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01 February 2012

Gatschenberger: Transparency and Accounability By Mandating Reports From Title X Recipients, Local Counties

On the Local Level

An exciting, new opportunity is available to elementary school students from our district.

Blanchet Bridge

The rehabilitation of the westbound I-70 Missouri River Bridge (Blanchette Bridge) will begin in late fall, 2012. Walsh Construction Company plans to close the westbound bridge and shift lanes to the eastbound bridge. The impact on traffic is expected to last less than one year.

Legislative Update

Title X

“Title X” of the Federal Public Service Act is a government-run program used to fund clinics with family planning programs (e.g. Planned Parenthood), so long as the funds are not spent on programs that use abortion as the method of planning. I have a problem with Title X due to the ease with which these funds can be manipulated, as they may still end up “supporting” abortions by relieving expenses in other areas.

Because I am opposed to our tax dollars being used to fund abortions, I am co-sponsoring House Bill 1385, which will require family planning clinics that receive Title X funds to file an accounting with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Service. This will provide a public record of all expenses and services. The identities of the patients will be protected.

Protecting Tax Payers

The taxpayers of Missouri work hard for their money, and the last thing they want their government to do during these tough economic times is waste their hard-earned tax dollars. For this reason, we have made protecting taxpayers one of the four pillars of our Blueprint for Missouri.

This week, the Missouri House moved forward on this important issue by passing two bills, HB 1140 and HB 1135, which protect taxpayers.

During these times of budget shortfalls, many states across the nation have tried to plug their budget holes by raising taxes. Here in the House, we have a different philosophy. We have consistently worked to protect taxpayers by balancing the budget without raising taxes, by providing transparency about how your tax dollars are spent and by reducing regulations.

Taxpayers pay the bills of state government, and, without them, we couldn’t provide the vital services needed for economic development or educating our children. However, during these difficult times, we must hold all levels of government accountable to the taxpayer to ensure that your tax dollars are being used wisely. That is why we are working to increase transparency at the local level and review antiquated regulations on the books of our state agencies.

An informed citizenry is the best way to keep government from growing too large and unmanageable. But information about local government entities can often be difficult to find. HB 1140 holds local governments accountable by making local information accessible to every taxpayer.

Currently, information about state spending is available online 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.

HB 1135 improves transparency 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.

Under current law, rules can stay on the books of a state agency indefinitely. HB 1135 also requires all administrative rules to sunset after 10 years. By including the sunset provision, all rules will have to venture through the public comment process periodically, giving citizens a say in how our executive departments run.

Now, more than ever, we need to keep government as lean and efficient as possible so we can keep more money where it belongs, in the pockets of taxpayers. By improving transparency and government accountability, you can serve as a watchdog for government waste.

As always, it is an honor to serve you in the Missouri House. If you would like to discuss this or any other issue with me please call 573-751-3572 or you can email me at chuck{dot}gatschenberger{at}house{dot}mo{dot}gov I look forward to hearing from you.

Additional Items of Interest

At right: Representative Gatschenberger, Amy Gatschenberger, Joplin Pastor Randy Gariss and our own Chapel of the Lake Pastor Keith Spaugh

I began Thursday, January 5th, by attending the annual Governor’s Prayer Breakfast, with keynote speaker Pastor Randy Gariss, at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City.

The event featured prayer, scripture, and special music, which was provided by my daughter, Amy Gatschenberger.

The theme of the Prayer Breakfast was inspired by the Biblical passage Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Check out this interesting video by Bill Whittle, entitled “The Vote Pump.”

As well as this student inspired simple demonstration of our National Debt:

Register to Vote

Please exercise your right to vote! Click on this link to register…

Tracking Legislation

If you would like to track legislation, you may log on to and select “Bill Information” and then select Bill Tracking. You may search by topic or bill number. If you want to track the bills that I have either sponsored or co-sponsored, just enter my last name and you will be able to look at each of those too.

Just for Fun: Did you know?

  • In 1904, at the St. Louis World’s Fair, Richard Blechyden served his tea over ice, and thus “invented” ice tea. (
  • Also invented at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair was the ice cream cone. When an ice cream vendor ran out of cups, he asked a waffle vendor for help and—voilĂ !—the iconic treat was born. (
  • Kansas City has more miles of boulevards than Paris and more fountains than every other city in the world except Rome. (
  • Among the early immigrants to St. Louis were two men named Adolphus Busch and Eberhard Anheuser. Through hard work and innovative thinking, they turned their local brewery into a national (and currently, multi-national) corporation. (

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