Governor Nixon will address the General Assembly, special guests, and the public at the annual State of the State address on Tuesday. During his speech, the Governor will outline his strategy for economic prosperity. This strategy, known as the Missouri Works plan, aims to create more jobs and career opportunities for Missourians. The Governor will also reveal his expectations for the state budget. As the Ranking Minority Member on the Budget Committee, I am ready to get to work on bringing people together to balance Missouri's budget.
The judicial branch will also have an opportunity to address the legislature next week. The State of the Judiciary address will be held on Wednesday morning in the House chamber. The Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court, William Ray Price Jr., will give the address on behalf of his colleagues.
On Wednesday, the Budget Committee passed HJR 43, also known as the Taxpayer Protection Act. If HJR 43 is passed by both chambers, then it will be subject voter approval. If the measure receives enough votes from the public, then it will amend the Missouri Constitution and mandate state expenditures.
Specifically, this amendment would cap state spending at $8 billion. Any increase to this sum would be determined by inflation and population growth. HJR 43 also passed out of the Rules Committee today and will be heard on the House floor soon.
One Heart. One Mind. One Spirit
On Tuesday, I attended a celebration of unity and diversity in the Capitol Rotunda. The Black Legislative Caucus hosted this event, which included inspiring speeches from Representative Steve Webb (D-Florrisant) and performances by the Storling Dance Theater from Kansas City.
As Martin Luther King Jr. Day nears, I hope that the messages of freedom, equality and progress ring throughout Springfield and the entire state. I look forward to joining the Springfield chapter of the NAACP and other community members to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, 9am, at Mediacom Ice Park.
I recently filed two pieces of legislation dealing with the educational concerns of those students who are in the gifted programs. Neither of these bills negatively impact school funding.
The first bill establishes the Advisory Council on the Education of Gifted and Talented Children. This Council will consist of seven members who are appointed by the commissioner of education. This council will provide advice for the commissioner of education regarding rules and polices dealing with the gifted and talented children.
The second bill I filed requests that the state board of education designate a staff person to be in charge of educational programs for gifted and talented children. This person will be responsible for a variety of things including, but not limited to serving as the main contact for any stakeholder and collecting annual growth in learning regarding the gifted programs.