Greetings, My Fellow Missourians

Another Thanksgiving has come and gone. The gathering together of family is an annual tradition at our home. My wife, Marla, has always planned and prepared, with the help of our children, a very memorable event. Our family has a Fall roundup time at the ranch during Thanksgiving. We gather all the cattle and administer herd health veterinary practices. It’s planned at this time because all of our children and grandchildren have an interest in the ranch, and it helps keep them involved.

This is the time of year that farmers and ranchers wrap up harvest and reflect back on the year’s crop yields, and evaluate and plan for next year’s fuel, fertilizers and seed needs. Many times, this requires year-end buying, depending on tax liabilities. And speaking of taxes, just as I am writing this report, President Trump has visited Missouri drumming up support for federal tax reform. This reform is very much needed to bring companies back to the USA. It looks like the estate tax, commonly known as the death tax, is being reviewed by both the U.S. House and Senate. A repeal of this estate tax would benefit farmers and ranchers greatly. Currently, when the family farm owner passes away, most assets are usually tied up in land and machinery. Many times, because of limited cash assets on hand, the family is forced to sell the land and machinery to pay the estate taxes, thus preventing the farmland from being passed on to future generations of the family. Agriculture-related organizations are very much in favor of repealing this tax.

Central Missouri opioid summit:

On Wednesday, I attended an opioid summit in Columbia. This national epidemic was addressed by speakers from the MO Dept. of Health and Senior Services, Washington University, the DEA/US Dept. of Justice, National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, and the Missouri Institute of Mental Health. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine and many others (4 out of 5 heroin users got their start with prescription drugs right out of the family medicine cabinet.) The US has 5% of the world’s population, and Americans use 97% of the opioids produced. This is a frightening statistic. In Missouri alone, 908 people died in 2016 from opioid abuse overdose which is a 35% increase from 2015. Everyone that spoke on the epidemic stressed prevention through the prescription drug monitoring program. They stressed mental health education, because many believe that we are raising generations of children with poor coping skills, yet they have increased stress and anxiety in today’s world. We must educate them with coping mechanisms instead of prescribing drugs. Approximately, 89,000 prescriptions are written per every 100,000 people in Missouri; education and awareness must be used to reduce and prevent abuse. With the statewide prescription drug monitoring program and utilization of drug courts, I am hoping this crisis will be a legislative priority in 2018 for the Missouri General Assembly by addressing dedicated funds for educational programs and prevention and treatment options.

Wednesday, Rep. Love finished preparing resolutions for 20 FFA American Degree recipients in District 125. He looks forward to recognizing each of these students for their achievements during December and January.

Missouri travelers receive good news with real id extension:

Missourians with travel plans in 2018 received good news today as the Department of Homeland Security granted Missouri an extension to implement REAL-ID compliant driver licenses. The extension means Missourians will be able to use their current forms of identification to fly domestically and enter federal facilities until Oct. 10 of next year.

The state will continue to work toward the implementation of the new REAL ID-compliant licenses, and is on track to have them in place by March 2019. The state will have to apply for a second waiver next year in order to cover the gap between October, when the current waiver expires, and March, when the new IDs will be in circulation.

Some upcoming activities include:

Dec. 2 – “Christmas in the Country” in Appleton City at the Forest Park Building, Train Depot, and Drury Hotel with craft vendors, baked potato luncheon, contests and silent auction.

Dec. 4 – Santa Claus is Coming to the St. Clair County Library in Osceola from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 5 – Santa Claus is Coming to the St. Clair County Library in Lowry City from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 8-9 – “Descending the Decades” Christmas on the Harbor in Warsaw with the downtown parade scheduled at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Dec. 9 – 26th Annual Christmas Parade in Lincoln on Main Street beginning at 11 a.m. Christmas activities will take place at the Lincoln R-2 School. Coffee, hot chocolate and donuts will be served in the Community Building from 10-11 before the parade.