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16 September 2011

Allen: Special Session Updates, HDC Mismanagement

Special Session Updates

House Approves Tax Amnesty Legislation (HB2)

Members of the Missouri House of Representatives gave unanimous approval to legislation sponsored by State Representative Tom Flanigan and me that would authorize a period of tax amnesty for delinquent taxpayers. The bill also added language that was requested by the City of Joplin to authorize tax increment financing to assist in disaster recovery efforts, but this language has since been removed in the Senate.

The tax amnesty provision would allow delinquent taxpayers who pay their state tax bills between Jan. 1 and Feb. 29 to waive interest and penalties. The state has previously authorized tax amnesty periods that brought in approximately $74 million for fiscal year 2002 and $42 million for fiscal year 2003. Rep. Flanigan and I anticipate similar revenue numbers if HB 2 becomes law.

Disaster Recovery Funding

The House passed HB 6&7 on Friday. HB 6 allows the Governor to use up to $150 million from Budget Reserve Fund, commonly referred to as “The Rainy Day Fund,” to fund disaster relief in disaster areas across the state. As mentioned in my last Capitol Report, the Governor has opted to unilaterally withhold over $150 million from various programs, including education and Medicaid, rather than use this reserve fund which was designed to provide aid for natural disasters. HB 7 sets up the “Joint Committee on Disaster Funding” to oversee disaster relief expenditures from the Budget Reserve Fund and other state expenditures.

During a special session, the legislature may only consider bills prudent to the subject matter spelled out by the Governor. So far the Governor has not amended his call to include disaster recovery. HB 6&7 would ease the stress on our state’s already tight budget and provide proper legislative oversight to ensure YOUR state tax dollars are being spent wisely.

Human Development Corporation Mismanagement

Last week the Human Development Corporation (HDC) closed its doors amid an audit into its questionable financial practices. HDC is a St. Louis nonprofit Community Action Agency funded by federal grants that are administered by the State. The agency provided help to over 100,000 low-income citizens in the St. Louis Area primarily for utility payments, but also for job development and food assistance (WIC Program). It has been found that HDC owes over $1 million in debt. It has not properly allocated the $650,000 already awarded to it from the “Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program” to assist St. Louis residents with their utilities.

I have spoken with the Director of the Family Support Division within the Department of Social Services, which oversees the Low Income Energy Assistance Program, about HDC and how Federal Funds are being handled. I also spoke with officials from Ameren and they have assured me that they will work with HDC clients to arrange alternate payment plans as needed. Ameren spokesman Ken Martin issued a statement that said customers in the program will not be disconnected.

I am very pleased that Ameren is working with the people affected by the mismanagement of HDC, especially those within the 92nd District.

Special Session Schedule

Next week the legislature will meet for technical sessions on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. There will be a floor debate on bills next Thursday. The schedule may change depending upon action in the Senate.

In the District

Never Forget

Last Sunday I attended the Town and Country 9/11 Community Event at the West County EMS and Fire Protection Station #3. As many of us recalled the treacherous and evil attacks against our country carried out 10 years ago, we were reminded of the murderous slaughter of nearly 3,000 innocent civilians, but also of the incredible courage shown by so many of our citizens and veterans in the days and years ahead. We should never forget the incredible courage and sacrifice displayed by Americans that day. Our prayers continue to be with the victims’ families.

Manchester Homecoming Parade

At right: Cindy Scanlon (driver), Jennifer Scanlon (rear right), and Samantha Holmes (rear left) in my homecoming parade car! It was great to have them along.

Last Saturday I enjoyed walking and meeting many residents and families in the Manchester Homecoming Parade. I was honored to have two young ladies from Manchester, Jennifer Scanlon (National American Miss Missouri State Ambassador) and Samantha Holmes (National American Miss Missouri) in the parade with me.

Korman: District Input Sought On Senate Bills

The General Assembly met on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 12 noon for Veto Session. The Governor vetoed twelve bills passed during the 2011 Session. The General Assembly took no action to override the vetoed bills, since the votes would have been down party lines and House Republicans would have been four votes short of accomplishing the override.

The 2011 Extraordinary (Special) Session continued this week in Jefferson City. Bills now in the Senate include: HB 1 that would allow the City of St. Louis to establish and maintain a municipal police force completely under the city's authority. The House passed HB 1 by a vote of 123-27; HB 2, that would change the laws regarding the collection of moneys owed to the state. The House passed HB 2 by a vote of 150-0; HB 3, that would change the laws regarding presidential elections. The House passed HB 3 by a vote of 147-2; HB 5, that would change the laws regarding the assessment of commercial real property destroyed by a natural disaster. The House passed HB 5 by a vote of 149-0; HB 6, that would appropriate money for the purpose of matching Federal Emergency Management Agency expenditures due to natural disasters in the state of Missouri in 2011 for the period ending June 30, 2012. The House passed HB 6 by a vote of 127-22; HB 7, that would establish the Joint Committee on Disaster Funding. The House passed HB 7 by a vote of 129-22.

The House will return to Session next week to work on SB 1, which would make changes to the “Amy Hestir Student Protection Act,” which was held up by the courts after having been signed into law earlier this year; SB 7, relating to science and innovation, with a contingent effective date; and SB8, this act modifies provisions of existing tax credit programs in a manner consistent with the recommendations of the Tax Credit Review Commission and establishes new tax incentive programs.

The Governor called us into session on some controversial legislation. I have been following the debate and I am not sure if we should send him what he wants but I am keeping an open mind. I’m interested in your thoughts; please email or call the office number below and tell us your answers to the following questions:
  1. Do you support Tax Credit Reform (SB8)?
  2. Do you support new Tax Credit Programs for Economic Development and job creation (SB 8)?
  3. Do you support Missouri Science and Technology businesses receiving government funds (MOSIRA) to help start technology businesses and research for job creation (SB 7)?
  4. Do you support public funding of Embryo Stem Cell Research and if not should we restrict funding in the budget or by law (SB 7)? ?
Please feel free to stop by or contact your 99th District office at:
201 W Capitol Ave, Office 114C
Jefferson City, MO 65101

Working for The People,
Bart Korman

Hoskins: House Receives Senate Measures, Caucus News

Cooler fall temperatures have slowly crept back into our weather forecasts and the smell of fall sports is in the air. Go Mules and Jennies! A special congratulations goes out to “Special Teams Player of the Week,” Aaron Jamieson, for his record breaking 53 yard field goal in the disappointing loss on Saturday.

Whether you are competing, or just out to have fun, this is a great time of year to be outside enjoying the weather, sports, or your favorite outdoor family activity. I know I will be enjoying the outdoors with my family as much as possible.

House of Representatives Activity

It became clear earlier this week that “Veto” Session would not produce the votes needed to override any of the Governor’s vetoes of legislation presented to him after passage by the House and Senate during the 2011 Legislative Session.

Currently, the House stands in recess until Monday. Next week’s tentative schedule consists of “Technical” Sessions, various Committee Hearings, and Executive Sessions; while we prepare for upcoming floor debate on Thursday. The three bills we will be preparing to debate are SCS SB 1, SS SCS SB 7, and SS SCS SB 8.

SCS SB 1 would modify provisions relating to communications between school district employees and students. This is the fix for the “Amy Hester” bill and essentially repeals the prohibition on a teacher using an internet site to exclusively communicate with a current or former student.

SS SCS SB 7 establishes the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act (MOSIRA). MOSIRA replaces the Missouri Technology Fund with the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Fund. The fund will receive contributions made by federal and local governments, private entities, and annual appropriations from the General Assembly.

SS SCS SB 8 modifies provisions of existing tax credit programs in a manner consistent with the recommendations of the Tax Credit Review Commission and establishes new tax incentive programs; such as: Tax Credits to attract Sporting Events, Aerotropolis Trade Incentive and Tax Credit Act, Developmental Disability Care Providers Tax Credits, Data Centers, Compete Missouri, Tax Credit Reform, Special Needs Adoption Tax Credits, Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, Neighborhood Preservation Tax Credits, New Markets Tax Credits, Wine and Grape Producer Tax Credits, Residential Treatment Agency Tax Credits, Historic Preservation Tax Credits, and Brownfield Remediation Tax Credits.

Friday could possibly see “Technical” Session; dependent upon progress in both the House and the Senate.

Leadership News

The House Majority Caucus has unanimously supported Rep. Tim Jones (R-89) as the next Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives. Currently Majority Floor Leader, Jones will be designated as Speaker-Elect until the beginning of the 2013 legislative session when the full body will have the opportunity to officially elect him to the position of Speaker – this assumes a republican majority still exists in the House after the 2012 elections. Leadership in the House of Representatives has been tremendous and I look forward to continuing to work with Speaker-Elect Jones toward the promotion of fiscal responsibility; creating the proper environment for the economy to produce the good paying jobs we need.

Part of this tremendous leadership is the know-how to balance our budget. Just because the law says we must balance our budget, doesn’t make the decisions necessary to balance the budget easy to make. Many tough decisions must be made, but, in the end, it pays off. Our ability to balance our budget has afforded us the AAA rating, while the nation’s rating has faltered. This means our interest payments will continue to remain low.

District Events

Do you want a hotdog? Do you want to help Warrensburg Veterans Home? Or, do you just want your State Representative and State Senator to cook and serve you lunch? No matter which one is yes, come to Parkers Supermarket on Saturday, September 17 (tomorrow) and accomplish all three. Again, proceeds benefit Warrensburg Veterans Home, so, stop by and join us for good food, good fun, and a great cause. Fundraising (hotdog serving) begins at 10:00am.

After lunch, we will be headed to the Maple Grove Elementary School Dedication, beginning at 2:00pm. Maple Grove Elementary was built using a Leadership in Energy and Engineering design and is 43 percent more efficient than regular schools of equivalent size. This is very impressive and our community should be very proud. Hope to see you there.

Visiting the Capitol

CLIMB on the dais in the Missouri House of Representatives

I always enjoy it when constituents come visit the Capitol. I want to thank my good friend Stormy Taylor and members of CLIMB for their recent visit to the Capitol. It was a great day. I also want to give special thanks to our Missouri Veterans for their service to our nation and for making the trip to the Capitol (in the rain). I am always honored to meet and visit with our Missouri Veterans.

Ways to Keep in Contact

I consider communication with my constituents a high priority. My weekly Monday morning chat at 8:45 a.m. with Woody at KOKO Radio on AM 1450 is one of the best ways I’ve found for you to literally “hear” from me. During session or interim, tune in every Monday morning at 8:45 to hear the latest concerning District 121.

Please share this report with anyone you feel would be interested in this information. It is genuinely a privilege to serve as your state representative.

15 September 2011

Neth: No Action In Veto Session, MOSIRA

Veto Session has come and gone and there was no action on any attempts to override any of the Governor's vetoes. There was only one bill that had a chance to be overridden and that was HB 430, the omnibus transportation bill. The Governor vetoed the entire bill because of one part having to do with billboards and how they are regulated in the state. His reasoning was that it took away local control of billboard regulation. There is some justification of this, but along with vetoing that, it potentially takes away millions of federal road funds as well as many other provisions that would have been good for the state. The frustrating part of this whole process is that there was very little or no opposition to the initial bill until after it was passed and there was no warning from the Governor that he might veto it. So we are left to start all over on this the next Regular Session.

Concurrent to Veto Session, we are still in Special Session. As previously mentioned, the House sent several bills to the Senate to be taken up. The Senate has passed out an Economic Development bill, a revision of the "Facebook" bill and a bill containing MOSIRA as a stand alone. It looks like we will have committee meetings on Monday in preparation to convene the whole House on Wednesday to take these things up. I will have to be in Jefferson City for the Education Committee when it is called as the Facebook issue will go through it. I am very hopeful that will be Monday.

For now we are out for the week and hope we can finish up next week.

MOSIRA and Job Creation

I am a big proponent of the legislation known as MOSIRA. The latest version of this is now known as SB 7. MOSIRA would take taxes from additional jobs created in certain industries and reinvest in a fund that would be used to attract and promote additional job creation in those industries. The biggest issue in this bill is the so called "life language" or lack of it as stated by several pro-life groups in Missouri. The language requested is the following: "Public funds shall not be expended, paid, or granted to or on behalf of an existing or proposed research project that involves abortion services, human cloning, or prohibited human research as defined in section 196.1127". These groups argue that the language in the bill is not specific enough to ensure that public funds will not be used for abortion services, human cloning or prohibited human research as defined in MoRsv Section 196.1127. The bill would require reporting of any such funding.

As many know, the Majority party is very much pro-life in its positions and consistently acts in such a way. So the fact that many of the pro-life groups make it out to sound like we are betraying the pro-life position is very troubling to many of us. In addition, the previously mentioned statute already prohibits such funding so to put it in the bill would be a redundancy. In addition, given that the legislature has appropriations power, funding of anything rests in that. On the other hand the groups who are in favor of MOSIRA are a little narrow in their views to not allow the more restrictive language as it would affect so small of a portion of companies in Missouri (less than ½ of one percent) that to hold out for such is to ignore the great benefit to the remainder of the industries. In addition, they also contend there would be Constitutional issues if we put in the pro-life language. I am not convinced of that as the Constitutional language only allows certain research to take place but does not require that we fund such.

Needless to say, this is a very complex issue.I am constantly getting information and learning the intricacies of language both in statute and the constitution as well as the realities of governance over such issues.

If passed, MOSIRA would assist the Liberty area greatly as it is on target with its new Science and Technology Park and the funds would assist in attracting such companies to the area. So for that I am very supportive. On the other hand, I wish we could just put the pro-life language in place and be done with it as I can understand the argument for it. At this point I am taking a wait and see attitude to see what the actual bill looks like when it comes out of committee.

Mark Your Calendars

Town Hall Meeting December 5

I will be hosting a Town Hall meeting on December 5 at the Liberty Community Center at 7PM. The purpose of the meeting will be to give an update on the Special Session, some upcoming legislative priorities for me and the district, and to get feedback on past and future actions from constituents.

Come watch some Softball

This Saturday I will be playing in a charity softball game to benefit Immacolata Manor sponsored by the Clay County Young Republicans. I and other local elected officials will be playing against the Cass County Young Republicans and some of their elected officials. The game is at 5:00 this Saturday, September 17 at Liberty City Park (970 S. 291 Hwy, Liberty, MO 64068). Come out and support a good cause and have some fun cheering us on (especially us older folks!)

Upcoming Local Events

Corbin Theatre- That Darn Plot!
September 29, 30

Liberty Fall Festival
September 23-25

Liberty Public Schools Events (Click link for more info.) LHS Orchestra Pancake Breakfast and Basket Auction, Down Syndrome Walk, Trike-a-Thon, LNHS Charity Volleyball match, LNHS Orchestra 1st Gold and Bluegrass Festival

William Jewell College Homecoming October 7-9

Liberty Farmers Market Every Saturday through October

Check out your local High School sports schedules. Great Friday night football and other sports.
Liberty Public Schools, North Kansas City Schools

Lichtenegger: Veto & Special Session Update

Veto Session was relatively uneventful. Governor Nixon vetoed more than 100 bills delivered for him to sign- eight of which were placed on the House calendar for consideration- none of which were overturned. House Bill 430 generated the most debate and came very close to being overturned, but the needed two additional votes were not obtained. I have all eight below for your information along with the link to the bill’s full text.

HB 10 Appropriates money for the expenses, grants, refunds, and distributions of the Department of Mental Health, Board of Public Buildings, and Department of Health and Senior Services.

HB 184 Authorizes commissioners of certain road districts to be compensated for their services and specifies that risk coverages procured by certain political subdivisions will not require competitive bids.

HB 209 Changes the laws regarding county nuisance abatement ordinances, junkyards, and private nuisance actions.

HB 256 Extends the expiration date of the provisions regarding the Basic Civil Legal Services Fund from December 31, 2012, to December 31, 2018.

HB 430 The bill specifies that the seven Senate members of the Joint Committee on Transportation Oversight must be composed, as nearly as possible, of majority and minority party members in the same proportion as the number of majority and minority party members in the Senate. Currently, no more than four members from the same party can be members of the committee.

The Department of Transportation must submit its annual report no later than December 31, instead of by November 10; and the annual meeting to receive and examine the report must be held prior to February 15, instead of December 1.

HB 465 link here to the lengthy bill summary: Bill Summary

HB 484 Establishes the Missouri State Transit Assistance Program to provide state financial assistance to defray the operating and capital costs incurred by public mass transportation service providers.

HB 1008 Allows 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.

Thus far the 2011 Special Session has resulted in at least one change in the jobs omnibus bill [SB7] and there remains to be more discussion next week regarding the economic package bill [SB8].

Constituent Corner

I had the pleasure of meeting two constituents from Jackson, Bob and Linda Phillips. They came to the Capitol to participate in yesterday’s Veterans Rally. Also at the rally was David Hitt, Jackson City alderman; good to see you again David!

Many legislators are working diligently to keep all Missouri Veterans’ Homes open and operating at full capacity.

Tim Jones: House Legislation In Special Session, Auditor's Lawsuit, Local Announcements

At left: Rep. Jones walking with daughters in the September 10th Eureka Days Parade.

Americans paused Sunday on the 10th anniversary of the devastating terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 to honor the brave men, women and children who lost their lives and the heroes that responded to the emergency that fateful day. We will always remember what was lost and how much has changed in these last ten years. The tragedy of 9/11 unified this state and nation in strength and resolve and caused us to realize that freedom must never be taken for granted.

“Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson

2011 Special Session and Veto Session

The Missouri Constitution requires that, each year, the legislature convene a “Veto Session” in September. The purpose of the session is for the legislature to consider overriding any bills that are vetoed by the Governor. However, this year is unlike any other veto session as the legislature has also held a “Special Session” concurrent with veto session.

The purpose of the Special Session, which was called by Governor Nixon, was to pass a number of important bills. The General Assembly began its Special Session on Monday, September 5th. The House passed the following five pieces of legislation:

HB 1: Currently, the state oversees the police force for the City of St. Louis through the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners. This bill allows the city to establish and maintain a municipal police force under its own authority. The House passed HB 1 by a vote of 123-27.

HB 2: Authorizes an amnesty from the assessment or payment of all penalties, additions to tax, and interest on delinquencies of unpaid taxes administered by the department which occurred on or prior to December 31, 2010. A taxpayer must apply for amnesty, file a tax return for each tax period for which amnesty is requested, pay the unpaid taxes in full from January 1, 2012, to February 29, 2012, and agree to comply with state tax laws for the next eight years from the date of the agreement. All tax payments received as a result of the tax amnesty program must be deposited into the General Revenue Fund unless otherwise earmarked by state law. The House passed HB 2 by a vote of 150-0. This program has been a great success in many other States and has resulted in significant revenue for States while at the same time clearing up delinquent tax rolls.

HB 3: This substitute repeals the provision requiring a statewide presidential preference primary to be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in February any year in which a presidential election is held and requires the primary to be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March of each presidential election year. The House passed HB 3 by a vote of 147-2.

HB 5: This bill changes the laws regarding the assessment of commercial real property destroyed by a natural disaster and authorizes tax increment financing in certain areas affected by a natural disaster. The House passed HB 5 by a vote of 149-0.

HB 6: This legislation would appropriate money for the purpose of matching Federal Emergency Management Agency expenditures due to natural disasters in the state of Missouri in 2011 for the period ending June 30, 2012. The House passed HB 6 by a vote of 127-22.

HB 7: This bill establishes the Joint Committee on Disaster Funding. The House passed HB7 by a vote of 129-22.

The Senate’s version of the Economic Development bill [SB8] was just passed by the Senate yesterday and we are currently reviewing it in the House. The House Economic Development Committee is currently working on the House position and I am involved, on a daily basis, in assisting with the House position.

Regarding Veto Session, neither the House nor the Senate took any action to attempt to override the Governor’s vetoes. A veto override is extremely difficult and unfortunately for us in the House, we were not able to convince enough members of the Governor’s party to join with us on any of the potential overrides, despite the fact that nearly all of the vetoed bills passed in an overwhelming, bi partisan manner during Regular Session.

State Auditor Tom Schweich files Lawsuit Against Governor Nixon

On August 26th, State Auditor Tom Schweich filed a lawsuit against Governor Nixon for violating the Constitution with the withholding of over $170 million appropriated by the legislature. The Constitution allows the Governor to withhold money when revenues are below projections. In this case, the Governor announced his withholdings in June before the fiscal year began. Withholding when revenues are up is a violation of the separation of powers set up in the Missouri Constitution. The legislature has the power to appropriate money, not the Governor. The Governor withheld money from the Republican controlled legislature and the Republican State Auditor’s office but left his own budget alone as well as all other Democrat statewide officials. We expect the Governor to lead, to have an agenda and to follow the Constitution. Unfortunately, his actions have been lacking in all three areas to date. The following link provides more information on the lawsuit and the complete audit report:

The Case for a Balanced Budget

On August 5, 2011, Standard and Poor’s downgraded the United States government’s sovereign debt rating from AAA to AA+. Another credit rating organization, Fitch Ratings, reaffirmed Missouri’s AAA credit rating on June 29. The difference in credit ratings of the U.S. and that of Missouri is directly related to the fiscal policies of these branches of government. I believe it is worth considering the difference in the way Missouri conducts their fiscal affairs as compared to our national government. Although the full impact of this decision by Standard and Poor’s downgrade is not completely known at this time, it will certainly have an impact on the cost of interest paid by federal taxpayers on what seems the ever expanding national debt.

According to the U.S. Department of Treasury, Bureau of Public Debt, our gross national debt increased $1.9 trillion in Fiscal Year 2009 and $1.7 trillion in Fiscal Year 2010. As of August 3, 2011, the total Public Outstanding Debt was $14.34 trillion, of which $9.78 trillion was debt held by the public. As of the end of the second quarter of 2011, the US Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was $15.003 trillion. Total Public Outstanding Debt as a percentage of GDP was 100% and debt held by the public was 65.2% of GDP. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced in our country. This means that our national debt is currently worth the same as the value of all goods and services created in America in a year. This figure of 100% is not far from the 130% of Greece. In response to their debt crisis, all debt issued by the nation of Greece is currently rated at “junk bond” status. It certainly doesn’t seem reasonable that we can sustain such massive national debt on a long term basis.

How we got there is simple. Our national debt was over $10 trillion in 2008 and we have added $3.6 trillion since then. Three years ago we had too much national debt and we have since added 40%. Our recent Federal Stimulus, generous tax credits for home purchases and “cash for clunkers” has done nothing to turn the economy around but has pushed us over the edge of debt. The solution is to do something to create discipline at the national level. We balance our budgets in Missouri because we are required by law not to spend more than we receive in revenue. We have a Missouri Balanced Budget Amendment in our State Constitution. In an attempt to do the same thing in our national government, on at least several occasions since 2007, the Missouri House of Representatives has passed a Resolution supporting a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Besides electing fiscally conservative members of Congress, adoption of a U.S. Constitution Balanced Budget Amendment is the only solution. The U.S. House passed a Balanced Budget Amendment just a couple of weeks ago, but it was blocked in the Democrat controlled U.S. Senate. As the U.S. government continues to deal with the problems of debt and high unemployment, we should feel good that the Special Session of the Missouri General Assembly was primarily focused on job creation.

Special Local Announcements

St. Louis Chase Homeownership Center may be able to help customers lower their monthly mortgage payment or interest rate and avoid foreclosure. They provide one-on-one meetings with a Chase Mortgage Counselor, extended hours of operation including evenings and Saturdays, and assistance for Spanish-speaking customers. Any Chase customer in need of mortgage assistance may call to make an appointment at 314.729.0421 or stop by the center at 9717 Landmark Parkway Drive, Suite 101, St. Louis, Missouri 63127. Their hours of operation are: Monday-Thursday 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.; Friday-9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.; and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

SAVE THE DATE for the Eureka Harvest Moon Celebration on Saturday, October 22. As part of a City of Eureka fall party, the Eureka Project is holding a Harvest Moon Walk and 5K Run on the evening of Saturday, October 22. This walk/run is quite unique as it is the only night run in the area. Volunteers are needed for this first-time event, so if you would like to help, please e-mail the Eureka Project at theeurekaproject{at}yahoo{dot}com.

The City of Eureka is again participating in the 2011 Home Improvement Program with its Community Development Block Grant funds which are administered by St. Louis County. The purpose of this program is to provide financial assistance to low/moderate income homeowners with home repairs which will correct code violations and safety hazards. For additional information, please contact Rose Loehr, City of Eureka at 314.615.4025.

The City of Eureka also recently entered into an agreement with St. Louis County to allow its residents to participate in a Residential Energy Efficiency Loan Program. This program will allow the City to make low interest rate loans available to eligible residential property owners for upgrades that improve comfort and reduce energy costs in their homes. For additional information, please contact Anne Klein at aklein{at}st{dot}louisco{dot}com or by telephone at 314.615.7017.

Public Service Information

Whether you are breaking ground or just installing a new sprinkler system, avoid personal injury and underground line damage by calling before you dig: It’s free, and it’s the law! One easy phone call to 811 starts the process to get your underground pipelines and utility lines marked for FREE. When you call 811 from anywhere in the country, your call will be routed to your state One-Call Center. Once your underground lines have been marked for your project, you will know the approximate location of your pipelines and utility lines and can continue your project by digging with care and respecting the marks. More information regarding 811 can be found at

News & Notes

I recently appeared on a television interview program entitled, “Conversation with Lee Presser” which is aired in the St. Louis area on Charter Cable TV. If you would like to watch this interview, following is the YouTube link to this interview during which Lee Presser and I discussed the prospect of Missouri’s political future:

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. 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 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.

Rupp: History of the State-Run St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department

The First Extraordinary Session of the 96th General Assembly is well underway, and I’d like to use this opportunity to discuss one measure the Senate and House is considering — HB 1, which would allow the City of St. Louis to establish and maintain a municipal police force entirely under its own authority. Many have been calling this issue the “local control” matter.

Legislation that would have put the city in command of its police department was debated during the 2011 regular session, but ultimately, was not passed by the Legislature. The notion of a city-governed police department in St. Louis has been debated for years. Allow me to take you back to when it was decided to put the police force under state control.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) dates back to 1808 and began as a force of only four men. As the city grew over the years, the department expanded as well. According to the SLMPD website, St. Louis became the nation’s eighth largest city in 1861, with a population of 161,000. That year, it was decided by lawmakers that control of the police department would be supervised by a police board appointed by the governor.

It’s interesting to know that the Civil War played a big part in SLMPD history. The state of Missouri was much divided during the conflict — behind Virginia and Tennessee, it was the stage for the most battles fought during the war. It has been stated that, as a result of Missouri’s uncertain stance during the war, the state-controlled system for the SLMPD was designed for confederate sympathizers in Jefferson City to maintain control of St. Louis’ armaments. In a report published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, then-Gov. Claiborne Jackson, who signed the state control bill, was a Southern sympathizer, and the General Assembly that passed the measure also leaned toward the Confederacy — the City of St. Louis leaned pro-Union.

Furthermore, the article states that, “Jackson and his allies believed controlling local law and order might help them in their plot to seize the federal arsenal in St. Louis. As it turned out, the move was unsuccessful and the city police — except for one, and possibly two Police Board members — weren't directly involved.”

The SLMPD still abides by the state-governed system today. Currently, the governor appoints four residents from St. Louis to the Board of Police Commissioners to oversee the SLMPD, and the city mayor fills the fifth spot. The only other city in the country whose police department is under state control is Kansas City.

According to the Missouri Constitution, the General Assembly is allowed to convene for 60 days when the governor calls a special session, so only time will tell if HB 1 will be passed by the General Assembly. To follow the happenings of our special session, please click on this link or visit the Missouri Senate website at and click on “Special Session Information” under the “Legislation” tab.

Denison: Special Session Update, Interim Committee on Criminal Justice System Formed

“It is easier to be wise for others than for ourselves.” – Francois De La Rochefoucauld

Special Session Update

The House made quick and efficient work of the bills set before us during the special legislative session. Members met last Thursday to complete committee work on the bills and then convened Friday for session to approve the bills and send them to the Senate. The bills dealing with disaster relief funding, tax amnesty, the presidential primary and local control of the St. Louis Police Department received strong bipartisan support and moved through the process with little debate. They now await approval on the other side of the building where the economic development package that is the key piece of the legislative session has run into several snags. As I have mentioned in previous reports, the House and Senate reached a deal on the economic development package that would achieve cost savings in existing tax credit programs in order to fund new credits to help encourage job growth in Missouri. That deal now appears to be dead as the Senate has approved legislation that bears little resemblance to the bill agreed to by House and Senate leaders. The House will have a chance to work on the bill in the coming days. I will keep you updated as we do our best to create a fiscally responsible package that will create good-paying jobs for Missourians.

Annual Veto Session Held

In the midst of the special legislative session, the House convened for a constitutionally-mandated session to consider legislation passed by the General Assembly, but vetoed by the governor. The annual veto session offers the House and Senate an opportunity to enact vetoed bills into law by overriding the governor’s veto. To override a veto, the motion must be approved by two-thirds of the majority of both the house and the senate.

In total, the governor vetoed eight House bills approved by the Missouri General Assembly and used a line item veto for one budget bill. The governor also vetoed six Senate bills. The House and Senate moved quickly during the regular session to override the governor’s veto on legislation that redraws Missouri’s congressional districts. During the veto session, the House and Senate chose not to attempt overrides of any of the other vetoed bills.

Interim Committee Will Look At Missouri’s Criminal Justice System

Missouri House Speaker Steven Tilley has formed a new committee to assess the effectiveness of the state’s current criminal justice system. Committee members will meet four times in the coming weeks to take a closer look at issues ranging from prison population to recidivism rates to current sentencing laws. The committee’s goal is to find ways to improve public safety while also safeguarding taxpayer dollars. Members will consider options such as utilizing rehabilitation programs for nonviolent offenders rather than sending them to prison. State correctional facilities currently hold more than 30,000 inmates and the annual budget for the Department of Corrections is approximately $660 million. Finding ways to reduce the overall prison population and cost to taxpayers will be key goals of the committee.

In the District

Following is the work being accomplished this week on two of the road construction projects in Springfield. The information is from MoDOT:

Route 60/65 Interchange Reconstruction, Springfield

  • Rehabilitating deck of eastbound Route 60 bridge over Lake Springfield
  • Building crossovers in median of Route 65 on either side of Route 60 between old northbound lanes and southbound lanes
  • Grading rock and dirt to build new westbound lanes of Route 60 leading to new bridge over railroad tracks west of Route 65
  • Building columns for new eastbound and westbound Route 60 bridges over railroad tracks west of Route 65

Route 65 Soundwall Project, Springfield

  • Pouring concrete for soundwall footings on west side of Route 65 between Route 60 and Battlefield Road
  • Dirt work along southbound lanes of Route 65 near Route 60

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.

14 September 2011

Kraus: Veto Session

Each year, the Missouri Constitution requires the Legislature to meet for at least a day in September to consider overriding the governor’s vetoes of bills passed in the previous regular session. This veto session can be very brief if the governor has not vetoed any bills, if lawmakers choose not to override any of the governor’s vetoes, or if the General Assembly does not have the votes to overturn a veto.

It takes a two-thirds vote of both the Senate and House to override a veto. The process is part of the constitutional checks and balances that are in place to maintain a balance of power between the governor’s office and the Legislature.

Veto session took place on Wednesday, Sept. 14, placing it in the middle of the special session called by the governor to deal with issues such as economic development.

This time around, the General Assembly did not attempt to override any of the governor’s vetoes. I was disappointed that no attempt was made to reverse the veto on SB 282, a bill that offered several changes in election law. Part of that bill contained an amendment I offered during the regular session that removed June from the state election calendar, which would have saved taxpayer money. This bill also moved the Missouri primary election from the first Tuesday after the first Monday in February to the same day in March, a month later. However, a bill has been introduced during special session which contains that presidential primary change.

Veto session is not the only time we can override a veto, though. You may remember that we overrode the governor’s veto of the General Assembly’s congressional redistricting map during our regular session. Doing so saved Missouri’s congressional districts from being decided by the court system. This is the first time since I have been in the Legislature that we have overridden a gubernatorial veto. The last time a veto override was done was in 2003; three vetoes were overturned — HB 349 on conceal and carry laws, HB 156 calling for a 24-hour waiting period for abortions, and SB13, having to do with lawsuits against manufacturers.

With veto session over and done, I look forward to finishing up the work we have to do in special session.

Town Hall Meeting

On Thursday, Sept. 29, Rep. Jeannie Lauer, R-Blue Springs, and I will be hosting a town hall meeting in Blue Springs from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Blue Springs Country Club on 1600 NW Circle Drive.

The focus of the town hall will be to provide information on the legislative special session and veto session and to discuss the emphasis for the upcoming 2012 regular session. In addition, Blue Springs Councilmen Dale Carter, Jeff Quibell, Chris Lievsay and Kent Edmondson will be in attendance to discuss local issues.

These town hall meetings are important to me because they give me the opportunity to interact on a personal level with the constituents of the 8th Senatorial District. It is a vital way to keep members of the local community up-to-date on activities within the Capitol and upcoming issues and events. I look forward to speaking with concerned citizens and addressing any questions they might have.

I hope to see you there!

13 September 2011

Oxford: Educating for Change Fair, A Request

Friends and Allies,

I had hoped to get out a special "Extraordinary Session Edition" of the JMO4Rep Update electronic newsletter, but I've had too many competing priorities to manage that these past few weeks. So I'll just send this brief announcement about an important event, the 7th Annual Education for Change Curriculum Fair, plus this request:

Please keep up your advocacy to save the Circuit Breaker that provides much needed assistance for low-income seniors and people with disabilities. Your calls, visits, letters, and e-mails are having an effect! For more information, see:

I have several very demanding events on my schedule for this week (Veto Session, Special Session, a speech for Constitution Day in Rolla, a class I'm co-leading at Eden Seminary, etc.), so I welcome any positive energy or prayers you can send out to the Universe for me and my House and Senate colleagues. I often feel my allies and friends "holding me up" when my spirit/energy sags. Thank you for all you do to support me.


----- Forwarded Message -----
From: [Rebecca Rogers]

Please distribute this call widely to your networks, colleagues, lists, etc.

"Creating Spaces for Social Justice in an Era of Standardized Testing"

Attached is a "Call for Proposals" for presenters [click here to view] and a flyer [click here to view] for the 7th Annual Educating for Change Curriculum Fair, Saturday, October 8th from 9:00am - 1:00pm at Roosevelt High School (3230 Hartford, St. Louis, 63118).

The theme of this year's fair is "Creating Space for Social Justice in an Era of Standardized Testing."Please consider submitting a proposal for a poster display/exhibit, resource table for organizations, or workshops. Exhibits/poster displays and resource tables will remain set up for the entire fair. This is a great opportunity to share your work and to get feedback!

This year we are planning an exciting program including:
  • Featured speaker Deborah Meier, educational reformer, writer and activist,
  • Educator & Youth-led table exhibits & workshops
  • Ideas and resources to enhance & supplement your curriculum with Social Justice Themes
  • Food donated by Bailey's Chocolate Bar, Rooster, Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar, & Bailey's Range

The event is sponsored by the Literacy for Social Justice Teacher Research Group and The Literacy Roundtable

Ed 4 Change Curriculum Fair Planning Committee, LSJTRG
For more information contact: kathryn{dot}lsjtrg{at}gmail{dot}com

Lant: First-Hand Account Of Senate Proceedings

Last week was the beginning of our Special Session. The Governor called us into session for the expressed purpose of dealing with legislation that is intended to create jobs and find ways to allocate money for disasters. This only sounds easy if you say it fast! The unique aspect of Special Sessions is that the Governor determines what bills are to be heard, and unless he adds a new bill to the call, only what he stipulates is to be considered. The first couple of days are what is termed "Technical Session", meaning that we are only on the floor long enough to read the bill, then we adjourn to do other things. The House Speaker and the Senate Pro Tem agreed to introduce and hear three bills each. On Tuesday we opened session in the House, read our three bills, and adjourned. Elapsed time, probably less than 15 minutes. Since the Senate was opening an hour later, I decided to go over there and listen in. The Lt. Governor saw Tom Flanigan and myself on the sideline and invited us to sit on the Dias with him. That was an unexpected honor. He then began to open the Senate. After the prayer and pledge, Senator Crowell asked to be recognized to speak. He was allowed to rise and rise he did! He spoke for three hours on his upcoming wedding, the flood stage of the river, his neighborhood friends, and everything else you can imagine except the things we were called into session to deal with. When the Speaker Pro Tem finally asked him what he wanted, he replied that he wanted to see the Senate adjourn and everyone go home. The Senate finally read their bills, but the ill-mannered Senator Crowell wasn't through yet. On Wednesday evening, after a long committee hearing, the senator demanded a quorum roll call. Most of those who weren't in the hearing had already gone home for the evening. It took until 1:30 A.M. to get enough Senators back to make up the quorum. After opening on Thursday, the Senate adjourned until next Monday to give them time to read a bill that they have had access to for 5 months. I am certainly not criticizing the whole Senate. We have some fine dedicated senators, especially in our area, however, some of those people abuse the privileges that the constitution affords them!

The House processed a total of six bills. Budget Chairman Ryan Silvey added two bills that deal with disaster funding. One bill was to access the Rainy Day Fund and the other was to create an oversight committee to appropriate emergency funding. Both of these bills passed overwhelmingly. We also passed the measure dealing with the St. Louis Police department returning to local control and one establishing the date for Presidential Primaries. These bills also passed by a large margin.

On Wednesday morning, readers of the Joplin Globe found that the City of Joplin had entered an agreement with a St. Louis law firm to explore the possibility of a "Super TIF" A TIF, or Tax Increment Financing is a public financing method whereby a public project can be carried out within a defined area, usually blighted, and the debt spread out over several years and paid for by the increase in tax revenues from the added businesses. The tax revenues are usually restricted to the city's portion of the revenue. A Super TIF allows the states portion of the revenue increase to also be directed to the payoff. The whole key to making this work on our disaster recovery was to get it done as soon as possible. The TIF needs to be enacted this year in order to use the disaster year of 2011 as the base.
The Governor had allowed an additional bill sponsored by Representative Bill White that deals with property tax adjustments for commercial properties devastated by the tornado. After a tedious day of researching the laws concerning the TIF agreement, and cajoling the House lawyers to draft an amendment, we were able to attach the amendment to Representative Whites' bill. I am delighted to report that it passed the House with a unanimous vote. Every Republican and every Democrat House member saw the tremendous advantage to Missouri disaster areas. If this is signed by the Governor, any area that the Governor declares a disaster in the future is able to apply for this assistance. There is a very intensive application process and the city council of the affected area must do the application, but it gives the public another tool to use in rebuilding efforts. My hat's off to Representative Tom Flanigan who spearheaded a 20 hour effort to prepare the amendment and for his professional presentation on the House Floor.

Saturday afternoon I had the dubious honor of judging the Home Made Boat Race at Shady Acres campground. The race was the final event in the Paddlefest. I have rarely had so much fun or seen so many people having fun. There were boats made of every imaginable material and every imaginable configuration. We were asked to judge the boats on three criteria. The overall best boat, the best designed boat, and the worst boat. The overall best was easy, he won the race so it must have been the best. The overall worst was easy too, they fell off 20 times and lost the race. The best design was really hard! There were three of us judging and we each had to vote three times to narrow it down. Next year I suggest they have more categories. Maybe a "had most fun"," got the wettest"," got the most other people wet", anyway it was a ball and if you missed it, you need to plan to go next year!

I'm heading back to Jefferson City Monday evening for the second round of Special Session, I'm sure I'll have plenty to report next week, until then I am and remain, in your service.

Sater: House Passes Six Bills in Special Session

If you are reading this, I will be in Jefferson City for what is called a special session. Our normal session runs for 5 months from the first of January to the end of May. A special session is one called by the Governor to pass legislation that did not get done during regular session or for an emergency. We will spend up to 60 days in Jefferson City, although I imagine it will be 5 to 7 days. If it is only 5 days, this will cost the citizens of the State of Missouri over $100,000. You do the math if it takes longer. I want to go over the bills up for consideration. It is my opinion that these bills are not an emergency and could wait for regular session next January. It also places us in a situation of passing things that should take time to study and to make sure everyone understands the details of each bill. The devil is in the details.

On the House side, we passed 6 bills. HB 6 designates 150 million dollars to be taken out of the budget reserve fund, (Rainy Day Fund) for the Joplin cleanup. Governor Nixon decided to take this money from programs such as schools and colleges. The Rainy Day Fund was set up for emergencies and the money taken out of this fund must be paid back within 3 years with interest. It certainly makes more sense to me to use this money for what it is set aside for and spread the payback over 3 years instead of decreasing funds for ongoing programs for this year only. HB 7, which passed, set up a committee of representatives to oversee the proper use of these funds.

We passed HB 1 which gives control of the St. Louis Police Department back to the City of St. Louis. Since the late 1800s, due to corruption in both St. Louis and Kansas City, the state took over these police departments. This is probably long overdue, but it could of waited until next year.

HB 3 moved the Presidential primary from the first Tuesday in February to the first Tuesday in March. This would place this election on the same date as other states around us. Again, it could of waited.

HB 5 would let Joplin set up tax increment financing for the tornado area. This is a method of tax breaks for the rebuilding of blighted areas. It is only for Joplin. Although important, and the county government in Joplin is in favor of, it could of waited a few more months for regular session and would not of had any impact on the rebuilding efforts.

HB 2 was a bill that passed the House, but failed in the Senate. It is a tax amnesty bill that allows people who owe back taxes to pay them with no penalty. We did this many years ago, and it worked to bring in revenue from taxes that were owed. I do not agree with this bill because it gives lawbreakers a break. Everyone else who does pay their state income taxes on time, it sets a bad precedent to avoid paying taxes. I may not agree with every law on the books, but they are laws and should be obeyed until they can get changed.

These are the House bills that passed and will move to the Senate. The Senate has their own legislation. There are two controversial bills they are debating, but have not passed. One is the tax credit bill for building an international cargo import and export terminal at the St. Louis International Airport. [SB8] It amounts to $360 million dollars. When I first went to Jefferson City as a state representative, I thought favorably of tax credits for certain entities. I passed legislation that gave tax credits to people who gave to Senior Citizen Centers, either food or money. But picking and choosing who gets a tax credit and who does not, does not sit well with me. This tax credit for St. Louis is picking investors and contractors to receive a tax credit if they build the hub. And who knows if this is financially feasible and will work? I have done some research on this type of program, and most of them have been a money pit with no real long term job creation, but is artificial job creation created by the government. To pay for this, the Senate is considering phasing out the low income tax credit for rental housing. I have stated many times that government’s main focus is on helping those who cannot legitimately help themselves. If a low income person, below $28,000 owns their home, then the tax credit remains; but for those who rent, it goes away. If these two bills pass the Senate, I will certainly speak and vote against both.

Again, I must say, that this special session is a waste of time and money, but I will attend and vote the way I believe the majority of my constituents would want me to.

I should also let you know that my long time legislative assistant, Sid Blount, has retired as of September 1st. We will all miss her dedication to the office and constituents. She was a great help to me when I first started because she had been doing this job for other representatives for some time and knew much more of the ins and outs of the political scene than I did. We will all miss her, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Representative Sally Faith ran for Mayor of St. Charles, MO this spring and won. Her legislative assistant was suddenly available and had worked for Representative Faith for 7 years. May I introduce to you, Robyn Huddleston, as my new assistant. She will be with me until the end of next year`s session and came highly recommended from many people. She will value your calls as important and will always do her best for your concerns.

When Special Session is over, I will be letting you know what actually was passed into law.

My Capitol Office is open now Monday through Friday and can be reached at (573) 751-1480. You can also call me at my home in Cassville (417/847-4661).

12 September 2011

Stouffer: Knowing What It Takes: A Balanced Federal Budget

Op. note: Rep. Mike Kelley sent an identical missive at 11:04a, 14 Sept. 2011

This country is long overdue in having a balanced budget. Federal lawmakers have come close to mandating we live within our means at the federal level several times, but not close enough. Many believe it is possible that a vote to “cut, cap and balance” is ahead, and Missouri should be prepared to respond.

A balanced budget amendment is proposed in Congress every few years. The plan normally gets discussed, but does not make it to the people. Balancing federal spending would mean big changes, even at the state budget level.

In Missouri, we balance the budget. We have to; it is the law. We do have debt in this state, but it is relatively low, comparatively speaking. For every dollar that will be spent in Fiscal Year 2012 (which runs July 1, 2011-June 30, 2012), three-tenths of a cent will go to pay off our public debt.

Our ability to balance the budget has also kept our state’s credit rating high. While the nation’s credit rating has been dropped, Missouri continues to enjoy a AAA rating, which means our interest payments stay low.

There is nothing new about the concept of a federal balanced budget. Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1798 how he wished it could be impossible for a government to borrow money. But, since the country was recovering from the cost of the Revolutionary War, such an amendment was not feasible then. Nothing was proposed until 1936. More calls for a federal balanced budget amendment happened during the 1970s. The latest attempts were in 1995 and ’97, but nothing has occurred since then.

There are essentially two ways the U.S. Constitution can be amended, and one has never been used.

The first is for a bill to pass both the U.S. House and Senate, by a two-thirds majority in each. Once the bill has passed both houses, it goes on to the states. Then, three-fourths of state legislatures or conventions, as outlined by the original federal legislation, must approve the amendment with a simple majority. In addition, Congress usually places a time limit on the states to respond. Every single amendment to the constitution has followed this path.

The second method is for two-thirds of the states to petition Congress for a constitutional change. Then, Congress must call for a convention for proposing amendments. This means 34 of the 50 states have to petition the federal government. Between 1975 and ’80, 30 states tried to get the federal government to enact a balanced budget amendment. By 1983, two additional states joined the chorus, including Missouri.

I would encourage everyone to contact your federal legislator. Let them know the time has come for a federal balanced budget amendment. Missouri’s balanced budget has proven itself to work time and time again. It is part of the reason we are not in the same financial shape as most other states. The federal government continues to borrow billions of dollars at a time; we cannot sustain this type of spending any longer. I pray that our leaders will understand the damage they are doing and stop the practice immediately. One way to curb the spending is to enact a balanced budget amendment in Washington, D.C.

Hoskins: Update From Special Session

It has been a month, or so, since my last Capitol Report and, as most of you are aware, the House and Senate have started Special Session. I thought I would send you this update to let you know what is going on here at your State Capitol.

Special Session

The main purpose of our return to the Capitol for special session is to continue to address the issues of jobs and economic development. Currently the legislation addressing these issues is being debated in the Senate. Consequently, the House calendar may adjust dependent upon how quickly legislation moves through the Senate.

Since the House of Representatives is in session waiting on the progress from the Senate and the jobs/economic development bill, we have taken the opportunity to address legislation which had support in the regular 2011 Session, but, did not have enough time to reach full completion. Also needed are steps to help deal with the disaster relief effort in Joplin and other areas of the State impacted by natural disasters.

Here is a listing of the bills we debated in the House last week. All seven of these bills overwhelmingly passed out of the House with bipartisan support and are awaiting action in the Senate.

HB 8 deals with the issue of tax increment financing and the Missouri supplemental disaster recovery fund.
HB 6 appropriates money for the purpose of matching Federal Emergency Management Agency expenditures due to natural disasters in the state of Missouri in 2011 for the period ending June 30, 2012.
HB 1 would allow the City of St. Louis to establish and maintain a municipal police force completely under the city's authority.
HB 2 would change the laws regarding the collection of moneys owed to the state.
HCS HB 3 would change the laws regarding presidential elections.
HCS HB 5 would change the laws regarding the assessment of commercial real property destroyed by a natural disaster.
And Last, but certainly not least, HB 7 which establishes the Joint Committee on Disaster Funding.
For further information on this legislation, go to

This week’s schedule will consist of having a special “technical” session on Tuesday and Veto Session on Wednesday. Our schedule for session on Thursday and Friday is dependent upon actions taken by the Senate.

While I have your attention, this would be a good time to tell you that Vice-Chair of the Interim Committee on Passenger Rail has been added to the list of my duties here as your State Representative. The purpose of the committee is to study the cost, funding, and other concerns of service associated with Amtrak passenger rail. I am honored that Speaker of the House, Steven Tilley, appointed me as Vice-Chairman of this committee. Amtrak is an important part of Missouri and Warrensburg.

Ways to Keep in Contact

I consider communication with my constituents a high priority. My weekly Monday morning chat at 8:45 a.m. with Woody at KOKO Radio on AM 1450 is one of the best ways I’ve found for you to literally “hear” from me. During session or interim, tune in every Monday morning at 8:45 to hear the latest concerning District 121.

Please share this report with anyone you feel would be interested in this information. It is genuinely a privilege to serve as your state representative.

Korman: Special Session Synopsis

Op. note: Senate Bill 282 is misidentified in this missive as Senate Bill 252. SB252 would have modified a tax credit program that defray research expenditures.

If you haven’t heard the Missouri House and the Senate have been called into a special session by the Governor.

The Governor's call for Special Session includes: enacting the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act (MOSIRA); enacting the Compete Missouri Initiative; enacting legislation to increase exports and foreign trade through the development of an international air cargo hub at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport; enacting legislation to help construct and develop high-tech data centers; enacting legislation moving Missouri's Presidential primary to the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March of each Presidential election year; enacting legislation authorizing the transition of governing the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department from a board of police commissioners to the City of St. Louis; authorizing tax credits to help attract amateur sporting events to Missouri; and repeal specific provisions concerning teacher-student communications that were included in Senate Bill 54.

The General Assembly doesn’t necessarily completely agree with the Governor’s agenda for the Special Session.

Some of the call is to "fix" legislation, Senate Bill 54, which he signed. The legislation started to get some bad press after he signed it. Another is an attempt to prevent a veto override on a bill, Senate Bill 252, which would have eliminated provisions for write-in candidates for municipal elections and which would have imposed special elections instead of appointments for certain office vacancies, the Governor vetoed on July 8, 2011.

Other parts of the Call are his way of "political forcing" the General Assembly to send him bills that we didn't send him in five months of regular session and probably shouldn't be sent to him in just a couple days. There needs to be plenty of time to review the proposed legislation and get input and testimony on how it will affect the citizens and taxpayers of Missouri. I have been watching this legislation in the Senate and all of the changes as they evolve.