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28 May 2011

Kelley: Overwhelming Generosity For Tornado Victims

Without question, the biggest news to hit Missouri since the end of Session is the massive tornado which devastated Joplin, Missouri. By now you have seen the news stories and heard the gut-wrenching tales of the survivors.

Coming out of this disaster has been incredible stories of generosity, not only from the immediate area, but the entire state as well as other states. At McDonald’s in Lamar we have seen a steady flow of emergency vehicles and volunteers either heading south to Joplin, or going north back to their homes after aiding in the relief effort.

Sometimes the generosity has been literally overwhelming. I happened to be in Jefferson City immediately after the tornado struck and was able to secure a donation of as much bottled water from the Missouri Soft Drink Association as I could bring back this way. I picked it up from the Coca-Cola facility of former State Senator Carl Vogel. Not thinking about the weight involved, I loaded my mini-van as full as I could get it and headed for Joplin. I soon realized a family mini-van was not intended to carry 3000 lbs of water very far. I made it to the shelter, but did not set any speed records getting there.

Although I am beginning to realize there are no depths to which some very despicable people will sink, I was incredibly disappointed to learn the Westboro group (I refuse to refer to them as a church) is planning on coming to Joplin to stage a protest. This is the same group that has created so much controversy by staging protests at military funerals around the country. Last year they were in Lamar, bringing their message of hate. I know they will get their just reward in the hereafter, but it doesn’t make it any easier to tolerate them now. I hope the hottest depths of hell are reserved for those individuals who behave that way while pretending to cloak themselves in God’s Word.

After the initial surge of volunteers leaves, I hope we do not forget this will be a long, drawn out effort. Help will be needed for months to come as yards need cleaned and limbs removed. The headlines will fade, but the need will not.

I hope we see this kind of turn out tomorrow to show the Westboro folks once again how we do it in Southwest Missouri. I will be at the memorial and because of security, I will have to be their two hours early, but I hope someone takes some great photos and shares them with me!

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

27 May 2011

Davis: Joplin Tornado

“You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” –Dr. Seuss

As Sunday afternoon came and my family and I went shopping after church, I began to write my capitol report. It was taking longer to write because I was so distracted with the events of the day, I decided to finish it after my family and I went to hear Paul Meinsen from the Capitol Commission preach. As we were helping Paul setup his missionary display at the church, it began to ran. And rain it did. I have never seen so much water fall in such a short period. Church was cancelled as we realized the severity of the weather. Little did I know as we heard the tornado sirens blowing that Joplin would soon see the worst tornado in US history and that would decimate the city I love. As soon as we left the church, I decided to drive to my business in Joplin to make sure all was well. To my delight, nothing was damaged. But I still didn’t realize at that point what had happened just a few minutes prior. We left my store and proceeded to drive down Rangeline Rd. when we started to see signs of something that would soon be gut wrenching. I looked to my left where I saw the Burger King playground standing alone, the building was literally gone. At that moment, my stomach began to sink. As we drove just a few feet further, I saw the Payless Shoe Store where my daughter worked A You Tube Video to Watch that will touch your heart
had been utterly destroyed. Nothing left except for some shoes scattered throughout the parking lot. I didn’t know that just a few minutes later, my daughter would be digging through the rubble looking for 2 of her coworkers. Thankfully they dug themselves out and were injured but safe.

I drove back to my house to get my dad’s truck and loaded her up with chainsaws, generator, sledge hammers, lights and lots of fuel. My neighbor Chris Myers and I drove to find some friends who were in the direct path of the tornado. As we got closer you could smell natural gas and hear the huge leaks from broken gas mains. It was like a war zone, trees down EVERYWHERE. There was not a standing tree for miles. As we found the house of our friend and realized that they had made it out alive, I looked to the left and saw the most devastating sight I have ever seen. My hospital was almost gone. The top two floors were missing and as we learned later, the entire building has shifted over 4 inches on its foundation. With as much damage as it sustained, I was informed that only 6 people had lost their lives. 6 lost lives is sad but there could have literally been many hundreds. The helicopter laying on its side with just the frame surviving. As Congressman Billy Long and I flew around Joplin in a National Guard helicopter on Tuesday morning, it gave us a perspective of how wide the tornado was. ¾ of a mile wide and 6 miles long.

I then drove to one of my employees house and was shocked at the damage. It was a couple of mile drive and there was not a house standing. As I got close to his house, we had to walk. There was no way to drive there. As I ran to his house I saw him standing in shock in front of his home….. destroyed. He lost everything. We got his truck cleaned up an I sent him to my house to stay. Even though he lost everything, he was so happy to be alive.

Chris and I proceeded to go find people to help. We made it to the Home Depot and saw the entire structure crumbled on top of itself. As information got to me, I began to cry. To see the loss of life first hand, it started to sink in. This was bad. We began loading trucks with supplies knowing it was going to be a long night. While rescue operations were getting organized, we decided to go into the heart of the disaster because we knew people were needing help. As we drove toward the high school, it became apparent that this was a horrific tragedy. The high school was destroyed. Harmony Heights Baptist Church, across the street from the high school, was gone. Cars were in the parking lot as worshipers began to arrive for the evening service. But the cars were all twisted like aluminum foil. My 5 year old son has a lot of Matchbox cars that are damaged just like these real ones. Tops ripped off, trucks bent around tree trunks, doors ripped off the frames and some didn’t even look like cars. We spent until 3 AM looking for survivors in a huge apartment complex. It was pouring rain, flashlight batteries running low and debris covering literally everything.
Home Depot

Our Business District

As dawn broke and the threat of more tornadoes lingered in the air, I really began to realize just how bad it was. 25% of my city was gone, literally. In the small town of Duquesne just east of Joplin, they lost about 50% of their homes and businesses. My friend retired Army Sergeant Major Andy Simpson came on Thursday to help. The out pouring of help from all around our country has been remarkable. Representative Curtman from Jefferson County brought a large U-Haul truck full of needed items. We literally have thousands of volunteers here to help. It is such a blessing. The National Guard and law enforcement officers from around the state and surrounding states have done a fantastic job coordinating traffic flow and ensuring our local residents are safe. I cannot begin to name all those involved who have done a great job.

We in Joplin have suffered a great loss but we will persevere. We are strong people with strong ties to each other and by the grace of God we will rise again. When asked what we will do I always answer this way: We will bury our deceased, morn their passing and then rebuild. Joplin, Duquesne and the surrounding area will be a stronger and better place to live as we rebuild our buildings, homes and relationships. Continue to pray, please.

Allen: Session-Wrap Up, Fiscal Dependence On Feds Weakens State, Budget Highlights

Session Wrap-up

The last week of session had many ups and downs. Many of the issues came down to a matter of timing.

The Education bills containing my bill to strengthen Missouri laws against bullying were held up and did not come up for votes in the House. Sen. Jane Cunningham (R-7) helped amend the language to a bill in the Senate, but it did not come up for a vote. I plan to refile it in December and work for passage next year.

I also carried SB 323 in the House, a senate duplicate of my own HB 657, which provided enabling language for the state Auditor to provide a one time comparative audit of the largest state agencies. It is unclear if statute allows for a comparative audit or not – this bill sought to clarify that. Washington State routinely performs comparative audits with the last 2009 audit yielding upwards of $90 million in savings. The goal is to look for common functions across agencies and then share or centralize those functions to minimize duplicative internal mechanisms and create a more efficient model. SB 323 had passed the House with amendments and started to move forward in the Senate. In the end, the amendments killed the bill. However, we were able to get funding for the audit in the budget. I continue to hope that the audit will be performed as long as that funding is not withheld by the governor.

State Sovereignty weakened by fiscal dependence

It has become clear to me that the issues of state sovereignty and the well-being of our state are primary aspects of our state budget and financial status. Whenever we as a state accept Federal dollars to match our state general revenue dollars for a "given" program, we give up our control of our own resources to the federal government and allow ourselves to be sucked into the federal government spending web. Once we begin accepting federal match dollars for programs, it becomes very
difficult, if not impossible, to free ourselves from being dependent on, or even addicted to, that federal match. In my opinion it is frivolous to get on the state sovereignty "bandwagon" while at the same time allowing ourselves to be caught up in
the federal spending cycle. There are many programs I believe we have a responsibility to fund, but as WE dictate. That commitment should come from Missourians, NOT from the feds.

Referendum Process

I have discussed the referendum process with many people, and I do believe there needs to be a way for ballot issues to be vetted so they are well written and clear with no components omitted. For example, bills with a cost to the state always have a fiscal note to identify its budgeted cost and where that amount comes from. Fiscal notes and funding sources are not currently required for ballot issues. Requiring them would help provide vital information to the public.

Balanced State Budget Passed and sent to Governor

The General Assembly passed its budget of $23.2 billion last week, banking a $28 million surplus, while funding K-12 education at last year’s level and restoring funding for those who are least able to help themselves. The two largest areas of funding are Education, $6.5 billion, and Medicaid/Mental Health/Senior Services, $10.1 billion. Because the General Assembly made the tough, but fiscally responsible decisions in the past, Missouri is one of only seven states with a AAA bond rating.

Keeping our fiscal house in order is a primary and difficult function of the legislature. I am proud to represent the 92nd District on three key House committees that helped create this year's budget and that will address next year's budget in a period of continuing financial stress - the House Budget Committee, the House Appropriations Committee for Health, Mental Health and Senior Services and the Interim Committee on Budget Transparency.

For more details on the budget, look at the “budget highlights” section at the end of this report.

Voter Identification

In the 2005 legislative session, Missouri passed into law the requirement that individuals present photographic identification when they vote in person. This was in response to something odd that happened in St. Louis and other counties in the 2004 presidential election: there were more individuals on the registered voting lists than people who actually lived in the area. This law, however, was overturned by the Missouri Supreme Court and Declared unconstitutional.

Voting is a fundamental right of citizens. It should be protected to the fullest extent of the law. One way to protect the right to vote is to make sure that everyone’s vote counts equally. When individuals vote illegally, it diminishes the value of the legally cast ballots by reducing the power of each vote.

At the next statewide election, November 2012, you will have the opportunity to remedy this situation and vote on SJR 2. This is an amendment to our state constitution that would allow early voting and would grant the legislature the power to specifically require voters to present photo IDs at the polls.

Requiring identification protects the rights of those who vote legally from the detrimental actions of those who don’t. According to my legislative survey sent out to the 92nd District in January, 76.3% of the voters that responded are in favor of requiring a photo ID at the polls.

Congressional Redistricting Map – Override of Governor’s veto

A long process came to an end when the Missouri House and Senate joined together to override Governor Nixon’s veto of the Congressional redistricting map. It was the first successful veto override in Missouri since 2003 and among the few throughout our state’s history.

While the Senate currently has enough Republican members to override the Governor’s vetoes without Democrat support, the House relied on bi-partisan support to override the veto. Overriding a veto requires 109 of 163 members in the Missouri House, a 2/3 majority.

You can view the final, approved version of the new congressional map here:

FY 2012 Budget Highlights

  • Left more than $28 million on the balance sheet, a balanced budget that continues to meet the needs of all Missourians.
  • Held funding for the Foundation Formula harmless. In light of recent historical declines in state revenues, the General Assembly was able to again make education the #1 priority.
  • Mitigated the Governor’s reduction to Higher Education by appropriating $12 million more to institutions across the state.
  • Rescued the Senior Missouri Rx Program from elimination in the Senate.
  • Continued funding for Missouri’s commitment to the production of alternative fuels. This aims to continue to move Missouri towards an economy less dependent on foreign oil.
  • Provided a budget of over $8.4 billion for the MO Healthnet program. This money will continue to fund access to healthcare for the neediest Missourians.
  • Combined funding of over $40 million for job training, retention and development programs within the Department of Economic Development.
  • $365k in cuts to the Missouri House of Representatives budget, further proof the House is taking the lead during this financial crisis.
  • Reduced funding for Department Directors and Deputy Directors to a maximum level of $86,500, saving state taxpayers over $1.0 million.
  • Held the Governor accountable for his excessive use of the state plane by restricting expenses from other state departments. This will allow transparency of travel expenses.
  • Provided $29.3M for the High Need Fund. This reimburses school districts for the excess costs of educating children with disabilities.
  • Provided an increase in the Early Childhood Special Education line of $9.5 million. The Missouri Supreme Court ruled that these services shall come at no cost to school districts, and we continue to meet this commitment.
  • Provided over $16 million for the Parents As Teachers program.
  • Increased the Bright Flight program by $1M. This will continue to ensure that our State’s best and brightest stay in Missouri’s higher education institutions.
  • $7M increase for the A+ Program. This will fully fund all eligible students.
  • Continued funding of over $64.8M for the Access Missouri Scholarship program. These successful scholarship programs will continue to allow Missouri students the ability to attend Missouri public and private institutions.
  • Provided $152.5 million to continue the MO Healthnet programs as well as $95.8 million in caseload growth for the growth in the low income health care population. This continued growth, coupled with an impending federal health care mandate, will have serious consequences on future General Revenue outlays.
  • Increased funding for the MO Healthnet/Mental Health Partnership which saves the state approximately $15 million per year on pharmaceutical costs.
  • Continued assistance to our seniors by providing funding for nursing homes, in-home services, home delivered meals and the Missouri Senior Rx Program.

Dugger: Legislative Review

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free." —Ronald Reagan

After a busy five months the first regular session of the 96th General Assembly has come to a close. Several vital pieces of legislation were passed this year and I wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the most important bills for the 144th district that the legislature truly agreed to and finally passed.

HJR 2 would place on the November 2012 ballot a proposed constitutional amendment that would protect and expand the rights of Missourians to pray in public places. Specifically, it would allow people to pray in public places as long as their actions do not disturb the peace. It also would allow students to express their religious beliefs in assignments that violate their beliefs. In addition, it would reaffirm the right of employees and elected officials of the State of Missouri to pray on government premises and public property.

HB 458 established the Missouri Farmland Trust Act to provide young farmers with a means to acquire land through a low-cost lease and to allow land to continue to be farmed in the future. Through the act, individuals and entities can donate or convey farmland to the Department of Agriculture to preserve it as farmland and to assist beginning farmers by allowing long-term, low- and variable-cost leases on the land, making it affordable for the next generation of farmers to produce food, fiber, and fuel. The bill also changes the definition of noxious weed and expands the requirement of every landowner to control all noxious weeds growing on his or her land. In addition, the bill establishes the Private Landowner Protection Act to allow for the creation and enforcement of conservation easements designed to protect the environment or preserve certain historical or cultural aspects of real property.

HB 213 and SB 65 are identical bills passed by the legislature that will put additional restrictions in place for any woman seeking a late-term abortion. The legislation will make it illegal to abort a fetus deemed capable of living outside the womb. Specifically, it would ban abortions after 20 weeks unless two doctors verify that: the fetus is not viable, an abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman, or the continuation of the pregnancy will create a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the woman. For a fetus found to be unviable, a doctor would be required after performing the abortion to report to the state why the child was unviable. Doctors who violate the law could spend up to seven years in prison and be fined up to $50,000.

HB 294 lowers the minimum age requirement to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon from 23 to 21. The minimum age requirement of 23 has been in place since 2003 when the legislature first enacted the concealed-carry law. By changing the requirement to 21, Missouri’s law will be similar to that of the majority of states which allow concealed gun permits.

The bill also increases the training requirements for an individual seeking a concealed gun permit. Under current law, a permit applicant must shoot a total of 50 rounds with any handgun. HB 294 requires an applicant to gain experience shooting 50 rounds each with a revolver and a semiautomatic pistol.

Other provisions of the bill make it easier for Missourians to buy firearms out of state and prohibit the sales tax on any firearms or ammunition from being levied at a higher rate than sales tax charged on sporting goods equipment or hunting equipment.

HB 73 requires the Department of Social Services to develop a program to screen each applicant for or recipient of Temporary Relief for Needy Families (TANF) Program benefits. The bill will allow applicants and recipients to be tested if case workers with the Department of Social Services have reasonable suspicion of drug use. The penalty for a failed drug test will be a loss of benefits for three years. However, individuals who fail a test can avoid a loss of benefits by completing a substance abuse treatment program. The bill also contains a provision to ensure that only the adult who fails the drug test will lose benefits. Children of an individual who fails a drug test will continue to receive benefits through a third party selected by the state. In addition, the bill requires all electronic benefit cards to include a photo of the recipient.

HB 641 would outlaw synthetic drugs that mimic the effects of cocaine and marijuana. These products have been marketed to young people as “bath salts” and incense. The “bath slats” have side effects similar to those of cocaine, which causes users to hallucinate and become violent.

Legislation passed last year by the General Assembly banned possession of one type of synthetic marijuana commonly known by the name K2. Soon after that legislation was passed, another form of synthetic marijuana known as K3 went on the market.

HB 641 would add to the list of schedule 1 controlled substances several forms of stimulants, including “bath slats” and hallucinogenic synthetic cannabinoids. Possession of the “bath salts” or more than 35 grams of the synthetic cannabinoids would be a class C felony. In addition, the bill would make it a class A felony to distribute cocaine near a park.

The legislature also passed the budget for the 2012 fiscal year. Below is a breakdown of where the money comes from and where each dollar is spent. A full listing of all the bills truly agreed to and finally passed during session can be accessed on the Missouri House of Representatives website:

26 May 2011

Denison: Strengthening Law Against Domestic Violence, Unclaimed Property, Memorial Day

“Every human being is intended to have a character of his own; to be what no others are, and to do what no other can do.” – William Henry Channing

Strengthening Laws against Domestic Violence (SB 320)

Another bill I am proud to say we were able to pass this year will overhaul Missouri’s domestic violence laws for the first time in four decades. The bill we approved is based on suggestions that came from a specially created task force organized by our state attorney general’s office.

One of their most important suggestions was a change to how Missouri handles orders of protection. Under the bill, judges will have additional authority to customize the terms of protection orders based on the particular facts of the situation. The legislation also ensures people seeking a protection order will not be charged filing fees when asking courts to enforce protection orders.

Another important change contained in the bill will remove an expiration date for a program created in 2007 that gives victims of sexual assault, rape, stalking and domestic violence an alternative mailing address. The purpose of the program is to prevent abusers from tacking down victims through mail or public documents. It allows victims of abuse to have mail sent to the secretary of state's office under the alternative address and then forwarded to their home. These alternative addresses can be used on government documents and public filings.

These are important changes that provide an extra level of protection to Missourians who have been the victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. We want to continue to provide every protection we can to these victims and this legislation will help us to do that.

Unclaimed Property

The Missouri State Treasurer’s Office provided my office with a list of citizens who have Unclaimed Property. To file a claim or to check to see if you may have Unclaimed Property, you may visit, or write: Missouri State Treasurer, PO Box 1004, Jefferson City, MO, 65102-1004.

Memorial Day

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. This year we celebrate Memorial Day on May 30th. Please have a safe holiday weekend as you honor those who have served our country.

I look forward to hearing from you. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my office. Best wishes.

Burlison: Joplin Disaster Relief

Joplin Disaster: Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Joplin who have suffered through the worst storm involving a single tornado this year and the 2nd most deadly tornado in Missouri history. The devastation is complete, widespread and hard to fathom. The latest reports have 125 dead and over 1,00 injured. Missourians surrounding Joplin have responded magnificently, rushing in to help, rescuing survivors, clearing streets, and sheltering the homeless. Here are some websites if you want to help. The Show-Me Response website where medical professionals can register is found at

Your donations are appreciated:

If you would like to help, below is a list of items we know will be needed (they are items needed in any disaster) that you and the people/churches/organizations of your district can begin collecting at any time.
  • Bottled Water
  • Work gloves
  • Non-perishable food
  • Snacks (crackers, pretzels and chips)
  • Canned soups (pop-top lids)
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Shampoo
  • Deodorant
  • Blankets
  • Sheets
  • First aid items
  • Powdered baby formula
  • Diapers (all sizes)/baby wipes
  • Baby food
  • Toilet paper
  • Cleaning supplies
  • New Clothing (all sizes)
  • New Shoes
  • Pet food
  • Pet carriers
Those bringing supplies to Joplin are now being turned away because of lack of storage. In addition, individuals now need to have a pass to enter the disaster area, and the disaster relief team is asking people to please NOT come to Joplin at this time. The added congestion is slowing down the relief effort and causing much confusion as they continue their recovery efforts. If you have collected donations to please call Rep. Bill White's office at (573) 751-3791 or (573) 225-6225 BEFORE going to Joplin so they can work with you to schedule delivery to one of these warehouses.

All others who want to volunteer their services who are not medical professionals can do so by calling United Way 211. To call, just dial "211" from inside Missouri or (800) 427-4626. United Way can also be contacted by going to their website to register at UW 211 works with other voluntary organizations active in disasters (VOADs) and will assist with coordinating volunteer deployments by matching up skills with needs. They are also getting a high volume of calls, so please be patient. $10.00 donations for American Red Cross can be given by texting "REDCROSS" to 90999 or visit

Berry: What's Really Important

Today’s report was going to be an end of session round up of what the legislature accomplished. I feel we can get to that next week.

What’s really important is Joplin

When you see a city hit by such a tragedy your heart goes out to them. More than that you want to help them. I have been in contact with my fellow Representatives from the area and they have given us the following information.

Supplies Needed

Those bringing supplies to Joplin are now being turned away because of lack of storage. In addition, individuals now need to have a pass to enter the disaster area, and the disaster relief team is asking people to please NOT come to Joplin at this time. The added congestion is slowing down the relief effort and causing much confusion as they continue their recovery efforts.

With this in mind, Representative White asked me to secure warehouses outside of Joplin in which to store incoming supplies. He does NOT want to turn anyone away! With the help of Representatives Mike Kelley and Lyndall Fraker, we have secured two warehouses where supplies can be taken.

So, here’s how you can help!

At this time please do not travel to Joplin.
  1. I Encourage you to look at the supply list. We will be arranging a drop off point in the area so that the 35th District can send help.

    List of supplies:


    • Bottled Water
    • Ice (during disasters)
    • Baby Food and Formula
    • Beans and Rice
    • Canned Foods
    • Cereal
    • Crackers
    • High Protein Snack Bars
    • Juice
    • Pasta
    • Powdered Milk
    • Sports Drinks
    • Vitamins
    Cleanup Supplies & Kits
    • 5-Gallon Buckets with reseal able lid
    • Air Freshener
    • Bleach
    • Cleaning Towels or Reusable Wipes
    • Clothes Line
    • Clothes Pins
    • Disinfectant Dish Soap
    • Dust Masks
    • Heavy-Duty Trash Bags (33-45 gallon)
    • Household Cleaner
    • Insect Repellant
    • Latex Gloves
    • Liquid Laundry Detergent
    • Scouring Pads
    • Scrub Brushes
    • Sponges
    • Work Gloves
    Personal Hygiene
    • Band-Aids
    • Bars of Soap (bath size)
    • Combs (large and sturdy)
    • Hand Towels (15"x25” to 17"x27”; no kitchen towels)
    • Nail Files or Fingernail Clippers (no emery boards or toenail clippers)
    • Toothbrushes (single brush only in original sealed package; no child-size brushes)
    • Toothpaste (large tube with expiration date of at least 6 months)
    • Washcloths
    • Baby Bottles
    • Baby Diapers
    • Baby Wipes
    • Batteries
    • Building Materials
    • Flashlights
    • Forklifts / Pallet Jacks / Hand Trucks
    • Generators
    • Hand Tools
    • Medical and Dental Supplies
    • Mops and Brooms
    • School Supplies
    • Seeds and Agricultural Tools
    • Tarps
    • Tents
  2. People wanting to volunteer for clean-up please be patient. Your services will be needed in the weeks and months to come. If you or a group wants to help please give my office a call at 573-751-2238. We will work to coordinate with other efforts being organized.

Other ways to help…………

The Salvation Army Disaster Relief Efforts, people can text the word “JOPLIN” to 80888 for an automatic $10 donation; by calling 1-800-Sal-Army (1-800-725-2769) or by going to Donations may be mailed to The Salvation Army, 3637 Broadway, Kansas City, MO 64111.

As always if you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact my office at (573) 751 – 2238 or by email at TJ{dot}Berry{at}house{dot}mo{dot}gov.

Allen: Joplin Relief Effort


Representative John Diehl and I are organizing a collection in Town & Country to assist those affected by the tragedy in Joplin. Please see the attached flyer for collection times, location, and other details. Some of the most needed items are: Non-perishable food, Water & Juice, Baby food and formula, Diapers, wipes, and Personal care items.

Your generosity is truly needed and appreciated.

Thank You,
Sue Allen
District 92






Kraus: Memorial Day

Time to Remember

Each year as spring turns to summer, Americans everywhere pause to reflect on the lives and sacrifices of our military men and women, many of whom have paid the ultimate price for freedom. As Memorial Day quickly approaches, I would like to take a moment to share with every service member of past or present, a heartfelt appreciation for the extraordinary work they have accomplished. As the mightiest nation this world has ever seen, America would simply fail to exist without the courage, determination, and selfless acts of bravery that are so demonstrated by our servicemen and women each and every day. These extraordinary individuals represent the core of American exceptionalism and will forever warrant the gratitude of a proud nation.

On this special day, it is my hope that everyone takes a moment to reflect on the gift of freedom that will forever remain the core value of our nation. Freedom is an incredible heritage, paid for with the lives of those who fight to preserve it. It is those that we especially honor on Memorial Day. There is tremendous honor in every life sacrificed in pursuit of liberty, each of which will never be forgotten.

Whatever your plans are on this Memorial Day, I would encourage you to participate in some way or another. There are many opportunities to honor our servicemen and women, even if it means simply partaking in the freedom they have worked tirelessly to preserve.

And while we continue to recognize the sacrifices of past lives that have preserved our freedom, our thoughts and prayers are also with the men and women who continue to champion the cause of freedom today. To this day, there is an endless battle for freedom as demonstrated by our servicemen and women in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in every corner of this world where threats to American liberty exist. To these men and women, let us never fail to offer our support and recognition for the incredible work they continue to do.

Memorial Day Service
Lee's Summit Historical Cemetery

To honor military veterans, the Lee's Summit VFW Post 5789 will conduct a memorial service at the flagpole in the Lee's Summit Historical Cemetery on Monday morning, May 31 at 8:00 a.m. I encourage you to attend.

The Post has held this traditional service each Memorial Day for more than 60 years. The Post is also sponsoring the annual Avenue of Flags at the cemetery throughout Memorial Day weekend. All of the flags displayed have draped the casket of a deceased veteran.

In addition, the Post will place a small flag on the grave of each veteran buried in the cemetery. The public is invited to attend the memorial service on the morning of the 31st.

Effort to Preserve Civil War Battlefield

Jackson County is the proud home of the Lone Jack Civil War Battlefield Museum and Soldier’s Cemetery, one of many memorials throughout our great state that continues to preserve the memory of our fallen soldiers. The Lone Jack Historical Society, in conjunction with the Museum, is reaching out for support to help preserve a parcel of American history.

A battle site from the Civil War sits about 10 miles east of Lee’s Summit. Approximately 270 men were killed in this particular battle in 1862, both Confederate and Federal soldiers, and are buried on site. This is one of the few sites where battle participants are buried where the federal government is not in control of the land.

Directors of the Lone Jack Civil War Battlefield Museum are concerned with the 33-acre plot of land and its future. Commercial developers have recently shown interest in developing the battle site and the land is currently for sale.

If you would be interested in helping to save this battlefield, please call Alinda Miller, President of the Lone Jack Historical Society, at (816) 805 1815.

Joplin Relief Effort

My deepest sympathy goes out to the residents of Joplin, who have suffered horribly as a result of a powerful tornado ripping through the area. I’m gratified that so many Missourians have responded by offering their help. Here are some links with information about how you can assist:

From the Lee’s Summit Journal:

From the Lee’s Summit Tribune:

From the Independence/Blue Springs/Grain Valley Examiner:

From the Springfield-area News Leader:

The Show-Me Response website where medical professionals can register to volunteer is found at

All others who want to volunteer their services who are not medical professionals can do so by calling United Way 211. To call, just dial "211" from inside Missouri or (800) 427-4626. United Way can also be contacted by going to their website to register at UW 211 works with other voluntary organizations active in disasters (VOADs) and will assist with coordinating volunteer deployments by matching up skills with needs. They are also getting a high volume of calls, so please be patient.

For persons wanting to check on loved ones who they cannot contact or for those who have survived:

District Activities

This week, I toured Developing Potential in Independence. I appreciate very much the opportunity to learn about what this organization can do to help adults with disabilities. I also look forward to attending the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce breakfast this Friday.

Lichtenegger: How you can help residents in Joplin, Missouri

The outpouring of monetary donations and other assistance is –to say the least- encouraging. From all over the state and nation persons and organizations have come together to help Joplin residents affected by the devastating May 22 tornado.

In fact there has been such a huge outpouring of persons and organizations showing up in Joplin that it has created a systemic problem in the area. Those bringing unannounced supplies to Joplin are now being turned away because of lack of storage. We have heard from the two Joplin state representatives – Bill Lant and Bill White- with the following messages and requests for specific help:
  • Heavy equipment operators wanting to volunteer their time and equipment in Joplin should contact the Joplin Public Works Department (417) 624-0820 ext. 564.
  • Individuals traveling to Joplin now need to have a pass to enter the disaster area, and the disaster relief team is asking people to please NOT come to Joplin at this time. The added congestion is slowing down the relief effort and causing much confusion as they continue their recovery efforts.
  • However, they do not want to turn away much-need supplies. So they have secured two warehouses where supplies can be taken. Here is how you can help: If you have collected donations call Van Fisher in the office of Representative Bill White at (573) 751-3791 or (573) 225-6225. She will work with you to schedule delivery to one of these warehouses. If she is not available, please call Peggy Talken, Legislative Assistant to Rep. Sue Entlicher at (573) 751-1347.
  • Organizations and individuals in communities should combine their donations. If there is a “trailer-truck” load, call Van Fisher in the office of Representative Bill White at (573) 751-3791 or (573) 225-6225 who can arrange for pick-up and delivery. If those phone lines remain busy call my office (573)751-6662 and Denia will hand-deliver your message to Rep. White’s office.
  • Please be patient; your services will be needed in the weeks and months to come. Thank you for your patience and for all offers to help.
  • Help get the word out about the supply warehouses by alerting your local media of the above information so that we can all help alleviate some of the congestion and confusion at “ground zero.”
  • We ask that you please continue to remember and pray for the people of Joplin.

Constituent Corner

Perry County is a recipient of a Missouri Foundation for Health grant. In November 2009, the Foundation awarded a three-year, approximately $260,000 grant to the City of Perryville through our Healthy & Active Communities Initiative.

The project, Perryville’s Action to Health (P.A.T.H.), is addressing gaps in the physical environment to enhance access to healthier lifestyles in Perry County. They have substantially updated the park, utilizing grant funds to add several pieces of exercise equipment and a community garden. The city also has leveraged additional funding for field revitalization and walking/bike trail improvements.

I have attached this flier regarding the park’s grand re-opening celebration, scheduled for June 11.

Special thanks to Michelle Miller, Public Policy Liaison for Missouri Foundation for Health for this information.

I wish to express my heartiest congratulations to all the St. Vincent De Paul, Saxony Lutheran, Jackson, Oak Ridge and Perryville High School and 8th-grade grads. May all your hard work and aspirations produce for you a “dream-come-true” future filled with excitement and success.

Sater: State public safety officials take charge of process of locating unaccounted-for individuals

State officials ask Missourians to help locate friends, loved ones

JOPLIN, Mo. – At the direction of Gov. Jay Nixon, the Missouri Department of Public Safety has assumed control of the process of locating unaccounted-for individuals as a result of Sunday’s devastating tornado in Joplin. At a morning news conference, the department released a list of 232 individuals for whom an official missing persons report had been filed. More than 60 law-enforcement and emergency-management personnel, including Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers; State Emergency Management Agency staff; federal partners; and local detectives are working under the department’s direction on this top priority.

“Under Gov. Nixon’s direction, the Department of Public Safety has immediately taken charge of the process of locating individuals who are unaccounted for following Sunday’s devastating tornado,” said DPS Deputy Director Andrea Spillars. “Following the Governor’s orders, we have assigned additional investigators to take and investigate official reports, to field calls, and to help locate each and every one of these individuals. Just as all necessary resources were devoted to search and rescue efforts in the tornado’s immediate aftermath, this critical mission will have all the personnel necessary to get information to anxious families, friends and loved ones. Locating these unaccounted-for individuals is a critical priority for our department.”

Under the department’s direction, a team of more than 60 law-enforcement officers, State Emergency Management Agency personnel, Red Cross volunteers, and local and federal partners are working 24 hours a day on accounting for these individuals. State employees that are part of the effort include investigators from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the State Emergency Management Agency and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Joplin Police Department investigators and federal employees are also part of the effort.

The names of these unaccounted-for individuals are being cross-referenced with all hospitals that admitted or treated patients injured during the tornado, shelters housing tornado survivors, applicants for disaster assistance and the Red Cross Safe and Well program. Additionally, the Department of Public Safety is working with cell phone service providers to check whether cell phones have been used by individuals who have been unaccounted-for list since their names were added to the list.

Deputy Director Spillars also urged member of the public to help reduce the list and speed the process of reuniting tornado survivors with loved one by calling the Missouri State Highway Patrol Found-Persons Hotline: 417-895-6868.

To get direction on filing a report about an unaccounted-for individual, families and loved ones may call 417-659-5464 or file a report with the Highway Patrol in person at the Billingsley Student Center on the campus of Missouri Southern State University.

The list will be made available and kept updated on the Missouri Department of Public Safety’s website,

Rupp: Keep The Joplin Tornado Victims in Your Thoughts; Stay Safe During Tornadoes

In the afternoon of Sunday, May 22, a powerful tornado hit Joplin, leaving thousands of buildings destroyed, hundreds of people injured, and of this writing, at least 125 dead. The storm has been titled the deadliest tornado that the United States has seen since records began more than 60 years ago. It’s hard to imagine the devastation that so many people have suffered — much of Joplin has been flattened, and families are desperately trying to find loved ones. I’d like to extend my deepest sympathies to all the victims of the Joplin tornado. You are in my thoughts and prayers daily. If you are looking for a missing loved one, please visit the American Red Cross “Safe & Well” website at and click on “Search Registrants.”

Many Missourians have stepped forward and want to help. Officials are asking that potential volunteers call or register on websites before venturing to Joplin, due to dangerous conditions and continuous search-and-rescue missions. If you are interested in volunteering, please call (800) 427-4626. Those with medical skills interested in volunteering should go to For more information about how you can assist the tornado victims, please visit the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) website at and the Greater Ozarks Regional Chapter of the American Red Cross website at I am proud to see so many Missourians eager to help out those in need — it is a true demonstration of how the people in our state rise up and overcome challenges.

As people in the Midwest understand, we are only in the middle of tornado season, which typically lasts from April to June, and the potential for more tornadoes still exists. It is important to know the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. A tornado watch means tornadoes are possible. Remain alert for approaching storms, watch the sky, and stay tuned to your radio or television for information. A tornado warning means a tornado has been sighted or indicated by radar in your area, and it’s essential that you take shelter. Before a tornado touches down, the sky will often have a dark green appearance, and low-lying clouds will be present.

Where you take shelter during a tornado is vital. If you are indoors, basements are the best choice, but if a basement or storm shelter isn’t available, go to the center of an interior room at the lowest level of the building, away from windows and doors. If you are in a vehicle or mobile home, find shelter in a nearby building, or lie flat in a ditch. Vehicles and mobile homes offer very little protection and can easily be picked up and damaged during a tornado. Take the same precautions if you are outside and a tornado hits — find shelter in a nearby building or lie low in a ditch. Don’t seek refuge under a bridge or overpass, because a “wind tunnel effect” often occurs, and the structure could collapse.

Thank you for reading this weekly column. I hope you will take this opportunity to discuss a safety plan with your family, should a storm occur in your area. Again, I would like to offer my condolences to the victims of the Joplin tornado and the other deadly tornadoes that have occurred this year. Please keep the victims and their families in your thoughts and prayers during this time of hardship.

25 May 2011

Nance: A Parable In Practice

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” –John 15:13

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

After World War I the holiday was changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war.

It is now celebrated on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971). I will have the honor to speak at two Ray County cemeteries for the Richmond VFW on Memorial Day. There will also be a ceremony at the Clay/Ray Vets Club in Excelsior Springs. Both events start at 10 am. Have a safe week end.

Unclaimed Property

I have a list of persons who have unclaimed property with the state. This could be utility deposits or safe deposit boxes that were left unclaimed. There are over 3200 unclaimed pieces of property in my district. Take time to go to this website and check your name and other relatives living and deceased. If you need my assistance, I am available.


The best thing you can do if you are looking for a way to help is to contact the Salvation Army.

To support The Salvation Army Disaster Relief Efforts, people can text the word “JOPLIN” to 80888 for an automatic $10 donation; by calling 1-800-Sal-Army (1-800-725-2769) or by going to Donations may be mailed to The Salvation Army, 3637 Broadway, Kansas City, MO 64111.

Mayer: How to Help Joplin, Greenville Meeting, Town Hall Follow Up, and Rail History on Local Tracks

As too many Southeast Missouri families already know, natural disasters can destroy our communities quickly leaving us in the wake of a horrible aftermath. As we begin rebuilding from severe flooding across our region, families in Joplin and Southwest Missouri are searching for survivors. They are also coming to terms with the more than 100 lost lives and quarter of homes and businesses taken by an F5, mile-wide tornado that struck their town Sunday.

As we worked to take care of our own, we were also blessed with an outpouring of help from people from across the state. Now, it’s our turn to help those in need in Joplin. Currently, organizations and first responders are providing emergency relief, food and shelter. But there are ways you can help, too.

State Resources

The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency is providing details on donating to help Missourians recover and rebuild, or you can call 800-427-4626 to find out how you can donate products or services. Health professionals interested in volunteering are asked to sign up on the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Show-Me Response website.

American Red Cross

The American Red Cross has opened a shelter in Joplin at Missouri Southern State University, and the Red Cross is working to provide transportation to the shelter for those in need. The Red Cross is also distributing food, cleanup supplies and comfort kits, and sending health workers to provide immediate care. Text "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation, or visit the website to donate, give blood or volunteer.

The United Way

Dial 211 or visit for additional information about volunteering or donating to Joplin efforts.

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army has mobilized four feeding kitchens in impacted areas of Joplin. The Salvation Army's disaster-relief efforts in Joplin can be supported by texting "JOPLIN" to 80888 to make a $10 donation. You can also donate through their website or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY.

This Thursday, the Corp of Engineers and the Missouri Department of Transportation are holding an informational meeting from 6-8 p.m. at the Greenville High School multipurpose building in Greenville, MO. Personnel from the Corp of Engineers Wappapello Lake Project Office, St. Louis District Office and MoDOT will give a formal presentation and then be available to answer questions and hear your input on issues including reopening the camp grounds, special events and the repair of State Route T.

As our communities begin to recover and rebuild from, in many cases, record flooding we need to look at ways we can better prepare for future floods. Greenville and Wayne County hope to establish an emergency road, a permanent dam and a permanent pumping station. I plan to be at the Thursday night’s meeting and support ways we can learn from our most recent disasters to better prevent the damage future floods may cause.

I also want to thank everyone who joined me over the last two weeks at one of my town hall meetings at nine different stops across the district. It is always a pleasure to speak with you directly about my priorities at the capitol and how you believe I can better serve you in Jefferson City.

As we move into summer, a piece of rail history is moving through our region. Union Pacific’s legendary steam locomotive, No. 844, will soon be rumbling down the train tracks towards several of our communities. Earlier this year, Union Pacific Railroad held the "Great Excursion Adventure - You Route the Steam" contest using social media votes to determine what route No. 844 would take this summer. Thanks to many of your votes, the Little Rock Express edged the Tuscola Turn by 3,042 votes to win.

No. 844 will begin its route along the Little Rock Express May 29 in Kansas City, MO, concluding June 9, in North Little Rock, AR. Steam Engine No. 844 is scheduled to make three stops in Southeast Missouri. The first is a full day in Cape Girardeau followed by two Whistle Stops in Dexter and Poplar Bluff, respectively. Local stop details are below, check out the entire route’s Detailed Schedule here.

Sunday, June 5

On Display: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Cape Girardeau, Mo.
500 Aquamsi St.

Monday, June 6

Depart: 8:00 a.m.
Cape Girardeau, Mo.
500 Aquamsi St.

Arrival: 10:10 a.m.
Depart: 11:10 a.m.
Dexter (Bloomfield), Mo.
Whistle Stop
Co. Rd. 517A and Co. Rd. 527 crossing

Arrival: 12:10 p.m.
Depart: 2:10 p.m.
Poplar Bluff, Mo.
Whistle Stop
S. 2nd St crossing southeast of old depot

I will continue to keep you apprised of issues important to the people of the 25th Senatorial District and all Missourians. Please feel free to contact me throughout the year with any comments or questions using the information listed below and on my website at

Holsman: Reminder: Town Hall Tonight, End of Session Report

Join Me for a Community Discussion

Missouri citizens willing to give up an hour on a Wednesday night to discuss the completed Missouri Legislative Session

Town Hall Meeting

Wednesday, May 25th 2011
6:00 - 7:00 PM

Center Middle School
326 E 103rd
Kansas City MO

End of Session Report
2012 Budget Update
45th House Redistricting Map
South Kansas City Police Report
Local School District Updates

If you have any questions, please contact my legislative assistant in our Capitol office at (573) 751-6607.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you in Jefferson City.

24 May 2011

Newman: End Of Session Review

The 2011 legislative session came to a close as required by state constitution on 6pm Friday, May 13.

You may have seen media photos of legislators flinging bills into the air with glee when the gavel signaled final adjournment on the dot at 6:00:00pm.

But something was missing from those photos. The Democrats. Yes, the left side of the aisle was eerily silent, with legislators standing silently by their clean desks - having placed all our leftover paper in the recycling bins outside the chamber. Collectively, we did not feel we had much to celebrate or felt the need to litter the House floor.

Instead of a job creation agenda - WHICH WE HAD BEEN PROMISED BY THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE, the session focused on an anti-worker agenda. The GOP majority passed bills cutting unemployment benefits, making it easier for employers to illegally discriminate and making it tougher for women in horrific pregnancy situations to obtain legal medical care.

The House failed to bring comprehensive economic development and jobs legislation to a vote until just 45 minutes before the end of Session. As a result, a bill containing incentives for the U. S. - China air cargo hub, life sciences, data centers and job retention died in the Senate.

Many of you ask how I can do this, week after week in Jefferson City away from my family. I do it for all of us. I do it - for you.


P.S. It's difficult not to think of everyone in Joplin MO who are suffering via the massive tornado that hit Sunday evening.

If you are a medically trained professional and want to volunteer, please contact the MO Dept of Health & Senior Services via the Show-Me Emergency Response site - Your services are badly needed.

All others who want to volunteer their services who are not medical professionals:
They can do so by calling United Way 211. To call, just dial “211” from inside Missouri or (800) 427-4626. United Way can also be contacted by going to their website to register at UW 211 works with other voluntary organizations active in disasters (VOADs) and will assist with coordinating volunteer deployments by matching up skills with needs. They are getting a high volume of calls, so please be patient.

For persons wanting to check on loved ones who they cannot contact or for those who have survived:
Visit Red Cross' Safe and Well site to register if you are safe and for family to check often for their loved ones who are missing -

$10.00 donations for American Red Cross can be given by texting “REDCROSS” to 90999 or visit


First, the GOOD NEWS:

MISSOURI Rx PLAN EXTENSION: Extends the prescription drug benefit for low-income senior citizens and the disabled until 2014. Had the program not been renewed, it would have expired on Aug. 28, eliminating the benefit for about 226,000 Missourians. [HB412]

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: Overhauls state domestic violence laws with the aim of better protecting victims and punishing perpetrators. THIS WAS RECOMMENDED LEGISLATION FROM THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S DOMESTIC VIOLENCE TASK FORCE - I WORKED TO HELP PASS IT OVERWHELMINGLY. [SB320]

HUMAN TRAFFICKING: Increases the maximum penalties for crimes related to human trafficking. [HB214]

MEDICAID FEE: Reinstates the fees charged to hospitals that generate $3 billion annually for the state’s Medicaid program. [SB70]

Now the BAD NEWS:

PHOTO ID: In 2006 the MO Supreme Court struck down the law on constitutional grounds citing that voting needs to remain "free and fair". This new law [SB3] AND accompanying ballot referendum [SJR2] will disenfranchise over 240,000 current voters - senior citizens, the disabled, those in poverty and out of state college students. I AM TAKING THE LEAD IN FIGHTING THIS NATIONWIDE EFFORT AT VOTER SUPPRESSION. The House Democrats voted unanimously against these bills and are asking for a Governor veto.

CONGRESSIONAL REDISTRICTING: Sets new congressional districts for the next 10 years starting with the 2012 elections. Based on the 2010 U.S. Census, Missouri will lose a congressional seat, dropping from nine to eight. The new congressional plan gerrymanders six safe Republican districts and does not protect the interests of all Missourians. Gov. Jay Nixon’s vetoed, but the General Assembly overrode. [HB193]

EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION: Weakens the Missouri Human Rights Act by making it harder for victims of employment discrimination to prove unlawful discrimination and wins damages. Gov. Jay Nixon has already vetoed this bill. [SB188]

CORPORATE TAX CUT: Eliminates the corporate franchise tax, which is only paid by large corporations. This will eliminate at least $80 million a year in state revenue, thus eroding the state’s tax base and requiring additional cuts in state services. Gov. Jay Nixon has already signed it into law. [SB19]

ABORTION RESTRICTIONS: Removes the exemption in the existing law banning late-term abortions that allows such abortions if necessary to protect the health of the mother. Less than 40 late term abortions were performed in MO last year - ONCE AGAIN MO lawmakers interject themselves in personal painful medical decisions that belong with a woman's family, faith and personal physicians - NOT THE STATE LEGISLATURE.

DOG BREEDING: Repeals most the significant provisions of Proposition B, which Missouri voters approved in November to place new regulations on the commercial dog breeding industry in Missouri. Gov. Jay Nixon has already signed it into law. [SB161]

HOG FARMS: Places restrictions on lawsuits against large industrial hog farms for the damages foul odors and animal waste produced by such facilities cause neighbors’ property. Gov. Jay Nixon has already signed it into law. [SB187]


DRUG TESTING FOR WELFARE RECIPIENTS: Allows recipients and applicants of the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program to be tested for illegal drug use. WE TRIED TO INCLUDE LEGISLATORS IN THE DRUG TESTING REQUIREMENTS. [HB73]


TURNER FIX: Would have allowed school districts to refuse to accept students from unaccredited nearby school districts. Under an existing state law, districts are required to accept such students, but most districts claimed the discretion to refuse until last year when the Missouri Supreme Court ruled in Turner v. Clayton School District that they do not. [HB514]

ST. LOUIS POLICE LOCAL CONTROL: Would have ended state control of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, which was first imposed by Missouri’s pro-Confederacy General Assembly in 1861 to prevent the department from being used against secessionist sympathizers. The bill [HB71] would have granted control of the department to St. Louis city government, which currently funds the department but has no say over its operations.

PAYDAY LOANS: Would have cracked down on the predatory lending practices of the payday loan industry. [HB656]

SECOND INJURY FUND: Would have prevented the state’s second injury fund from going broke. [HB702]

TAX AMNESTY: Would have waived penalties and interest on delinquent state taxes in an effort to bolster state revenue by encouraging taxpayers who are in arrears to pay up. [HB116]

Tim Jones: Collection of Supplies for Tornado Victims in Southwest Missouri

Jefferson City – As I am sure you all know, the City of Joplin, Missouri was devastated on May 22, 2011 by a deadly tornado and needs assistance from all Missourians. On Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, May 29 from 8am until 6pm the Eureka-Pacific Elks Lodge will be hosting a drop off site for supplies to be transported to Joplin. The Elks Lodge is located at 19 West 1st Street Eureka, MO 63025.

The supplies needed include:
  • Water
  • Non-Perishable Food Items
  • First Aid Supplies
  • Moist Towelettes
  • Infant Formula and Diapers
  • Blankets
  • Personal Hygiene Products
  • Feminine Supplies
  • Clothes
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand Sanitizers
Monetary donations will be accepted. Checks can be made to the American Red Cross or to the local Racine Christian Church which has organized many successful aid assistance programs and they make sure 100% of the contributions go to the local disaster relief: Racine Christian Church, P.O. Box 69, Racine, MO 64858 Attn: Joplin Disaster Relief. If you are interested in volunteering or need more information, please contact Ashly Moore by e-mail ashlymoore15{at}gmail{dot}com or by phone 636-236-2333.

Please feel free to forward this to all of your family, friends and colleagues. It is in challenging times like this that the passionate generosity and charity of all Missourians shines through. Thank you for anything you can do, no contribution or donation is too small and your prayerful thoughts are definitely needed as well. And thank you in advance for all of the time, treasure and resources. I know many of you will give to this important relief effort. If you need any further information from our office, do not hesitate to contact us at: 573.751.0562.

Sater: Flooding Update (Tuesday, May 24, 3 p.m.)


Customer Service, 1-800-654-5428

Flooding Update Tuesday 5/24/11, 3 p.m.

Joplin - The Missouri Department of Transportation Southwest District has closed numerous routes due to flooding.

Closed routes include:

Barton County

  • MO 126, North Fork Spring River south of MO 160

Barry County

  • Route C at Flat Creek
  • Route U at the low-water crossing

Jasper County

  • Route D at Center Creek

McDonald County

  • MO 59 at Elk River
  • Route CC at Lost Creek
  • Route DD at Elk River
  • Route E, Sugar Creek near Powell
  • Route EE at Elk River
  • Route TT, Elk River west of Noel
  • Route U at Sugar Creek

Newton County

  • Route CC, Lost Creek, just south of MO 86
  • Business 60 in Neosho at Lime Kiln Road
Motorists are urged to never drive over roads covered in water.

For more information, contact MoDOT Southwest District Customer Service 1-888-275-6636 or 417-621-6500. You may also view the Traveler Information Map at:

Sater: Labor Director Suspends Four-Week Reporting Requirement for Unemployment Claimants


Four-Week Reporting Requirement for Unemployed is Temporarily Suspended in Five Counties Hard Hit by Natural Disasters

Travel Considered Dangerous

Jefferson City, Mo— Due to recent natural disasters, the Missouri Department of Labor is suspending the requirement that people receiving unemployment benefits must check in, in-person, every four-weeks to career centers in five counties in southwest Missouri.

The suspension applies to those receiving unemployment benefits in the counties: Newton, Jasper, Barry, McDonald and Stone. The suspension for these counties is in effect for this week only; individuals must resume their four-week reporting requirement next week.

“This suspension will allow time for emergency responders and officials to clear roads so that travel may resume in these hard-hit areas,” says Department Director Larry Rebman.

As part of the eligibility requirements for the unemployment insurance program, people receiving benefits must report in-person every four weeks to their local career centers to meet with counselors and representatives to learn about job and educational opportunities. However, individuals filing for unemployment in the affected counties are not required to report in-person to their local career centers at this time.

Affected individuals filing unemployment claims should continue to search for work, make the required contacts with potential employers, keep record of these contacts on their work search record, and be able and available for work.

For more information about unemployment benefits or updates for communities affected by natural disasters, visit

Sater: Disaster Unemployment Assistance Now Available in 15 Counties

If you have additional questions or concerns contact the Missouri Labor Dept. phone number shown below. DS

Unemployment Available to Flood, Storm, and Tornado Victims

Presidential Disaster Declaration makes individual assistance available in Ten Additional Missouri Counties

Jefferson City, Mo- An amendment has been made to the disaster declaration, adding the following ten additional counties to the list of declared disaster areas: Cape Girardeau, Howell, Jasper, McDonald, Newton, Pulaski, Ripley, Scott, Stoddard, and Stone. This declaration allows additional individuals affected by the recent natural disasters to access the 26-week Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program. Applicants from these additional counties must file a claim for DUA no later than June 22, 2011.

On May 9, Governor Jay Nixon announced that his request for a major disaster declaration had been granted by President Barack Obama, opening the door for Missourians in declared counties whose employment was lost or interrupted due to severe storms, tornadoes and flooding from April 19, 2011, and continuing to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA).

“Unemployment benefits are vital during times of disaster recovery as it is the only program that is able to deliver money into the hands of those affected in a short period of time, allowing them to take care of their needs while the community recuperates,” says Department Director Larry Rebman.

The original five counties are: Butler, Mississippi, New Madrid, St. Louis, and Taney. Individuals who file from these counties have no later than June 16, 2011 to file a DUA claim.

The ten additional counties are: Cape Girardeau, Howell, Jasper, McDonald, Newton, Pulaski, Ripley, Scott, Stoddard, and Stone. Individuals who file from these counties have no later than June 22, 2011 to file a DUA claim.

Eligibility for DUA will be determined on a week-to-week basis and individuals can only receive benefits for as long as his or her unemployment continues as a result of the disaster. No applications will be accepted after the deadlines mentioned above, unless for a good cause. Residents of additional counties will be notified if they become eligible for DUA.

To be eligible for DUA benefits under this Presidential Disaster Declaration FEMA-1980-DR, individuals:
  • Must be an unemployed or self-unemployed worker whose unemployment was caused as a direct result of the major disaster declared by the President
  • Must be a U.S. national or a qualified alien; and
  • Must not qualify for regular unemployment insurance benefits from any state; and
  • Must have worked or were self-employed in, or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment in, one of the counties listed above; and
  • Must establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their primary source of income.
Also eligible to apply for DUA are individuals who:
  • Can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of a disaster; or
  • Cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury caused as a direct result of the disaster; or
  • Became the breadwinner or major support of a household because of the death of the head of the household; or,
  • Cannot work or perform self-employment due to closure of a facility by the federal government.
Applicants are required to provide proof that they were employed or self-employed at the time of the disaster occurred or were scheduled to begin work when the disaster occurred. This proof of employment must be filed with the initial claim or within 21 days of filing their DUA claim. To claim, individuals will need their Social Security Number and the name and address of their last employer or prospective employer. A copy of the most recent federal income tax forms or check stubs may also be required (self-employed individuals should also provide Schedules SE and Schedule C or Schedule F).

Individuals, who may be eligible for assistance, should call (800) 788-4002 for information about filing a claim. To file a DUA claim, call your Regional Claims Center (see below). The hours to call are between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday. Missourians impacted by the severe storms and flooding in all the declared counties can register for additional assistance by calling the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at (800) 621-3362, TTY (800) 462-7585, or register with FEMA online at For more information, visit

Regional Claims Centers (RCC):

Jefferson City RCC
Local Calling Area 573-751-9040
Outside Local Calling Area 800-320-2519

Kansas City RCC
Local Calling Area 816-889-3101
Outside Local Calling Area 800-320-2519

Springfield RCC
Local Calling Area 417-895-6851
Outside Local Calling Area 800-320-2519

St. Louis RCC
Local Calling Area 314-340-4950
Outside Local Calling Area 800-320-2519

Dempsey: Collecting items for delivery to Joplin this week

he deadliest single twister in 60 years has left the people of Joplin in great need of our help. I am driving down to Joplin on Thursday (5/26) to deliver goods and help where I can. Another delivery will be made on Friday. If you are interested in donating, here’s a list of items that are in short supply:
  • Easy-open, ready-to-eat nonperishable food items or canned goods and can openers
  • Snacks such as crackers and granola bars are needed
  • There is a demand for all types of personal hygiene items, including diapers and paper products such as paper plates, eating utensils, paper towels and toilet paper
  • Cleaning supplies are also accepted
Also on the list:
  • New blankets and new pillows
  • Large storage containers such as Rubbermaid totes
  • Cleaning wipes
  • Batteries
  • Flashlights
  • New toothpaste and new toothbrushes
  • 5-gallon buckets with resealable lids
  • Cots
  • Portable toilets
  • Clothing and shoes
  • Tarps
The St. Charles Chamber of Commerce office (2201 1st Capitol Dr., St. Charles) has agreed to serve as a collection point for donated items. I can be reached on my cell at 636-288-7461 if you have any questions. Thank you for your attention.

Sater: Joplin: Volunteer Medical Personnel

More volunteer information from the Dept. of Health & Senior Services. David

Good Afternoon,

Due to the high volume of injuries and casualties resulting from the storm in Joplin yesterday, the Department of Health and Senior Services has received many requests on how medical personnel might volunteer to assist in relief efforts. In case you receive such inquiries to your offices, I wanted to send out information on how your constituents’ medical backgrounds can be best and most efficiently utilized.

At this time, the Department of Health and Senior Services’ Center for Emergency Response and Terrorism is asking that medical personnel register with the Show-Me Response registry, an electronic registry for volunteer medical professionals. Once a volunteer’s credentials have been checked and validated, the volunteer will be contacted and directed where to go based on the person’s expertise and the services needed at that time.

Since yesterday at 6 pm, the Department of Health has received over 2000 requests to register with the Show-Me Response program. Though a fantastic show of public service, it does create a problem for the program’s servers in computing the influx of website registrants. If a constituent has trouble getting through to register, please ask them to be patient and keep trying – we definitely want them to be able to register.

Secondly, to be in compliance with the federal guidelines for the Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals, we must check and validate all medical credentials, which with the influx of interested professionals, might take up to a week. The most important aspect to emphasize to our medical professionals wanting to volunteer is to NOT report directly to Joplin without first being approved; though the help is very much appreciated, it adds additional burden to staff already in place, as personnel cannot work unless their credentials have been validated. Again, we apologize for the wait, but this is an important facet of ensuring quality medical care during disasters.

The Show-Me Response website where medical professionals can register is found at

All others who want to volunteer their services who are not medical professionals:
They can do so by calling United Way 211. To call, just dial “211” from inside Missouri or (800) 427-4626. United Way can also be contacted by going to their website to register at UW 211 works with other voluntary organizations active in disasters (VOADs) and will assist with coordinating volunteer deployments by matching up skills with needs. They are also getting a high volume of calls, so please be patient.

$10.00 donations for American Red Cross can be given by texting “REDCROSS” to 90999 or visit

For persons wanting to check on loved ones who they cannot contact or for those who have survived:
Visit Red Cross' Safe and Well site to register if you are safe and for family to check often for their loved ones who are missing.

Thank you in advance for helping to organize these disaster relief efforts. Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions or need additional information.

Ellie Glenn
Chief, Office of Governmental Policy and Legislation
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

Sater: MoDOT Expedites Motor Carrier Response to Joplin Emergency


May 23, 2011 – For immediate release

MoDOT Expedites Motor Carrier Response to Joplin Emergency

JEFFERSON CITY – As equipment and supplies stream toward Joplin, Mo., the Missouri Department of Transportation works to expedite permits and waive normal fees for large and heavy emergency loads as well as registration and fuel tax permits.

Motor carriers who plan to haul loads to the storm-affected area that are heavier, wider or longer than normally allowed must request an oversize/overweight permit. Out-of-state carriers that do not hold authority to operate in Missouri can request registration and fuel permits. All of these permits will be issued at no charge and the requests will receive priority service around the clock. Call 1-800-877-8499 between 7 am and 5 pm. For emergency permits only, call (573) 291-4853 or (573) 291-4517 after these hours.

All other traffic and motor carrier regulations that normally apply remain in place. The expedited service and fee waiver is in effect through noon, Monday, May 30, 2011.

All travelers are advised to visit the MoDOT Traveler Information Map at for up-to-date road closure information.

23 May 2011

Sater: Advisory: Joplin tornado response resources are being requested through established mutual aid agreements

FYI…I just received the following information and wanted to pass it along. I’m sure quite a few people from the 68th District would like to help our neighbors to the west and this should get you to the right people. Please keep the Joplin community in your prayers. David

May 23, 2011

Advisory: Joplin tornado response resources are being requested through established mutual aid agreements

Volunteers are encouraged to call or utilize Web sites before going directly to response locations

JEFFERSON CITY – The State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) continues to work with Missouri state and local agencies to provide all necessary response resources to Joplin, following Sunday’s deadly tornado

Responders are being coordinated through established regional mutual aid agreements and requests filed with SEMA for state and federal resources.

Missourians interested in volunteering to assist should first call (800) 427-4626 or 2-1-1, instead of reporting directly to a command post or the disaster area. Those with medical skills interested in volunteering should go to:

Missourians wishing to make donations to help with the relief effort can go to or call (800) 427-4626 or 2-1-1.

Residents affected by the tornado who wish to notify their friends and family that they are safe should go to: Friends and family who would like to check on their loved ones in the affected area can use the same site.

Missourians who need disaster information, shelter information or referrals are urged to call 2-1-1. The United Way’s 211 service number is now available for most areas in Missouri. In areas where the 211 number is not operational, citizens can call 800-427-4626.

Lant: Session Over With Business Unfinished, A Surprise In Pineville

Well, Session is officially over but I have now found out that it is NEVER really over. There are several bills that were left over that the Senate either didn't have time to properly address or preferred not to address for whatever the reason. Among the leftovers were two or three bills that really should have been finished. These were primarily economic development issues and implementation of them could help generate some much needed jobs. There are several ways to revisit these bills. The most obvious solution is to just simply wait until next session and re-introduce the legislation. In the case of these bills, I hope that another method is employed. The Governor has the power to call a special session to address unfinished business. The only criteria is that he feels like there is agreement between the House and Senate that the special session will produce the passage of the bill. It is a considerable expense to the taxpayers to call us all back to Jefferson City, and the Governor would be reluctant to do it if there were no chance for passage. Of course, in case the Governor doesn't like the bills, he is not likely to call a special anyway. Then the Legislature has the power to call themselves back with a 3/4 agreement of both bodies. If you're not confused by now, I assure you, I am! We'll just have to wait and see how this plays out.

Last summer, when Senator Richard and Representative Flanigan were holding meetings with the five new Southwest representatives, they told us that our first year would be a real learning process. As freshmen, we would be a part of several committees and participate in the process of presenting and debating bills. We would learn the importance of protocol and be expected to do many, many things we had never done before. They also warned us repeatedly that by the end of our first session, we would begin to find out who we could, and could not, put our trust in. I naturally assumed they were talking about the folks on the other side of the aisle. This is not necessarily true. Senator Richard emphasized that our word was the most important thing we possessed. If we became known as one who could not be trusted to keep our word, then our value as a representative of our district was worthless! I am sad to report that in the last two weeks of session, I saw more than one individual change their vote on an issue because of pressure from special interest groups. We always tend to associate this behavior with the desire for campaign money, but if a special interest group threatens to fund your opponent and run ads against you, it is much more effective than simply not contributing to your campaign fund. I am proud to report that no member of our Southwest Caucus would ever compromise our values or core beliefs. If I had to do that to remain in office, then it's time to come home anyway.

I was able to pull a real surprise on the folks at Pineville Saturday. The Historical society was holding a fundraiser for the restoration of the old courthouse and part of the days' activity was a play re-enacting the Secession in 1961. I had known about the plans for several months and was able to put together a group from Jefferson City to provide a surprise last act to the pageant. When the play concluded, the town Marshall led a motorcade onto the square with Supreme Court Judge Mary Russell, Speaker Pro-Tem Shane Schoeller, House Clerk Adam Crumbliss, Representative Charley Davis, Newton County Commissioner Marilyn Ruestmann, Ex Rep Kevin Wilson and Myself, following close behind. We disembarked and Judge Russell read a proclamation asking McDonald County to please resist any more Secession attempts! They agreed and it was then time for BBQ Chicken and homemade hot rolls! What a fun day!

My goal this summer is to visit as many people in the District as possible. I look forward to seeing you soon. If you need something, please call or E-mail me at home or at the Capitol. Bev is in the office daily and can forward messages to me. Until next week, I am and remain, in your service,
Bill Lant
(573) 751-9801
(417) 776-8088

Kelley: Relief Efforts

Area groups will be collecting bottled water, blankets, clothes and whatever else to help those in Joplin. Drop off will be at the old supermarket parking lot in Lamar between 10am and noon tomorrow 5/23/11. Please share this with others and think about doing collections in your town to help as well.

Gov. Nixon deploys National Guard to southwest Missouri in response to deadly tornadoes

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Gov. Jay Nixon this evening activated the Missouri National Guard in response to tornadoes and severe storms that moved through the state earlier this evening. The storms have caused significant destruction in multiple areas, including Joplin, where a tornado struck St. John’s Regional Medical Center.

The Governor has declared a state of emergency in Missouri and activated the State Emergency Operations Center. State and local law enforcement agencies, including fire mutual aid, are coordinating search and rescue and recovery operations. The Missouri State Highway Patrol also is deploying troopers from other regions to support local officers in southern Missouri. Specialized emergency response teams, including Missouri’s Disaster Medical Assistance Team 1 (MO-1 DMAT) are deploying to the area to provide aid and assistance.

“These storms have caused extensive damage across Missouri, and they continue to pose significant risk to lives and property,” Gov. Nixon said. “As a state, we are deploying every agency and resource available to keep Missouri families safe, search for the missing, provide emergency medical care, and begin to recover. I have ordered the Missouri National Guard to deploy Citizen-Soldiers and assets to support local law enforcement agencies with emergency coordination and recovery, and other state assets have been mobilized to provide emergency support as well. I urge Missourians to keep a close eye on the latest weather information and to follow the instructions and warnings of emergency personnel as these deadly storms continue to move through our state.”

Missourians who need disaster information, shelter information or referrals are urged to call 211. The 211 service number is now available for most areas in Missouri. In areas where the 211 number is not operational, citizens can call 800-427-4626. Weather and emergency information also are available on the state of Missouri's website,