Workforce Development & Workplace Safety - Chairman
Joint Committee on Child Abuse & Neglect - Vice-Chair
Professional Registration & Licensing
Subcommittee on Child Abuse Reporting & Investigating - Chairman
Issue Development Standing Committee on Cowboy Caucus on Agricultural Issues
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It was a busy week again last week. Monday was a workday for my Grandson and I at the old courthouse. When we get the upstairs remodeled, it will be a one of a kind courtroom! There's a lot of work to be done, but we are shooting for a grand opening in May of 2015. I am absolutely amazed at the building project on the Pineville Square. There is a new cook shack, a wonderful Grandstand and bathrooms that are just magically appearing! Not only are they being built almost overnight; they are designed to resemble 1800's structures. What a great addition to the square!
Tuesday morning I was invited to a brunch for Catherine Hanaway. She has announced her candidacy for Governor in 2016. Catherine was the first woman Speaker of the House and has also been a Federal Judge. She was also the author of our current laws for Child Abuse and Foster Homes Programs. She spoke to a group of area business people and Legislators and spelled out her ideas for job growth in Missouri. She pointed out that although we will probably never have the economic prosperity of Texas or Florida, there's no excuse for us being 47th or 48th in the nation! She listed tax reform, tort reform, and Right to Work as being the three most important things we can do to turn our state around. She took some questions from the attendees and was well accepted. It's a long time before 2016 and I'm sure we will hear from other candidates before long. I do believe she has some good ideas for Missouri and I'm anxious to hear more from her.
When we go to the polls on August 5th we will be able to vote on five different amendments to the Missouri Constitution. Unlike the Constitution of the United States, our State Constitution has been amended many times and I'm sure many more amendments will be needed in the coming years. Having said that, some of the amendments being offered have to do with taxes and fees and some have to do with insuring state's rights. As your elected representative, I have had a chance to watch these issues progress through the Legislative process that has brought them to this point. All that those of us in the House and Senate can do is bring these issues to the voters for your consideration. I personally, am going to vote in favor of all these measures. I'll now try to explain why I am in favor of the measures.
Amendment No.1 will guarantee the rights of Missourian's to engage in farming and farming practices, subject to any power given to local government under Article VI of the Missouri Constitution. It does NOT give any additional rights to CAFO's or corporate farms. It WILL allow the state to govern our farming practices not the Feds or outside interests.
Amendment No.5 expands the right to keep and bear arms, including ammunition and related accessories for such arms. It also removes language that could restrict the wearing of concealed weapons by qualified citizens. This amendment was offered to deter Federal intervention in the sale and possession of ammunition for the most part. Many in the Legislature feel that there may be attempts by some factions within the Federal Government to regulate ammunition to circumvent Second Amendment law.
It's a little hard for me to believe that foreign countries can just load children up and send them through Mexico to the United States and we don't seem to be able to do anything about it. We're talking about thousands of children of all ages. Some are teens with gang affiliations and tattoos, some are sick and diseased, some are barely more than toddlers. Our President goes to Texas and instead of offering solutions to the problems, he shoots pool and drinks beer at some honkey tonk! What the heck is this, some poorly written reality show? Now we are being pressured to give him billions of dollars to deal with the situation and in return all we have is the flimsy promise that we can eventually send them back. If you remember, the last time we had a gutless administration, Cuba unloaded all their criminals and dissidents on us with the Mariel Boatlift. There's a heck of a lot of those guys enjoying the comforts of country club prisons instead of being sent back to Cuba where they belong. These same countries that are sending us their children are receiving billions of your taxpayer dollars in foreign aid already. How about if we just cut their aid off and while we're at it, cut off Mexico for allowing them to go through their country to deliver them. So far this year we have given Guatemala $65,249,000, Honduras $41,850,000, and El Salvador $22,181,000. They are sending thousands of children, many of them very young and much in need of our help. They know that we will not send them back unless we know they have a home to go to and are in good health. Meanwhile we are letting our Veterans die for lack of hospital care. Have we gone nuts? Our own Governor says he has to cut the funds allocated for Children's Service and money for K12 Education while the Feds spend Billions on other countries children. No, I'm not heartless and uncaring about these children. I realize that many of them have no homes to go to or parents to care for them, but what the blazes is wrong with expecting their countries of origin to forego their foreign aid to pay for their care? How about we charge the United Nations for their care? Isn't that what happens when other countries get an influx of refugees? I don't care what political party you belong to, most people feel the same way about this deal. Go to the local coffee shop, or the beauty shop for you ladies, and listen to the conversations. We desperately need to elect some adults to run our country!
Those of us who are fortunate enough to have grown up in the Midwest, particularly in Southwest Missouri, have always looked forward to and enjoyed Independence Day. It seems to me that there were always parades with soldiers and sailors during the time I was growing up. There were old cars, marching bands, pretty girls and horses at all the parades. If we were really lucky, we got to go to more than one parade and the fireworks displays were really awesome! Then there was the food! Fried chicken, potatoes salad, fresh lemonade and always watermelon! There were always plenty of kids, (a few fights among cousins), political discussions, (a few fights among uncles), games, music, and fun of all kinds. It was something we looked forward to for weeks and could hardly wait for the fireworks stands to open. Wait a minute! That's exactly what went on last weekend! Every community in McDonald and Newton County had a celebration of some kind. I wonder if we realize how fortunate we are to continue this tradition. Oh sure, the older we get the more we gripe about "kids today not knowing the true meaning of Independence Day". Well, I'll bet that kids in the Midwest know a whole lot more about the reason for the 4th. of July than kids on either coast do. Our schools do a great job of teaching history here and we need to make sure that they have our support to continue teaching American History the way it really happened. When you hear the words "rich tradition" the celebration of Independence Day should be at the top of the list.