SB 997 dealing with higher education issues was also signed last week. Among other things, this allows any two-year college to offer course options to high school students. A process is developed which will certify a Higher Education institution as a dual credit provider. The act even provides a Scholarship opportunity for qualifying students to be reimbursed for up to 50% of the tuition costs. The bill establishes a concurrent enrollment program where students may be enrolled in a two and four year institution at the same time to streamline the path to degree completion. It also establishes a financial aid benefit to wartime veteran survivors. We are serious about providing better opportunities for our High School and college students.
On Thursday I had the pleasure of meeting with the New-Mac CASA group. Tamera Boyt, the Program Director assembled Board Members and volunteers for a question and answer session. I explained the purpose of our Joint Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect and asked them for input on how we should direct our efforts next session. We all agreed that there is a need for more volunteers and also a pressing need for more Foster homes in our southwest Area. One great suggestion that I promised to follow up on was to work on a way to speed up referrals to the CASA office when a child is removed from the home. Enabling electronic filing of reports was another project they recommended. I don’t think I have ever met with a group that wanted to help kids more than the New-Mac CASA. I invited anyone who wished to attend our Committee hearings to come and participate.
My hat’s off to MoDot! Highway 59 is open! The contractor has done a great job of getting it open well ahead of schedule. It sure didn’t come any too soon. The traffic on H was fierce at times and I know the campgrounds will be sighing in relief to be able to move their campers and canoes quicker and safer.
Please keep an eye out for your older neighbors during this extreme hot weather. Every time there is a heat wave like this there is a tragedy involving seniors. It only takes a minute to make a call or drop by and check on them and it could be a life saving gesture.
I’m off to Jefferson City this week for a Committee Hearing. I’m also anxious to see how the Capitol Building repairs are coming along. I’ll let you know next time. Until then, I am and remain in your service.