This transgender issues continues to get media coverage. Why on earth our President feels like something that only affects one tenth of one percent of the population deserves to disrupt the country to this extent, I will never know. If school districts aren’t burdened enough already, now the Administration threatens the loss of Federal funds unless they allow free access to whichever bathroom or shower a student “feels like fits them”. As more information begins to swirl around, some troubling facts start to surface. There have been numerous suicides of school age children because they have been suddenly shoved into the spotlight. Psychologists are warning that irreparable harm can be done to young children when parents try to guide them to “change their sex”. One of the Psychiatry Associations has even suggested that trying to change a child’s sex is nothing less than child abuse. Just last week the LGBTQ Nation, the largest gay advocacy group, called for the cessation of transgender bathroom discussions. Even they know that it’s ridiculous to make a big deal out of using the john. Simply use the facilities that match your God given equipment!
There are battling issues this November on the ballot to raise cigarette taxes. Neither of these issues are Legislature initiated. I will attempt to explain these initiatives and give some insight. The first issue would raise the tax by 23 cents a package and the money collected would be used to fund transportation infrastructure projects. It is projected to generate around 8 million additional dollars for transportation if sales numbers remain steady. It is highly supported by the Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association because it is the lesser of the two evils and would keep Missouri taxes considerably cheaper than adjoining states. The other proposal is named Raise Your Hand for Kids and increases taxes by 60 cents per package to be used for Early Childhood Education. It would also close a loophole that smaller cigarette companies use to evade paying into Medicaid. Naturally, the big companies like R.J.Reynolds are in favor of this proposal as currently the small companies can under price them. Missouri Right to Life opposes the initiative because it alleges that some of the wording in the bill could be interpreted to fund emergency abortions. The American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, etc. are all opposed to both initiatives because the increases are too small. Let’s face it, the true reason behind both initiatives is prevention of profit losses. The same people wrote both bills and their aim is to get something passed before the Legislature passes something worse. You just can’t make this stuff up. I’m voting no on both of them!
Meanwhile, Missouri University, who has had more than their fair share of time in the spotlight, made news again. Audits have turned up over $750,000 dollars missing from the Agriculture Department. A lack of fiscal oversight and accountability by the Southwest Center and the College Business Services office was cited. The money went missing over several years. An employee set up several fake accounts and businesses into which she diverted University funds. Some of the money was from Federal grants and were intended for Dairy research.
I am looking forward to a meeting with our local CASA representatives this week in preparation for our Joint Committee Hearing on the 21st. I’ll tell you all about it next time.