Thursday morning I met with Senator Dixon in reference to the sub committees for our Joint Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect. If you read my report last week, you know how worked up I got when I got the report from the Task Force on Child Sexual Abuse. Senator Dixon served on the task force and he shared some things with me that I really didn't want to know. I guess I'm naive, but I just can't believe we are that depraved! There is plenty of work to do on that committee but we have fourteen members that are single minded about fixing the system. If you want to see true bi-partisanship in action, come to one of our hearings.
Friday, we met with Dr. Speck and his staff and several of the directors. Usually these meetings are to underscore the need for additional funding for Higher Education. This was a different sort of meeting. Dr. Speck and his capable staff laid out a case for a more equitable division of State funds. It was a very good presentation and they sure had the facts to back up their requests. They shared several new programs with us. Some of them are in the works and others still on the drawing board, but it didn't take long to convince me that those guys are all about making MSSU an even better institution than it already is. Potential Medical and Dental School affiliations, Advanced Nurse Practitioner degrees, a Masters program in accounting, and a new ROTC program for the National Guard are but a few of the great plans they have. Meanwhile, like a lot of other State Institutions, they struggle to get additional funding for repair and maintenance of buildings that are approaching 40 years old. Rats! It only seems like yesterday to me when they were building the school. We may be able to help this year if the 7% increase in State revenue holds up.
We will be spending a great amount of time at the start of session on health care. Missourian's overwhelmingly voted against Medicaid expansion and the Governor didn't say one word about it while campaigning but now he is saying it will create jobs if we enact it. All we have to do is trust the Federal Government to do what they said they’d do. Right! If you really believe that, I've got some oceanfront property in Kansas I'll sell you real cheap! It promises to be an interesting discussion and I will keep you posted on the fun. This week we have inauguration and then we can get started.