The other big issue last week was the passage of my House bill 1617. This bill simply says that a Public employee union member paying union dues or fees must have the option of giving their consent to having dues or fees withheld from their paycheck. They also must be given the option to consent to having their money spent to support political activity. This bill in no way is intended to threaten unions. No one disputes the fact that workers have the freedom to associate by forming unions. The problem is that we find ourselves in a new economy and many people are uncertain of the future. Business models have changed and we no longer have a single leadership model. It is time for Missouri workers to be able to choose whether or not to participate in the decisions of what politics to support or whether to support any politics. The person who is paying the tab should have the option of saying what they are buying.
The FCCLA group led by Mrs. Strader and Ms. Shaffer were in Columbia for a state conference and stopped by the capitol for a visit. They were able to tour the Whispering Gallery and take a trip to the top of the dome as well as stopping for a break for strawberry shortcake on the 3rd. floor Rotunda. The Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce sponsored a dinner for the area Legislators and the Leadership Joplin Class Wednesday evening. We were given an opportunity to update the participants on our current legislation and the food and fellowship was great.
Saturday afternoon we presented Jim Tatum with the "Outstanding Missourian" award. The Speaker of the House, Tim Jones along with Senators Richard and Sater and Representatives Reiboldt, Davis, and I, along with a hundred or so witnesses, honored Jim for a lifetime of service to Missouri. What a resume he has! Jim is not only responsible for the creation of Crowder College; he has worked tirelessly for the last 50 years helping to establish the Community College concept all over the country. He has been named to several commissions by a variety of Governors and even a President or two. We are fortunate for him to be a lifelong resident of McDonald County.
Another big week looming ahead, I'll tell you about it next time. Until then, I am and remain in your service.