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Improving Child Welfare

Posted July 17, 2014 at 1:56 pm

Good Day,

I was pleased to take a step toward improving child welfare in our state and throughout the nation by hosting a Congressional Listening Tour, in Columbia, with a fellow Member of Congress, children’s services experts and community leaders.

The goal of our time in Columbia was to highlight both the positive aspects and the challenges of the child welfare system here in Missouri and to see if there are needed changes in federal law. Participants shared their on-the-ground experiences and their perspectives on the best practices and concerns about our child welfare system.

My colleague who traveled to Columbia to join me –

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    Missouri Chamber supports new law to block ‘patent trolls’

    Legislation protecting companies from patent infringement scams was signed into law by Gov. Jay Nixon on July 8. The Missouri Chamber advocated for this measure, Senate Bill 706, sponsored by Sen. Mike Cunningham, a Republican from Marshfield.

    The legislation addresses a growing “industry” led by so-called patent trolls, who purchase rights to old patents and then look for companies producing similar products that they can sue for patent infringement. Often, companies that are sued will choose to settle out of court for $50,000, or more, rather than engaging in a lengthy and

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    Gov. vetoes two consumer lending bills

    Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed two consumer-lending bills, saying that one bill does not provide true reform to payday lending and the other bill takes away the authority of local government to protect consumers.

    In vetoing Senate Bill 694, the Governor said the bill “provides false hope of true payday lending reform while in reality falling far short of the mark.” Instead of true reform, Senate Bill 694 “appears to be part of a coordinated effort by the payday loan industry to avoid more meaningful reform.” The Governor pointed out that under the

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    Vision loss in the elderly

    by Faith Trussell, RN, BSN, Program Director, Senior Life Solutions

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss in the United States. AMD causes damage to the macula, a spot near the center of the retina that is needed for sharp, straight-ahead vision. As the disease progresses, it causes a blurred area in the center of vision, which leads to difficulty with everyday activities such as driving, reading, writing, watching TV, cooking, and doing housework as well as participating in favorite hobbies. Activities that one used to enjoy begin

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    Savvy Senior®

    Ergonomic tools that can ease gardening pains

    Dear Savvy Senior,

    Can you recommend some good ergonomic gardening gear for seniors? My 72-year-old mother loves to work in the garden, but has been plagued by various gardening injuries this year.

    Looking for Solutions

    Dear Looking,

    There’s no doubt that gardening can be tough on an aging body. Garden work often requires a lot of repetitive stooping, squatting, kneeling, gripping and lifting, which

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    Clearing up the facts about cataracts

    Cataract is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. Approximately 24.5 million Americans have the lens-clouding eye condition, and the incidence is set to grow by 50 percent by 2050, according to the National Eye Institute. If not treated through a change in eyeglass prescription or surgery, cataracts, which affect more than half of all Americans by age 80, can increase risk of permanent blindness.

    To help clear up the facts about this lens-clouding eye condition ophthalmologists, medical doctors specializing in the

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    Protect retirement benefits if you are leaving your job

    Any person that is suddenly unemployed or plans to leave their job for another position needs to be careful with any retirement benefits built up through their current employer according to Nellie Lamers, a family financial education specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

    “Ask your human resources director for the company’s summary plan document. That document will tell you how your benefits are calculated, when you become vested, when you may receive your benefits, and in what form,” said Lamers.

    According to Lamers, the next step is to

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    MU climatologist: A gentle June in Missouri

    There were cool days and warm days, but overall June in Missouri was mild as milk.

    “When we look at the month as a whole, starting out cool the first half and a little bit warmer for the second half, it’s going be an above-normal month,” said Pat Guinan, climatologist for University of Missouri Extension’s Commercial Agriculture Program. “The preliminary numbers show it was about 1 degree above normal.”

    Cloudy days in early June kept high temperatures at bay, Guinan said. Then toward the end of the month

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    Voters Will Decide Fate of New Veterans Lottery Ticket

    The General Assembly gave its approval to numerous constitutional amendments that will go before voters this year. This gives Missourians a chance to decide several issues on the Aug. 5, 2014, ballot. With Independence Day approaching, I would like to highlight a measure that aims to help create some extra revenue to fund the needs of veterans across Missouri.

    House Joint Resolution 48 would, if approved by voters, direct proceeds from a new Veterans Lottery ticket to the Veterans Commission’s Capital Improvement Trust Fund. The money in

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    No American required to leave religious beliefs at the door

    Good Day,

    The United States Supreme Court issued its historic ruling in the Hobby Lobby/ Conestoga Wood religious freedoms First Amendment case – a victory for religious rights in this country.

    I am extremely pleased that the High Court upheld one of our fundamental Constitutional freedoms – the First Amendment right to practice our religious beliefs without government forcing us to abandon those beliefs for political reasons.

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