The other bill that I had high hopes for also took a strange turn. The bill was simply adding one word to current statute. Currently a child abuse investigation must be completed within 30 days. Investigators for the Department had asked me to try to extend that time to 30 "working" days, thereby giving them at least an additional 8 days to make sure their investigation was complete. That bill passed the House 155 to 2 and was sent to the Senate for their approval and, as with most bills sent to the Senate late in session, it had "puppies." The Senate added 4 amendments to the bill and every one of them just made it better! The 30 days are now 45, there is a 120 day provision for sexual abuse and unlimited time for a child death, as well as an addition to the Joint Committee bill asking for a study on differences in policies with Juvenile Officers and judges. The Senate passed it with the same bi-partisan margins and it will soon be signed into law.
We were in Neosho for Eggs and Issues Friday morning. It was well attended and I was pleasantly surprised to see Jonathon Russell there. Each of us gave a short talk on the end of session. Everything considered, we had an excellent session. None of us got done everything we wanted, but I think we accomplished some good things for the State and our constituents at home.
Jane and I were honored along with Mayor John Sellers to be judges of the annual Queen contest at the Golden Living Home. Boy, what a tough job to pick a winner from five lovely ladies! Mrs. Juanita Gilliam was our pick to represent our area in the District competition coming up soon. What fun! More next week, until then I am and remain in your service.