Greetings, My Fellow Missourians

On Saturday I attended the Route 54 Cruisers Car Show in El Dorado Springs. I had the pleasure of presenting a Resolution to VFW Post 257 in honor of the 100th Anniversary of their organizations founding. VFW Post 257 is the oldest continuously active post in the Show-Me State. Its members help the community by providing needed assistance, presenting scholarships and teaching patriotism and flag etiquette. They also advocate for legislation on veterans’ issues and encourage people to vote. The Stockton “Trent Sallee” American Legion Post 230 presented the Colors during the Ceremony honoring the El Dorado Springs VFW Ceremony. They did an excellent job

Floor action: Tuesday the House passed Senate Bill 391 with a 103-44 vote. The legislation now moves to Governor Mike Parson for his signature. The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association was a driving force in moving the legislation forward and its president, Bobby Simpson, wasted no time in calling the passage a “historic victory” for farm and ranch families. 

The legislation prevents county governments from passing rules and regulations on farm and ranch families that are more stringent than scientifically founded rules and regulations promulgated by the Department of Natural Resources and other agencies. Proponents argue that a patchwork of county-by-county regulations creates regulatory uncertainty for farm and ranch families and prevents them from expanding and stops new operations from starting.

Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act – HB 126 is a bill that supporters are calling one of the strongest pieces of pro-life legislation in the country. Referred to as the Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act, the bill would prohibit physicians from performing an abortion after a fetal heartbeat or brain function is detected, which is typically around 8 weeks gestational age. Because similar provisions have been struck down in other states, the bill contains additional clauses to protect the lives of the unborn. Should the fetal heartbeat requirement not stand, the bill has a tiered approach that would then enact bans at 14 weeks, 18 weeks, or 20 weeks.

The legislation also states it is the intent of the state of Missouri to prohibit all abortions in the state under any circumstances. The comprehensive ban on abortion would go into effect if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, or if changes are made at the federal level to empower states to further regulate abortion. The only exception to the abortion ban would be in the case of a medical emergency.

Additionally, the bill contains provisions that would expand the existing tax credit for pro-life pregnancy resource centers and require referrals for out-of-state abortions to include the same informed consent materials that are required for an abortion performed in Missouri.

HB 604 Education Omnibus, titled the School Turn Around Act, passed today. This allows each local school district to set its opening date each year, which date shall be no earlier than fourteen calendar days prior to the first Monday in September. It allows the department of elementary and secondary education, through its agricultural education section, be authorized to establish a pilot program, beginning in the 2020- 22 2021 school year, to provide for agricultural education in elementary schools in the state. The purpose of the pilot program shall be to determine whether and how to implement an elementary agricultural education program statewide.

The school start date and the clarification of the Statute 192.300 that applies to County Health Ordinances have been two of my priorities since being elected to the House of Representatives.

Cemetery maintenance: As we make plans to remember our loved ones on Memorial Day, I urge local cemetery boards, local communities, civic organizations, and descendants of buried ancestors to take action this year, and contribute monetarily through donations or fundraisers to provide cemetery maintenance funds until state statutes are revised or interest rates increase for endowment funds that are set in place to earn money for maintenance. Keep in mind, no funding comes from state taxpayers’ resources to fund local cemetery maintenance. Our beautifully maintained cemeteries are a labor of love, time and money; please consider volunteering to help in some way. It is greatly appreciated by so many. 

Interim hours: Now that Session is over for 2019, I will be back in the District full time. If you need any assistance my Legislative Assistant Amy Helton will continue to be in my Capitol office Tuesday-Thursday and will be happy to help you.