The question is probably occurring to you, why the need to expedite the work of the House and Senate? The answer is timing. We are attempting to finish our legislative work and put bills on the Governor's desk early enough that he has to either sign or veto them while we are still in session. This procedure gives us enough time to over-ride before the seven-month break between sessions. Once again, last week, the importance of this was illustrated when Librarians from around the state traveled to Jefferson City to implore the Governor to restore funding that he withheld from their budget. They weren't asking for additional money, just the amount that had been appropriated by the General Assembly. They were not only told that he was not in the building (they took a picture of him) but were given the bum's rush out of his office. I don't know about your memory of librarians, but if mine serves me properly, they are not easily dissuaded from a task they consider righteous! He may need the money to pay his Governor's Association dues since we stopped him from taking it from Children's Division.
When we return, there are still plenty of issues waiting for us. A Springfield Rep has a bill on Constitutional Carry Rights that should be really interesting. I have several bills that address issues that my Joint Committee on Child Abuse has uncovered the last two years. I'm also carrying a bill that would put in print a brochure with the rules and regulations concerning the recreational use of our waterways. We have thousands of people every year on our rivers and streams and it would be very helpful to them to know the laws regarding their use. We are also encouraging the Highway Patrol to assign some extra Officers to help enforce the laws.
Jamie Emery with the Crowder Behavior Support Center visited me last week. I took advantage of the opportunity to tell her about the "Stewards of Children" program and how it was my desire for every teacher in the state to have the training. It is a two-hour seminar that teaches how to identify the signs of child sexual abuse, how to properly report it, and what questions to ask. It's some of the most powerful training I've ever seen and our Southwest Coalition is going to be doing the training in our area.
I'll talk about more of the proposals next time, until then, I am and remain in your service.