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26 January 2012

Tim Jones: Birthday Wishes, State Of The Judiciary, Local Events

At right: Greeting Chief Justice Richard Teitelman on the House Floor following the Justice’s delivery of the State of the Judiciary Address.

As the third week of Session under the Capitol Dome comes to a close, we are reminded that winter is still upon us when a cold burst of wintry mix threatened the area.

“A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.” -Albert Einstein


…to my younger sister, Amy Baca. You’ll always be my little sister, and I’ll always be your big brother. Love always.

Legislative Update

Two important bills were debated, third read and passed on the House Floor this week:

HB 1135, sponsored by Rep. Jason Smith (R-150), grants the Secretary of State the authority to make technical changes to administrative rules and will improve transparency in Missouri government by requiring the review of administrative rules. Over time, department rules become outdated or obsolete. By requiring these rules to be reviewed periodically, we can ensure that all agency rules are efficient and effective. This proposal also allows ordinary people the right to request an administrative rule change. The agency must respond to any such request and inform a committee of the General Assembly about the request and their response. Under current law, these administrative rules can stay on the books of a state agency indefinitely. HB 1135 also requires all administrative rules to sunset after 10 (ten) years. By including the sunset provision, all rules will have to pass through the public comment process periodically, providing citizens a say in how our executive departments operate. This is significant regulatory reform passed this week by your Missouri House.

HCS HB 1140 is also sponsored by Rep. Jason Smith (R-150). Currently, information about state spending is available on line at the Missouri Accountability Portal. HB 1140 requires counties and schools to submit their debts and holdings to the Office of Administration for posting on the portal. This gives taxpayers a one stop shop for tracking how their state and local tax dollars are being spent, expanding the information available to them. Under this proposed legislation, school districts and public charter schools must annually collect and submit detailed employee compensation data and the district’s annual operating budget and bonded indebtedness to the Office of Administration for inclusion. HB 1140 also requires each county to collect and annually transmit to the Office of Administration for inclusion on the portal detailed compensation information for all elected county officials, a copy of the detailed financial statement that counties are currently required to publish, and any cash reserves.

The Weeks Ahead

As Session weeks lengthen and are coupled with increasingly deliberative committee hearings and floor debates, two singular tracks have become self-evident as to the central themes of this Legislative Session: creating a stable and productive environment for Missouri’s employers and hard-working small business owners and finally doing something to dramatically reform Missouri’s failing public education systems.

Missouri’s employers have been subjected to several recent attacks that have undermined a stable business climate in our State. There are two significant issues in Missouri’s workers compensation system in desperate need of reform: co-employee liability cases and occupational disease cases. The Missouri House is dedicated to making sure that employees receive the fair and just compensation that they have always been entitled to under our workers compensation system but we are chiefly concerned about the excessive litigation that is currently being leveled against our employers in this context and the dramatic instability that this is causing in our general business climate. It is our duty, as representatives of the People who have the best interests of our State at heart, to ensure that our State has the climate necessary to attract and retain our employers who are the ones who truly create jobs for all Missourians and make our State stronger.

We have some of the best public schools in the Nation. At the same time, we have some of the worst. It is patently unfair, and a downright injustice, for children to be enslaved in a failing public school simply because they were unfortunate enough to reside in the “wrong” zip code. Either we have a free, public education system for all or we have a system that only benefits some and not all. Our goal in the Missouri House this year is to bring accountability back to all of our public schools and to make sure that parents truly feel empowered to make the proper education choices for their children. Over the past several decades, we have poured BILLIONS of new dollars into education, however, test scores have barely moved. Intellectual honesty shows that money will not solve our education problems. Bold reforms and innovative new measures will. We are dedicated in the Missouri House to making sure that children all across our State have the educational freedom that they deserve.

Local News and Events

Age Smart, Age Well

St. Louis residents, ages 50 or older, have an opportunity to learn computer skills and strategies through the “Age Smart, Age Well” Program sponsored by the St. Louis County Department of Human Services. For additional information, you may contact Karen Bono at 314-938-6689.

American Legion Flag Collection

The Eureka American Legion is collecting worn, torn and tattered flags to be put to rest at their Flag Day Ceremony. If you have any flags you wish to discard, you may contact Wes Becker at 636-938-6689.

Employment Opportunity

The city of Eureka is accepting applications for the full-time positions of Building Commissioner and Finance Director. Job descriptions and employment applications are available on the City’s website at It will be located under the Government category in the Employment Opportunities tab.

Family Enrichment Resource Program

The Family Enrichment Resource Program is having their Second Annual Children’s Art Auction on Saturday, February 11th from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Fox Run Carriage House in Eureka. All proceeds raised support families in Eureka. For more information please visit or call 314-603-5767.

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. The workshops are free and take place at the St. Louis Arc 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 by telephone at 314-817-2275. You must be registered to attend. For a complete list of the workshops and support groups available through the St. Louis Arc, visit

Fun Fact of the Week

John Skelton, the quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals, is an alum of Fordham University, yes, the alma mater of yours truly! Although Fordham was a former football powerhouse many, many decades ago (remember Vince Lombardi and the Seven Blocks of Granite? Yes, that was Fordham!) they have not been in the national spotlight for their gridiron prowess in recent years. Perhaps the glory days have returned!

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 I especially want to thank Dale Lindhorst and Bob Baker, both from Wildwood, for visiting the Capitol this week. 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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