My Fellow Missourians:

My in-district day on Friday actually turned out to be an out-district day at the KWTO Radio Station in Springfield.  I joined Representatives Lynn Morris and Jeff Messenger who host “Morning Coffee with Your Representatives.” This radio program reaches out all over Southwest Missouri and is broadcast weekly on Friday mornings from 8–9 a.m.  We discussed two bills that I am sponsoring:  HB106 relating to cemetery funds and HB104 which repeals prevailing wage.  Another issue we tried to clarify was Real ID.  This bill would bring Missouri into compliance with the federal Real ID law passed in 2005.  Real ID raises the proof-of-identity requirements for IDs and requires states to retain the personal information they receive for 10 years.  Missouri IDs are currently not accepted at military bases and will not be accepted at airports starting in 2018.   There has been much lengthy discussion and debate in the House on this issue (HB151), and the House has given initial approval which would require the state revenue department to issue Real ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards to those who want them.

On my way to the Capitol Monday morning, I interviewed with Paula Spring of BCE TV in Warsaw about HB90 concerning prescription drug monitoring that would help stop drug trafficking of prescription drugs.  We visited about Real ID and prevailing wage.  BCE TV, in its 4th year of operation, is an internet television news service that is broadcast from the Benton County Enterprise building in Warsaw.  To access BCE TV, go to:  and click on the BCE TV link in the top right corner.  You may go to and select ‘MO Warsaw BCE TV.’

Legislation this week:

What turned out to be the “Big Bill” of the week was sort of an unexpected curve ball thrown to the legislation.  In response to a Missouri Supreme Court decision that invalidated part of Missouri’s minimum wage law, lawmakers are moving quickly to implement a fix that would provide a consistent wage in municipalities throughout the state in House Bills 1193 and 1194.  The House approved the legislation this week that would reaffirm that the state’s minimum wage is applied throughout Missouri, and keeps the decision to raise wages in the hands of the employer and employee.

While the state currently has a minimum wage that increases based on the Consumer Price Index, and is currently higher than the federal minimum wage, some municipalities have considered their own increases. St. Louis passed an ordinance to raise its minimum wage to $10 an hour this year and $11 an hour by 2018. The legislation approved by the House would preempt and nullify the minimum wage enacted by St. Louis, and provide that other municipalities cannot enact a minimum wage that exceeds the one established by state law.  With nearly four hours of debate on Wednesday and two hours on Thursday, I felt compelled to speak on the issue of wage rates, whether it is minimum, living or prevailing.  I started by reading five themes from a book entitled “Wealth of Nations” written by Adam Smith.  Mr. Smith was a Scottish economist, philosopher, and author.  This book, written in the 1700’s, is considered to be the “Bible of Capitalism.”  The main theme is: commerce, labor, and production of goods and services perform best when government stays out of the way.  The reality is this issue may turn out to be a molehill compared to a mountain when we bring up debate on my HB104 which will do a full repeal of prevailing wage statewide and allow all public works to be bid to qualified/competitive bidders.

Veterans invited:

Missouri Vietnam Veterans Day is Thursday, March 30. In recognition of those who served in this conflict, Vietnam Veterans are invited to the Capitol on this day for a special ceremony and presentation to be followed by a formal recognition at the start of session in the House Chamber.   All House members are encouraging veterans throughout the state to come forward to receive recognition for their service.  If you are able to attend, please call our office at 573-751-4065 for special arrangements.  The House of Representatives and I would be greatly honored by your presence.

Town hall meetings scheduled:

The General Assembly will not be in session March 20-24.  I will be in the district that week and have scheduled several town hall meetings.  I welcome everyone to attend to share input and concerns regarding this year’s legislation.

Monday, March 20, 9 a.m., St. Clair County Main Library, 115 Chestnut Street, Osceola

Monday, March 20, 1 p.m., El Dorado Springs City Hall

Wednesday, March 22, 9 a.m., Hickory County Library, 99 New Hermitage Drive, Hermitage

Wednesday, March 22, 1 p.m., Boonslick Regional Library, 102 E. Jackson Street, Warsaw.