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19 February 2011

Davis: Benefits For Active Duty Spouses, Midwifery Bill Debated

After the cold and snow over the first two weeks of February, beautiful weather has returned to our Capitol. My committees were busy discussing legislation this week.

Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music. –Ronald Reagan

In Veterans we voted do pass on HCS [HB] 136 and HB303. HCS136 allows the spouse of certain active military members to be eligible for unemployment benefits and to receive a temporary courtesy license to practice his or her occupation or profession in this state. HB303 requires any state agency or board that regulates an occupation or profession to establish rules for the issuance of a courtesy license to a nonresident spouse of certain active duty military members. HCS136 contains HB303 but HB303 was still filed separately, just in case there is an issue with the fiscal note on HCS136.

In The Utilities Committee, we voted do pass HB 338 and HB 339. HB 338 specifies that a telecommunications company will not be required to comply with rules established by the Missouri Public Service Commission which are already mandated by federal rules. House Bill 339 changes the laws regarding telecommunications as they relate to the carrier of last resort obligations. Both are good for Missouri and will create jobs.

In Tax Reform we discussed the Fair Tax. HJR8 eliminates the corporate and personal income taxes and shifts them over to a consumption tax. This will be one of the major issues facing the general assembly this year.

This week I also filed HCR 33. It designates the Honor and Remember Flag as the State of Missouri's emblem of service and sacrifice of service men and women who have given their lives in the line of duty.

The House Elections Committee voted do pass HB329, which would establish an advance voting period and requires a voter to present an approved form of personal identification to vote at an election.

HB 301 – Midwifery: This bill changes the laws regarding midwifery. In its main provisions, the bill: Repeals the provision which specifies that anyone who engages in the practice of midwifery other than a licensed physician will be guilty of the unlawful practice of medicine.

The House Health Care Policy Committee voted do pass HB 213, which would specify that no abortion of a viable unborn child can be performed or induced except in certain specified situations.

I look forward to continue serving the people of the 128th district. Appropriations are getting close to the end, which means the Budget is right around the corner. I am prepared to take on this difficult task, and will always make the best choices for my district and the state of Missouri.

18 February 2011

Neth: Capitol Visitors, Bills In Committee Receiving Heavy Response

We have really kicked up the pace this week with visits from constituents, new legislation to discuss, and many meetings with people looking for support or opposition to this or that. I feel truly blessed to have this opportunity to really dig in and work on the issues that are important in our state.

We are beginning to receive the first responses to the survey we sent out a week or two ago. The information provided by the survey will give me a great idea of the priorities our community. If you do not receive a survey in the next few weeks and would like to let me know your opinions, please contact me at myron{dot}neth{at}house{dot}mo{dot}gov and we will direct you to our online version of the survey.

As you can see with my Capitol Report, if you have been getting it for while, we are doing our best to make it as user friendly and informative as possible. We are working on additional functions that will allow you to look at all my past reports as well as all of my press releases and other information I put out from my office. If you have ideas on things you would like to know or ideas to make it better, I would be happy to hear them and see what we can do.

Have a great weekend and a happy President's Day.


Visitors to the Capitol

Julie Halsey-Begnaud, a Liberty resident and Lee's Summit French teacher, with the Foreign Language Association of Missouri.

Carol Graham (middle left), with the Liberty Women's Clinic and a couple of her collegues from other cities, were here at the Capitol to discuss the services they offer our community.

In Jefferson City were several Liberty elected officials and staff: Mayor Greg Canuteson and Council member Jeff Moore. At the Capitol were Liberty City Council member Jeff Watt, Interim Police Chief James Simpson and Shawna Funderburk.

Theresa Hubbard (right) from Liberty who is a Marriage and Family Therapist.

With the MS Society was Gracemor residents David and Linda Eaton.

Vicki Vance from Historic Downtown Liberty stopped by with Mainstreet Missouri.

Floor Action

Not a lot of action on the House floor this week except for on Thursday. The House passed HB 71 to approve local control of the St. Louis Police Department. Currently St. Louis and Kansas City police departments are governed by a state board appointed by the Governor. This will now go to the Senate for review.

Committee Action


We passed out of committee two bills: HJR 14 and HB 329. The first is to put on the ballot a constitutional amendment to allow for photo ID when voting, and early voting. HB 329 would be legislation to put into effect the process and procedures of Photo ID and early voting. There was a lot of discussion and dissent on these bills.

Financial Institutions

We passed three consent bills out of committee this week: HB 109, HB 465 and HB 83. I explained these in last week's report so I will not explain here. (You can go to the text via the hyperlinks). For your information - consent bills require a unanimous vote from the committee and a unanimous vote in the House and Senate. Just one member eliminates the consent status, requiring the bill to be voted on normally.


We heard testimony on HJR 10 and HB 393. HJR 10 would put on the ballot language to amend the Missouri Constitution to repeal the prohibition against state funds being used to support any religion or religious school and specifies that parents or guardians have the right to choose any school for their children. This is most commonly called "Open Enrollment". Note - This is a very controversial bill and will have much more discussion before it has a chance to get out of committee. Feelings run pretty high on this.

HB 393 is an interesting bill that would allow parents to petition for intervention in a bad school. If 51% of the parents vote to intervene, then there are three potential remedies: a restart to a charter school, school closure, or allow enrollment ins another school. Again, this is a very complicated bill and has issues, but a large part of this is to start the discussion on ensuring quality education for our kids in Missouri.

Community Calendar

Feb 19 - Let's "Wine" about winter
Feb 21 - President's Day - No School
Feb 22 - Liberty Board of Education Meeting
Feb 23 - Rapunzel at the Liberty Performing Arts Theatre
Feb 28 - Liberty City Council Meeting
Mar 7 - Jazz on the Square

Click here for a list of events in the area.

Chili Cook-Off for Liberty Fire Fighters

Last Saturday, I was invited to attend a Chili cookoff for the Liberty Fire Fighters. We have some outstanding cooks here in our district. I especially liked the buffalo chili. These events are a lot of fun and I'm glad I got to participate.

A big thank you goes out to the Liberty Landing Manufactured Home Community for putting it on and to all who came to support the event.

It is an honor and privilege to serve the people of the 34th District and the State of Missouri. Let me know how I can better represent you.

For a better Missouri,

Mayer: Audio On Committee Approval Of "Right To Work"

Jefferson City — Senate Leader Robert N. Mayer, R-Dexter, recently added new audio and video links to his multimedia page that is located on his Missouri Senate website. This page features audio and video links (both streaming and broadcast quality — when available) for visitors to listen to and watch Sen. Mayer discuss issues that are important to him and the citizens of the 25th Senatorial District.

The new audio and video links include Sen. Mayer discussing Senate Bill 1, “Right to Work” legislation that has passed the Senate General Laws Committee. With this passing vote, committee members recommend that SB 1 moves to the full Senate for debate.

Senator Mayer will continue to add audio and video clips throughout the year. You can watch and listen to his new clips by going to Sen. Mayer’s multimedia page:

Korman: Committee Updates, Visit from Marthasville Fourth Graders

This week in Jefferson City no sign of snow was to be seen as the weather became warmer with each passing day.

Committee Work

All four of the committees that I serve on met this week and bills progressed through the committee process. In Utilities committee I attempted to amend House Bill 339 with language that would assist with protecting the local 9-1-1 tax base for Missouri counties; unfortunately the amendment wasn't approved.

We also heard testimony on House Bill 124. HB 124 will help reduce the interest costs for consumers associated with obtaining an early site permit from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for energy production.

Appropriations - Agriculture and Natural Resources as well as Appropriations - Transportation and Economic Development met for the final time this week as we prepared House Bills 4 and 7 to be forwarded on to the House Budget Committee.

In Professional Registration & Licensing we heard House Bill 301. Testimony went for nearly two hours. This is a highly debated bill with the proponents saying regulations are needed on Midwives for safety reasons and opponents saying the measure is regulating unnecessarily and excessively. Please let me hear your thoughts.

Visitors at the Capitol

Marthasville Elementary fourth graders and parents along with their teacher Sarah Baczewski visited this week. I enjoyed having them visit and they got to see our State Capitol which I believe is one of the grandest in the nation.

We had many other visitors this week; some to just say hello and others to bring issues to our attention. We strive to give each visit and call the deserved time so please feel free to stop by or contact your 99th District office at:

201 W Capitol Ave., Office 114C
Jefferson City, MO 65101

Schupp: Local Control measure perfected, Visitors, Upcoming Science & Technology Event

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Committee budget appropriations processes are in full swing. Within the next week or two, the full budget committee will begin marking up the budget bills in preparation for debate and amendments on the house floor.

The economy, job creation and education remain at the top of my list of priorities.

I wish you and yours well, and appreciate the opportunity to serve.


Jill Schupp

This Week in the House

HB 71: Local Control: St. Louis City Police

Today the issue of local control of the St. Louis City police force was perfected, which means it received first round passage on the House floor. If it continues through the House and Senate processes, the St. Louis City Police will fall under the jurisdiction of the City of St. Louis rather than under State control.

Proposition B

In November 2010, the passing of Proposition B sent a clear message from all areas of the state that humane care for animals is a reasonable standard and a major priority for many Missourians. The goal of Proposition B was to curb large-scale animal abuse.

I have heard from voters all over the State, and people in our district has been particularly diligent in making their opinions known. Overwhelmingly, constituents do NOT support the REPEAL of Proposition B.

I plan to vote against the bills I have seen, all of which essentially overturn Proposition B. I will respect the decision of the voters in our district!

Capitol Visitors

Members of the Missouri Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons visited the Capitol on Wednesday, January 16. In additionl to visiting their legislators, members also administered free eye exams. If only they could help me find my glasses! Dr. John Holts, of the 82nd district, is on the left.

Ladue Students Show-Me "TechKnowledge" Week!

Broadcast Journalism teacher extraordinaire Don Goble, and his students (from left) Corey Vent, Josh Picus and Alyssa Buchanan from Ladue Horton Watkins High School visited the Capitol on February 16 to raise awareness for technology in the classroom.

Remember, if your class has not scheduled a visit to the Capitol, do so soon! Our office is always open, but exciting opportunities to visit the Governor's Mansion and the Missouri Supreme Court are very limited. To organize your tour, call (314) 616 5009 or email Anne Marie Rhoades.

Science & Technology Event! Save the Date!

Interested in the latest opportunities in Science and Technology? Know a future astronaut? Looking to explore the high tech environment? Join us and take hold of your future!

Hands on opportunities, resources about camps, internships, scholarships, higher ed and job opportunities

Free and Open to the Public
Co Hosted by Rep Jill Schupp

March 5, 2011
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Creve Coeur Government Center - Gym
330 North New Ballas Road
Creve Coeur, Missouri 63141

A SCOPE* Event
* Science and Citizens Organized for Purpose and Exploration

Partners include: Boeing, BDPA, Washington University Science Outreach, St. Louis Community College, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and more...

Community Emergency Response Team

Information from Town & Country and Creve Coeur

The next CERT, or Community Emergency Response Team, class is starting on Tuesday, March 1 at 6:30 p.m.

Following a major disaster, first responders (police, fire fighters, and paramedics) and even public utility providers will not easily meet the demands for public service. Individual neighbors may have to rely on each other for immediate life-saving and life sustaining needs. The class covers topics such as Disaster Preparedness, Disaster Medical Operations, Fire Suppression, Search and Rescue Operations, Disaster Psychology, and Weapons of Mass Destruction.

To sign up for this class, call the Creve Coeur Police Department at 314-442-2075 or log on to the city's website.

Green Tip of the Week

by Rebecca Anglo, legislative intern

Keep clean and green: don't take baths, take showers! A shower uses about half of the water that a bath uses.

Up to 90% of the energy cost for showers and washing machines comes from heating the water. To save energy and money, keep your washing machine on the cold setting.

Denison: English-Only Driver's Tests, Prop B Modifications, Funeral Protest Prohibition

English-Only Driver's License Tests (HB 167)

One bill passed out of committee this week would require all driving tests in Missouri to be given only in English. Right now, our state offers driver's license tests in 11 languages besides English and allows people taking the test to have a translator. The bill approved by the House Transportation Committee would require anyone seeking a driver's license to take the test in English, either in written form or by having someone read it aloud. While we welcome people from all parts of the world and from varying cultures, it is important to establish that the language we use here in Missouri is English. Our road and highway signs are written in English and highway patrolmen and police officers who make traffic stops are going to communicate in English as well. The bottom line is that if you are going to safely operate a motor vehicle in Missouri, you need to understand English. By requiring applicants to take the test in English, we can ensure they know the language and improve the safety of our roads as a result.

Voter Identification (HB 329 and HJR 14)

Two bills given committee approval this week would require voters to show a photo ID at the polls and allow them to cast ballots before Election Day. The House Elections Committee approved a constitutional amendment to implement both changes. The committee also passed a bill that would enact the early voting period and photo ID requirement. If passed by both chambers, the constitutional amendment would go before a vote of the people. I think both changes would be good for Missouri. We need to make the voting process more accessible and a "no excuse" early voting period would provide an opportunity to vote to many Missourians who may otherwise not cast a ballot. At the same time, we must protect the integrity of the electoral process. We're required to show a photo ID for so many of the things we do. Why shouldn't we also provide photographic proof of our identity before we vote? While some have argued that not every Missourian has a photo ID, the bill addresses that issue by requiring the state to provide a form of personal identification at no cost. Requiring photo identification to vote makes sense. It is the simplest way to prevent voter fraud without making the voting process inconvenient for Missouri voters.

Proposition B Legislation (HB 131)

Another House committee took up an issue this week that has generated a great deal of discussion and debate in recent months. The House Agriculture Policy Committee approved a bill that would change the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act, also known as Proposition B, to the Dog Breeders Cruelty Prevention Act. In making that change, the bill would remove limits on how many dogs a breeder can own and remove requirements that dogs need a certain amount of space, clean water and time between breeding cycles. One of the reasons for making these changes is that the writers of the Proposition B amendment never consulted with veterinarians or other experts on proper animal care. The legislation passed by the committee takes those recommendations into consideration to establish reasonable requirements that safeguard the health and wellbeing of the animals. I know this has been an emotional issue for many but these changes simply must be made or we run the risk of forcing good, ethical dog breeders out of business. The goal of the changes being made in the legislature is to strike that balance between humane treatment and effective regulation. I believe the bill we ultimately pass out of the General Assembly will do that.

Pro-Life Legislation (HB 213)

Also this week, the House Health Care Policy Committee approved a piece of pro-life legislation that would ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy. The bill would make an exception for abortions that are necessary to save the life of the mother. Specifically, that would include when the woman's life is endangered by a physical disorder, illness or injury or if continuing the pregnancy would permanently impair one of her major bodily functions. The legislation also would require doctors to determine whether a fetus older than 20 weeks would be viable outside of the mother's womb. Doctors would use tests of the fetus' gestational age, weight and lung function. For a fetus found to be unviable, a doctor would be required to report to the state why the child was unviable after performing the abortion. With this we can ensure an abortion is an option pursued only when it is absolutely medically necessary. We know there are few abortions performed after 20 weeks but it is in the best interest of all Missourians who value life to make it clear that these abortions cannot be performed unless they represent the only way to save the life of the mother.

Legislation to Prohibit Funeral Protests (HB 276, 233 & 274)

The House General Laws Committee approved legislation designed to protect the privacy of a grieving military family during a funeral. The bill would make it a class B misdemeanor to picket one hour before or as much as two hours after a funeral or memorial service, and within 300 feet of the service. The legislation is specifically directed at the Westboro Baptist Church, which sends its members to protest military funerals because it believes the deaths are God's punishment for the U.S. tolerating homosexuality. The group has made several appearances in the state of Missouri. In fact, the bill is known as the "Spc. Edward Lee Myers' Law" in honor of a Missouri soldier who was killed in Iraq and whose funeral was picketed by the Westboro Baptist Church. To prevent similar incidents, the legislation would prevent protests and provide families with the peace of mind they deserve. During times of grief, we want families to be free from harassment or intimidation. The Spc. Edward Lee Myers' Law gives military families that protection.



HJR 24 through HJR 26HCS HB 91 - Nolte
HB 549 through HB 588
  1. HCR 9, (2-1-11, Page 277) - Barnes
  2. HCR 3, (2-8-11, Page 309) - Scharnhorst
HCS HB 14 - Silvey
HB 15 - Silvey
HB 71 - Nasheed
    HB 139 - Smith (150)
  1. HB 209 - Guernsey
  2. HCS HB 76 - Nolte 
  3. HB 107 - Smith (150)
  4. HCS HB 61 - Nolte
  5. HCS HB 205 - Elmer
SB 3

In the District

At left (Pictured left to right): Jessie Alexander-East, Regina Greer-Cooper, Charlie Denison, Kathleen O'Dell

We were so pleased to have visitors from the district.

On Tuesday, February 8th, Regina Greer-Cooper, Director of the Springfield-Greene County Library District, Kathleen O'Dell, and Jessie Alexander-East was at the Capitol.  I appreciated their visit, and the opportunity to discuss legislative issues.

At right (pictured left to right): Venton Haskins, Sue Groves, Charlie Denison, Helen Harber, Carol Chappell

Also on February 8th, representatives with the Missouri Retired Teachers Association & Public School Personnel were in Jefferson City.  We discussed legislation concerning teacher retirement.

I look forward to hearing from you, and if you will be in Jefferson City, please stop by my office.  If you ever have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my office.  Best wishes.

Berry: Repeal Amendment, IRS Free File

Brilliant flashes of Spring splashed across mid-Missouri this week, drenching skies in a glorious bath of sunshine and vanquishing the remaining vestiges of the massive amounts of ice and snow that had piled themselves like cold sentinels along streets and lots, removing any fleeting memories of the blizzard of 2011 and teasing us with hints of an early thaw…

This Week……

HCR 9, sponsored by Rep. Jay Barnes (R-114), was debated on the House floor. HCR 9 is commonly referred to as the Repeal Amendment Bill. If ever initiated by 33 of the States, the Missouri delegation to a federal Amendment Convention would submit the following amendment for consideration; "Any provision of law or regulation of the United States may be repealed by the several states, and such repeal shall be effective when the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states approve resolutions for this purpose that particularly describe the same provision or provisions of law or regulation to be repealed." If there is a two-thirds approval by the several states, the approved resolution (for the purpose of repealing a federal provision of law or regulation) would then return to the states where approval of the resolution from the state legislatures of three-quarters of the states would be required for repeal to occur. If this is successful, it would strengthen state sovereignty for every state in the nation and would help defend our state against unwanted federal mandates, disastrous federal legislation and overreaching federal regulation.

On Tuesday, the House Transportation Committee voted do pass HB 167, which would require Missouri driver’s examinations to only be administered in English.

On Wednesday, the House Elections Committee voted do pass HJR 14, which proposes a constitutional amendment changing the laws regarding elections by authorizing provisions relating to advance voting, voter identification, and absentee voting.

On Wednesday, the House General Laws Committee voted do pass HB 361, which would establish the Missouri Firearms Freedom Act.



Through IRS Free File, all taxpayers who made less than $58,000 in 2010 can visit and use the industry’s top tax preparation software for free. Users get the step-by-step help they need to prepare, complete and file federal tax returns online – at no cost.

Missouri Taxes can be filed free to taxpayers at

State Parks Youth Corps

The State Parks Youth Corps is a program helping 17-21 year old Missourians gain work skills. It is a great opportunity to experience Missouri’s beautiful state parks and historic sites while earning money. Some of the responsibilities could include: excavating historical sites, designing marketing campaigns, leading tours, and building trails; to name a few. The positions are limited and do have income eligibility requirements. If you are interested, or know someone who might be, you/they can receive more information and apply on-line by visiting

Visitors this week

Vicki Vance
Carol Graham
David & Linda Eaton
Randal & Janeel Smith
Lori Jacobsen

Fun Facts

  • Ginger Rogers, a native of Independence, played Fred Astaire’s romantic interest in 10 films including Top Hat and Shall We Dance.
  • Hallmark Cards based in Kansas City is the source of 152 million greeting cards exchanged on Valentines Day.

Rupp: Keeping Education a Priority In Missouri

Beyond a doubt in my mind, education is the key to a successful future for Missouri. All parents, myself included, want to see their kids grow to be strong, independent thinkers, who will choose a rewarding career that will make them happy and allow them to raise their own families. To motivate young people to stay in school and pursue a higher education, I have introduced Senate Bill 265 in the Missouri Senate.

Under this measure, students who take math or science college credit courses or Advanced Placement (AP) courses while in high school and score well on their exams will receive a $500 bonus toward their Access Missouri or A+ scholarship. AP courses can get students college credit while costing thousands less than what it would cost at university level while at college.

Part of my inspiration in filing this bill was to help save mom and dad money on their child’s education. It’s no secret that higher education is expensive, and it’s unfortunate that some students have to say “no” to a higher education because they are unable to afford it. I don’t think any student who has hopes and dreams should have to make that hard decision. If passed, this bill could save a student and his or her family thousands of dollars. If you combine the possible funds from Access Missouri, A+ Schools, and the Advanced Placement Incentive Grant, a student’s tuition could be cut in half. This measure will not cost our state money, so I believe it is a win-win situation for all involved.

It is my pleasure to advocate higher education in our state, and I will always continue to do so for the benefit of Missourians. I strongly follow former President Ronald Regan’s view on education, “Education is a lifelong process that benefits individuals and entire communities and countries and helps lay the foundation of the future.”

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.

Senator Rupp Sponsoring Resolution Regarding Upper Mississippi River Basin

JEFFERSON CITY — On Feb. 8, Sen. Scott T. Rupp, R-Wentzville, introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution 8, which if passed, would urge U.S. Congress to support a proposal for the Upper Mississippi River Basin that would provide flood control and prevention without causing unfavorable impacts on existing levees and communities.

“Most of us remember the Flood of ’93, which resulted in extensive damage for many Missouri communities,” Sen. Rupp said. “The Mississippi and Missouri rivers affect our state in various ways, especially when areas of Missouri receive heavy precipitation or runoff from heavy northern winter snows. We need to be prepared if a large flood were to happen again.”

Senate Concurrent Resolution 8 also asks the Missouri Congressional delegation to oppose Plan H for the Upper Mississippi Water Basin. Plan H would allow all but 20 of the 140 levees along the upper part of the Mississippi River to be raised to 500-year flood levels.

"Plan H will not improve the levees in Pike, Lincoln, or St. Charles county, leaving these areas susceptible to flooding,” Sen. Rupp said. “These counties all border the Mississippi River, the largest river in North America. It makes absolutely no sense that these counties wouldn’t be protected under Plan H.”

Senate Concurrent Resolution 8 has been assigned to the Senate Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics Committee, and will be heard in committee on Tuesday, February 22, 2011.

To learn more about Sen. Rupp’s legislation, visit his website at, and then click on the “Sponsored” and “Co-sponsored” bills link under the “Legislation” tab.

Torpey: Scouts Visit, Challenging Washington's Healthcare Law, Committee Updates

A Special Note

Today, our office was pleased to welcome a few constituents from our district to Jefferson City. Members of Boy Scout Troop 173, Girl Scout Troop 1086, along with parents and siblings, joined us in the Capitol for a tour, lunch, and special viewing of the Missouri House in action. After their visit, the scouts will speak with troop leaders and counselors, telling of what they learned, in the hopes of receiving their Citizenship Badges. Our office was excited to welcome our first big group during session and we look forward to welcoming many more!

2011 Legislative Session continues

House Concurrent Resolution 9, sponsored by Rep. Jay Barnes, was debated on the House floor this week. HCR 9 is commonly referred to as the "Repeal Amendment Bill". If ever initiated by 33 of the States, the Missouri delegation to a federal Amendment Convention would submit the following amendment for consideration; "Any provision of law or regulation of the United States may be repealed by the several states, and such repeal shall be effective when the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states approve resolutions for this purpose that particularly describe the same provision or provisions of law or regulation to be repealed." If there is a two-thirds approval by the several states, the approved resolution (for the purpose of repealing a federal provision of law or regulation) would then return to the states where approval of the resolution from the state legislatures of three-quarters of the states would be required for repeal to occur. This will hopefully strengthen state sovereignty and help defend our state against unwanted federal mandates or unnecessary federal regulation.

House Bill 423, sponsored by Rep. Eric Burlison, would create a "Health Care Compact" with other states for the purpose of specifically fighting the federal healthcare reform in a micro approach. Compacts are agreements we enter into with other states in order to conduct business. Compacts can provide legal protection by overruling federal legislation as permitted by Congress.


Earlier this week, I was appointed by Speaker Tilley to serve on the Joint Committee on Gaming and Wagering. This is a bi-partisan panel consisting of five House members and five Senate members that will meet year round to study and make recommendations to the legislature on issues pertaining to authorized gaming and wagering activities (i.e. lottery and riverboat casinos). I am eager to work with my colleagues from the House and Senate to make certain that we have effective regulations on the gaming industry.

Also this week, I attended the last official meeting of the Appropriations of Public Safety and Corrections Committee. The committee will be making our recommendations to the House Budget Committee (Chaired by Rep. Ryan Silvey) based on knowledge and testimony gained in the past weeks of session, in order to aid the Budget Committee in the work they do with the entire state budget.

On Thursday, March 24th, Senator Will Kraus and I will be holding an open Legislative Forum for our constituents of the 52nd House District and the 8th Senatorial District. The event will be held at the Midwest Genealogy Center (3440 S. Lee's Summit Road, Independence, MO 64055) from 7 to 9 pm. We very much look forward to speaking with you and answering your questions. Please feel free to contact our office if you have any questions about this event. If you would like to learn more about the Genealogy Center, visit the website by clicking HERE.

Also, do not forget to RSVP for the first annual 52nd District Day by calling or emailing our office. We look forward to hosting our constituents here in the House of Representatives.

17 February 2011

Tilley: Accurate Fiscal Notes Crucial To Passing Legislation

In Jefferson City, whenever a member of the Missouri legislature proposes a bill we receive a fiscal note. These fiscal notes are created by gathering all the proposed costs to the legislation from each affected department in state government. These fiscal notes are usually very helpful tools to analyze some of the fiscal impacts of legislation. Some times the cost savings or a positive fiscal, note improve the benefits of a bill. Other times bills that carry heavy fiscal notes are defeated or not pursued because of their cost.

These fiscal notes are usually very helpful and insightful tools we can use in the state legislature to not only advocate or oppose a bill, but learn more about the cost of doing business in state government. Unfortunately, we have recently seen these estimated costs of doing business abused to protect state departments.

Missouri’s budget is going to be tight this year. We’re all going through the recession together, and state government is going to have to live within its means – just like you and I do. As a result, the House is going to be reluctant to pass any bill with a fiscal note which says that the state is going to need to spend excess money to enact the bill. In fact, we created a Fiscal Review Committee just to analyze costs of certain proposals and reject ones we don’t have money to spend.

Unfortunately, on many of our bills this session, the bureaucracy appears to be inflating fiscal notes. They will often say that a program requires them to hire ten new employees. Then they say they would have to purchase new computers, suites of office furniture, and supplies for each of these people, or that simple common tasks cost much more than even a reasonable estimate.

The unfortunate outcome of these actions is that we have to keep an even closer watchful eye on the governor’s state departments because we don’t want political motivations made by the governor or his agents in state government to inappropriately attempt to influence or decisions on legislation.

For instance, we have already passed legislation [HB73] that would require drug tests for welfare recipients and getting ready to consider a bill that would require counties and school districts to disclose any debt. Both of these measures received outrageous cost estimates much higher than anything we could go out and find in the private sector, even if we attempted a “Cadillac” version of what we were considering. What we did find is that the governor and his agents do not like these pieces of legislation and might be trying to unfairly influence our decisions based on the fiscal notes. As a result we have started the process of contesting these fiscal notes and forcing state departments to make a more accurate cost assessment.

During this session our legislature wants to create jobs for Missourians – while eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse in state government. If we can’t get honest estimates from the departments, it’s going to be harder to evaluate bills, harder to pass legislation, and harder to get Missourians back to work.

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.

Stouffer: Legislators Considering Education Reform, Not Reductions

While state legislators are working to improve education opportunities for Missouri students by instituting reforms, reducing funding to the state’s schools seems to be out of the question.

Today, legislators are hoping to keep funding for Missouri schools at a stable level, despite the economic downturn. However, some funding changes have had a disproportionate impact on local schools. While “funding for classrooms” through the foundation formula has remained steady over the years, other allocations have been altered.

Transportation Funding

This line-item has been a victim of reduced funding in the last year; local districts use these funds to transport students to and from schools, including by bus. The governor withheld $70 million designated for school transportation for the current fiscal year, which will end on June 30, 2011. Since then, $17.5 million of those dollars have been released. Transportation funding is critical for large, rural districts. Annual transportation funding per district can be viewed on the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE’s) website:

Career Ladder

Established in 1985, Career Ladder is a program that partners state and local resources to pay teachers for doing work above and beyond what is required; this program is particularly popular in our part of the state. There was some concern this program would be cut last year, after teachers had already completed hours of work. However, the program has been eliminated from DESE’s current budget. The annual amount previously allocated for this program to each district in previous years is available online at

Parents as Teachers

This program provides parents with in-home consultations with professionals to ensure appropriate development is taking place for Missouri’s preschoolers. Last year, this program was downsized to keep it in existence and funding varied from district to district. The governor has proposed increases for Parents as Teachers funding in his budget.

Administrative Costs

DESE has calculated administrative costs percentages of each district in the state. This information has also been made available on their website.

School Size

In a previous “Stouffer Report,” I emphasized that education funding is closely tied to school enrollment. According to DESE, there are currently 522 school districts in Missouri, with an average enrollment of 1,662 students. In 1942, there were 8,632 schools in Missouri. By 1975, Missouri had only 563 school districts. Today, nothing in the way the state funds schools encourages districts to close; in fact, there are several funding advantages for schools with fewer 350 students and are growing smaller.

Fund Balances

Funds held as savings for school districts also play a part in the future of each individual district’s solvency and is posted online. This could come into play during the next two fiscal years in Missouri.

Preparing a skilled workforce is an important way to boost our economy in the long-run. We can do this by working to ensure students receive a world class education, regardless of where they live. Education funding and reform debates should focus on these goals.

Tim Jones: Defining Fetal Viability, Repeal Amendment Gains Momentum

Brilliant flashes of Spring splashed across mid-Missouri this week, drenching skies in a glorious bath of sunshine and vanquishing the remaining vestiges of the massive amounts of ice and snow that had piled themselves like cold sentinels along streets and lots, removing any fleeting memories of the blizzard of 2011 and teasing us with hints of an early thaw…

“Be Just, Fear Not”—Inscription on the lower Eastern Outer Wall of the Missouri Capitol

Tim’s Legislative Update

At right: Broadcasting LIVE on 97.1FM from the Capitol Rotunda with Jamie Allman, Speaker Tilley & Rodney Boyd.

HB 213, which I sponsored this session, was voted out of committee this week by a bi-partisan vote of 9 to 1. HB 213 Pro-Life legislation and a positive step in the direction of protecting those who cannot protect themselves. The proposed law revises existing statutory language and more clearly defines the prohibition on late term abortions and the definition of fetal viability. The public hearing for HB 393, which I also sponsored, the Parent Empowerment and Choice Act, has been completed. This act would allow parents, under certain circumstances, to invoke true parental control and interventions for a struggling, failing school. We have some incredible, excellent schools in our State and because of our zip code, my family is fortunate to live in one of the best districts in the State. However, the grim reality is that many schools, in and around our urban cores, are failing our children and are nothing more than dropout factories. Without the ability to relocate, some families are stuck forever in this harsh reality. This act provides true options of local control to help families deal with these issues and provide a better education for their children.

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” –Abraham Lincoln

FLOOR ACTION: Tuesday, February 15, 2011

HCR 9, sponsored by Rep. Jay Barnes (R-114), was debated on the House floor. HCR 9 is commonly referred to as the Repeal Amendment Bill. If ever initiated by 33 of the States, the Missouri delegation to a federal Amendment Convention would submit the following amendment for consideration; "Any provision of law or regulation of the United States may be repealed by the several states, and such repeal shall be effective when the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states approve resolutions for this purpose that particularly describe the same provision or provisions of law or regulation to be repealed." If there is a two-thirds approval by the several states, the approved resolution (for the purpose of repealing a federal provision of law or regulation) would then return to the states where approval of the resolution from the state legislatures of three-quarters of the states would be required for repeal to occur. If this is successful, it would strengthen state sovereignty for every state in the nation and would help defend our state against unwanted federal mandates, disastrous federal legislation and overreaching federal regulation. The question has been raised, “What does this have to do with creating jobs for Missourians?” The answer is, in order for us to responsibly do the business of the people, we need to not only be reactive to current crises, but, proactively respond to future problems we may encounter. Ignoring the projected job losses in the hundreds of thousands due to the recent, and soon to be proven unconstitutional, federal healthcare mandate, would be irresponsible. It is important to note that both Senators John Cornyn and Rand Paul have recently advocated for an Article V Amendment Convention to force Congress to balance the Federal Budget. The same tool that these two great conservatives support is the tool contained in HCR 9, The Repeal Amendment. HCR 9 would provide an active tool for the states to protect themselves from an out of control federal government. We have a responsibility to pass along to future Missourians a strong state; full of opportunity. Not a state that has allowed the federal government to strangle it with regulation and job killing legislation.

On a similar note, Rep. Eric Burlison (R-136) introduced HB 423, which creates a “Health Care Compact” with other states for the purpose of specifically fighting the new federal unconstitutional healthcare reform in a micro approach. Compacts are agreements we enter into with other states in order to conduct business. Compacts can provide legal protection by overruling federal legislation as permitted by Congress.

News from the Senate

On Tuesday, February 15, 2011, the House was informed of the passage of SCS SB 19 in the Senate. The act caps corporate franchise tax liabilities at the amount of each corporation's tax liability for the 2010 tax year. If a corporation did have a corporate franchise tax liability in 2010 because such corporation was not doing business within the state or did not exist, such corporation's franchise tax liability will be capped at the amount of such corporation's franchise tax liability for its first full-year of existence. Beginning January 1, 2012, the corporate franchise tax rate will be gradually reduced over a five year period until it is completely phased-out. This is a positive step in the direction of improving the environment in which businesses operate in Missouri. The result will be an increase in businesses in Missouri and more jobs for Missourians.

FLOOR ACTION: Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The aforementioned SCS SB 19 was second read.

FLOOR ACTION: Thursday, February 17, 2011

HB 71, sponsored by Rep. Jamilah Nasheed (D-60) the local control City of St. Louis Police Department bill, was perfected on the House Floor.

Good News for Missouri Driver Safety

For the fifth consecutive year, Missouri has seen a reduction in roadway fatalities, because 436 fewer deaths occurred in 2010. It is astonishing to think Missouri has not seen this few of highway crash fatalities since 1949. For more information from the Department of Transportation, visit

State Parks Youth Corps

The State Parks Youth Corps is a program helping 17-21 year old Missourians gain work skills. It is a great opportunity to experience Missouri’s beautiful state parks and historic sites while earning money. Some of the responsibilities could include: excavating historical sites, designing marketing campaigns, leading tours, and building trails; to name a few. The positions are limited and do have income eligibility requirements. If you are interested, or know someone who might be, you/they can receive more information and apply on-line by visiting

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 the Majority Leader’s Office in Room 302 and we will be happy to meet and greet you!

Personal News & Notes

This past weekend, I spent some special family time with oldest daughter Katie as we attended the Annual Daddy Daughter Dance hosted by the Eureka Parks & Recreation Department and the entire family made the trek to Columbia to watch the Tigers beat up on the Sooners. It was a wonderful Valentine’s Day weekend with Suzanne, Katie and Abby. As Session continues to pick up steam and the days become longer and longer, I continue to owe a debt of gratitude to my colleagues at my law firm of Doster Ullom and to Suzanne who rides solo herd on the girls running to this and that event all week long until I return late on Thursdays. And finally, if we can ever be of any assistance to you at your State Capitol, 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.

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

Nance: Red Light Cameras

“George Washington is the only president who didn't blame the previous administration for his troubles.” –Author Unknown

Red Light Cameras

Last Thursday, I presented HB 104, a bill that would require cities with “red light” cameras to give MoDOT one-half of those fines collected off state highways. MoDOT could use the money to repair our lettered highways.

I presented many facts that questioned whether those cameras are for public safety or revenue generation. Approximately 75% of all fines go directly to the company owning the cameras. If public safety is a concern, cities would photograph the drivers and issue points which would remove those drivers from our roads.

I believe most infractions were from right turns on red without an absolute complete stop. Over $400,000 plus was collected from certain communities. If the community had a 24/7 presence instead of cameras, they could work those lights and during stops, determine if the individual is licensed, insured, or physically impaired. Police presence is the best safety measure.

YouTube - Rep. Bob Nance testifies about stop light cameras

Missouri State Rep. Bob Nance testifies before the House transportation committee on Feb. 10, 2011, in support of his bill that would force local ...

Radar cameras are now becoming a popular city sting on state highways. The cities’ argue they want local control and they are only concerned about safety. Oh, be sure to mail that “fine” in quickly.

The Agriculture Policy Committee voted unanimously to pass HCS HB 131. Members worked with the Department of Agriculture to clarify and strengthen the law. The Humane Society of the United States said they would not compromise on any changes. The vote was unanimous 12 - 0.


Ray County Clerk Glenda Powell and Kelly Heber visited the Capitol before one of their education meetings.

Connie and Bruce Taylor were in town with the Missouri School Board Association. They stopped by to get my position on different issues on education.

Jim Rice came to Jefferson City to testify on Senator Stouffer’s uninsured motorist bill on Tuesday.

I visited with Marilyn Hughes regarding Prop. B

In the District

The Route 13 Bridge over Davis Creek one mile south of I-70 will close Feb. 28 for about two months for bridge re-decking and rehabilitation.

Kraus: Tax Rate on Receipts

Earlier this year, we published objectives for District 8 that focused on constituents and fiscal responsibility. When your Senate office learns of a situation that negatively affects both of those areas, we have a responsibility to act.

I recently learned of a case where a Kansas City area business was overcharging customers for sales tax. An investigation, following on the heels of similar incidents in Kansas, revealed that consumers were charged a different rate at a drive-through window than at a register inside the restaurant.

Consumers had no way of knowing what the correct tax rate should have been. With more than 1,000 taxing jurisdictions in the state, each with a different total tax rate, it is nearly impossible for consumers to know the rate at any specific location. While businesses may not knowingly overcharge, even an unintentionally high rate is not right for consumers.

Based on what I learned, I filed Senate Bill 281 this week. Senate Bill 281 simply requires any business that uses electronically printed receipts to print the total tax rate on the receipt. With this change, a consumer can, if they wish, do a quick calculation to be sure they paid the correct tax. This will also give businesses a chance to double check the tax rates in their system so that they can be sure they comply with local tax laws.

Keep in mind that any extra tax collected by a business goes to the state. While there is a process in place by which the business can get a refund from the state for taxes it paid in excess of the correct rate, there is no process for any of that money to be returned to the consumer. The best way to stop erroneous taxation and protect Missourians is to give consumers the knowledge they need when they purchase a product or service.

At the Capitol

Again this week, many constituents from District 8 visited this office, which I am always happy to see. Some of those who stopped by were: Kristy Vannoy, Melissa Lewis, Mary Stevens, Linda Tankersley, Marie Barrentine, Chris DeGhelder, Carl Wiseman, Donna Smith, Michelle Miller, Dave Coffman, Kurt Swanson, Alan Flory, Stewart Chase, Marsha Middleton, Kathy Edwards, Ben Martin, Scott Koller, Judy Lunceford, Brett Kline, Aaron Blankers, and Lee’s Summit Mayor Randy Rhoads.

Jobs for Youth

The State Parks Youth Corps for 2011 is gearing up to help young Missourians ages 17-21 gain work skills, experience Missouri’s beautiful outdoors, and put money in their pockets.

This program will employ hundreds of young Missourians to work in Missouri state parks and historic sites. They will be able to earn cash while building trails, leading tours, excavating historical sites, designing marketing campaigns, and much more.

These job slots are limited, however, and income eligibility requirements apply (posted online). If interested, apply online at and click on the State Parks Youth Corps link.

Upcoming Elections

The following elections are scheduled in Eastern Jackson County. I encourage you to remember the dates for your area and get out and vote!

Feb. 22Kansas City Mayor/City Council Primary Election
Senate District 9 Special Election
Mar. 22Kansas City Mayor/City Council General Election
Apr. 5Municipal Elections for the following:
Kansas City (Earnings Tax Question)
Blue Springs
Grain Valley
Lake Lotawana
Lake Tapawingo
Lone Jack
Oak Grove

Kelley: Driver's Tests In English, Prosecutor Visits

House committees were busy this week as hearings were held on several substantive bills dealing with a variety of issues. Several were voted on and will be considered by the full House.

The House Transportation Committee held a hearing on a bill [HB167] which would require driver’s license tests to be administered in English. To be honest, I did not realize until after I was elected that a test could be given in other languages. It would seem to make sense if highway signs are written in English, that any driver on our roads be at least proficient enough in the language so as not to pose a threat to other drivers.

Two amendments were offered to the bill and both were rejected. One would have allowed the test to be given to any legal resident in their native language. The other would have allowed the test to be given in a language other than English, but the driver would have to be retested in English within three years. The bill does allow for the test to be administered in either written form or orally.

Another committee heard testimony on a proposal [HJR14] to require a photo ID to be shown in order to vote. This issue goes back several years. The General Assembly passed a similar law in 2006, but it was later found to be unconstitutional. We are attempting to fix that this session by passing not only a law in statute, but also put a constitutional amendment before the voters. The law would then take effect upon approval of the constitutional amendment.

Also contained in the bill is a section allowing for early voting in Missouri. Currently, a person may vote absentee ahead of Election Day, but to do so they must declare a reason why this is necessary. Supporters of early voting say this makes people perjure themselves if they actually will not be out of town.

This week Barton County Prosecutor, Steven Kaderly, traveled to Jefferson City in order to testify on two bills that I filed, one which would make it a crime to give false identifying information to a law enforcement officer the other is on DWI penalty clarification. I was quite surprised to learn it is not illegal to tell an officer you are someone else during the course of a traffic stop or similar situation. I was also surprised to learn this is not an uncommon occurrence. I appreciate him bringing this to my attention and providing testimony during the hearing. His daughter Josie was also able to attend and witness the legislative process in action picture [at left] is a photo of Josie after receiving her Missouri House of Representatives Paige of the day certificate.

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

Engler: Voter I.D. Moves Forward in Senate as Work Continues on Early Voting

The Senate gave initial approval on legislation to help prevent fraud at the polls and protect the integrity of our elections. Senate Joint Resolution 2 is a constitutional amendment which, if approved by voters, would require voters to show a photo I.D. to vote. Senate Bill 3 lays out some of the specifics of the measure, including provisions for situations when a person cannot obtain or afford a government issued photo I.D.

I sponsored a similar constitutional amendment this year, and I remain supportive of making sure that our system of voting is protected from fraud. There were concerns over the legislation, with some members wanting to make sure we were not disenfranchising honest voters. Senate Bill 3 contains provisions for those unable to obtain a photo I.D. because of a disability, an inability to pay for or obtain a document necessary to obtain a photo I.D., or a religious belief against forms of identification. The measure would also address instances when the voter was born before Jan. 1, 1941, or had his or her license confiscated after an arrest. In these situations, the voter would be able to vote using a provisional ballot, provided the election authority can verify the identity of the individual by comparing the individual's signature to the signature on file with the election authority. With these provisions, we were able to work with members of the Senate that were opposed to the legislation and send the bill to the House.

As the chair of the Financial and Governmental Organizations and Elections Committee, I have also worked with my Senate colleagues on legislation to allow early voting in our state. This is a bipartisan effort on my part, but I am expecting the bill to face opposition. Currently, the state allows for absentee voting before the election for those individuals who have a legal reason, such as military service. We are working on legislation that would expand that to include anyone who wants to vote early. I would like to see it expanded to a few days prior to election day. Two-thirds of states—32 states and the District of Columbia—allow some form of early voting.

The Senate also gave initial approval this week to Senate Bill 108. According to the 2009 International Residential Code, all new single-family homes are required to have a sprinkler system. In 2009, we passed a law to make this an option in our state and leave the choice of whether to include a sprinkler system up to the homebuyer. The cost of these systems can be anywhere from $7,000 to $15,000, depending on the size of the house, and mandating these increased costs is a burden for the already struggling housing market. Senate Bill 108 extends the 2009 law, which was set to expire, to apply Dec. 31, 2019.

At right: Recess or job fair?

A bill that has been getting a lot of attention is Senate Bill 222, which would eliminate some of the state’s child labor laws. I believe the measure is short-sided and makes no sense.

This morning I was walking Winston and the Governor’s car pulled up. Jay Nixon got out to discuss a couple of things, not the least of which was Winston’s opinion on whether he should veto to repeal parts of Proposition B (the puppy mill act). Winston is smarter than me and he wouldn’t give the Governor his opinion.

Carter: Fundraiser

Dear Friend of Chris Carter:

I hope to see you there!


Chris Carter
Missouri House of Representatives

16 February 2011

Kander: Upcoming Town Halls (and other info)

Dear Friends,

Session is now in full swing and I'm as busy as ever in the State Capitol.  I want to take some time out to update you on the work I've been doing on your behalf so far in 2011.

That's why I've scheduled two upcoming Town Hall events. Please RSVP.
  1. Saturday, February 19th, 1-2PM at Coffee Girls Coffee Shop in Waldo at 7440 Washington (corner of Washington and 75th), KCMO.
  2. 2. Saturday, March 5th, 10:30-11:30AM at Broadway United Methodist Church at 406 West 74th Street, KCMO.
As always, I want to hear from you and I'll put the focus on answering as many of your questions as possible.

Before attending the Town Halls, you may be interested in reading up on some of my recent proposals in Jefferson City. The following list includes some of the bills I've proposed and also features links to articles you might find helpful.
Seeya on Saturday!



P.S. Don't forget that you can always follow my updates on twitter and facebook, as well.

15 February 2011

Mayer: Audio On Legislation Up For Debate

Jefferson City — Senate Leader Robert N. Mayer, R-Dexter, recently added new audio links to his multimedia page located on his Missouri Senate website. This page features audio and video links (both streaming and broadcast quality — when available) for visitors to listen to and watch Sen. Mayer discuss issues that are important to him and the citizens of the 25th Senatorial District.

The new audio links include Sen. Mayer discussing legislation he expects the Missouri Senate to debate this week.

Senator Mayer will continue to add audio and video clips throughout the year. You can download and listen to these clips by visiting Sen. Mayer’s multimedia page:

Mayer: 25th District Appointments to Governor’s Boards and Commissions

Ed. note: this version replaces one submitted at 12:53p.

JEFFERSON CITY – Senate Leader Robert N. Mayer, R-Dexter, sponsored and presented two citizens from the 25th District to the Senate Gubernatorial Appointments Committee for appointments to Missouri boards and commissions. The hearing and confirmation of appointments occurred last month. On Jan. 19, Sen. Mayer testified on behalf of Mr. Casey Cash Gill, who was appointed to serve on the Missouri Real Estate Appraisers Commission. The panel licenses and regulates individuals who engage in the real estate appraisal business as set out in Missouri statutes.

“Mr. Gill’s extensive experience specializing in work for conventional lenders, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Rural Development, and lenders and developers through the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit programs makes him a valuable addition to the commission,” said Sen. Mayer.

Senator Mayer also sponsored Ms. Brandy Mouser, who was appointed to serve on the governor’s Board of Therapeutic Massage. Among other responsibilities, members serving on this board review licensure applications to ensure a massage therapist is qualified through proper education and examination in order to provide massage therapy to Missouri consumers.

“Ms. Mouser has 17 years of experience in the massage therapy field,” said Sen. Mayer. “She will bring her passion for continuing advancements in therapies, as well as her professionalism and ethics in the industry, to her work for the board.”

For full resolution photos shown below, please contact Senate Communications at (573) 751-3824.

Sen. Mayer (right) with Casey Cash Gill from Dexter. Gill was appointed to serve on the Missouri Real Estate Appraisers Commission.

Sen. Mayer with Brandy Mouser, who was appointed to serve on the Board of Therapeutic Massage. Mouser also resides in Dexter.

Allen: Bilzzard of 2011, Last Week's Legislative Action, Healthcare Compact

Blizzard 2011

We entered February witnessing a rare event with much of the state of Missouri under a blizzard warning. This blizzard left many Missourians and travelers stuck at work, stuck on the roads—but hopefully most were stuck safe at home.

We had met for session on Monday and Tuesday of that week, but dismissed the rest so those who could get home would have time. Other than the sheer display that Mother Nature put on, I was impressed with the job our highway patrol, MODOT, and emergency personnel did in preparing and reacting to the weather.

While some people were able to make it home, I was unable. The drive was too far and the snow was coming down too fast for me to even consider it, so I had decided to book a room at the nearby Capitol Plaza Hotel. There was a large group of us that had opted to stay. We spent the days reading over our appropriation committee material and brainstorming ideas to better deal with our state’s current fiscal situation. These informal meetings proved very fruitful and perhaps will pay off in the long run, both figuratively and literally.

State of the Judiciary Address

Last Wednesday, February 9, Chief Justice William Ray Price, of the Missouri Supreme Court gave the annual State of the Judiciary Address. His address had one main theme: the problem of over-incarceration.

Judge Price pointed out that the recidivism rate on non-violent offenders was 58.5% after 5 years. This high rate is very costly to the state, both monetarily and in overall public safety. He urged for the expansion of Drug Courts, Adolescent Courts, and Veterans Courts. These courts, according to Judge Price, take a much more rehabilitative approach to non-violent offenders and have substantially less recidivism.

I have discussed the problem of recidivism with many constituents. While we need to be tough on crime, we also need to be smart about it. Probationary programs like the Hawaii’s “HOPE Program” and specialized courts around the country have proven to be effective. Based on a City of St. Louis’ cost-benefit analysis, after two years, the state saves $2.80 for each $1 spent on drug courts. After four years, the state gains $6.32 for each $1 spent on drug courts.

In the end, it’s a matter of Public Safety and Missouri needs to do what works.

You can find the State of the Judiciary Address in its entirety at the Missouri Court’s website,

Last Week’s Major Legislative Action

House Bill 162

This week the House passed HB 162 sponsored by Rep. Barney Fisher. This bill addresses the precedent set by the Franklin v. CertainTeed Corp. court ruling which, for the first time in history, moved occupational disease claims from the workers compensation system into the courts. HB 162 reverses this ruling. This legislation will permit appropriate compensatory damages to once again be determined by the worker’s compensation system. The result will be a reduction in liability insurance cost for small business and less of a burden on our court system. This saves taxpayer money that can be used to educate our children and strengthen the job market in Missouri.

House Bill 91

Sponsored by Rep. Jerry Nolte, HB 91 specifies that an employer and his or her employees will not be liable for any injury or death for which compensation is recoverable under provisions of workers compensation. HB 91 will also be taken up for perfection in the House next week. This common sense legislation will reduce the cost of liability insurance, reduce the burden on our court system, and create a better environment to attract small businesses to Missouri.

Healthcare Compact

State governments all across the country are tired of the encroachment of the federal government. As a result, several states have banded together to sue the Federal Government, asking judges to strike down Obamacare as unconstitutional. These efforts are making progress, as several courts have now found the law unconstitutional. However, other courts have upheld the law.

The US Supreme Court will ultimately determine if the law is constitutional or not. Missouri needs to be proactive to offer a good healthcare plan in case Obamacare is not repealed. This week, Representative Burlison introduced HB 423, which creates a “Health Care Compact” with other states.

A compact is a legal device that states can use to work together aside from the Federal Government. We already have compacts on issues as diverse as energy production, our border with Nebraska, and the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. Compacts can be given legal powers from Congress that overrule Federal Laws, like Obamacare.

By consenting to this Compact, Congress agrees that each member state can enact state laws that supersede any federal regulations within the state in the area of health care. This would allow us to create our own laws governing healthcare for individuals in Missouri.

Budget Committee Doings

Last week on Budget we passed out HCR 3 that relates to the submission of a proposed federal balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution. It is time for the federal government to begin acting responsibly with YOUR tax dollars. There is little that can be construed as responsible about the way the federal government continues to rack up record deficits. Continuing to deficit spend, says you either do not understand the problem, do not care about the problem, or your goal is economic turmoil.

Survey’s are in!

So far, we have received nearly 1000 of the surveys sent out in January. I am reading the comments and we are compiling results of survey questions. While I have had a few responses about a bias of questions, the comments have overwhelmingly spoken FOR the tone of the questions. I actually was occasionally able to identify the responder from the "comment" prior to seeing the return name.

The one survey question most unclear was regarding "alternative energy". That issue is complex and over time I will attempt to clarify some of those questions. Solar is an alternative energy not identified in the question. We do currently have discussion occurring in Town and Country regarding solar.

Also quite a few responses identified concerns that NEED to be addressed at the federal level, in Washington, DC. I very much share these concerns and always encourage citizens to contact our US Senators and Congressman. That contact information is in the District Directory I sent out in 2009. I have to hope our calls and emails with respectful concerns are heard. Otherwise we need to vote accordingly in subsequent elections.

Thanks again to all those who participated, we will be sending the results to all those who responded later this month.


I would like to make small business owners in the district aware of a free resource that is at their disposal. MOSourceLink is a program that can help connect local business owners to business resources offered in their area.

MOSourceLink partners with more than 350 governmental and nonprofit resource organizations. These partners can offer and help facilitate information in areas such as business startups and planning, marketing and sales, funding, loans, product development, operations, and virtually any other business-related field of interest.

I encourage both business owners and aspiring business owners in our district to get in contact with MOSourceLink with any questions or assistance they may need. Programs like MOSourceLink can be invaluable to our local businesses, especially in this tough economic climate.

Here is their contact information:

Phone: (866)-870-6500


This Week in Pictures

At a Press Conference discussing my Cyber-Bullying Bill, HB 273.

Junior League ladies from across the state will be visiting the Capitol this week to lobby their legislators to support HB 273. The intent of HB 273 is to protect EVERY student from being bullied. This provides Missouri statute with a standardized definition of cyber-bullying and directs Public Schools to formalize cyber-bullying policies, reporting mechanisms, and teacher training. HB 273 seeks to empower Missouri Public Schools to handle cases of cyber-bullying with appropriate measures while also preserving parental rights in such matters.

I am glad to have the Junior League’s support and look forward to their delicious cinnamon rolls!

Mayer et al: Senate Advances Bill to Spur Job Creation

Measure Encourages Investment in New Hires in Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri Senate gave second-round approval today to a measure that will help spur job creation in Missouri. Senate Bill 19, sponsored by Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, would first freeze and then phase out Missouri’s corporate franchise tax over a five-year period. The bill now moves to the House for similar consideration.

“By limiting and then ending this double taxation on employers, we eliminate a disincentive that penalized companies for investing more in our state,” said Schmitt. “Now, companies can invest in hiring new employees instead of growing government through higher taxes.”

The measure would first limit and then end Missouri’s corporate franchise tax. The bill caps corporate franchise tax liabilities at the amount of each corporation's tax liability for the 2010 tax year. New businesses would be capped at the amount of their corporation's franchise tax liability for its first full year of existence. Then, beginning Jan. 1, 2012, the tax would be phased out over a five-year period.

Senate Leader Robert N. Mayer, R-Dexter, said putting Missourians back to work topped the Senate’s priority list for the 2011 legislative session.

“This bill is the first step to help put the more than 280,000 Missourians who have been out of work for the past year and a half back to work in good-paying jobs with benefits,” Mayer said. “By ending this double tax, we are making sure Missouri is competitive when it comes to bringing new investments and jobs to our state.”

Schmitt said Missouri is one of a few states that still charge businesses a tax just to expand or invest in this state. Kansas has been phasing out its franchise tax since 2007, and beginning in tax year 2011, it will be repealed altogether. Ohio began phasing in a new Commercial Activity Tax (CAT) in 2005, while simultaneously phasing out its corporate franchise tax.

Schmitt noted the change would make Missouri attractive to businesses currently looking to expand and, in particular, may lure businesses from Illinois where that state recently increases taxes on corporations.

“The corporate franchise tax is an outdated tax that is only still imposed in a handful of states,” said Schmitt. “While other states raise taxes on business in an attempt to close their budget gaps, we can set Missouri apart and make it clear that this is a place where businesses can expand and create jobs without being penalized.”

The corporate franchise tax is based on a percentage of a company’s assets. Corporations already pay income taxes on their earned income as well as sales and property taxes in Missouri.

To learn more about the bill, visit

14 February 2011

Hoskins: Special Delivery During The Storm, Response To State Of Judiciary

Last week was like no other in Jefferson City or in any of the rest Missouri. I don’t need to tell you how dangerous that blizzard was or the impacts. Whether you are in a rural area or in town, it didn’t really matter as we were all stranded. It was dicey for me on the roads last Tuesday afternoon to get back to Warrensburg when the House adjourned for the rest of the week. We are fortunate to have great road crews to handle an unprecedented situation just as quickly as humanly possible. Many thanks to all for their hard work.

Of special note, I am taking this opportunity to extend extra recognition to those who answered an urgent emergency call in Johnson County. In the middle of a blizzard was clearly not the time anybody would choose to have a baby but little John Robert Reece decided that is was his time. According to their mission, the Missouri National Guard responded to safely transport Cynthia Reece to the hospital in time to deliver her first baby. Her husband, Christopher, is in basic training at Lackland Air Force Base so Mrs. Reece was on her own. What a happy story the Reece Family will have to tell for years and years. Many, many thanks to the National Guardsmen who got to the Reece home outside Knob Noster in time to take care of this expectant mother.



The Legislature has been working hard this week to make up for time lost from last week. I was able to shift committee meetings in order that Appropriations – Transportation and Economic Development could hear testimony from the agencies within our purview. We’ve now heard budget presentations from DIFP (Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration), DED (Department of Economic Development), and MoDOT (Missouri Department of Transportation). We will hear from DOLIR (Department of Labor and Industrial Regulations) on Monday. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the committee will mark-up the changes for the Budget Committee to consider. Before we are ready for mark-up, we will get some additional information from DED in response to questions the committee posed. Next week will be just as busy to prepare the report to the Budget Committee prior to the deadline on February 17th. Losing that week to the blizzard didn’t extend any due dates.

On Wednesday, Chief Justice William Ray Price, Jr. of the Missouri Supreme Court addressed a joint session of the House and Senate to present the annual State of the Judiciary. Chief Justice Price’s concerns ranged from funding cuts to the undesirable effects of incarcerating non-violent offenders. He cautioned against the release of inmates simply because of budget cuts and made it clear that his issue with the over-incarceration of non-violent offenders is not a reaction to budget concerns, but rather, an honest assessment of the non-rehabilitative nature of imprisonment.

My concern is that even in non-violent crimes there are victims. The offender owes those who were victimized and society as a whole a debt that is expected to be paid. These are difficult issues with even more problematic answers. I agree that reducing the rate of recidivism would be a benefit to society as these offenders would regain the ability to support their families and contribute to their communities. Our system needs to do that through education and policies to empower small business and strengthen our economy. There are no easy solutions in these issues but I believe this is the way to create opportunity for Missourians and reduces the burden on our prison system.

In regard to legislation considered this week by the full House, there are two bills that I especially want to cover with you in this issue of my Capitol Report.

HB 46, sponsored by Rep. Diehl (R-St. Louis County), eliminates the ability of governments and municipalities to unnecessarily mandate the installation of fire sprinklers in one or two-family dwellings or townhouses. The builders of these dwellings must still offer to any purchaser the option, at the purchaser's cost, to install or equip fire sprinklers in the buildings. This provides the homeowner the ability to choose what is best for their family and their family’s finances without a government mandate. I am pleased to report that HB 46 passed by an overwhelming majority of 149 to 9.

The other bill I want to make note of this week is HB 162, which concerns workers’ compensation. This bill, sponsored by Rep. Fisher (R-Richards), addresses the precedent set by the Franklin v. CertainTeed Corp. court ruling which, in essence, moved occupational disease claims from the workers’ compensation system (where they have properly been for over 80 years) into the courts. I believe creating laws is the responsibility of the legislative branch and not the judicial branch. HB 162 proposes to reverse that court ruling, which, if left to stand, would be devastating on our economy and jobs. This legislation will permit appropriate compensatory damages to once again be determined by the workers’ compensation system. The result will be a reduction in the cost of liability insurance for small business and less of a burden on our court system. The bill passed with over 100 votes in the House.

Capitol Visitors

In spite of even more challenging travel weather this week, the door to my office opened many times for visitors from Johnson County. Drew Lewis was here to meet with the Missouri Land Title Association. Karen Hicklin and Carol Smith came to Jefferson City with the Missouri Library Association. The military was well represented through members of the Whiteman’s Sergeants Association and UCM ROTC cadets. An important but less traditional part of their military training is learning about the legislative process. Arianne Keen and Lani Ward were here with the Missouri Dental Hygienist Association. The halls were filled for several days with members of the Missouri Retired Teachers Association. CLIMB High was planning to have come this week but that extra snowfall caused them to reschedule for next week. I’m looking forward to their visit.

Please share this report with anyone you feel would be interested in this information. It is genuinely a privilege to serve as your state representative. In the meantime, keep warm and be safe during this true January weather.

Mayer: Senate Focuses on Putting Missourians Back to Work

During the Senate General Laws Committee hearing last week, panel members heard testimony on a bill designed to give our state’s workers the freedom to choose whether or not to join a union as a condition of getting or keeping a job. More specifically, Senate Bill 1, also known as “Right-to-Work” legislation, would bar employers from requiring their employees to become or refrain from becoming a member of a labor organization or pay dues or other charges required of labor organization members as a condition of employment. According to the bill, employers who would do so would be charged with a Class C misdemeanor. In addition, prosecuting attorneys and the Missouri Attorney General would be charged with investigating these complaints.

Currently, Missouri is missing out on new jobs because companies are drawn to other states with better worker-protection laws. Testimony presented before lawmakers in the General Laws Committee revealed that 50 percent of manufacturers refuse to consider our state as a place to locate new jobs because we don’t have adequate laws on the books to protect against workers who are forced into unions.

Recent census data shows that businesses with jobs and the workers who take them are fleeing to states with worker-protection laws. The outcome of the 2010 decennial census resulted in our state losing a congressional seat. There is a direct correlation between state’s that lost a congressional seat and those that are “Right-to-Work” states: those states without worker-protection laws lost a total of nine congressional seats, while those with “Right-to-Work” laws gained 11 congressional seats. This session we have the opportunity to correct this wrong, and not only bring beneficial jobs to Missouri, but keep hard-working citizens in our state.

In addition, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics shows that unemployment is lower in the 22 states that have adopted “Right-to-Work” laws. In the last 10 years, those same states have added 1.5 million private-sector jobs, while other states without worker-protection laws have lost 1.8 million jobs. With more than 100,000 jobs lost in our state since June 2008, we cannot afford to stand by and not take action.

If the previous statistics weren’t alarming enough, per household income is also higher in “Right-to-Work” states. A study published in 2000 by Dr. James T. Bennett from George Mason University cited that the mean two-income household in a “Right-to-Work” state has nearly $2,000 more in after-tax purchasing power than those same households in forced-union states. Another study conducted in 2005 by Dr. Barry Poulson from the University of Colorado found that real disposable income in metropolitan areas in “Right-to-Work” states is $4,300 higher in after-tax purchasing power than those same metropolitan households in non- “Right-to-Work” states.

In no way would this bill stop workers from joining a union or prevent employers from entering into collective bargaining agreements and hire union labor. This legislation would just remove a barrier that’s stopping our state from competing with six of the eight neighboring states that have “Right-to-Work” laws and the many more in the country that are taking away good Missouri jobs.

Senate Bill 1 must receive a passing vote by the General Laws Committee before it can reach the Senate floor for debate. Similarly, Senate Bill 197, also considered by the committee, still needs the committee’s approval. This bill would send the “Right-to-Work” measure to the vote of the people.

I will continue to push for legislation designed to help get Missourians back to work, including measures that would ensure an employee’s liberty when it comes to joining or leaving a union. As I said to my colleagues on the first day of session, it’s time to end the animosity between business and labor, and instead, work together to do what’s best for the employer and the employee.

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