter, the Supreme Court Building. In 1911, during a particularly strong thunderstorm, the Capitol Dome was struck by lightning and set afire. While there was time to save most of the records, the entire Capitol was destroyed. There is a wonderful collection of pictures on the walls of the Capitol basement showing the fire, the ruins and the reconstruction of the building which was completed in 1918. The 100th.anniversary of the Capitol fire is next month and I plan to use a few lines of my Capitol Report from now on telling you some of the more interesting history of our Capitol.

You can reach me at bill{dot}lant{at}house{dot}mo{dot}gov or by phone at (573) 751-9801. Until my next report, I am and remain in your service.

Sater: This Week In The Missouri House, Issue 4


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