On Wednesday, following revelations that he engaged in an exchange of inappropriate text messages with a Capitol intern, Representative John Diehl Jr. resigned his Speaker position and his State Representative office. I fully support his decision to leave office immediately to focus on repairing relationships with his wife and family and to allow the Missouri House to return to its legislative obligations. Floor Leader Todd Richardson from Butler County was elected to the Speaker position by acclimation on Thursday evening and was sworn in on Friday morning.
The Legislature was able to accomplish some major things this past session. Sending a Right to Work bill to the Governor signals that we are looking to create an environment conducive to growth and opportunity. We reigned in Welfare spending with a cut to TANF from 60 months to 45 months and reinvesting those savings in childcare, transportation, and job training. We passed a school transfer overhaul that gives Missouri children access to the quality education they deserve. We passed a tort reform measure, which will limit the financial burden on physicians and keep good doctors here in Missouri. We invested a record amount in our public schools by increasing funding for the foundation formula by $84 million. This amount was over $30 million more than the Governor's recommendation. Responding to a deluge of constituent demands, we completely removed funding for Common Core in Missouri. Higher Education also benefitted by an increase of over $30 million.
On a personal level, I was able to pass legislation to create a taskforce within the office of the Child Advocate to investigate problems reported in Children's Division, find out what the problems are, and offer solutions. We also passed a bill that would assure that child-on-child sex abuse is properly investigated and therapy is immediately initiated. I also created a bill that will require the Highway Patrol to provide a brochure to campground and canoe rental owners to distribute to their customers that will list the rules and regulations of recreational water use and spell out the penalties. All the County commissions in the state will also receive copies. This will hopefully make everyone aware of the rules and increase our enjoyment of the state's waterways.
Session was officially over at 6:00 P.M. on the 15th so I'll be around the district more in the next few months. I look forward to visiting with everyone. More next week, until then I am and remain in your service.