Greetings, My Fellow Missourians

Ole’ man winter weather continues to dish out snow, ice, and hail. I am thankful for the road crews that work tireless hours to keep our roadways clear. Also the utility lineman crews do a great job of keeping our electricity on. Please let them know you appreciate their dedication and hard work.

My committee work since session has started has allowed me to present HB 159:

This bill exempts the current $250 outdoor advertising fee and Biennial inspection fee for certain highway signs under Section 226.550, RSMo when a sign is displayed by a landowner who also owns the business advertised on the sign and where the business has a physical location within 750 feet of the sign.

The Bill has been voted out of committee.

Scott Crouch, Ozarks Community Health Center, and Marie Payne-Bowman, Katy Trail Community Health, were advocating on Tuesday on behalf of Missouri Association Rural Health Clinics.

Gene Brockus, Susan Brockus, Teri Estes, and Ann Huesemann, all representing the St. Clair County Missouri Retired Teachers Association, shared input on legislation that may be heard in Session this year.

Bills presented in conservation and Natural Resource Committee are:

HB 260 Poaching

This bill specifies that the court may require any person found guilty of chasing, pursuing, taking, transporting, killing, processing, or disposing of certain wildlife in violation of the Missouri Conservation Commission’s rules and regulations to make restitution to the state. The moneys collected will be transferred to the State School Moneys Fund.

The bill has been passed out of committee.

House Gives First-Round Approval to Important Workforce Development Bill (HB 225):

Members of the Missouri House of Representatives gave initial approval this week to legislation meant to put thousands of Missourian on a fast track to develop the skills they need to obtain good-paying jobs. The bill would create a new state financial aid program known as Fast Track that would address workforce needs by encouraging adults to purse an industry-recognized credential in an area designated as high need.

The goal of Fast Track is to provide community colleges, tech schools, and universities with the means to equip students for the high-paying, high-demand jobs of the future. It is designed to open up higher education opportunities for hard-working, middle-class families looking for a boost to pursue their dreams. It is also meant to help Missouri businesses find workers with the training needed to fill their workforce demands.

Fast Track is a needs-based scholarship targeted at adults age 25 and older who are working toward certification, undergraduate degree or industry –recognized credential for high demand occupation. To be eligible, a student must be at least 25 years of age, not have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher, and have an adjusted gross income of less than $40,000 for an individual and $80,000 for a married couple filing jointly. If approved, a Missourian could attend an approved Missouri postsecondary institution of their choice and have their tuition and fees paid for by the program. The program is a “last-dollar” program and will be applied after all federal non-loan aid, state student aid, and any other governmental student financial aid are applied.

The bill now requires a final vote in the House before moving to the senate.

I had the pleasure of having a job shadow last week when Maddi Jefferis of Osceola spent the day at the Capitol.  She is a participating member of the FCCLA program with Osceola High School.

Members of Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) from Bolivar stopped by our district office to provide information on the great benefits of the program for high school students.

Please welcome:

I am pleased to announce we have a new Legislative Assistant for District 125, Sammie Arnold.  He is replacing Kelley Rogers who was offered an opportunity to work in the Senate.  If you are the Capitol, please stop by and introduce yourself to Sammie.

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