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12 January 2012

Tim Jones: Taxpayer Protections, Mandatory Reporter Law,

At left: Participating in an extensive tour of the St. Louis Boeing facility and yes, taking over the cockpit of a real life F/A-18 Super Hornet!

As frost covered bluffs shimmer and glisten throughout the Heartland and a blast of Canadian air brought us a late week snowy reminder that Winter still lords over the Midwest, the legislators have returned for the first full week of the 2012 Legislative Session beneath the Capitol dome with committee hearings being the first sign that the Session is speedily gaining its full stride…

“All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.” –Winston Churchill

Taxpayer Protection

Economically, times are difficult in our homes, our businesses and in balancing every budget. When a family’s income has decreased, the wisest option is to reduce spending to make ends meet. Our responsibility as elected Representatives is to instill the same common sense approach in crafting the state budget. Like you, government must tighten its belt to balance the budget, all the while by not raising job-killing taxes. The answer is making better use of the funds we have available.

While we are working hard to balance the current budget, it is also important to take steps in making budget shortfalls less likely for future legislatures. The Taxpayer Protection Act is a step toward accomplishing this goal. In the past when times were good and the budget was flush with money, legislatures have used the extra revenue to increase the size and scope of government. The Missouri Taxpayer Protection Act limits growth in the budget by using a formula which allows the budget to increase only as the state’s population grows plus the rate of inflation. Any money remaining after the adjustment is saved for times when the budget is short.

Protecting taxpayers is a top priority for the House. By balancing the budget without raising taxes and easing the strain of “boom and bust cycles” on future budgets, we can keep more money where it belongs, in the pockets of hard-working Missourians.

Missouri Values

Missouri is a great place to raise a family because of the values that are commonly shared throughout the state. Whether we are discussing protecting the life of a child or providing for the veterans who have served our great country and state with honor, we all hold “values” in high esteem, and they deserve to be protected.

Against the backdrop of the terrible Penn State University tragedy, here in Missouri, the House Committee on Children and Families is examining our own current Mandatory Reporter laws to ensure that they are adequate to address issues that have arisen across the country. If our laws are inadequate or need to be updated, we will expect our House Committee to present us with an appropriate recommendation.

Providing for our veterans is a top priority this Session. With the economy in the doldrums, and a shortfall in the state budget, many Veterans’ Homes are experiencing a funding crisis. If a dedicated funding source is not found, the Veterans’ Commission will have little option but to begin closing homes in July of 2013 and our veterans will unable to obtain the care they need. The House is exploring several funding options to assist Veterans’ Homes during these challenging times.

Response to the Governor’s State of the State Address: Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I am greatly honored and humbled to announce that Senator Kurt Schaeffer (R-Columbia) and I will be presenting the Majority Party’s response to the Governor’s State of the State address this coming Tuesday, January 17th. The Senator and I will be presenting our critique of the Governor’s presentation as well as presenting the positive, pro jobs, pro taxpayer, pro families agenda that the Missouri House and Senate will be pursuing throughout the 2012 Legislative Session. The Address and the Response will be broadcast on various radio and television stations throughout the State. In the St. Louis area you will be able to listen to the address on 90.7 KWMU (St. Louis Public Radio at, and a live video stream can be found at

Up-Coming Workshops

The St. Louis Arc Family Workshops are designed to provide in-depth information on topics related to supporting family members with developmental disabilities. There are workshops for adults with developmental disabilities as well as summer volunteer and employment programs for teens. The workshops are free and take place at the St. Louis Arch Family Center at 1177 N. Warson Rd., St. Louis, MO 63123. For more information, please visit or contact Ann Mangelsdorf at amangelsdorf{at}slarc{dot}org or 314-817-2275. You must be registered to attend.

I have had the honor and privilege to meet many constituents in my District who work hand in hand with the very hard-working people at St. Louis Arc and have been very impressed with the individual determination of these families who quietly and determinedly work through many substantial daily life challenges. These individuals, these families and the St. Louis Arc organization accomplish a great deal for those in our communities who truly cannot help themselves by themselves and they do it with very little funding and a great deal of love and compassion. I am proud to help and support these constituents in any way I can.

For a complete list of the workshops and support groups available through the St. Louis Arc, visit

Fine Arts Grant Available

The Missouri Arts Council Annual Grant Applications can now be accessed online at under the “Get Funding” tab. This is a one-year grant for dance, established institutions, fold arts, mid-sized arts organizations, minority arts, visual arts and theater. There are separate applications available for art education as well as community arts.

Visiting the Capitol

I always enjoy it when constituents visit the Capitol and want to thank all who make the journey. If you ever find yourself in or around Jefferson City at any time during the year, please feel free to visit us! Stop by the Majority Leader’s Office in Room 302 and we will be happy to meet and greet you!

Personal News & Notes

If you know anyone who would be interested in receiving this Capitol Report, they can click the “Capitol Report Signup” button on my member home page at and enter the appropriate information to receive the Capitol Report.

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