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23 November 2011

Lichtenegger: Thanksgiving Blessing

Historically Thanksgiving has been set aside to give thanks for the many blessings we have received. These blessings have come to us through family, friends, our employment, neighbors and many other avenues of life.

It is my hope and prayer that this season you will find many things for which to be thankful. There no doubt are many families who are going through tough times and so, reasonably, find it difficult to give thanks. If you know of such a family or individual perhaps you could take some comfort food or needed items to them; invite someone to your holiday meal; or contact them via phone or email and let them know how much you care. You will be a blessing to them; and in-turn receive a blessing yourself!

May all of you have a blessed Thanksgiving celebration!

Denison: Be Thankful

Be Thankful

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.

It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.

GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.

Author Unknown

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.

Dugger: Thanksgiving Great Time To Share The Harvest

From the first Pilgrim observance in 1621, to the nine years before and during the American Revolution when the Continental Congress declared days of Fast and Prayer and days of Thanksgiving, we have turned to Almighty God to express our gratitude for the bounty and good fortune we enjoy as individuals and as a nation. –Ronald Reagan

Throughout the passing of time the unsurpassed freedoms and liberties we have as Americans have truly allowed for a bountiful harvest in so many ways. It is unlikely the Pilgrims at the first Thanksgiving could even imagine the many comforts we enjoy today. America is truly blessed.

Earlier this month, we thanked America’s Veterans who have and continue to fight in order to protect our freedoms. Much of America’s success would not be possible without the courage and bravery of our military forces. America is also indebted to the farmers that ensure there is food to place on our Thanksgiving tables. This week, Missourians thanked our 108,000 farmers on Thank a Farmer Day. These hardworking men and women account for twelve billion dollars of Missouri’s economy and the labors of each one feeds 150 people on average. America undoubtedly has much for which to be thankful.

However, as we enter this holiday season, let us not forget that Thanksgiving is not only a time to be thankful, but that it is also a time to extend a helping hand to those who are less fortunate. Americans have long understood the importance of voluntary giving. Since the first Thanksgiving, the spirit of fellowship and giving has become engrained in the American character.

Missouri’s Share the Harvest program is an excellent way to give back and make another family’s holiday a little brighter. The Share the Harvest program provides a way for deer hunters to donate venison to the needy. Hunters simply take their deer to an approved processing plant and tell the processor how much venison they wish to donate. This could be a few pounds or the whole deer. In Douglas County hunters can go to Oldfield Packing, LLC in Oldfield; in Texas County, Cummins Custom Meats in Licking; and in Wright county, Forrest Meat Processing in Norwood.

As you gather with family and friends this holiday weekend I encourage you to remember that Thanksgiving is a day of giving as well as of thanks. May God bless you and grant you and your family a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.

Rupp: Wishing You a Blessed Thanksgiving

This week, as we gather with our loved ones and take in the delicious smell of roasting turkey, we should all remember our many blessings that are sometimes taken for granted. Throughout the year, we are often engulfed in our busy schedules and don’t take the time to step back and appreciate all that we have. Even during the holidays, some get caught up in the stress of holiday festivities and worry about hosting the perfect party or giving the perfect gift. Although it’s challenging sometimes not to stress, I encourage you to take a deep breath and enjoy the company of your family and friends, and enjoy all your good fortune.

As citizens of our great country, we automatically have so many privileges and rights that many across the globe do not have — such as the ability to elect the people we want to represent us. On that note, I would like to thank my constituents for allowing me to represent you in our fantastic area of St. Charles and Lincoln counties. Serving as your state senator is a responsibility I do not take for granted, and I appreciate your trust and input. I am also very thankful for the thousands of servicemen and women who put their lives on the line for our well-being and safety. You are truly my heroes.

The people in my life I am the most grateful for are my beautiful wife and children. Their love is absolutely priceless, and they continue to support me as I serve our great state. I pray that I live up to their hopes as a father, step-father, and husband.

Although many of us will be spending Thanksgiving Day gathered around the dinner table amid a bountiful feast, many people in our area won’t have a turkey or a nutritious meal. Countless people deal with economic hardship during this time of year, and experience difficulty affording meals for themselves and their families. Please consider donating your time or a few cans of healthy food to a local food bank — two top-notch food banks in our area are the OASIS Food Pantry ( and the St. Louis Area Foodbank (

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I hope you can enjoy the day with the people who are the most special to you. Thank you and God Bless.

Berry: Thanksgiving

It’s that time of the year again when we enjoy quality time with our families; eat a little more than we should; and express our thanks for all the wonderful things we have been given. It’s easy to overlook that last part as we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Even someone with a mountain of patience can get a little stressed when preparing an enormous Thanksgiving feast or trying to budget for that year’s Christmas shopping. However, even when things get hectic and stressful, it’s important to remember we are truly blessed to live in this great state and great nation where we have an abundance of blessings.

With my work in the Missouri House, I find myself in the same boat quite often. I spend so much time worrying about taking care of this issue or that issue that I occasionally lose sight of the big picture. But even though there’s always more to do, sometimes you need to take a break from worrying about the future to spend a few moments appreciating what you already have. While things are never perfect, we are truly fortunate to live in a land of opportunity that has given us the chance to have lives for which we should truly be thankful.

Just like all of you, I am thankful for the love and support of my family and friends. Without them I would not be able to make it through the tough times nor would the good times be nearly as enjoyable. I’m also extremely thankful for all of the wonderful, hardworking Missourians who call our area home. In this high-tech age of computers and instant messaging, we continue to have a strong sense of community where people come first and where we know and trust one another. I am truly honored to be able to represent an area filled with industrious and compassionate people who realize the importance of working together and who sincerely care about their neighbors.

As a legislator, I am thankful to serve in a state where we continue to stand strong in the face of a national economic crisis. I know many Missouri families have had to tighten their belts, and our state has had to do the same. However, while many other states have faced almost unsolvable budget shortfalls, we have managed to find ways to balance our budget even in the face of a dire economic situation. For that I am extremely thankful and even more thankful we were able to accomplish this feat without imposing a single tax increase on the people of this state.

As we head into a new legislative session, I am thankful I will be joined by 162 other members who are committed to making this state a better place to live. While we won’t always agree, you can be sure we won’t give up until we’ve found a solution to the problems our state faces. I’m also thankful to have the support of all of you who voted me into office. I think about you every time I cast a vote or discuss an issue that relates to our area. Thank you for the trust you have placed in me. This is truly an honor and words cannot adequately express how thankful I am to have the opportunity to help our district through the legislative process.

So this year, I ask all of you to take some extra time to think about all of the things for which you are thankful. Take a few moments between helpings of turkey, put your worries aside, and just focus on the people and the things in your life you are truly blessed to have. We all have so much to be thankful for and life becomes so much more enjoyable when you take a few moments to appreciate those things. Thank you again and please have a safe and happy holiday season.

When looking for the Christmas deals we all know about Black Friday and Cyber Monday but don’t forget about the 2nd annual Small Business Saturday on Saturday the 26th. Shop small on Small Business Saturday and support your local merchants in the North Land Area.

21 November 2011

Stouffer: The People Versus HSUS

Some of the most popular topics throughout 2011 have been Proposition B, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the “Missouri Solution.” Now, a group is recapping the Legislature’s efforts to block an out-of-state group and maintain the right to raise animals. The outcome of this year’s “Prop B” debate was the coming together of Missourians —farmers and ranchers as well as others who care about animals — and a direct signal to HSUS that we will not be fooled.

In 2009, HSUS came into Missouri to start a petition drive aimed at making the ownership of animals nearly impossible. With the help of cute pictures of dogs, they were able to get folks to sign a petition, the intention of which was to rid the state of what they called “puppy mills.” Before Proposition B, the term “puppy mills” was not a legal term. It was merely something animal rights activists used to criticize dog breeders. Most legal and legitimate breeders do not fit the image described by such language; “puppy mills” may more accurately describe illegal operations not changed by the initiative petition.

In November 2010, Proposition B was passed. No sooner than this happened, folks started to read the new law and quickly realized they had been duped. HSUS spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to mislead as many people as they could to vote for this.

During the regular legislative session this year, Missouri lawmakers proposed a bill that would take what was passed in November and correct it. What resulted was the “Missouri Solution,” an agreement reached that fixed everything that was wrong in the new law. The bill made it through both the Missouri Senate and House, and was signed into law by the governor — all in the same day.

Since then, the Missouri Attorney General’s office and Missouri Department of Agriculture have taken out some of the bad breeding operations in the state. No one has had to suffer because of regulations that would have been impossible to enforce under Proposition B. This included the animals the original new law was meant to protect.

HSUS continues to criticize the Missouri General Assembly for making the changes that were made. The truth is, we greatly improved something that would have spelled disaster for folks throughout the state. This out-of-state group came to Missouri, thinking we are unable to fend for ourselves, and tried to undermine us at every turn. With the “Missouri Solution,” we told HSUS to go home.

My thanks to Missouri Farmers Care for the good work they do, and for putting together the video that shows how we went from the public getting misled to the courage to stand up and right a wrong in Missouri. To watch the video, visit and search for “The People vs. HSUS.”

Kelley: Interstate

Interstate 70 is one of the busiest highways in Missouri, and there are now proposals to turn it into a toll road to raise money for maintenance.

Feedback shows there are many differing opinions as to whether this is a good idea or a bad one. Concerns for people who won’t be able to afford to drive to and from work if they have to pay a toll, all the exits and entrances on and off the highway and the communities who could face the possibility of being by-passed therefore resulting in no traffic/no business/no future. I will have to agree that unless there is a big change in the current proposal, I am not a supporter of toll bridges on this stretch of the highway.

Missouri families won a major victory last week in our state courts. The Supreme Court upheld, in a unanimous ruling, the state's new law regulating sexually oriented businesses. That law was adopted by the Missouri Legislature last year to limit the negative secondary effects from businesses such as strip clubs, "adult" video stores and video arcades, and so-called "gentlemen's clubs."

The law was challenged by operators of sexually oriented businesses around the state, who claimed that it violated their First Amendment rights to freedom of expression. The State Supreme Court ruled, consistent with numerous federal court decisions, that the new provisions are constitutional.

I will begin pre-filing legislation December 1st to be ready for the beginning of Session in January. I have already begun working on ideas for legislation that several citizens have given me that will make certain rules and laws better for the people of Missouri. If you have any ideas regarding a new law that should be made or an existing law that might need revision, please contact me and I will be happy to discuss them with you.

Visiting the Capitol

I welcomed many visitors to the Capitol this year. I always enjoy it when constituents visit, and I want to thank all who made the journey. If you ever find yourself in or around Jefferson City at any time during the year, please feel free to visit us!

Thank you for reading this Interim Report. If you happen to see me in and around the District this summer, please feel free to introduce yourself and say hello! If you know anyone who would be interested in receiving this Interim Capitol Report, please click the “Capitol Report Signup” button on my member home page at and enter the appropriate information to receive the Capitol Report.

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: 573.751.2165 or you can reach my legislative assistant, Tammy, at: tammy{dot}weber{at}house{dot}mo{dot}gov.

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

Tim Jones: Thanksgiving Memoir, Legislative Review of Tax Credits, Super Hornet

At right: Memories: Celebration at Busch Stadium after the Cardinals won their 11th World Series victory on Friday, October 28, 2011!

Winter’s stealthy and frosty hand slowly drifts across still country meadows and glistens on rooftops in huddled city blocks as furnaces chug forth white steam in anticipation of coming frozen morns. The holiday season has sprung upon us once again as thoughts of the 2012 Legislative Session already appear in our minds reminding us of challenges and opportunities that lie ahead…

Thanksgiving: A Memoir

It is common knowledge that the American celebration of “Thanksgiving” had its origin in 1621 as the Pilgrims invited the neighboring Indian tribes to join them in a feast of gratitude for God’s blessings. There is no evidence, however, that they actually celebrated this on the fourth Thursday in November or that it lasted only one day, or that they played a mean game of touch football after dinner. In 1789, President George Washington proclaimed November 26th as a national day of thanksgiving through a presidential proclamation. The idea of a permanent, national celebration each November came 242 years after the first Pilgrim-Indian festival in the early 17th century. During the Civil War, many Americans clamored for a national religious holiday. One of the most vocal was Sarah Josepha Hale who wrote a letter on September 28, 1863 to President Abraham Lincoln encouraging him to “have the day of our annual Thanksgiving made a national and fixed Union Festival.” Five days later Lincoln issued the “Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1863.” In his proclamation, Lincoln set apart the “last Thursday of November” as “a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.” On December 26, 1941, Congress passed a law making the fourth Thursday of November the one, official, national day.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” John Fitzgerald Kennedy

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, I would like to take this opportunity to give thanks to my family, friends, co-workers and constituents. Thanksgiving is not just a holiday, it should be a lifestyle. Often we do not take the time to consider the richness of all the blessings in our lives—both big and small. They are lost in the hustle of our day-to-day activities. Let us all take time this Thanksgiving Day to stop, take stock and express our gratitude to the One who pours out those blessings upon our lives every day.

2011 Extraordinary Special Session

The last actions of the Missouri House of Representatives during the 2011 Extraordinary Session took place on October 20, 2011. The 2011 Extraordinary Special Session concluded on November 5th. By Missouri Constitution, extraordinary sessions can run as long as 60 days. The 60 day time period allotted for the Special Session came to its conclusion on November 5th. House and Senate members will return to the State Capitol on Wednesday, January 4, 2012 for the beginning of the 2012 Legislative Session.

HJR 1—Legislative Review of Tax Credits

The Missouri House worked diligently during the Special Session to pass an economic development package to assist businesses and employers in having the necessary tools and environment in which to create jobs. On October 20th, the House took another step toward this goal by passing HJR 1 with a large, overwhelming bipartisan vote. HJR 1 is a proposed constitutional amendment requiring the General Assembly to review all tax credit programs every four years. It would require the Majority Floor Leaders of the House and Senate to propose a separate bill or concurrent resolution ending each individual tax credit program. Each bill or resolution is required to quickly move through the legislative process to the floor of the House or Senate for a vote.

All tax credit programs should be reviewed periodically to make sure they work as designed. The programs should deserve an up or down vote by the General Assembly and not be held hostage by any one legislator with a personal or political agenda. HJR 1 ensures that each program lives or dies on its own merit by requiring the House and Senate to vote on each program with a recorded vote by the fiftieth legislative day. We are committed to providing communities with the tools necessary to help us grow as a state while making sure each program has merit. HJR 1 provides us with a review process that ensures each tax credit program works as it is designed without giving a single legislator the ability to kill a vital development tool.

HR 4672—Super Hornet Aircraft

The fundamental role of government is the protection of its people from threats both foreign and domestic. The federal government fulfills this role through a vast military structure including our men and women in uniform and a variety of private contractors that provide our troops with the tools needed to carry out their mission. Missouri is the proud home of the Boeing company which manufactures the F/A 18 E/F Super Hornet fighter plane, a key component to our national defense. On October 20th, the Missouri House urged Congress to continue funding the Super Hornet by passing HR 4672 in an overwhelming vote.

Boeing is one of the most prolific defense contractors in the nation and they provide a huge economic boost to Missouri’s economy. The company employs 15,000 people in the St. Louis area and is responsible for the retirement income of 24,000 former employees. Boeing further boosts our economy by purchasing $764 million in materials from 969 subcontractors across the state. The Super Hornet is a very versatile aircraft and is vital to our nation’s continued air superiority. It is the most capable, multi-role fighter in production today. It can reach speeds of Mach 1.8, and it utilizes various systems to escape detection by the enemy. It has a 20 mm gun mounted in the nose of the craft and includes weapons stations on the wings and fuselage. Please join me in urging Congress to continue the production and full funding of this vital aircraft.

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.

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.

News & Notes

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 fall and winter, 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!