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19 January 2012

Kelley: Two State Addresses, Exchange Families Sought

As we journeyed to the Capitol this week with a blast of arctic air at our backs, we can only be thankful that there has been very little snow and ice to affect our commute to and from the Capitol. As the elected officials reconvene underneath the Dome, bills begin to offer themselves for presentment on the Floor after their successful passage through committee. The Capitol is abuzz with activity with murmurings of commentary following the State of the State Address given by Governor Nixon, the GOP Response presented by Senator Kurt Schaeffer and yours truly and the State of the Judiciary presented by Chief Justice Richard Teitelman.

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” –Martin Luther King Jr.

Governor Nixon’s State of the State Address

On Tuesday evening, January 17th, Governor Nixon, the Missouri State Supreme Court Judges, statewide elected officials, the Missouri Senate and Missouri House welcomed the Governor for his annual State of the State Address. The theme of the address was “Missouri Moving Forward.” Governor Nixon addressed the promise of not increasing taxes, more cuts to government spending by reducing the payroll, and adding jobs to Missouri. Unfortunately these promises will lead to shortfalls elsewhere. The Governor targeted higher education, proposing cuts in their budget of nearly 13%. There is major concern that these cuts could lead to universities raising their tuitions significantly. Nixon encouraged the universities to “cut overhead and administrative costs and to run smarter, more efficient operations.” Senator Kurt Schaefer and Majority Leader Tim Jones were given the opportunity to deliver the Republican response to the State of the State which you can view at the following link:

The Judiciary Address

Chief Justice Richard Teitelman was welcomed into the Chamber for the 39th State of the Judiciary Address on Wednesday, January 18. He urged lawmakers to pass measures to reduce the number of people in prison for parole and probation violations. These changes could save the state $16.6 million over five years and reduce the state prison population by two percent. The legislature has been studiously reviewing such proposals relating to non-violent offenders only, since late last year.

Bill Progress

HCS HJR 43, the Taxpayer Protection Act, sponsored by Rep. Eric Burlison (R-136), places wise limits on state appropriations. I am proud of the fact that this extremely responsible measure was the first substantive bill considered and passed by the Missouri House this year. This bill prohibits appropriations in any fiscal year from exceeding the total state general revenue appropriations for the current fiscal year that exceeds the level for Fiscal Year 2008. The appropriations growth limit is the percentage that is greater than zero for the sum of the annual rate of inflation and the annual percentage change in Missouri’s population. This bill will limit the growth of government spending, provide long-term fiscal planning and rainy day funds, help balance the economic highs and lows, protect programs and funding, reduce income tax rates, and create a stronger business environment. Unlike Colorado’s TABOR, adjustments have been made in the bill to prevent the “ratchet-back” effort. This bill was perfected and third read in the House today with an overwhelming, bipartisan majority, and now moves to the Senate for consideration.

Traveler Information Map App

The Missouri Department of Transportation has made available free apps from the Android Market and the Apple App store. For those of you who travel across this great state and own a smart phone or an iPad, MoDOT has an app available on the Android Market and the Apple App Store. These free apps have the ability to show the road conditions as well as road closings due to traffic accidents or construction.

Exchange students

ASSE's website is if they would like to look at more information about hosting (the application is online too) all that is asked to be provided is a bed for the student (can share a room with a teen that is within 4 years of their age) a place to study, and 3 meals a day...and of course to be made a part of your family for the time they are here! You can always contact me for more information and I will put you in contact with the people in charge.

Visiting the Capitol

I always enjoy 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 Room 201E and we will be happy to meet and greet you! 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.

Please contact me with any suggestions that you may have for Missouri legislation. Also, if you should experience problems in contacting or resolving an issue with a Missouri state agency, please feel free to call my Capitol office at (573) 751-2165 or email at mike{dot}kelley{at}house{dot}mo{dot}gov. Thank you for the honor to serve as your Representative in the Missouri House of Representatives. Until my next update, I am, and remain, in your service.

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