Regular session ends

Posted May 21, 2015 at 10:15 am

The First Regular Session of the 98th General Assembly ended on Friday, May 15, 2015. What started out as a relatively calm return to the Capital City, ended in a flurry of turmoil and gridlock. However, many important pieces of public policy were passed and signed into law, and I am pleased to share with you some of the highlights from my perspective.

The General Assembly approved a $26.1 billion state operating budget for Fiscal Year 2016, with a funding increase of $84 million for K-12 education, and a $12 million increase for higher education. Lawmakers also put $28 million more towards the Victim of Crime Act. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I am pleased with the budget process this year. The state Fiscal Year 2016 begins July 1,

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    Hartzler, House Approve FY16 Defense Bill

    Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) and the House have approved the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to fund America’s national defense and to provide our men and women in uniform with the resources they need.

    “One of the primary constitutional responsibilities of Congress is to provide for the common defense,” said Hartzler. “This bill provides the resources needed to address existing national security threats as well as developing threats from rogue nations and terrorist

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    Love note from Jefferson City

    My Fellow Missourians,

    My In-District Day on Friday, May 8, started at the Osceola Elementary School. I got to talk to 3rd graders about my experience attending a one-room school for my elementary grades. Also, presented a brief report about the Kansas/Missouri Border War that led up to the atrocities of the War Between the States.

    State Rep. Patricia Pike and I joined together and gave a presentation of our “Discover More on Route 54” Project to the Nevada Chamber luncheon. Friday

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    Missouri House Republicans pick next House speaker

    by MDN Staff

    Rep. Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, was elected Friday, May 15, as the new speaker of the Missouri House just minutes after now-former House Speaker John Diehl, R-St. Louis County, resigned.

    Diehl resigned after The Kansas City Star reported text messages with a sexual content had been exchanged between Diehl and a college intern working for the legislature.

    A closed-door caucus of House Republicans Thursday night selected their majority floor leader to be the next speaker of the Missouri House.

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    Savvy Senior®

    How to search for lost pension money

    Dear Savvy Senior

    What tips can you offer for tracking down a lost pension from a previous employer?

    About to Retire

    Dear About,

    It’s not unusual for a worker to lose track of a pension benefit. Perhaps you left an employer long ago and forgot that you left behind a pension. Or maybe you worked for a company that changed owners or went belly up many years ago,

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    The workout that works for seniors of all ages and mobility levels: resistance training

    Think you’re too old and frail to work out? Think again! The health benefits of daily exercise are widely known, but seniors facing health and mobility issues may feel working out is beyond their abilities. Sixty-three percent of people 60 and older don’t engage in daily exercise, according to the National Council on Aging’s The United States of Aging Survey.

    But resistance training can help seniors who fear falling or damaging aging muscles and bones while exercising. For seniors with health issues that might

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    Five exotic summer vacations that are a steal due to the strong dollar

    Exotic locations like Bali, Rome and Sydney might be at the top of your bucket list, but this year experts say they should also be at the top of your summer vacation list. Today’s unusually strong dollar is allowing you to get a lot more for your money when you travel abroad. Travel experts say this year is one of the best times in modern history for Americans to explore the world and visit distant dream destinations.

    “The U.S. has emerged from the financial crisis of 2008 with the dollar at near

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    Love Note from Jefferson City

    By Rep. Warren Love

    I spent most of my Friday In-District Day looking at bridges in my district with MoDOT Engineer Darin Hamelink. There are 10,400 total bridges on the state system and there are 591 bridges in critical condition; 109 are on primary routes and 482 are on supplementary routes

    Many bridges are 50-70 years old and due to prolonged water and salt seeping through cracks in the concrete floors, it has allowed rusting of the steel re-inforcement rods. These bridges need

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    Veterans Commission announces Memorial Day ceremonies at state veterans cemeteries

    Memorial Day ceremonies will be held at five State Veterans Cemeteries – Bloomfield, Fort Leonard Wood, Higginsville, Jacksonville and Springfield on May 25.

    Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day was established as a day for Americans to honor those who were killed during the Civil War. It was not until after World War I that Memorial Day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. Memorial Day was declared a national holiday in 1971 and was placed on the last Monday in May.


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    Savvy Senior®

    Home improvement assistance programs for seniors

    Dear Savvy Senior,

    Do you know of any financial assistance programs or other resources that can help seniors with home improvement projects? I would like to help my 86-year-old father make a few modifications to his house so he can live there as long as possible, but money is very tight.

    Inquiring Daughter

    Dear Inquiring,

    There are actually a number of programs available that can help seniors with home

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