Greetings, My Fellow Missourians

Due to not feeling up to par this week, I stayed in-District. Marla and I attended the monthly St. Clair County Cattlemen’s Association meeting at Landmark Restaurant in Lowry City. The St. Clair County State Bank was the meal sponsor. University Extension Specialist, Raysha Tate presented a report on Missouri Fence Laws and how we have General Law and Local Law in Chapter 272. Raysha informed everyone that for a fence to be lawful, it needs to have 4 wires and the posts need to be about 12 feet apart. It’s good practice for landowners to work with their neighbors to build and maintain fences.   

We heard from Patrick Buchen of Buchen Farms Prime Beef in Humansville, MO. Patrick raises Speckle Park cattle, which is a breed developed over 75 years ago in Canada by crossing White Park and Angus. He talked about his years of researching all the different breeds in trying to produce the best beef possible. He utilized DNA testing and selection for quality carcass traits to produce tenderness and marbling in prime beef. Buchen Farms is donating a half beef to be raffled off by the Cattlemen’s Association at the Labor Day Rodeo in Osceola. Proceeds from the raffle will support the Scholarship Fund and the Cattlemen will present it to St. Clair County students seeking a career in agriculture.

Patrick Buchen

Legislative Leaders Issue Statement on Coronavirus

Missouri’s first confirmed cases of coronavirus have led legislative leaders from both parties, in both chambers, to consider steps to minimize exposure to the virus among Capitol lawmakers, staff, and visitors.

The House Speaker, Speaker Pro Tem, and Majority Floor Leader issued a joint statement saying, “The General Assembly has the constitutional duty of writing and passing a balanced budget to fund the core function of government and the House remains focused on completing this responsibility.  The legislative process for passing a budget begins in the House of Representatives and the House plans to move forward next week.  The goal of both chambers is to fulfill our constitutional obligations while minimizing risk for members, staff, and visitors.”

HB 1903 allows a school district that enters into an agreement with another district to share a superintendent to receive an additional $30,000 per year in state aid for up to five years. The bill directs districts to spend the additional compensation and half of the savings from sharing a superintendent on teacher salaries or counseling services. The change would take effect July 1, 2021. Supporters say the bill will help districts share costs and resources including key personnel. They point out that multiple states currently incentivize districts sharing and this bill would not be a mandate.

HB 1682 prohibits the use of vapor products in any indoor area of a public school or school bus. The bill allows a school board to adopt additional policies relating to vapor products, and removes the penalty language from the current statute. Supporters say there has been a marked increase in the number of students who have been caught vaping in schools and this bill would send a strong message that this vaping is harmful to student health and potentially dangerous.

There will not be a Capitol Report for the next two weeks due to the House of Representatives’ Spring Break along with precautionary measures taken by the General Assembly to ensure the safety of the members and staff.

Upcoming events

New Growth from Deep Roots – Learn about a regional network of recreational trails emerging in west central Missouri. Hear from panelists how businesses and towns are growing with new walking and biking assets, and how yours can too!

WHAT: Networking Luncheon ($10 at the door)

WHEN: Monday, March 30 – 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

WHERE: Warsaw Community Building, 181 W Harrison St., Warsaw

Please register by March 23, 2020