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03 November 2011

Denison: Government Oversight Committee Formed, AIM Award

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” –William Arthur Ward

In The Capitol

New Government Oversight Committee Formed

A new House committee formed recently will take a closer look at how state government operates with the goal of eliminating any waste, fraud or abuse that exists in the system. The new Interim Committee on Government Oversight and Accountability will conduct a thorough investigation into any allegations of waste or fraud in state government and then make policy recommendations that will ensure similar instances of waste and abuse do not occur in the future. One of the committee’s first orders of business will be a thorough investigation of the state’s involvement with a company in Moberly, Missouri that makes artificial sweetener. Mamtek U.S. accepted financial assistance from the state with the understanding that it would provide more than 600 jobs. The company revealed it was in financial distress and laid off the four people it had hired in central Missouri in September. The Mamtek situation has raised a lot of questions about some of the partnerships the state has become involved in and these are questions that deserve answers. The committee will do its best to get those answers as it investigates this situation and many others in the coming months.

In the District

Mr. Ray McCarty (right), presented the AIM Award.

On Thursday, October 20th, I was very honored to receive Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM), 2011 Friend of Manufacturing and Industry Award, at a reception held at the Lake of the Ozark’s Lodge of the Four Seasons. The award was presented in recognition of support of business-friendly legislation throughout the 2011 legislative session.

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.

Rupp: Governor Signs Student Protection Bill

Last week, our special session officially adjourned with a sine die motion, meaning the full Senate will not meet again until the Second Regular Session of the 96th General Assembly begins on Jan. 4, 2012. The Legislature successfully passed two measures, and both were signed by the governor on Friday, Oct. 21. Senate Bill 1 will take effect on Jan. 19, 2012 — 90 days after the governor’s signature. The act clarifies provisions found in the Amy Hestir Student Protection Act (SB 54), which was signed by the governor over the summer and emphasizes the importance of protecting our children in public schools.

Senate Bill 1 was formed when confusion occurred regarding bill language found in SB 54, which addressed communication boundaries between public school students and school district employees. A judge issued an injunction (lasting 180 days) to stop this communication provision from taking effect, while the rest of SB 54 went into effect on its scheduled date on Aug. 28.

While many lawmakers, myself included, applauded the original Amy Hestir Student Protection Act, we realized that several concerned parties — including parents, guardians, and teachers — needed clarification regarding the limitations of public school student-employee communication.

Senate Bill 1 repealed language stating that teachers (or other school employees) could only use methods of electronic communication with students if the exchanges were accessible to school administrators and the child’s parent/guardian. The new law puts school districts and guardians in control by allowing the school district to draft its own policy addressing student-employee communication, and how to prevent sexual abuse in learning environments.

The young lady whom the original legislation is named for was continually molested by a teacher throughout her junior high years. That educator was able to continue a teaching career without a scratch, and even won a “Teacher of the Year” award before retirement. It is absolutely unacceptable to let children suffer like this. We have many dedicated, hard-working individuals employed in our public schools, and we have a responsibility to not let any bad apples get mixed in with this group.

In the meantime before the 2012 regular session begins, I will be working to draft quality legislation that will benefit our great state of Missouri.

As always, if you have any inquiries regarding this issue or any other matter within state government, please feel free to e-mail me or call my office toll-free at (866) 271-2844. You can also visit my website at Here, you can keep up to date on all my columns, press releases, and multimedia postings.

Lichtenegger: Know Your State Department: Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration (DIFP), Part 1

Part 1: The State’s Insurance Division and the Federal Medicare Program

Know someone who could use help in understanding the federal Medicare program? The program contains a large amount of very specific information and guidelines which could confuse an academic genius! Open enrollment begins in October and continues through December 7, so time is limited for citizens to make any needed changes in their current -or new- enrollment, especially since almost every year brings one or two changes to this massive program.

The Missouri Community Leaders Assisting the Insured of Missouri (CLAIM) is a non-profit organization that is in partnership with state and federal departments handling the Medicare program. It is equipped to counsel Medicare recipients in understanding their current Medicare program, current options and other questions they may have. A visit to the Missouri CLAIM website will prove a valuable resource with a variety of Medicare updates, information regarding current scams, and there is even a CLAIM Calendar where you can find an information event near you. These events have counselors who are specifically trained to help you make the best choice possible for your health needs. If you are not able to attend any of the regional events you can call 800-390-3330 and set up a one-on-one to get the help you need. Now that’s service!

CLAIM will also help consumers determine whether they qualify for federal or state help in paying for prescription drugs. This is the state’s MO Rx program managed by the state’s Department of Social Services: (link)

There’s no need to be in the dark about you or your loved one’s Medicare options, so don’t hesitate to use MO CLAIM if you need assistance in understanding the maze of the state and/or federal programs. Information is a vital component of the decision making process!


On Wednesday, November 9, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct the first-ever nation-wide Emergency Alert test at 1:00 p.m. central standard time. The alert will be transmitted throughout the country. You can link here to find out more about this first-ever national diagnostic test of the Emergency Alert System.

Constituent Corner

For Medicare enrollment assistance in Cape Girardeau and Perry Counties:
  • Every Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. CLAIM counselors meet with constituents at the Jackson Senior Center, 2690 Traveler’s Way, to assist seniors with their Medicare enrollment. There is additional help for seniors with other overwhelming paperwork via APPLE -a project of Southeast Missouri State University intended to assist seniors with Applications, Personal Papers, Legal and Environmental paperwork. You can call the Jackson Senior Center 243-4241 for more information.
  • Call Perry County Senior Center, 547-2188, for information regarding their November 17 event and for the November 23, Altenburg location where APPLE will assist seniors.
  • For the November 21 Cape Girardeau location, call the Cape Girardeau Senior Center 335-1352.

Mayer: Special Session Wrap-up, Natural Disaster Recovery and District News

Last week we ended the special session called by the governor that began Sept. 6. We understand the importance of working together to address Missouri's high unemployment rate and an on-going budget crisis. That is why the Senate worked diligently to pass an economic development bill coupled with tax credit reform that both Republicans and Democrats supported the first week of special session. The bill would have saved taxpayers nearly $1 billion over 15 years while securing the future of innovative and financially responsible tax incentive programs to help keep and bring jobs and businesses to Missouri. Unfortunately, the House and Senate could not philosophically see eye-to-eye on all the components of this massive bill.

While I am disappointed that economic development/tax credit reform legislation did not become law this special session, I believe we will continue to move forward with earnest and fruitful discussions to identify solid public policy protecting Missouri taxpayers in the coming months — with meaningful legislation in 2012 as the result.

During special session we passed two bills that were signed by the governor. With an objective to clear up confusion displayed by concerned parties, SB 1 requires school districts to submit written policies concerning student-employee communication by March 1, 2012, with emphasis on the district’s stance regarding the use of electronic media and the Internet for communication. The goals of these policies are to prevent inappropriate communication from occurring between school employees and children.

Another special session bill to receive the governor’s stamp of approval is SB 7, that I sponsored. With a purpose to attract science and innovation companies to Missouri, this bill creates the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act, popularly known as MOSIRA.

Look for legislation pre-filed by lawmakers for the 2012 Regular Session to become available Dec. 1 on the Missouri Senate website.

This interim, in response to the many natural disasters our state witnessed this year, I created the Senate Interim Committee on Natural Disaster Recovery to identify the best ways we can legislatively and financially assist our state in recovery efforts. Three subcommittees focused on emergency, fiscal, and insurance response and held hearings across the state.

The Subcommittee on Emergency Response had the responsibility of focusing on the physical response to a natural disaster, such as disaster relief, emergency crews, and utility crews. The Fiscal Response Subcommittee explored who pays for cleanup and care of affected areas until the vicinity can resume productivity. The Subcommittee on Insurance Response assumed the task of examining how impacted individuals and businesses file insurance claims and how those claims are addressed by insurance companies, as well as the qualities that define a disaster in order for insurance companies to provide compensation. The final report detailing the committee’s work is available online here.

Last week I appointed Mr. Brett Dorton of Dexter to serve on the Joint Interim Committee on State Employee Wages. Mr. Dorton is one of two citizens selected to serve on the panel. Attracting and maintaining a talented and dedicated workforce is essential to providing critical state services to our citizens. I believe Mr. Dorton’s background in the private banking industry will provide the panel with beneficial information on how to develop strategies for providing fair wages and benefit packages to Missouri’s state employees. Members of the panel are responsible for comparing the wages of Missouri state employees to other state employees throughout the country, studying and developing strategies for increasing the wages of Missouri’s state employees, and reporting its findings to the House and Senate budget committees by Dec. 31, 2011.

I also had the honor of helping pay tribute at the memorial highway naming and sign dedication for State Representative Otto Bean, Jr. naming Highway 25 in Dunklin and Stoddard Counties from US 412 to Routes U and Z the Representative Otto Bean Jr. Memorial Highway. He was a dear friend, wonderful person and dedicated representative and it was fitting that we gathered to dedicate this token of our district’s admiration for his life and service. It’s a special honor and I am glad each time I pass by these signs, I and so many others will remember this great man. To learn more about the tribute or watch video from the event click here.

I was also happy to join in the Mid-America Express event in late August to celebrate the completion of the Route 67 project. The project included upgrading the route to four lanes from north of Poplar Bluff to Fredericktown in Madison County. To learn more about the project or see photos and video from the event click here.

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

02 November 2011

Torpey: Special Session Recap

A Special Note

A few weeks ago (on October 6th), over 200 4th grade students, parents, and teachers from Blackburn Elementary visited us here at the Capitol. We were excited to show the students around, as well as enjoy lunch with them. I look forward to having more 4th graders visit Jefferson City in the Spring, as well as visiting them in their classrooms this winter. If you would like to pay us a visit, please contact my Legislative Aide (Amanda{dot}petelin{at}house{dot}mo{dot}gov) to schedule your tours and meetings!

2011 Special Session

From September 6th to October 27th, the Missouri General Assembly has been in special session, called by Governor Nixon on August 22nd. See more on why the governor called special session by clicking here.

Senate Bill 7

One of the biggest priorities during Special Session, for the governor and the legislature, was to focus on job-creation. On September 23rd, the legislature passed MOSIRA (the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act) to encourage the growth of science and innovation businesses in the state. While MOSIRA is recognized as a respected economic development proposal that is critical to Kansas City's regional benefit, a strong majority of state legislators concluded during the special session that MOSIRA reflected the best statewide opportunity to jumpstart our economy and sustain it by creating an innovation infrastructure for jobs in the emerging high-tech sector.

MOSIRA will provide a predictable, stable source of state funding to invest in advanced technology, entrepreneurial infrastructure, and foster 21st Century jobs in growing industries like biotechnology. MOSIRA is a pro-growth, pro-jobs bill with NO fiscal note (completely subject to appropriations based solely on net gains!) that will keep Missouri extremely competitive in the fast growing field of Bio-Tech and Bio-Science. The passage of this bill is a major step forward for the Kansas City region and for Missouri.

The House passed MOSIRA by a margin of 94-48, showing broad support for the measure. For more information on SB 7 and to read the summary and full text of the bill, please click here.

Senate Bill 8

On October 6th, the Missouri House took a major step in moving forward SB 8 which is a comprehensive jobs bill that will give Missouri's economy the boost it needs to get back on track. After hours of debate on the House floor, the bill received an overwhelming positive bipartisan vote. The bill includes innovative tax incentives, reforms to existing programs, and an across the board tax cut for Missouri job creators. The bill also includes many new incentive programs that will help Missouri's economy compete in the 21st century. The new incentives will help attract amateur sporting events to the state, encourage the creation of data storage centers, and create the Missouri Export Act, which creates incentives for exporting Missouri products. In addition to these new incentives, the bill provides funding for job training and creates a fund to retain companies that are considering leaving our state and attract businesses that are looking for a new location. The bill will also make dramatic changes that will create hundreds of millions in savings and ensure taxpayer protections for many incentive programs. The House lowered caps on two of Missouri's largest programs and eliminated many underutilized and ineffective programs. With the savings created through these reforms, we passed an across the board tax cut for Missouri businesses. SB 8 was then sent to the Senate where we had hopes that it would move to the Governor's desk for signature.

The Senate convened on October 17th and refused to take up and pass the House Committee Substitute for SB 8 as amended by the House. On Thursday, October 20th, the Missouri House met and overwhelmingly approved a motion to continue efforts to reach a compromise. The House approved a motion to send the economic development bill (SB 8) to conference where selected members from both sides would work together to find common ground. The President Pro Tem of the Senate has continually indicated he wanted to send the bill to conference but apparently then changed his mind. While the House does have concerns about some of the provisions in the Senate version of the bill, the House always remained willing to sit down together with our Senate colleagues to iron out differences. I truly believe that a strong majority of our Senate colleagues want to move Missouri forward and accomplish the task of finding solutions to the challenges that this terrible economy has posed. Unfortunately, the Senate has been thwarted in its efforts by one or two Senators and their personal agendas. I will continue to look for ways to cooperate and work with the majority of my Senate colleagues who want to work for a positive future for all Missourians. For more information on SB 8 and to read the full text of the bill, please click here.


On October 17th and 18th, the Interim Committee On Criminal Justice met in Jefferson City to evaluate current laws, including the sex offender registry. I am thankful to serve as the Vice-Chair of this committee, and I look forward to working with my peers to strengthen Missouri's criminal code. I will be meeting with this committee again in the coming weeks.

Kraus: Kansas City Missouri School District

KCMSD Unaccredited: The Effect on 8th Senate District Schools

Last month, the state of Missouri removed accreditation from the Kansas City Missouri School District (KCMSD). It is important to note that the KCMSD serves only 17,000 children, a small portion of the city as a whole. Other districts in the city, and those districts outside the city that serve city residents, are not affected.

State law requires that children in districts that are not accredited must be received by any school district in the same county or any neighboring county. This means that any school district in Jackson, Platte, Clay and Cass counties should prepare for the possibility of receiving KCMSD students who wish to transfer to their district.

The process for such transfers is still under discussion. State statutes do require that the recently unaccredited school district (KCMSD) pay for all tuition and transportation costs for the student. The tuition is calculated by using a per grade average for cost per pupil in the receiving district. Districts cannot refuse a student who wishes to transfer, but they do have the option of which school to assign the student.

St. Louis schools, and their surrounding districts, have already faced this situation. Because some districts refused to accept incoming students by saying they didn’t have room and because the St. Louis School District did not want to pay, a lawsuit was filed and a resulting verdict was decided. The Missouri Supreme Court, in the case of Turner vs. the Clayton School District, often referred to as the Turner Decision, decided in favor of students in the unaccredited district and upheld state statutes. The decision has been stayed while the case is headed back to circuit court; therefore, the verdict has not been implemented. A final decision is expected in January 2012.

More information about what happens when a school district becomes unaccredited can be found by clicking on this link, Frequently Asked Questions, or visiting and looking up “unaccreditation.”

Local districts are already grappling with the effect of the KCMSD decision and the possibility they may face the same issues as the districts surrounding St. Louis. I have been in contact with members of the education community on all sides of the issue and I have found most everyone wants two things: an opportunity for a quality education for students in the KCMSD and protections for surrounding districts.

I will continue to meet with education leaders at all levels, from PTAs to teachers to administrators and elected officials. Legislation has been discussed in Jefferson City to better define a process and I am sure we will debate a solution during the 2012 session. Together, I am confident we will find a way to accomplish the two goals before us.

Special Election in Jackson County

Jackson County is holding a special election next Tuesday, Nov. 8, to vote on the question of levying a tax for the benefit of a Kansas City Zoological District. The polls will be open from 6:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. Don’t forget to vote!

The official ballot will be substantially in the following form:

Shall a retail sales tax of one-eighth of one percent (1/8%) be levied and collected for the benefit of the Kansas City Zoological District, which shall be created and consist of the county of Jackson and the counties of Cass, Clay, and/or Platte, if approved by such other county’s voters, for the support of zoological activities within the district?



Nance: Taxation and the Kansas City Zoo

“If you're hanging around with nothing to do and the zoo is closed, come over to the Senate. You'll get the same kind of feeling and you won't have to pay.” –Robert J. Dole

Taxation and the Kansas City Zoo

The November 8th election will soon be on us.

In 2010 the legislature passed CCS SCS HCS HB 2297.

KANSAS CITY ZOOLOGICAL DISTRICT: This bill authorized the establishment of the Kansas City Zoological District. The voters of the counties of Cass, Clay, Jackson, and Platte may choose to have their county be a part of the district. Each member county may impose, upon voter approval, a sales tax of up to 0.25% for the financial support of zoological activities within the district. However, the tax will not be effective in the counties of Cass, Clay, or Platte unless Jackson County also collects the tax.

The claim is the 1/8 cent sales tax on the ballot will help make the Kansas City Zoo a better attraction. Should we be funding the zoo? Is there an economic benefit for our County and Excelsior Springs?

Excelsior Springs’ portion would amount to about $160,000 a year. I can’t imagine taking those kinds of dollars from our city in these bad economic times. That would be $1.6 million over 10 years. It also is what we would call a “forever tax”.

I voted against this bill in 2010 because I believe our tax money should be spent locally, and I also believe that Kansas City might cut back on their funding for the zoo with a new tax.

Please make your vote count on November 8th whether for or against the tax.

01 November 2011

Keaveny: Special Session Recap, Open Enrollment Reminder, Mamtek Investigation

Recap of the First Extraordinary Session of the 96th General Assembly

The special session (called by the governor on Sept. 6) ended on Oct. 25. Although I'm glad we were able to pass two beneficial measures (SB 1 and SB 7 — signed by the governor on Oct. 21), I am very disappointed that, once again, local control of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) was pulled aside from the legislative agenda.

Since I was elected to the Senate in 2009, I have fought to end this inefficient governing system. If the local control bill (HB 1) had passed during special session, the City of St. Louis could have saved up to $4.1 million by combining services with the police department. Also, the state of Missouri could save up to $1 million by eliminating the Legal Expense Fund.

I will remain dedicated to pushing for local control, and will fight to get this important measure passed during the 2012 regular session, which will begin in January.

Please click here to read a press release I issued regarding local control and special session. You can also listen to my full interview from Oct. 24, which highlights my thoughts on special session. You can find this interview on my "Multimedia" page, located on my Missouri Senate website.

Meeting for the Senate Interim Committee on Health Insurance Exchanges

My colleagues and I on the Senate Interim Committee on Health Insurance Exchanges will hold a meeting to listen to public testimony regarding a state health insurance exchange.

Date: Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Location: Dunseth Auditorium in Harmon Hall — Lindenwood University
209 South Kingshighway, St. Charles, MO 63301

The Senate Interim Committee on Health Insurance Exchanges is charged with researching Missouri’s options regarding the establishment of a health insurance exchange and to study its effect on existing state laws.

Open Enrollment Reminder for Missourians

At left: Senator Keaveny greets guests at his open enrollment event.

On Oct. 18, I held my open enrollment event at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis. I'd like to thank everyone for participating, and I'd especially like to applaud all the volunteers who helped assist our community.

Please click here to view pictures from the event.

Medicare beneficiaries interested in changing their prescription drug plans under the federal health insurance program have from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 to do so.

Volunteers from Community Leaders Assisting the Insured of Missouri, or CLAIM — a program funded by the Department of Insurance and Medicare that is dedicated to providing free and expert counseling to Missourians with Medicare — will be available to help throughout this timeframe.

For more information about Medicare open enrollment, please call
800-390-3330 or visit the CLAIM website at

Volunteer with a Food Bank this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time for us to be grateful for the love and support of our family and friends. Many people think of Thanksgiving Day as a time to sit down and enjoy a delicious feast with loved ones. However, many people are struggling with the high cost of food — especially during this difficult economic time — and can't afford a turkey dinner this year. It's estimated that 1 in 8 Missourians receive emergency food assistance each year.

During this time of generosity, I encourage you to donate to the Missouri Food Bank Association, which helps millions of people throughout our state with meals. Whether you can donate time, money, or a few cans of nutritious food, all help is appreciated.

Our local foodbank, the St. Louis Area Foodbank, has countless volunteer options. If you'd like to help, you could:

If you'd like to learn more about volunteer opportunities, visit:

The St. Louis Area Foodbank
(314) 292-6262

The Missouri Food Bank Association
(573) 355-7758

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a safe weekend. If you are traveling, please remember to wear your seat belt, and always appoint a designated driver if need be — and please be cautious if you decide to fry a turkey! (Please click here for some helpful safety tips for turkey frying.)

Find the Least Expensive Gasoline in Your Community

Throughout past several years, we have watched the price fluctuate on gasoline. While we can't always predict the price of gasoline, we can follow some guidelines to help us save some green.

A great resource is On the website, there are various links to information about:

One of the best ways to save money on gas is to drive responsibly. Here are a number of ways you can save money at the gas pumps:
  • Don't drive aggressively. Speeding, rapid acceleration, and excessive breaking waste gas, and also increases your chances of being in a car accident.
  • Obey the speed limit. Gas mileage can decrease rapidly at speeds exceeding 60 mph.
  • Remove excess weight from your car. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by up to 2 percent.
  • Use cruise control to help maintain a consistent speed.
  • Use overdrive gears — when you do this, your car's engine speed goes down, saving gas and reducing engine water.
Please use for more tips on how to conserve gas and drive safely, and remember — always wear your seat belt!

Researching the Mamtek Project

Work continues in researching information related to the Mamtek deal — a project designed to create a manufacturing plant and up to 600 jobs in mid-Missouri — and the role the state played in dealing with the company. Due to the fact that Mamtek has failed to create the jobs it promised, as well as the performance-based nature of the economic incentives offered to the company, Mamtek has received no funding from the state of Missouri.

The Senate Governmental Accountability Committee (on which I serve) has conducted two meetings. At the first meeting, we reviewed information regarding Mamtek, Wi-Fi Sensors (a company based in Kirksville), and other related businesses. Our second meeting was conducted to hear testimony regarding appropriation bonds, EB5 VISAS, and the issuance and sale of municipal bonds.

To follow our hearing schedule, visit the "Hearing Schedule" link on the right-hand side of the Senate website. You can also click here to watch videos from our first committee hearing. You will find the videos listed under Oct. 5, 2011. (Note: Senate Daily Audio/Video Clips are posted on a rotating basis and may not be available for future reference.)

Certificates of Lien

Individuals and businesses that have not paid their taxes may have a certificate of lien filed with the recorder of deeds and the circuit court in the county where the individual resides or the business is located.

A certificate of lien is defined as, " A certificate of claim against property that has a lien placed upon it as a result of unpaid property taxes. "

The certificate of lien filed with the recorder of deeds attaches to the taxpayer’s real and personal property. The certificate of lien filed with the circuit court is treated like a judgment of the court.

Please click here to conduct a lien search, provided by the Missouri Department of Revenue.

St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners

At left: With members of the St. Louis City Board of Election Commissioners.

The St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners has the important job of ensuring that every eligible resident of the city of St. Louis is encouraged and provided ample opportunity to register to vote. They also must be sure that:
  • Voter files are kept accurate and up-to-date;
  • Voter education and turnout efforts are maximized;
  • And public elections in the City of St. Louis are conducted in an efficient, fair, honest and impartial manner.
I encourage you to visit the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners' website at There, you can learn more about:

Please feel free to call the board's office as well, at (314) 622-4336, to learn more about voting in Missouri.

Remembering Veterans Day

Friday, Nov. 11, is Veterans Day — a day to remember the sacrifices that so many Americans have made for our country, and to be grateful for their courage and selflessness.

Serving on the Senate Veterans' Affairs, Emerging Issues, Pensions and Urban Affairs Committee, I am dedicated to ensuring that our veterans are treated with all the care and respect they deserve. For all the bravery they have shown in defending our country, they are worthy of our utmost respect.

The Missouri Veterans Commission is available to help our veterans and their families find the appropriate services. On its website,, you can learn more about:

On Saturday, Nov. 5, I will attend the Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony in downtown St. Louis. Pre-parade ceremonies will begin at 11 a.m. at the Soldiers' Memorial. I encourage you to come out to support our veterans and have a good time in our awesome city. Please click here to learn more.

Please take a moment to reflect upon the fact that we live in a free and just country, thanks to millions of men and women who have served us over the years. To our veterans: you forever have our gratitude.

Prevent Domestic Violence

In Missouri, 22 percent of women report that at some point in their lives, they were physically hurt by an intimate partner. On a national level, nearly one-third of American women will be abused by a partner at some point in their lives. These figures are staggering, and we need to do what we can to prevent families from the damage of domestic violence.

There are some excellent resources regarding domestic violence on the City of St. Louis Circuit Attorney's website, at, under "General Information — Victim Services Unit." There are also hotlines available for people who need help:
  • Child Abuse Hotline
  • Domestic Violence and Rape Hotline
    (314) 531-2003
  • St. Louis Regional Sexual Assault Center Hotline
    (314) 531-7273
Another helpful resource is the Women's Safe House (TWSH) in St. Louis. Dedicated to providing shelter and resources for abused women and their children, TWSH provides children's and residential services, and offers an outreach/aftercare program that provides support and advocacy for those who have left the shelter. This program provides employment, housing, transportation, and education assistance. TWSH staff are very sensitive to a woman's needs — when a woman calls the 24-hour crisis hotline, arrangements are made to pick her up in a safe location and she is taken to a confidential shelter location. For more information about TWSH, visit or call (314) 772-4535.

31 October 2011

Lant: Still Waiting For Free Time

I'm still waiting for all that free time that Kevin Wilson and Marilyn Ruestman told me I would have during session recess. It's been over five months since session ended and I still don't have any time to get stuff done at home. Of course, that doesn't count "Special Session" and the time spent there. There has been a lot of confusion about the special session and why it was called and what we were supposed to accomplish. Early in special, we addressed the Mosira Jobs Bill and passed it with overwhelming bipartisan support. Just two years ago this was the Governor's flagship bill. One of the major reasons the Governor called the Special Session, and remember it was he who set the agenda, was to address this bill. The other main reason for the call was to try to work out a compromise on the economic development package. Past administrations have gotten very involved in the negotiations but you have to remember that this is an election year and the Governor has no wish to become embroiled in a contentious debate over tax credits. I have no doubt that early next session we will revisit the best points of the Economic Omnibus package and pass those bills that are good for all Missourian's.

On Monday I was at the Courthouse in Pineville to visit with Congressman Long's area representatives who were on a listening tour. I applaud the Congressman for reaching out to those of us in the far reaches of his district. Every time I'm in Pineville I find something else to be proud of. Have you seen the new community Center? It sure looks to me like it is nearing completion. What a nice addition to the community.

Tuesday morning Bill Reiboldt and I met with Sheriff Copeland and his staff for an informational update on the Meth problems in our county. The Sheriff offered to provide educational seminars for local groups who wish to become more informed about this horrible affliction. The better informed we can become on the production of this chemical, the better able we will be to help the authorities curb it's manufacture and abuse. We then attended a great luncheon meeting with the Conservation Department, the Fish Hatchery, the Historical Society and Neosho City Management concerning future possibilities for Morse Park. It was a well-organized and informative presentation. Later, in the afternoon, Lt. Governor Peter Kinder was at the Lampo Building for a short meeting and of course, a campaign speech. Tuesday evening found us at Daddy Jim's for a Conservative Network meeting where former State Representative Ed Emory gave a very informational PowerPoint presentation on the "Fair Tax". I have to admit, I had a lot of misconceptions about the tax that he was able to clear up.

Friday we attended a lunch meeting at the Kelly Club. Cy Werner chaired the meeting and the purpose was to find ways to let people know about the club and the wonderful help it offers to those afflicted with drug and alcohol diseases. As he stated, if just one life can be turned around or one family saved, it's worth all the efforts.

Saturday morning we went to Joplin to participate in a "Wall Raising". The Tulsa Habitat for Humanity chapter has obtained ten lots on Kentucky Street and are building ten homes for Joplin families. There were literally hundreds of volunteers from Tulsa on hand to build the homes. At the appointed time a horn was sounded and a wall was raised at each home simultaneously to officially start the project. We certainly owe many, many thank you’s to all the volunteers from all over this country that have come to our area to offer their labor and money to help us over an awful time.

In case you didn't hear, Mark Lindquist and his rescuer and new found buddy Staff Sgt. Michael Byers got to go to game 7 of the series!! An anonymous donor heard Mark's story and donated two tickets for the seventh game. I can't think of two guys who deserved to go more than they did. One final note, Jane and I were down at Pineville with our grandson Saturday afternoon and he insisted that we stop at Burger Time for dinner. If you haven't been there, you won't believe it. Gourmet burgers and world class desserts in a little place like that? You bet! Scott Poe and his staff are unbelievable. I guess that's why you can't find room to park at lunch. More next week, until then I am and remain in your service.