Wednesday the Children's Trust Fund board meeting was held in Jefferson City. Jane got up really, really early and we got there in plenty of time for the 10:00 a.m. meeting. One of the major funding sources for the Trust Fund is the sale of license plates. They are the ones with the little green handprints and the reference to child abuse. They are a really worthwhile investment. There were many topics discussed at the meeting but quite a bit of time was spent talking about ways to educate children on gun safety. I told them about the variety of programs that we have in Southwest Missouri, not the least of which are championed by our own Dan Fuller. We are also working with the Missouri Conservationist publication to gear ads toward children.
On Thursday I held my monthly child abuse hearing. We had three Guardian Ad Litems who testified as well as the Deputy Director of Missouri Kids first. She gave us an update on the Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children and it's focus on mental health services to children who have been sexually abused. This hearing completes the two-year study of the Children's Division departments. The Committee has had the opportunity to explore the inner workings of the department and get input from all over the state. We will now make our yearly report to the Speakers Office in the House and the Senate Pro Tem in December. We are then tasked with making recommendations for improvements to the system. The next couple of years will most certainly have their challenges.
Friday was a real treat! I had the privilege of hosting 96 students from Anderson Elementary at the Capitol. We were able to get guided tours of the Capitol, trips to the top of the dome, a visit to the Supreme Court with a special talk by a Supreme Court Judge, and a tour of the old prison. We served them pizza and cold drinks at noon and they were even able to sit in the House Chamber at Representatives desks. My hat is really off to Mr. Anders and his teachers and chaperones Once again I heard comments from Legislators and their assistants about how polite and well-behaved students from our area are.
This week looks like it's going to be busy also, I'll report next time. Until then I am and remain in your service,