A few weeks back I reported that the House passed a reform bill to lower lifetime benefits for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families from 5 years to 30 months. The Senate version lowered it to 48 months. After conference, we settled on 45 months. The bill also adds Missouri to a list of 37 other states that require welfare recipients to take steps immediately to seek employment in order to receive benefits.
On Tuesday I was awarded the Missouri Kids Firsts Standing with Children Award. Senator Dixon and I were the recipients this year in a ceremony on the Capitol steps surrounded by hundreds of blue and silver pinwheels. It came at a great time as I have several child abuse bills working their way through the system. Some of the bills I have added as amendments to other pieces of Legislation dealing with children's issues and some of them will be stand alone bills. I don't care who gets the credit as long as we get them passed.
Wednesday Angel Roller, the Seneca Agriculture Instructor, brought 9 students to the Capitol where I presented them with resolutions for their accomplishments in the State FFA. All 9 students have been named State winners!
Friday, the Noel Elementary visited. We are always delighted to have our schools come to the Capitol. It is one of the most beautiful buildings in the United States and it is just crammed full of history. Constructed over 100 years ago, without the advantages of hydraulics or modern equipment, it is a marvel of architecture. It is almost entirely built of masonry and Carthage Marble. Imagine a marble pillar over 40 feet tall and 6 feet in diameter being pulled up the riverbank and stood up in the House Chamber. There are 40 of them in the chamber alone. There is also 1 broken pillar still remaining on the riverbank!
There are only 4 weeks of session remaining and the pace is really picking up. Some of the really big issues we passed out of the House in the first few weeks are now returning from the Senate with their suggested changes and additions. I expect some long days and nights getting everything worked out. I'll have some good things to report next week, until then I am and remain in your service,