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31 December 2011

Schupp: Redistricting Questions Answered

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

As we welcome in the New Year, those of us serving in the Missouri Legislature are packing our bags in preparation for the new session beginning January 4.

Thank you to so many of you who met with me, called me and provided me with input and information during the interim between sessions. I take your pressing concerns, ideas, and energy with me as I work to make positive change for Missourians. There is much to be done.

May 2012 be a year of new beginnings and successes in whatever ways you measure them: Good health, loving families, good friends and prosperity.

Jill Schupp

Who Represents You?

Redistricting Questions Addressed

Every ten years when the census is completed, political subdivisions from Congressional Districts to Townships and City Council Wards change boundaries so that constituents in the same types of political subdivisions are approximately equal in number.

This plays out in interesting ways that sometimes generate confusion with regard to Missouri House and Senate Districts.

Much of our House District 82 has been drawn into a new House District that will be numbered as District 88 beginning in January of 2013. However, people who live in District 82 north of Olive in unincorporated St. Louis County have been drawn into what will be the new 71st District beginning in 2013.

Please note: I will continue to represent our current District 82 until new Representatives are sworn in in January of 2013. At that time, I hope to represent most of you in the newly drawn 88th District, where my family and I live.

Interestingly, in 2012, as long as a person meets Constitutional qualifiers, anyone is able to run for office in any district--a once-in-a decade situation. Then, going forward, a candidate is required to live in the district for at least a year before s/he runs there.

The situation with the Senate is more complex. Unlike State Reps who run every two years, State Senators run every four years. Senators whose new districts are numbered with an odd number will run in 2012. Senators running in even numbered districts will run in 2014. This creates a Constitutionally- derived flaw in representation.

With overlaps in districts between the current and the new, some areas will be represented by two Senators for a couple of years after the 2012 elections, while some areas will have no Senatorial representation!

While this is the technical reality, we have seen Senators step forward to offer their constituent services to those districts that are not represented for a period of time. One way is that Senators will work with their current districts and take on the constituents in the newly formed district of the same number until the 2014 elected Senators are sworn in. Phew!

Remember, nothing changes in terms of your representation until January of 2013. And, you will have the opportunity to weigh in during the November, 2012 elections!

You can always find out who your legislators are by accessing You will need your nine-digit zip code.

30 December 2011

Hoskins: Commuter Parking In Warrensburg,

Happy New Year!

I wanted to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy & Prosperous New Year! I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season. Please be mindful of the dangers of driving while intoxicated, don’t drink and drive, and be aware of others on the road that may not have made the decision to refrain from driving intoxicated. If everyone behaves responsibly, we can all enjoy a safe and happy end for 2011, and beginning for 2012.

New Commuter Parking

At right: Sen. David Pearce, Rep. Denny Hoskins, Johnson County Presiding Commissioner – William Gabel

After months of hard work to make it happen, I am proud to announce the Grand Opening of Warrensburg’s new commuter parking lot. Located just north of Highway 50 and the Highway 13 loop near Cayhill Subdivision, this lot provides a meeting/parking lot for shared commutes to and from your place of employment or other travel destinations in, and around, Johnson County. Promoting ride-share programs makes perfect sense on a variety of levels. Ride-share programs conserve energy, are better for the environment, reduce traffic accidents, and to top it off, they save money!!! Incidentally, and I find this hard to believe, this is the first, and only, commuter parking lot located in Johnson County. Please consider utilizing this community resource for the reasons I listed above. Our hope is the lot will be a huge success and spur the development of future lots. My sincere thanks to MoDOT for the hard work put into finishing this project and also to Senator Pearce and Johnson County Presiding Commissioner, William Gabel, for attending this morning’s ribbon-cutting event.

2012 Legislative Session

Next Wednesday, January 4, 2012, at high noon, marks the beginning of the 2012 Legislative Session. I am excited to get back to the Capitol and continue working hard to represent the people of Johnson County and the 121st District. Thank you for your continued support and it is truly an honor to serve as your Representative in the Missouri House.

Proposed Legislation

I am currently working on the following legislation for the coming session.
  1. Legislation to allow farmers, persons, or entities to submit bids to the Department of Transportation to mow grass or vegetation along state roadways. This would also allow them to have hay and crop rights for the property.
  2. Legislation which adds professional therapy dog to the definition of “service dog” as it relates to crimes against these animals or crimes of impersonating a disabled person.

Visiting the Capitol

Anytime you find yourself near our Missouri State Capitol (201 West Capitol Avenue, Jefferson City, MO 65101) please feel free to pay a visit. Our state boasts one of the most beautiful Capitol buildings in the nation and you are welcome anytime.

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.

Rupp: Preparing for a New Year

Let me begin by saying that I hope you and your family had a very joyous Christmas. It’s always a little sad when Christmas is over, but we can still look forward to New Year’s celebrations and starting 2012 with a fresh perspective and a positive attitude.

For lawmakers, the beginning of a new year means that a new legislative session will commence. The Second Regular Session of the 96th General Assembly will begin at noon on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012. I’m anticipating a productive and dynamic session, and I look forward to supporting measures that will make Missouri an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.

Among my legislative priorities include protecting our children in child care facilities, ensuring a high quality of life for disabled Missourians, focusing on scholarships to help young Missourians attain a higher education, and protecting our privacy by preventing “robo-calls.” I’ll continue to file bills throughout the 2012 regular session — the last day to introduce Senate bills is March 1. The legislative session will continue until May 18. As always, if you have any concerns regarding a governmental matter, please feel free to contact me. My job is to represent you, and if there is a specific issue that you would like addressed, I want to hear about it.

I hope you and your family enjoy a safe and fun New Year’s weekend. If you plan to visit a relative’s or friend’s house on New Year’s Eve, my advice would be to stay the night, if possible. Studies have shown that the holiday season can be one of the most dangerous times of the year for drunk driving. If you will be traveling on the roads on New Year’s Eve, always appoint a designated driver if need be. In addition, if you are hosting a party, please be sure to look out for your guests and, if needed, offer them a place to stay. If you’d like to learn more about how to keep our roads safe, please visit the Arrive Alive website at

I’d like to thank my family, friends, and the constituents of the 2nd Senatorial District for a wonderful year. I look forward to continuing to serve our area in 2012, and as always, please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance. Thank you, and stay safe.

29 December 2011

Denison: Look Back at 2011, Funding for Veterans Homes

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called “Opportunity” and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” –Edith L. Pierce

A Look Back at 2011

As we close the book on 2011 it strikes me that this was a year of momentous events. As a state, we’ve weathered the storm of high unemployment and a sluggish economy. State government has had to tighten its belt and live a little leaner just as Missouri families have done. And while things have looked bleak at times, we’ve also seen the early signs of economic recovery. 2011 also brought with it many natural disasters that devastated communities in all parts of the state. Still today, Missourians are rebuilding and while it’s hard to see a silver lining in these tragic events, there can be little doubt that they brought our communities closer together and renewed our spirit of perseverance and hope. Some remarkably inspirational tales emerged from the storms that ravaged Missouri – stories that remind us that in times of need, our neighbors will be there to help us. 2011 also saw the creation of new congressional districts as well as new state House and Senate districts in Missouri. While these changes may not be of interest to some, they will change the way we are represented for the next decade. 2011 was a momentous year but also one I hope was memorable for you. As we head into a new year, I wish you and yours the very best. Please have a safe and happy new year.

Funding for Veterans Homes

One goal the Missouri House will have in 2012 is to find a new source of funding for the seven veterans homes currently in operation. Right now the Missouri Veterans Commission spends approximately $80 million each year on the homes that provide beds to 1,350 veterans. With a waiting list of 1,650 veterans, the homes can’t keep up with the demand for beds. Unfortunately, even though the homes serve a vital role, they are currently faced with a funding crisis. While none of the seven homes are scheduled to close any time soon, the homes will run out of funding in July 2013 if a new funding source isn’t found. This session we will consider legislation that would create a new dedicated funding source by introducing a new scratch off lottery ticket with all proceeds from sales of the ticket going to the Missouri Veterans Commission. It’s estimated the lottery ticket could generate an additional $2 million per year for our veterans homes. While that’s not enough to solve the problem, it would be an important step toward finding sufficient funding for the homes. It’s something we will take a closer look at this session along with several other options.

In the District

On Thursday, December 22, 2011, I was very pleased to join Representative Eric Burlison in co-sponsoring and presenting a House resolution to Robert Bezanson in recognition of his retirement during a reception that was held in his honor. Mr. Bezanson has served as President and CEO of CoxHealth since August 1, 2004, during which time he has hosted CoxHealth’s centennial celebration in 2006 and has overseen $120 million in capital projects including Meyer Orthopedic Center, CoxHealth Surgery Center, and state-of-the-art Cox South Emergency and Trauma Center. Mr. Bezanson previously served in the positions of Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer from 1995 to 2004, and Administrator of Cox South and Shared Services, and Assistant Administrator from 1981 to 1995.

I look forward to hearing from you, and if you will be in Jefferson City, please stop by my office. Legislative session begins Wednesday, January 4, 2012. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my office. Best wishes.

Sater: Preparing For Last Session In House

It is now time for another year to unfold. I hope 2011 was a good year for you and that 2012 will even be better.

Our state economy, although poor, is much better than others surrounding us. We are fortunate to live in Southwest Missouri. Every time I visit Kansas City or St. Louis for meetings, I look forward to returning to Barry County. This is my last year as your state representative. We can only serve 8 years and then are termed out of office. When the term limit initiative was on the ballot in the early 90’s, I was in full support of it. My thought was to kick those career politicians out of office and give others a chance to serve. And, without this, I would not be where I am today. I have come to realize that 8 years is too short a time. By the time you get the hang of this job, it is time to retire. Eight years gives more power to the bureaucrats and lobbyists, because they know that the new kid does not know anything about the functioning of government. Any legislation that would change this would not apply to me or anyone serving presently. It would just affect future legislators.

This 2012 session will be one that concentrates again on the budget and our shortcomings on funding. It will also feature legislation that will have a bearing on people trying to get re-elected. Some things never change. This is why many people do not have a favorable opinion of legislative bodies - either nationally or statewide. Our budget does not have any federal stimulus dollars left to plug the holes. Medicaid costs continue to increase with more people on the rolls and inflation driving up cost. Seven years ago, we passed legislation that decreased the federal poverty level on which one qualifies for Medicaid benefits. Because of the Federal Affordable Health Care Act, we cannot reduce expenditures for Medicaid because the federal government will threaten to take away federal dollars which account for over 60 percent of the total funding. Before this, we could reduce some programs to save others. This is why last year, education was cut for the first time because we could not cut some Medicaid programs.

I understand the Governor wants to borrow money from the state colleges and pay it back over 5 years. That probably will meet with stiff resistance. It will be interesting to see what the Governor’s budget recommendations are.

This will be my last stint at chairing a committee. It will be my seventh year as Chairman. I have learned a lot and, hopefully, have made a good difference in policies that are health related. The one piece of legislation that I hope will pass is my bill that lets medical personnel volunteer their services without compensation and without having to purchase liability insurance. Right now, if you volunteer, you would have to purchase a separate policy for this. The bill would free medical volunteers to give their time back to society.

I will be keeping you informed on issues coming before the House in future releases. Thank you for allowing me to serve. 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).

Stouffer: Ready to Return to Missouri’s Capitol

January not only means a new year, but it also means it is time for the next legislative session in Jefferson City.

The Second Regular Session of the 96th General Assembly will begin on Jan. 4, 2012. It has only been a couple of months since lawmakers were in the Capitol dealing with tax credits and job creation, as part of the special session. I have no doubt most of the topics of the special session will carry over into January.

I plan to hit the ground running with several measures that have already been prefiled, including:
  • Senate Bill 442, which would establish photo identification requirements for voting. Because of the governor’s veto, the plan to enact this — upon voter approval — was scrapped; however, it will still be on the November 2012 ballot. Senate Bill 442 would ensure the proper steps would be enacted into law, requiring photo IDs to vote, assuming the ballot measure were to win approval.
  • Senate Bill 443, which would make changes to several transportation issues, including drunk driving. The biggest change would be made regarding limited driving privileges for repeat offenders.
  • Senate Bill 444, which would make changes to binding arbitration cases involving MoDOT.
  • Senate Bill 481, which would create a tax credit for contributions to care providers for the developmentally disabled, legislation I have filed in previous years.
These are just a few of the measures I have already filed. For a complete list, go to and click on the sponsored bills link under my legislation tab.

As always, I thank you for your continued calls and e-mails to our office. Without you, I would not be able to address the issues that are important to rural Missouri. I pray we make the right decisions when we return to Jefferson City. It will be another difficult year. With your help, we will be able to make Missouri even better for our children and grandchildren, not only now, but in their future.

27 December 2011

Holsman: Perspective From The 45th Soon To Be 37th

Another year has come and gone. As 2011 gives way to 2012 our society continues to evolve. From the way we communicate to our ability to move effortlessly around the globe, the power of information grows.

The year of 2011 will be marked by the Arab Spring, Occupy Protesters and the end of the Iraq war.

Change is inevitable. Convenience is the mother of new beginnings (Red Box, Skype, Navigation) and the death of old friends (Blockbuster, Land-line phones, Road Maps).

I heard someone say the other day, our kids greatest struggle will be finding an original email address that has yet to be claimed. Let's hope that's true and the rest is smooth sailing.

I'm hosting a Holiday reception tonight at Blue Hills County Club and hope a few of you can make it. Please see the invitation article for details.

Have a great beginning to 2012! It is my honor to serve you in our state capitol. Thank you for reading.


"Newsmakers" Time Warner Production

Representative Holsman recently appeared on location at Union Station for a segment of 'Newsmakers', a production by 'Time Warner', highlighting the work of Kansas City community leaders.

In the episode Holsman discussed his recent trip to Romania and Croatia led by the "American Council of Young Political Leaders."

This was Representative Holsman's fifth appearence on the local news broadcast.

American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL)

The American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL) is a Washington DC based international non-governmental organization education orgaization that partners with the United States State department.

ACYPL recruits young political leaders to participate in political exchange trips with aims to educate the selected participants about national and local governance and politics in other countries as well as explore the global issues affecting US-bilateral relations. Participants on exchange trips examine governance, politics, policymaking, international affairs, and culture. Through interactions with international government officials, business and community leaders, advocacy experts, scholars, and diplomats, the young leaders will gain a better understanding of international affairs as well as enhance leadership and public diplomacy skills.

Each ACYPL exchange provides a unique opportunity for politically diverse individuals to explore common concerns and points of difference.

Since its founding in 1966, the American Council of Young Political Leaders has designed, organized and managed unique international exchange activities for young (age 25-40) political and policy leaders worldwide who are selected based on their current political leadership roles and potential for future achievement.

ACYPL programs are designed to promote mutual understanding, respect, and friendship and to cultivate long-lasting relationships among next generation leaders. Each year, with support from the US State Department and a wide range of corporate, labor, foundation and individual partners, conduct exchanges with 25-30 countries around the world.

ACYPL has a network of over 7,500 alumni in 100 countries, many whom have risen to positions of national and international prominence, including over 40 current members of the US Congress, 6 current US governors and ambassadors, and cabinet ministers and parliamentarians around the globe.

For more information on ACYPL follow this link.

Missouri Biotechnology Association

Missouri Biotechnology Association is focused on maintaining the growth of the biotechnology industry generated by the research and development communities of Missouri. While the state of Missouri has made great strides in keeping local talent, Missourians have not done enough to attract both national and international interests to be included in our burgeoning biotechnology community. Thus, the members of MOBIO firmly believe that it is up to Missourians to grow our biotechnology industry through research, scholastics, new laws and government.

As part of the mission the Missouri Biotechnology Association recruits local leaders in the public sector to tour areas of relevant expansion in the biotechnology industry. Missouri state lawmakers were invited to participate in a tour of Missouri specific aspects of this industry in mid-July. The tour encompassed stops in Kansas City, St. Joesph, Warrensburg, Columbia, St. Louis and concluded with a visit to Toronto Canada.

Stops along the Missouri biotechnology tour included: Boehringer-Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., the Kit Bond Science and Technology Incubator, the Biotechnology Mobile Laboratory, the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, the University of Central Missouri, the University of Missouri - Columbia, the Missouri Orthopedic Institute, the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center, Monsanto, Pfizer, Gallus BioPharmaceuticals, the Washington University School of Engineering, and Danforth Plant Science Center.

Legislation was passed in the past special session that will help drive this industry in the state of Missouri, spurring economic growth and prospertiy for our communities. Senate bill 7, the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act (MOSIRA) was signed into public law by Governor Jay Nixon on November 9th. MOSIRA creates a funding source that will spark growth in the kind of research and technology enterprises endorsed by the Missouri Biotechnology Association.

Specifically, MOSIRA will capture a percentage of growth in state revenue, with fiscal year 2010 as a base, from a designated groups of Missouri science and innovation companies. The Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC) will administer MOSIRA funds, through offering low interest loans in order to nurture start-ups, create jobs, and bring science and technology companies to the state.

For more information on the Missouri Biotechnology Association follow this link.

National Caucus of Environmental Legislators Conference in New Orleans

The conference focused on a host of environmental issues ranging from Hypoxia in the delta to Army Corp of Engineering plans for flood plains along the Missouri River.

Holsman, who serves on the Interim Committee for Disaster Recovery, had the opportunity to learn about New Orleans response to Hurricane Katrina and how it could have been more successful.

The group of environmental legislators also took in presentations regarding the fallout from the BP oil spill, and what can be done about phosphorus run-off from farming operations into our rivers.

Executive Director Adam Schafer, who has guided NCEL for the past decade is leaving for a position in his home state of Montana. JR Tolbert will take over as ED effective immediately.

For more information on NCEL find their website here.

Urban Agriculture Final 2011 Hearing: St. Louis Review

The Joint Committee on Urban Agriculture held its fourth informational committee hearing at the Maplewood-Richmond Heights High School Auditorium.

Maplewood-Richmond Heights is a leader in the state for getting local foods into the school cafeteria. Through a federal grant made possible by Congressman Carnaharn and a partnership with Saint Louis University, MRH is able to transport food from local farms to Saint Louis University where it is processed in their certified kitchen and brought right into the school. healthy food initiative here.

Committee members met prior to the hearing to tour a community farm in Kinloch, featured by CNN in a photograph documentary. The community farm is situated on land that is owned by Lambert airport, but through a verbal contract has agreed not to develop the land. The farmers work the gound and grow a variety of crops, sharing their harvests and donating much of it to their neighbors. Here is CNN's article.

Feast magazine covered the hearing in St. Louis. Their story can be found here.

Truman Renewable Energy Summit Review

Representative Zach Wyatt (R-Green Castle) in conjunction with Truman State University hosted a renewable energy summit on Truman's campus in Kirksville, MO. Representaitve Wyatt serves with Holsman on the Joint Committee on Urban Agriculture as well as the Committee on Renewable Energy.

The morning session of the summit was geared toward the legislative agenda and how to move forward with renewable energy in Missouri. Opening remarks were delivered by former Missouri Lieutenant Governor Joe Maxwell. A legislative panel that included Representative T.J. Berry (R-Clay County) and Representative Holsman anchored the morning discussions.

The afternoon session included information tables provided by representatives from a variety of energy companies, including information on the Truman Sustainability committee.

Romania and Croatia Photo Album

To recount the travels over the two weeks would require me to write a small novel and since a picture says a thousand words... click on the photo below to view the political, economic and cultural immersion of Central Europe courteous of ACYPL.

Romania - 2011

Croatia 2011 - Part I

Croatia 2011 - Part II

France 2011