In the District
Governor Nixon came to Excelsior Springs today to tour Magna Seating and announce the “Missouri Works” project.
Senator Roy Blunt will be at the Richmond Courthouse Thursday at 1:45 for a “Town Hall” type meeting. This event is open to the public.
This Friday I will tour the Kansas City Port Authority with the Kansas City Caucus. The Caucus is a bipartisan group of legislators working together for the betterment of the Kansas City area. T.J. Berry who represents the Kearney area is the chairman of the caucus.
Our Speaker of the House, Steve Tilley opened the second session of the 96th General Assembly by highlighting the proposed agenda for the coming five months.
As legislators, we are expected to insure that tax dollars are being spent properly and that everyone in the public school system is accountable and held to the high standards. St. Louis school districts are unaccredited and Kansas City schools are now the same status. The “Turner Fix” from 2011 would have allowed students in a failing district to transfer to a charter school, virtual school, or an accredited school district, at the cost of the unaccredited district that the student is leaving. Kansas City’s neighboring districts say that this could cause issues due to the fact that their schools “could be” or “might be” at capacity. The mayor of Kansas City has offered a plan, but some suggest dividing the district into separate districts. We must look at what is best for the students as we discuss the different options before us.
Currently, counties do not have to disclose all of the debt that they owe – even though taxpayers may be held liable for these debts as counties raise taxes to pay them off. The Missouri Accountability Portal has been a wide-ranging success – providing citizens with quick and easy access to what their tax dollars are being spent on in Jefferson City. As an extension of the accountability portal, we want to require county governments to start providing information as well, so that local tax payers can see what their tax dollars are being spent on.
Criminal Justice Reform
The cost of our Correction Facilities and Prisons are out of hand. The General Assembly needs to provide cost saving measures recommended by the Missouri Working Group on Sentencing and Corrections & The House Interim Committee on Criminal Justice.
Businesses, small and large have been confronted with rising costs from unemployment taxes, workers compensation insurance, co-employee liability, occupational disease. Missouri must reform these to make a more friendly business climate and also for business retention. Businesses must know we want them here for the long term.