We've got plenty of stuff to address this year and our Governor just keeps adding things to the list. All of a sudden he has a sense of urgency to cooperate with the Legislature. Last week alone he proposed three new ways to spend more of your money. First, he had a meeting where he touted ways to expand our beef industry. I'm all for doing that but the monumental chore of securing permits and building feed lots and slaughter houses in Missouri in order to keep our calf crop here instead of sending them to western Kansas and Texas is a bit of a stretch. Our rapid weather changes would be hard on cattle in a feedlot situation in all but a few places in the state. As tough as DNR is on hog and poultry operations, I can't imagine them allowing much in the way of slaughter facilities. He also proposes to build a new football stadium in St. Louis. It is designed to seat 64,000 fans and would be an open-air facility on the riverfront. He stresses the point that it is not supposed to use taxpayer dollars (except extending the unpaid bond of the Edward D Jones Dome), which they intend to use for conventions and such. Finally, he fully supports the President's proposal to make the first two years of college free. I was of the opinion that we were already doing that with the A plus program (that he continually withholds funding for). The President's proposal is estimated to cost 60 billion over 10 years with 25% being paid by the states. There has never been an entitlement program that hasn't exceeded estimates by at least 2 or 3 times. Some things, welfare for example, just continues to grow. I think we are much better off applying our A plus program which we have control of than allowing Washington to start applying their rules which are constantly changing to cost the taxpayers more money.
I have a series of meetings scheduled for this week concerning our proposals for some procedure changes in the operation of the Division of Children's Service. We will have several new committee members for this session. The new members include two newly elected Senators that were termed out of the House. Both of these ladies have handled child abuse legislation and are anxious to help us make some much needed improvements to better insure the safety of Missouri's kids. I am looking for ways to provide the Stewards of Children seminar to every teacher in the state. This training seminar teaches the signs of child sexual abuse and provides participants with guidelines that will protect the evidence and help law enforcement. Missouri Kids First told me about the program and came to the McDonald County Coalition and also East Newton School to do the training. I think it is the best presentation I have ever seen.