House Bill 1877 dealing with re-entry of children into Foster care was passed with a nearly unanimous vote. It makes allowances for a child who leaves foster care at age 18 to re-enter until age 21 if they show good reason. It also contained the addition of my language to require courts to send a certified copy of any judgment to Children’s Division when the court finds a preponderance of evidence of Child abuse or neglect.
House Bill 1646 requires that civics education and a test with questions similar to those on citizenship exams be given to high school students. Some of the basics that we older people were taught have been eliminated in recent years due to time restraints. This measure passed with a large majority.
House Bill 2187 requires the Missouri DNR to sell at public auction the land acquired by the Governor without Legislative authority in Oregon County. This acquisition of land was unprecedented as the Governor used funds that were intended for remediation of lead mining areas to buy land for a future State park. The Oregon County residents objected to the purchase because it removes 4,000 plus acres from the County tax base and inhibits economic development in their area. Oregon County has never had any type of lead or zinc mining. I spoke on the floor in support of the bill, as there are still plenty of open shafts, tailing piles and exposed lead dust in Newton County that need remediation. This bill also passed with a large bi-partisan majority.
House Bill 2121 has a little different twist. It requests that Ft. Leonard Wood purchase at least 10% of the food needed on base from local suppliers. The sponsor, the Minority Floor Leader reasoned that it would help local merchants, as well as create a farmers market in the area.
We had several visitors to the Capitol last week. Katie Whitekiller, the District Lead Nurse at Seneca R7 School District took a trip to the Top of the Dome after visiting with me about issues important to nurses. The Missouri Nurses Association was visiting the Capitol to make us aware of their Legislative Priorities which included bans on texting and driving, a narcotics control act, nursing education incentives, and collection of workforce data to identify nursing shortages. Samantha Hobbs and Jenna Watkins from Noel also visited and got to go on a tour. I agree with all their priorities and will do everything I can to help move the bills along.
The McDonald county Republican Club had a Lincoln Day lunch at River Ranch on Saturday. Senator Richard the Senate Pro Tem gave the Keynote Speech and then we heard from Senator Krause who is running for Attorney General, Senator Schaeffer, who is running for Attorney General, and Senator Parsons who is running for Lieutenant Governor. There were also surrogate speakers for several other candidates. There were 130 in attendance and, as always the food at River Ranch was great!
The dry, windy weather has created conditions for fast moving grass fires. We had one on Friday night and Saturday that they tell me covered 500 acres! Units from Pineville, Anderson, Tiff City, Seneca, Wheaton, and Anderson all worked together to contain it. If you see those guys, give them a pat on the back for doing a hard, dangerous job.