Monday we were in Stella for the Veterans ceremony. There was a nice turn out for the ceremony and the weather held out long enough to get it all done. It is great to see Veterans of all ages attending the various ceremonies all over the District. We too often forget the sacrifices made in by gone years so that we can enjoy the wonderful freedoms we have. I am a little dismayed to see so few young people in attendance. We don't seem to make as big a deal out of Memorial Day and Veterans Day as we used to. It might be a worthwhile project for school boards to encourage veterans to come and speak to our young people and let them see and hear from those who were willing to sacrifice everything to keep us free.
Tuesday morning, the Speaker of the House visited Neosho, Joplin, and Carthage and talked about the just completed session. He gave a synopsis of the bills that were waiting for the Governor's signature, (or veto) and talked a little about his agenda for next year. There is a certainty that we will be dealing with Medicaid Reform as he has commissioned an interim committee to work on different proposals. We also have an interim committee to look at various proposals dealing with Education. The adoption, or not, of the Common Core Standards is also on the agenda. Many of us in the Legislature are just now learning of the agreement that our Governor made at the urging of the NEA and other special interest groups. We are discovering a lot of things about the proposed National standards, some good and some not so good. The troubling thing is that this was proposed, agreed to, and nearly implemented without any input from the General Assembly. As much as he would like to be the President, he isn't! The Governor doesn't have Executive Privileges and Common Core won't be implemented without a vote of the General Assembly. He also addresses the need for a Tort Reform bill. Since the Supreme Court invalidated our Tort Laws, we have seen Health Care professionals and Medical Clinics flee to neighboring states that have some limits on legal settlements. This affects more than the medical industry, businesses are held to the same standards of no limit on the amount of a legal settlement. Remember, the meddling of the Supreme Court also invalidated the law concerning campaign contributions and now everybody is up in arms about there being no limits on that also.
Wednesday, I was privileged to speak to a group of business owners regarding legislation that was passed this session. We sent several good bills to the Governor that will help business and industry all over the state. We are in a competitive climate in Southwest Missouri, and we have to look for things that will even the playing field with neighboring states. Some of the bills that we passed were dealing with adjustments to Prevailing Wage reporting and some provided a fix for our insolvent second injury fund. We also dealt with misconduct in the workplace and how it can affect eligibility for unemployment. The major reason for some of this legislation was to start the conversation on what we need to do and when we need to do it. We simply cannot wait until all our businesses have gone across state lines before we make some changes.
Friday we went back to Stella for the Senior Center annual fundraiser dinner and pie auction. Yup, I bought another high priced pie! Finally I'm getting a little smarter. I give a check to one of the organizers to buy a pie for me and then donate it back to be auctioned off again. That way I don't make one or more of the ladies mad at me for not bidding on her pie. I just look dumb!
Next week I have to be back in Jefferson City for a couple of days. There is a Children's Trust Fund board meeting that I need to attend and we also have a sub-committee hearing on Child Abuse reporting and emergency removal. I'll have a report for you next week.
"Food For Thought", If the government's plan for getting people back to work is to incentivize NOT working by providing 99 weeks of unemployment without requiring them to prove they applied for a job, then you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.