Greetings, My Fellow Missourians

Saturday night, I was totally caught off guard and surprised to be honored with a presentation of a Commendation Medal & Plaque at the 17th Annual Confederate Heritage Dinner in Osceola.  It was presented because of my efforts to get legislation passed for a Heritage Protection Act in Missouri, and for my comments that I made at the 100th Re-Dedication of the Missouri Monument at the Vicksburg National Park in May.  My fine friend and fellow compatriot, Darrell Maples, made the presentation.  Then Rick Reed presented me with a Harpers Weekly reprint of the 1st & 2nd Missouri Brigades surrendering at Vicksburg on July 4, 1863.  To be honored for something that is a great passion of mine is very humbling.  I thoroughly enjoy learning about and sharing the history of our ancestors and their endeavors to make this a great nation that we have the privilege to enjoy today.

Discover More on Route 54:

I discovered a new gun store this Saturday while attending the Annual Pie Festival & Car Show in Collins. Red Barn Firearms is located on the north side of the “Discover More on Route 54” Highway.  I recommend everyone to stop in and get acquainted with Rick and Angela Smith, proprietors of Red Barn Firearms, LLC, who are the newest sponsors of “Discover More on Route 54.”  …Any business located along the Highway 54 corridor is welcome to become a website sponsor for $25 per year.

I attended the St. Clair County Health Department Board Meeting.  I had been allotted time on the agenda to address recent issues about new ordinances going into effect and insuring that the health department maintains compliance with the controversial and sometimes misinterpreted Revised Missouri Statute 192.300 that states ‘county commissions and county health center boards may make and promulgate orders, ordinances, rules or regulations, respectively as will tend to enhance the public health and prevent the entrance of infectious, contagious, communicable or dangerous diseases into such county, but any orders, ordinances, rules or regulations shall not be in conflict with any rules or regulations authorized and made by the department of health and senior services in accordance with this chapter or by the department of social services.’

According to this statute, county commissions and county health boards need to consult with one another in establishing new ordinances and insuring proper procedure is followed, but in recent years there have been county health center boards adopt ordinances without the county commission’s approval.  This is what is controversial about statute 192.300.   However, a recent decision has been rendered this summer in Andrew County by Judge Randall Jackson who believes county commissioners do have to approve any new ordinances, and that Missouri law does not give county health center boards the authority to pass regulatory ordinances.   As a legislator, I firmly believe this statute needs to be clarified.

New laws went into effect Aug. 28:

Much of the work done by the Missouri House and Senate from January to May has finally become law as many of the bills approved during the legislative session and signed by the governor officially went into effect on Aug. 28. It was during the 2017 legislative session that the House and Senate combined to send 56 pieces of legislation across the finish line, and gave approval to an additional 16 appropriations bills. Some of the pieces of legislation that take effect as law as of Aug. 28 include:

Fairness in Public Construction (SB 182):

Lawmakers approved a bill this year that is meant to put an end to project labor agreements (PLAs) and ensure a fair and competitive bidding process for public works projects in Missouri. In effect, the bill would ban PLAs, which ensure public works contracts are almost exclusively awarded to union contractors or contractors who agree to labor union demands.

Project labor agreements require that public construction projects such as building schools or libraries be performed only by union contractors, or by contractors who agree to labor union standards. The current system allows non-union contractors to bid on a project, but in effect makes them become a union shop for the public project. The new law approved by the General Assembly will remove a 50 percent state funding threshold for political subdivisions and labor agreements, and prohibit bidders from entering into these types of agreements.

Real ID (HB151):

The Real ID legislation is now in effect enabling the MO Department of Revenue to begin working with the Department of Homeland Security.  The first action will be setting a timeline for progress and obtaining another extension.  Extensions are determined by the Department of Homeland Security, but there is not another state making progress that has been denied an extension.  All progress is anticipated to go smoothly, but it will take the MO Department of Revenue approximately 18 months to reach all qualifications for compliance.  When the Department of Homeland Security authorizes full compliance, the MO Department of Revenue will begin issuing Real ID licenses.