Monday afternoon was the first meeting of our Joint Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect. We had a quorum present and Senator Schaefer asked me to explain my idea for two subcommittees. I suggested that by forming one subcommittee to look into the reporting, investigation, and subsequent removal of a child and a second sub committee to investigate the foster and adoption process, we could accomplish more actual work. The entire program needs to be studied and improvements are needed at every level. The committee voted unanimously to proceed with my plan and we should be ready to go by the time session convenes in January. I was really surprised with the amount of excitement on the part of the committee members. Several of the Senators were most anxious to get started and, believe me, if you can get a Senator excited, you've accomplished something. All kidding aside, this is something that a lot of people have wanted to participate in for a long time and I am really proud to be a part of it.
Tuesday was the last meeting for the interim committee on Local Governance. We will be reporting the results of our hearings to the Speaker and he may or may not recommend legislative action. The situation in St. Louis County is, for the most part, a great example of the state trying to help a situation that was better left to local control. No matter which party is in control, someone always has a better idea of how to solve problems for cities or counties. The same thing is true of our National Government. I don't care whether it's sales tax, schools, health care, or employment practices, we are better off implementing rules for those things on a local basis than to have some well intended but sadly misinformed politician doing it for us. That's kind of like Mom telling me that I have to eat Brussels sprouts and liver because it's good for me!
We were at Goodman for a great parade Saturday afternoon. The weather cooperated and there was a wonderful crowd on hand to see all the entries. The Neosho Shrine Club had their old cars there and I reminisced on how the same cars with different hillbillies delighted my three boys 40 years ago! We do have some great traditions here in Southwest Missouri. The Seneca parade Saturday night was a typical Seneca Blowout! How they can get that many people on Main Street is an amazing feat. The first two rows deep are children. The littlest ones are always allowed in front with the older ones behind them helping them spot the best stuff. Next comes three rows of adults ranging in age from their twenties to eighty plus! That was my last parade until next summer and although I won't miss the hectic schedule, I will miss all the fun. (Jane threw 30 pounds of candy out the window in 20 minutes)
Next week there is a full schedule with Speaker Jones coming on Tuesday for his Manufacturing Tour and Senator Blunt here Wednesday for the I-49 opening. The Senator is taking a side trip to Pineville to tour the Old Courthouse and see the progress on restoration. Friday, I get to try my hand teaching a Government Class at Tri-Way Elementary in Stella. I should have a good report next week. Until then, I am and remain, in your service.