Weather-Related Disclaimer: missives from legislators concerning road conditions, although timely and important, should be considered snapspots in time. For the most recent travel information, please consult MoDOT's Web site at

except when the post starts "MO Expat", all content published on Missives from Missouri is written and supplied by the noted legislator. Said missives will not necessarily reflect the views of Kyle Hill, the operator of Missives from Missouri, and as such the operator does not assume responsibility for its content. More information
Share this missive:

15 July 2011

Mayer: Legislation Protecting Student Athletes Enacted Into Law

Measure Addressing Brain Injuries Handled by Senate Leader

JEFFERSON CITY – Young athletes will now have better protections from life-altering brain injuries with the recent signing of House Bill 300, ushered through the upper chamber of the Legislature by Senate Leader Robert N. Mayer, R-Dexter.

“Studies have shown that certain brain injuries are the result of young athletes continuing to play a sport after they have suffered a concussion,” said Sen. Mayer. “This vital legislation provides much-needed restrictions on those athletes who have suffered a head injury during a sporting event and important information for players, parents and coaches regarding this serious issue.”

Under the legislation, known as the “Interscholastic Youth Sports Injury Prevention Act,” student athletes suspected of sustaining a concussion or brain injury must stop play for at least 24 hours and cannot return to the activity without written permission from a medical professional trained in the evaluation and management of concussions. Also, a student athlete’s guardian would be required to sign a concussion and brain injury information sheet prior to his or her participation in any practice or competition.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1.6 to 3.8 million sport-related concussions occur annually in the United States. Of all the serious head injuries reported, 18.2 percent of those were sports-related concussions. In high school athletics, approximately 8.9 percent of all injuries were concussions.

House Bill 300 also requires the Department of Health and Senior Services to work with school boards, the Missouri State High School Activities Association, and an organization that provides support services for brain injuries to implement educational information for youth athletes on the risks of concussions and other brain injuries. These groups must develop guidelines and forms to help educate coaches, student athletes, and their guardians regarding the nature and risks of concussion and other brain injuries by the end of this year. In addition, the materials must include information on what happens to an athlete if he or she continues to play after a concussion.

“Former linebacker for the 1999 World Champion St. Louis Rams and current Lincoln University Head Football Coach Mike Jones testified in support of this legislation during its hearing back in May,” said Sen. Mayer. “Experienced athletes and medical professionals shared the dangers of traumatic head injuries, including concussions. It’s important that we educate and protect student athletes from the risks of devastating head injuries. With this legislation’s enactment into law, our coaches, athletes and guardians will know the symptoms of a concussion and be able to stop further harm to these young Missourians before it’s too late.”

The Interscholastic Youth Sports Injury Prevention Act will take effect Aug. 28. To see a complete list of bills handled by Sen. Mayer, visit

Mayer: Measure Preventing Late-Term Abortions Will Take Effect Aug. 28

Legislation Allowed to Become Law Pursuant to Article 3, Section 31

JEFFERSON CITY – Legislation carried through the General Assembly by Senate Leader Robert N. Mayer, R-Dexter will ensure that babies capable of sustaining life outside the womb are not subject to late-term abortions. Senate Bill 65, sponsored by Sen. Mayer, and House Bill 213, handled by the Senate leader in the upper chamber, will change provisions relating to abortions in Missouri with respect to viability by preventing the abortion of unborn babies of the gestational age of 20 weeks or more who are determined by a physician to be viable outside of the mother’s womb.

“This legislation continues lawmakers’ work to protect those who have yet to have a voice,” said Sen. Mayer. “At 20 weeks, the mother is half-way through her pregnancy. Her baby’s organs are developing and moving to their proper places, the brain continues to form and grow, and the baby can even swallow. Some mothers can even begin to feel their baby’s movements and many parents around this time find out if they are having a girl or a boy. Protections found in this legislation needed to be put into place to prevent unnecessary and horrific ends to these lives.”

The legislation will, with the exception of a medical emergency, require the physician to determine the gestational age of the unborn child before performing an abortion. If the doctor determines the baby is 20 weeks or more, the physician would test for viability. If viable, no abortion could be performed unless it is necessary to preserve the life of the woman. If the unborn child is 20 weeks or more, not determined viable, and an abortion is performed, SB 65 and HB 213 requires the doctor to submit a report to the Department of Health and Senior Services.

Penalties for violating the provisions of this bill include a Class C felony, and a physician who pleads guilty to or is convicted of performing or inducting an abortion in violation of this act would be subject to having his or her license to practice medicine in Missouri suspended for three years. In addition, any hospital or ambulatory surgical center that knowingly violates this act will be subject to suspension or revocation of its license.

“Missouri law already requires mothers to receive information about alternatives to abortion,” said Sen. Mayer. “This legislation goes further by preventing late-term abortions in our state, allowing those babies capable of sustaining life outside the womb a chance to life. I’m proud of our work in the Legislature and I will continue to fight for those who need representation.”

To see a complete list of Sen. Mayer’s sponsored and co-sponsored legislation for the 2011 regular session, visit

14 July 2011

Davis: Visit To Big Lake and Missouri "Ocean"

At left: Rush Limbaugh at our 4th of July Celebration. Like him or not, he was such an encouragement to the people in Joplin.

“I don’t know why people say I’m not supposed to be doing what I’m doing. I’m just trying to do my job. I’m blessed, and I’m glad that I’m blessed.” –Albert Pujols

I just want to start this report with a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has been praying and working hard for those in the cities of Joplin and Duquesne. Bill White’s and my districts have suffered great losses but it is amazing what has happened in the past month and a half. We have seen about half the debris removed from our area during this time. Businesses are rebuilding, homes are starting to be built or repaired, and the spirits of our citizens are so amazing. No one has seen this amount of destruction and loss yet the great people of the 128th an 129th districts are such an encouragement to me. I have not seen a single person on the street corner waiting for FEMA to give them a hand out, they are simply doing what Missourians do best, work hard and help your neighbors. There are literally thousands of stories of survival that it simply thrills my soul to hear each one of them.

At left: I-29 under water preventing northbound traffic from getting to Nebraska.

I must say thank you to all the legislators that have come and helped in the cleanup process as well as their families, staffs and friends. Representative Tim Wesco from the 21st district in the Indiana House of Representatives came all the way to help with Paul Meinsen and the Capitol Commission Bible Study group. The outpouring of support from the general assembly has been remarkable and I must say how much I appreciate all the caring shared with us.

At right: Big Lake completely under water.

It has been a long hard process over the past 60 days but a very successful and profitable one. The superintendants from our area have done a remarkable job getting ready for school to start on August 17th. Joplin superintendant CJ Huff, the Joplin school board and administration staff have done a stellar job preparing for the new school year. With as many as 6 of our 11 schools totally destroyed, it has been a challenge organizing for the placement of each class but they have done it. Our several school districts will be having early enrolment in order to get an idea of what the class sizes will look like. Residents of about 7000 homes have been displaced and we are not sure where all the students are. It will be a challenge to get everything organized but I have faith in our school leadership and I know all will be fine. Our local schools will have a drastic cut in funding over the next few years. With the 8000 structures destroyed and the property tax on most of those structures gone, Joplin schools will lose many millions of dollars in tax revenue. Also, with over 450 businesses destroyed, sales tax revenue will be much lower until we can get the businesses rebuilt. Property tax revenue loss, sales tax revenue loss and just the sheer cost of the cleanup will pose a challenge to our state.

At right: Big Lake homes, all under water.

The Disaster Recovery Committee has met several times over the past month and we have learned so much. The tornadoes in Joplin, St. Louis and Sedalia as well as the floods in Sikeston and NW Missouri have pose a great challenge on the state but I have faith in our elected officials to be able to solve the challenged due to these disasters.

Bill White, Shane Schoeler, Mike Thompson and I got the opportunity to visit Mike’s district in northwest Missouri this past week. We flew in a Highway Patrol plane to see the damage from the air, the only real way to get a grasp of the scope of damage. It was heart wrenching. The Missouri River looks more like the Missouri Ocean. We then took a water patrol boat out into the river and got a close up look at the number of houses destroyed. Hundreds of homes destroyed and about a half million acres of Missouri’s best farm land under water. We were told that $253 million dollars in crops will not make it to market this year. That is devastating. While preparing to leave, Bill and I stopped at a gas station off of I-29 to get a drink. There was literally 1 jar of peanut butter on the shelf with no breads or other food. There are many businesses that will simply die because there are no customers. A local Subway and McDonalds right on I-29 simply do not have any passersby to buy their food. It will be next to impossible for them to stay in business for much longer.

It will be a long time before we are back to normal. But every day gets us closer to that normality. I hope my next capitol report will be more geared toward legislation and what we will be working on next year.

Please continue to pray for our state. We are Missourians and we are a strong people. We will make it through these tough times…..with the help of God, family and friends.

Dempsey: Lawmakers Assert Right of States to Control Wasteful Federal Spending

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” –10th Amendment, U.S. Constitution

Part of the beauty of the American Constitution is its recognition that in order for freedom to flourish political power must be divided among many, not centralized in the hands of a few. It was this balancing of power among the independent branches (Legislative, Executive and Judicial) and between the state and the federal governments that perhaps most clearly reveals the genius of the founders.

As generations have passed, however, many in Washington have lost sight of the fact that the federal government was intended to have only limited power. The result has been out-of-control spending, record deficits and costly, intrusive mandates on American citizens such as the recent requirement to purchase health insurance. With Washington continuing to spend trillions of dollars we do not have, leaders in the 50 states are realizing the need to maintain the balance America’s founders intended.

With that goal in mind, we have taken action to rein in wasteful spending and assert the rights of the states to be full – not merely junior – partners in operating the government. Last year, the Legislature put on the ballot a proposal stating that no Missouri citizen would be required to buy health insurance (as mandated by the new federal law). The voters approved this measure by more than 70 percent.

This session, the General Assembly passed legislation [HB423] by an overwhelming and bipartisan vote that would authorize Missouri to enter into a compact with our sister states concerning the issue of health care. The importance of this particular approach is that under the U.S. Constitution, state compacts trump federal law. In other words, assuming the federal government gives approval to the compact, it would ensure that participating states have the ability to control health care issues within their own borders.

Finally, on a related note, there is a move in Congress to amend the U.S. Constitution to require the federal budget to be balanced – similar to what is already required by the Missouri Constitution. In order for this amendment to be effective, it would have to be ratified by three-fourths of the 50 states. Last week, in response to a Congressional request, I wrote to the sponsors of this legislation to assure them that if such an amendment is sent to the states for ratification, I will do what I can to see it approved by the Missouri Senate.

The framers of the U.S. Constitution knew that the best way to guarantee liberty for future generations was to divide power between the states and the federal government. The actions discussed above are important steps towards ensuring that this delicate balance is preserved.

I always appreciate hearing from you. If you have any questions about this or any other issues, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Berry: MOBIO Tours

At right: 4-H Missouri Citizenship In Action (MCIA) Debate on house floor.

This Week

This week I have been touring with Missouri Biotechnology Association BIO Benchmarking (MOBIO) throughout Missouri, it is becoming clearer to me why Missouri has not had the job growth that we should have. We have not nurtured the opportunities that are available to us and have instead become the creators for entrepreneurs for other states. We have created the minds and the technology that comes with new innovative businesses, but we have not created the opportunities for growth. Many states have not laid the ground work that we have to create these technological opportunities, yet they end up getting the tax paying revenue businesses that are being started in Missouri.

It is mandatory that we turn this around not only for the Missourians who are out of work today, but for the future workers of Missouri, our children and grandchildren.

The MOBIO - Statewide Tour started in Kansas City, then Warrensburg and eventually ending in St. Louis. Some of the highlights of the tour were visiting the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, MRIGlobal, MU Life Science Incubator, Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center, Monsanto Company, Pfizer Inc., Gallus BioPharmaceuticals, Washington University in St. Louis – School of Engineering, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and CORTEX.

All Missouri legislators were invited to attend this non- taxpayer funded fact finding tour. I was accompanied by 17 other House and Senate members on this eye opening experience and am hopeful that we will be able to convince the other members of the Missouri House and Senate of ways that we can bring more revenue into our state. This will allow the state of Missouri to fund the needs of our veterans, seniors, kids, Missouri owned businesses and make repairs to our highways as well as provide new construction for ones that are needed.

July 1, 2011

MCIA had around 50 bright young people from all parts of Missouri here at the capitol to learn about our state government.

While the students were here they learned about the Judicial process, the Media, the Legislative process and Public Interest/ Lobbying. They were here for 4 days and created mock laws from beginning to the end of the legislative process. The photo above was taken during House floor debates.

I hope you are all having a very blessed summer, and I am proud to serve the people of Clay County.

Lichtenegger: Knowing Your Missouri State Departments: Department of Natural Resources

One of my many duties as a State Representative is to help my constituents with issues whose solution comes via a Missouri State Department. For example, if you are being harassed by telemarketers when you’ve already signed up to be on the “No Calls” list, or say you’re having an issue with your electric company that you’ve tried unsuccessfully to resolve. These are the types of issues my office can help you with when you call or email me.

However, having general information available on hand regarding services and resources from various state departments also can be quite useful.

Therefore I am producing a Capitol Report series called Knowing Your Missouri State Departments. It will contain such information as department divisions; contact number for specific information, complaints or resources; services, publications and links; and general description of each divisions’ offerings.

My objective is to benefit you via familiarity with each department’s general set up. Please remember this will be general information; you still need to call my office if you have a specific unresolved need or issue. For example, a constituent called the office after several unsuccessful attempts to file his unemployment claim electronically. He made several calls to the Employment Security office, still without needed results. Not long after we took his information, we were able to resolve the issue and by the end of the day he was signed up to receive the much need funds.

I will begin the series today with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources since it is the season of outdoor activities in and around our state parks. This three-part presentation will be divided into section 1.1 = An overview of the Department and its website; 1.2 = State Parks & Historic Sites; and 1.3 = Helps & Resources.

#1 Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

#1.1 Department Overview

You should be able to single-left-click the flow chart below and copy-paste it into a word-processor page such as MS Word or Works so that you can enlarge it to a readable size. As you can see from this organizational flow chart DNR has five main divisions four of which fall into one of these three categories: Energy, Land and Water.

The bottom section of the DNR Home webpage [ has links to each of these main divisions along with topic-links such as Drinking Water and Historic Preservation.

The other sections of the DNR website include the topmost area (left below) where you can link to get information such as find a state park near you, file for a needed permit and view job opportunities with DNR. The mid-section (right below) is ever-changing with recent news such as river flooding in the state and blogs (write-ins) about MO environmental and geological notes.

During one of these “too-hot-to-be-outdoors” days, stay inside and get to know the DNR website! Next week the Capitol Report will explore State Parks and Historic Sites through the DNR State Parks Division.

Tim Jones: Environmental Omnibus Bill Signed Into Law

“It's not the heat, it's the humidity” – was the phrase most frequently recited as we recently celebrated Independence Day!

“I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.” – Abraham Lincoln

I want to take a moment to reflect on the reason why we continue to celebrate Independence Day every July of every year, the day that our forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence. On July 4, 1776, the United States of America was founded with the signing of the Declaration of Independence. With the creation of this important document, we claimed our independence from Britain and our great Republic was born. Fifty-six men, of various means and education, put their lives, happiness and worldly possessions on the line to provide future generations freedom by inscribing their names on a piece of parchment. These men had security in life with money and property, but they wanted more: freedom and liberty. They gave us a nation that believes in its citizens—a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

On July 4, 2011 the United States of America celebrated its 235th birthday—235 years of independence, liberty, freedom and the uninterrupted pursuit of happiness. Our forefathers gave more than time and hard work to the cause of independence. Many of these men sacrificed everything they had, including their lives. The British charged some with treason, others fought and died in the Revolutionary War, and many witnessed their homes and livelihoods taken and destroyed. Yet all stood proud and with determination pledged their devotion: “I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure it will cost us to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these states. Yet through all the gloom I see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is worth all the means. This is our day of deliverance,” John Adams proclaimed.

We, as Americans, should never forget why we have our freedoms and how they were won. Today there are still those who are willing to give everything for their country. These brave service men and women remind us that the liberties we often take for granted are valuable and worth fighting to protect. We are not perfect, but we enjoy more freedoms than any other nation on the planet and our promise is perfect. The Fourth of July is just one day a year when we as a nation can stop and reflect on the free and independent life we all have and the struggles of those before us, among us, and in the future. Always remember to thank our Veterans, service members and their families--especially, we say a prayer and thank you to the families who know that yet another Independence Day was secured as their loved one gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Continued Update on Legislation Passed in the First Regular Legislative Session of 2011

SB 135—Modifying Provisions Pertaining to Environmental Issues Signed Into Law on June 22, 2011

SB 135 was signed into law on June 22, 2011 and was sponsored by Senator Kurt Schaefer. I was the handler for SB 135 in the House and chief sponsor of HB 192 which was the companion bill to SB 135. This multi-dimensional bill modifies several provisions pertaining to environmental issues. And unlike the federal government, which has been bent on destructive policies relating to environmental regulations over the past several years, this bill’s goals will be largely to reduce, decrease and eliminate unnecessary regulations and get government out of the way of businesses. The legislation will streamline processes and provide proper regulation, where needed. I am proud to say that all the industries affected by this legislation promoted it and supported it. The bill includes the following:
  • Extending the expiration date for fees assessed to lead-acid batteries, as well as assorted hazardous waste handlers, until December 31, 2013;
  • Protecting monies in the State Park Earnings Fund from being transferred to the General Revenue Fund;
  • Removing the ban on the use of expanded polypropylene coolers near certain state rivers;
  • Allowing transfer of ownership of scrap tires to regulate proper disposal or recycling;
  • Extending the statutes regarding environmental regulation of dry-cleaning facilities until August 28, 2017;
  • Restricting modification of motor fuel vapor recovery fees by local governments or enforcement agencies;
  • Regulating the repair or replacement of motor fuel volume measuring devices (gas pumps);
  • Easing requirements for construction of water wells for charitable or benevolent organizations, other than schools or day-care facilities; and
  • Providing requirements for training of individuals in the use of underground petroleum storage tanks.
This legislation covers many environmental concerns but also works “hand in hand” with the regulated industries to make sure we keep these businesses and industries in Missouri and growing in Missouri. We must continue to update Missouri Statutes to meet the growing need to protect our health and safety without adding any regulatory burdens to our many small businesses. For more information and to read the full bill text and summary of SB 135, please access the following link:

News & Notes

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Miss Skylar Maurath, a student at Eureka Elementary School for being selected as a State Finalist in the upcoming National American Miss Missouri Pageant and to acknowledge the positive role model she has provided through her hard work and devotion. The pageant seeks to recognize the accomplishments of each girl while encouraging the girls to set goals for the future. The pageant is based on inner beauty as well as poise, presentation and offers an “All American spirit of fun for family and friends.” I wish Skylar success in the upcoming pageant and in all her future endeavors. I feel very privileged to have Skylar living in the 89th District!

Thank you for reading this Interim Report. If you know anyone who would be interested in receiving this report, please click the “Capitol Report Signup” button on my member home page at and enter the appropriate information to receive the Capitol Report. If you happen to see me in and around the District this summer, please feel free to introduce yourself and say hello! I have been very busy traveling all over the State and speaking to various groups about our many substantive and important legislative accomplishments. If you would like for me to speak to your group or community, please contact Jody at our office at 573.751.0562 and we will be happy to accommodate you.

Finally, if we can ever be of any assistance to you at your State Capitol during the coming months even while we are in the Interim Session, please 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. If you ever find yourself in or around Jefferson City at any time during the year, please feel free to visit the Majority Leader’s Office in Room 302 and Jody will be happy to meet and greet you!

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

Nance: Grandkids Visit, Caylee's Law, TANF Drug Testing Becomes Law

Pictured at right are Elizabeth and Jacob Nance, grandchildren visiting from Phoenix. I was able to give them a tour of the Capitol Building last week.

The recent Anthony trial in Florida has motivated many constituents to request a law be passed to require parents or caretakers to notify authorities within 24 hours of the disappearance of a child. Failure to do so would be a felony.

This was a rare case of an unusual parent, but it will get attention in the coming General Assembly. First, we must agree on an age level. Then we must decide who is considered in custody of the child at the time of disappearance. As in all other legislation, more questions will be raised and dealt with. I know legislation is being drawn up at this time.

At the Capitol

Drug-testing legislation [HB73] was approved by the Legislature this session and signed into law without fanfare by Governor Nixon on Tuesday. The state Department of Social Services is to develop a program for screening applicants and recipients of the welfare program and then for testing those for whom there is reasonable cause to suspect illegal drug use.

People who refuse to be checked, and those who test positive and do not complete a substance abuse program will be ineligible for benefits through the welfare program for three years. While participating in a substance abuse program people could keep their benefits. If state benefits are cut off, children in that household could keep receiving them, with the state selecting a third party to receive them on their behalf. The drug-testing requirement applies to Missouri's welfare program called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. This past May, there were 42,038 families consisting of 108,180 people that received benefits through the program.

In the District

The Gregg Williams Golf Foundation Tournament and events raised over $26,000 for local kids.

The Lawson Rotary Club raised funds for scholarships with a Tennis Ball Race and Bingo at the Lawson Picnic last week-end.

I spent four hours in Orrick Tuesday laying sand bags at the levy with other concerned citizens. Wednesday I had the opportunity to work with Orrick residents and about thirty model prisoners from Cameron (over 10,000 sand bags were filled). The inmates enjoyed helping. They worked hard and were happy about helping make a difference and just being able to work with the other volunteers. One inmate told me “we are the best of the best of the worst”. The local Lion's Club was the site of lunch and dinner for the volunteers.

The Ray County Fair gets in full swing next week. Farmer's Appreciation is Wednesday evening.

Rupp: Proud to Help Pass Beneficial Laws

As a state lawmaker, there is no greater feeling of accomplishment or joy than sponsoring or handling a bill that will make a positive difference for the people in our state. I have served in the Legislature since 2002, when I was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives, and the pride that I feel to serve our area has only grown with time.

Throughout the 2011 legislative session, I was (and still am) dedicated to several matters, including drawing new congressional lines to fairly represent Missouri citizens, fighting for the rights of people with disabilities, and protecting our citizens from motor vehicle warranty fraud, among many other issues. Now that the governor’s deadline to act upon legislation (July 14) has passed, it’s time to reflect on the beneficial measures enacted into law and to stand up for the measures we feel should have been signed.

I’m proud to say several measures I was responsible for have received the governor’s stamp of approval and will become Missouri law. One of those bills is SB 132, which will address fraudulent motor vehicle contracts and warranties, as well as vehicle licensing, the “free look” period, deceptive practices, the suspension and revocation of licenses, and the registry of motor vehicles. This act will protect Missourians against unregistered and misleading salesmen who try to sell consumers invalid motor vehicle warranties and convince them that their current warranties are no good. (Click here to read my press release regarding SB 132’s signature).

Other bills I co-sponsored and handled in the Missouri Senate that were signed by the governor include:
  • SB 108, which extends the expiration date concerning the installation of fire sprinklers in certain homes and buildings (not related to SB 118, which was vetoed by the governor).
  • SB 320, which modifies provisions relating to domestic violence, which include child abuse, repeat offenders, and SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Examination) tests.
  • HB 354, which exempts electric vehicles from Missouri’s motor vehicle emissions inspection program.
  • HB 470, which stops churches from getting taxed if they had an entertainer perform at their congregation.
  • HB 604, which prohibits a child from being taken from his or her parents, just because both parents are disabled.
  • HB 648, which changes the laws regarding individuals with disabilities. The bill would change all references of “mentally retarded,” “mental retardation,” or “handicapped” in current state law to “intellectually disabled,” “intellectual disability,” or “disabled,” respectively. The bill would also protect the rights of parents with disabilities (similar to the provision found in HB 604).

As chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting, another measure I handled, HB 193, was vetoed by the governor. However, in a positive turn of events, the Legislature secured the two-thirds majority vote needed to override the veto. A vote to overturn a veto isn’t common — the last time the Legislature successfully overrode a governor’s veto during regular session was in 1980 — so I am thrilled this act will go down in the history books as a matter that overcame odds and helped secure fair congressional districts in Missouri.

Despite the fact that I am pleased with the governor’s decisions regarding these bills, I am disappointed on his decision regarding some bills, and one in particular — SB 3. The bill was a straight-forward way to combat voter fraud in our state. Even though Missourians will still be able to cast their ballots regarding the issue of presenting a photo ID at the polls, many lawmakers were let down by the governor’s decision to veto the enacting legislation for the ballot measure. It is my hope that the Legislature will override the veto once our annual veto session begins in September, so guidelines can be in place for voter ID provisions in our state.

Again, I can’t begin to tell you how much of an honor it is to represent you and your family at our Capitol. Your well-being is my top priority, and I will continue to file legislation that will reflect the best interests of Missourians. Thank you and God Bless.

Denison: Flurry of Bill Signings, Protecting Missourians from Violent Crimes, Protecting Taxpayer Dollars

“In absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia.” – Author Unknown

Flurry of Bill Signings

During the legislative session I did my best to keep you updated on the many bills we passed. In total, the 2011 session saw us approve 104 House bills and resolutions and 42 Senate bills and resolutions. The deadline for the governor to sign the bills we passed was July 14. He has spent the last several days in a flurry of signing activity. Unfortunately, he also has vetoed a number of the bills we sent him. As I write this, he has vetoed 14 bills and used a line item veto on one of the appropriations bills. We already have overridden his veto of the congressional redistricting map [HB193] and it’s likely we will consider additional override attempts when we convene for the annual Veto Session in September. For now, I want to keep you informed on the bills he has signed that will officially become law when they go into effect in August.

Protecting Missourians from Violent Crimes

Two bills signed into law this week are meant to protect Missourians from violence in the home and from individuals engaged in the unspeakably awful crime of human trafficking. We went into the session with the knowledge that we needed to enhance our existing laws in order to protect Missourians from these awful crimes. That is exactly what we did with the passage of both bills. SB 320 will strengthen our legal protections for victims of domestic violence. It updates our domestic violence laws for the first time in 30 years by creating a single definition of domestic violence and by giving judges additional discretion when issuing orders of protection. It also extends a program that gives domestic violence victims an alternative address to help ensure their safety. HB 214 will help our law enforcement officials to identify, prosecute and imprison traffickers. The bill increases the maximum sentences for these crimes and allows our Department of Public Safety to develop procedures to identify trafficking victims.

Protecting Taxpayer Dollars

Another bill signed into law by the governor protects taxpayer dollars by ensuring they aren’t used to subsidize the use of illegal drugs. HB 73 requires the state Department of Social Services to develop a program to screen welfare applicants and recipients. The department will then test individuals when there is reasonable cause to suspect illegal drug use. It’s important to note that those who test positive will lose their benefits for three years if they do not complete a substance abuse program. It’s also important to mention that children won’t be punished by the poor decisions of their parents. If a parent with a substance abuse problem loses benefits, his or her children would continue to receive them through a third party selected by the state. The bottom line is that individuals should not be allowed to use taxpayer dollars to purchase illegal drugs. The bill that will soon be law ensures that individuals with a substance abuse program will have the option to either get help or lose state assistance.

Interim Office Hours

Interim office hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Normal schedule will resume December 1, 2011. If you need to call me at home, my number is 417-887-3353.

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.

Engler: Voice Of Missouri Voters At Risk, Governor's Action On Legislation, State Parks

Governor's Veto of Senate Bill 282 Puts Voice of Missouri Voters at Risk

This year, Sen. Engler sponsored Senate Bill 282, which would have made several changes to elections in the state. One of the main provisions would have moved Missouri's presidential primary from February to March to bring the state into compliance with rules agreed to by both the national Republican and Democrat parties.

Senator Engler worked closely with minority and majority members to ensure there were no measures that would be considered controversial. A conference committee meeting was held and the bill was dissected line by line. Several provisions were removed, but no objections were noted from the governor or his staff. Despite Sen. Engler’s efforts and an overwhelming bipartisan, majority vote approving the bill, the governor chose to veto the bill. (Senate final vote 31 to 2, House final vote 137-11) In his veto letter (you can read the veto letter here) the governor outlined two provisions he disagreed with.
  • A provision to require special elections when statewide officials leave office in midterm, rather than allowing the governor to appoint replacements. This provision was drafted to promote transparency in government and avoid situations like in Illinois where the governor "sold" an appointment to the U.S. Senate.
  • A measure to eliminate elections in communities with populations under 35,000 when the number of candidates equal the number of offices. The provision would have saved money in these small communities when situations like this arise.
The governor's veto puts Missouri in a precarious position and could result in the state losing half of its delegates during the 2012 presidential conventions.

Both majority and minority members voted in support of SB 282. A veto override attempt would originate in the Senate and is very likely.

"The governor's veto of Senate Bill 282 could cost us our voice in selecting America's next president. The most frustrating part of this process is that we worked hard to ensure that all sides were well represented in the bill's passage. We would have welcomed the governor's leadership as the bill made its way through the legislative process, but he instead chose to wait until the end of July to veto the measure. We will continue to work to ensure Missourians have a voice in 2012 for the presidential conventions." -Senator Kevin Engler

Governor Takes Action on 2011 Legislation

This session, the Legislature passed and sent 147 bills to the governor's desk. The House and Senate also passed two joint resolutions — these do not need the governor’s signature, but instead go to a vote of the people. The governor can approve, veto, or choose not to sign the bills, in which case they become law on their effective date.

Here is some recent action the governor took on major bills this session:

Senate Bill 3: This bill would have established requirements for voter ID and advance voting. The governor vetoed the bill. However, the constitutional amendment allowing voter ID and advance voting (SJR 2) will still go to the voters.

Senate Bill 226: This legislation, sponsored by Sen. Engler, relates to ambulance districts. Specifically, the bill allows members of ambulance districts to be recalled and for an ambulance district to choose whether to go to the voters with a sales tax or property tax to fund a new district. The bill was signed by the governor on July 5.

To view the governor's action on all bills passed this session, click here.

State Parks Offer Outdoor Opportunities

Taum Sauk Mountain State Park, located in the St. Francois Mountains, includes hickory forests and rocky glades for a beautiful, solitary experience for hikers.

Families looking for vacation opportunities don't need to look far thanks to the great outdoor resources we have in the state. Our Missouri State Parks have a lot to offer.

Here is a list of State Parks and Historic sites in the Southeast Region:

Summer Weather Safety Tips

Communities throughout our state have faced danger from severe weather this year. Whether taking the right precautions during a storm or making sure to stay cool during extreme heat, please make sure you and your family are safe this summer.

Here are resources for dealing with summer weather:

Severe Thunderstorm Preparedness
Tornado Preparedness
Find a Cooling Center Near You

An Update On Missouri's Budget

This year, legislators in the House and Senate completed work on the state budget before the deadline. We worked hard to make sure we were budgeting within our means while also providing for vital services in our state.

Education is one of our top priorities. The $23.2 billion budget reflected this. The Legislature worked to include a $10 million increase for K-12 transportation, compared to the governor’s recommendations and a $12 million increase for higher education over the governor's budget recommendation.

Unfortunately, the governor chose to cut our top priority of education through budget withholds. While cuts were necessary in order to secure funding to assist with natural disaster relief due to the tornado in Joplin and flooding in Southeast Missouri, we should not balance our budget on the backs of students.

Transportation Projects in the 3rd District

The Missouri Department of Transportation will work throughout the summer on several projects in our area. You can regularly check its web site for updates on projects that may affect travel in the state.

The Southeast MoDOT region includes Carter, Iron, Reynolds, Ste. Genevieve, and St. Francois counties. Road work in this region is listed by county here.

Jefferson County is included in the St. Louis MoDOT region. A weekly update of construction is listed here.

Washington County is included in the Central MoDOT region. Roadwork in the region is listed by county here.

A statewide map of road conditions is also available here.

Helping Others in Our State

Tornadoes and flooding have ravaged communities throughout our state. The needs of the families in these communities, who have lost everything they know, is almost unimaginable. The state has a list of several ways you can help and keep aware of what is going on throughout the state.

Click here for more information on ways you can help Missourians recover from recent disasters.

13 July 2011

Kraus: Bill Signings and Vetoes

While the regular legislative session is over for the year, many pieces of legislation that were passed during that time await executive action.  When the governor signs a bill, it becomes law.  If the governor does not act on a bill within a prescribed time limit, it still becomes law.  If a bill is vetoed by the governor, it would take a two-thirds vote by each chamber to override the veto so that the bill could become law.

Recently, Gov. Nixon vetoed a number of pieces of legislation, foremost of those being SB 282.  Senate Bill 282 is an omnibus election bill that included several provisions:
  1. Movement of Missouri's presidential primary date from February to March.  This change was necessary for Missouri to be in compliance with the rules jointly agreed to by the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).  As a result of this veto, half of Missouri's delegates to both the Republican and Democratic national conventions next year will be cut.  Because the number of delegates is cut, presidential candidates are more likely to bypass Missouri during the primaries.  If so, this would curtail Missouri's opportunity to know more about the candidates, as well as making the state less of a factor in deciding the 2012 presidential candidates.
  2. Cancellation of elections in municipalities with a population below 35,000 when the number of candidates is equal to the number of positions to be filled.  Not holding an uncontested election would save local governments considerable money.  The governor objected to this provision, saying it would eliminate write-in candidates.
  3. Requirement that the governor call a special election to complete the current term of a vacancy occurring in the offices of U.S. senator and several statewide elected offices.  This provision was developed in response to the scandal in which the then-governor of Illinois attempted to "sell" the appointment to an open Senate seat.  A governor should not grant political favors but instead put the election in the hands of the people.  Our governor objected to this provision because it would cost money to hold an election, even though he would have had the option to hold the date of the election on a day when an election is already being held.
  4. Elimination of the month of June as a potential election day for local elections.  I pushed for this provision because it would be a cost-saving measure for local governments and taxpayers since no other elections are held in June.
This bill had considerable bipartisan support, passing the Senate by a final vote of 31 to 2 and the House by a vote of 137 to 11.  Therefore, it is likely than an override will be attempted during the annual veto session in September.

Unless indicated differently in the legislation, bills that the governor signed go into effect on Aug. 28.  The governor signed (click on the bill number to learn more about the bill):
  • House Bill 45, which changes the laws regarding the "Big Government Get Off My Back Act" that provides income tax deductions for certain small businesses that create new full-time jobs.
  • House Bill 101, which changes the laws regarding liquor control.
  • House Bill 111, which changes the laws regarding judicial procedures.
  • House Bill 142, which increases the minimum value of county property that the auditor in a charter county must inventory every year.
  • House Bill 183, which changes the laws regarding the Police Retirement System of Kansas City and the Civilian Employees' Retirement System of the Police Department of Kansas City.
  • House Bill 197, which requires the Department of Health and Senior Services to post on its website resources relating to umbilical cord blood.
  • House Bill 217, which allows an election authority to use an electronic voter identification system or electronic signature pad to verify voter identification information at any polling place.
  • House Bill 282, which changes the laws regarding public employee retirement.
  • House Bill 294, which changes the laws regarding firearms, ammunition, and concealed carry endorsements.
  • House Bill 307, which would allow the Department of Revenue to issue specified special license plates for any vehicle except an apportioned motor vehicle or a commercial motor vehicle in excess of 18,000 pounds gross weight.
  • House Bill 338, which specifies that a telecommunications company may elect to be exempt from certain rules if giving written notice to the Missouri Public Service Commission.
  • House Bill 464, which eliminates, combines, and revises certain provisions regarding state boards, commissions, committees, and councils.
  • House Bill 578, which allows the state or any political subdivision or agency of the state to transfer ownership of used tires, scrap tires, or tire shred to a private entity for disposal or recycling under certain conditions.
  • House Bill 591, which authorizes the Missouri Dental Board to issue a limited teaching license to a dentist employed as an instructor in an accredited dental school located in this state.
  • House Bill 661, which changes the laws regarding debt adjusters.
  • Senate Bill 57, which requires courts to transfer certain cases upon the request of the public administrator.
  • Senate Bill 59, which modifies the Uniform Trust Code.
  • Senate Bill 77, which expands the types of directional signs which may be erected and maintained within highway right-of-ways.
  • Senate Bill 97, which conveys certain property owned by the state.
  • Senate Bill 165, which extends the sunset on the Basic Civil Legal Services Fund.
  • Senate Bill 237, which requires that the 1996 Supreme Court standards for representation by court approved advocates be updated.
The governor also vetoed:
  • House Bill 184, which would have authorized commissioners of certain road districts to be compensated for their services and specifies that risk coverage procured by certain political subdivisions will not require competitive bids.
  • House Bill 256, which was identical to Senate Bill 165, which the Governor signed.
  • House Bill 430, which would have changed the laws regarding special license plates, non-driver's licenses, municipal streets, and household goods motor carrier regulations.

  • House Bill 484, which contained identical language found within Senate Bill 173, which the governor signed.

  • House Bill 1008, which would have allowed the Highways and Transportation Commission to enter into infrastructure improvement agreements to reimburse funds advanced for the benefit of a county, political subdivision, or private entity.

  • Senate Bill 220, which would have modified liens for certain design professionals and the statute of limitations for actions against land surveyors.

Elected Vice Chair of Key Military Commission

On June 27, I was unanimously elected vice chair of the Missouri Military Preparedness and Enhancement Commission (MMPEC) at its regular meeting. I am honored to be a member of this commission, as well as to have been elected to this responsibility.  I look forward to working with the other members of MMPEC to keep Missouri military friendly through administrative and legislative actions. MMPEC's role is to advise the governor and the members of the General Assembly on military-related issues and to provide an annual report. The commission develops policies to both improve the quality of life for Missouri military personnel and their families and to improve the prosperity and employment opportunities for retired military members and the families of former military members.

District Activities

In the last week, I accompanied a group of District 8 residents on a tour of Whiteman Air Force Base in Knob Noster.  It was a very enjoyable group and a very educational day.  I also met with constituents from Coldwater, a group that works with the needy and disabled individuals, the new Missouri Department of Transportation engineer, Don Niec, for our area, and attended the Lee's Summit Chamber of Commerce Legislation Priority meeting.

I also attended a meeting of the Interim Committee on Urban Agriculture, which was held at UMKC in order to showcase its programs on urban agriculture.  It was a very informative meeting.

12 July 2011

Schupp: Mobile Office Hours at Pastries of Denmark, Breakfast At The Pasta House

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I hope you and your family are finding ways to stay cool and enjoy each other's company this summer.

It has been heartening hearing stories from neighbors who continue to help with clean up efforts around the state. We have a state filled with people who choose to step up and help when called upon. That attitude gives me hope and pride as I work to craft and support good policy in Jefferson City.

Over the next few days, the Governor will either sign or veto the final pieces of legislation, or simply allow them to pass. For a list of the current status of this session's legislation, please go to

I look forward to seeing many of you in the District as the summer continues. Please always feel welcome to contact me here in our neighborhood or through my Jefferson City office.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve.

Jill Schupp

Mobile Office Hours at Pastries of Denmark in Creve Coeur

During the interim between legislative sessions, I spend my time working on legislation; attending meetings to learn more about the community, region and issues in our state; and meeting with constituents. When I cannot attend, a trusted member of my team steps in to help keep information flowing.

Please come by to meet with staff, catch up on information and share your ideas:

Monday July 18, 9:00 - 10:00 AM
Monday, July 26, 9:00 - 10:00 AM

Pastries of Denmark Bakery and Cafe

12613 Olive Blvd
Creve Coeur, MO 63141

No Appointment Necessary!

Mark Your Calendar! Breakfast at The Pasta House

Let's Talk!

Please join in as we catch up at our annual "Let's Talk" breakfast at The Pasta House.

We will review the legislative session, and talk about where we are and should be headed!

The event is FREE! Space is limited, so please RSVP right away! Call Anne Marie at (314) 616-5009

The Pasta House
700 N. New Ballas Rd.
Creve Coeur, MO 63141

Tuesday, August 23
8:30 - 10:00 AM

May I Join You?

Are you having a subdivision meeting, picnic, scouting or summer school event? I would like to attend to meet you and your neighbors. Please include me! Whether you would like to share information about your group, would like information about my work in the legislature, or are simply inviting me as a guest, I will make every effort to attend.

Contact information

Missouri State Capitol, Room 102-B
Phone: (573) 751-9762
Local: (314) 616-5009
Fax: (573) 751-5409
Email: Jill{dot}Schupp{at}house{dot}mo{dot}gov

Dempsey: MoDOT to close two lanes on westbound Route 370 July 15-18 for pavement repairs

The Missouri Department of Transportation and its contractor Concrete Strategies will close two of three lanes of westbound Route 370 between Earth City Expressway and Route 94 for pavement repairs the weekend of July 15-18, 2011, weather permitting.

Crews will begin the lane closures at 8 p.m. Friday, July 15. During these lane closures, the entrance ramp from Earth City Expressway to westbound Route 370 will be closed. All lanes are expected to reopen by 5 a.m. Monday, July 18.

Motorists may experience delays during this work and are encouraged to use alternate routes. Plan ahead -- for ways to avoid work zones, call 1-888-ASK-MODOT or visit our website at

11 July 2011

Holsman: Joint Committee on Urban Agriculture to hold public hearing on July 11th in Kansas City

At left: Rep. Wyatt (R-Kirksville) tours urban agriculture site at Will Allen Growing Power in Milwaukee, WI

The Joint Committee on Urban Agriculture will hold its first informational hearing tonight at 5:30 p.m. at the Pierson Auditorium on the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus.

The General Assembly authorized the creation of the committee with passage of Senate Bill 356 earlier this year. Senate Bill 356 will be signed into law by Governor Nixon today at 2:00PM in Mexico, Missouri, reauthorizing the Joint Committee on Urban Agriculture.

The committee will investigate trends in urban agriculture, including vertical farming, urban farm cooperatives and sustainable living communities and evaluate existing services, resources and capacity for such urban farming and the impact on local communities. The committee will use this information as the basis for future legislation.

The informational hearing will provide a forum for investigation and exploration of these urban agricultural issues with testimony from various advocacy groups, professional urban farmers, and at large members of the agriculture community. Testimony is expected from:
  • Robert Reid, Corporate Citizenship Manager, IBM
  • Beth Low, Director, Greater Kansas City Food Policy Coalition
  • Katherine Kelly, Cultivate KC

What: Joint Committee on Urban Agriculture Committee hearing
When: Tonight, July 11 at 5:30 p.m.
Where: University of Missouri-Kansas City, Pierson Auditorium,
      5000 Rockhill Road, Kansas City

Contact information for the hearing

For additional information on the Joint Committee on Urban Agriculture's informational hearing at UMKC please contact:

Representaitve Holsman's Office
Dan Bryar
Legislative Assistant
(573) 751-6607

UMKC Contact
Troy Lillebo
Director of External Affairs
(816) 235-6585