Greetings, My Fellow Missourians

My Friday In-District day started with a hearty breakfast at the Kitchen Table Restaurant in Weaubleau right along the Discover More on Route 54 Highway. I then went to the Weaubleau School and presented two FFA American Farmer Degree Resolutions for Breanna Daggett and Jalainee Dampier. Weaubleau School FFA President Kaylee Lower received them on their behalf.

Weaubleau School FFA President Kaylee Lower received American Degree Farmer Resolutions for fellow FFA Members Breanna Daggett and Jalainee Dampier.

I then traveled to the Benton County Courthouse in Warsaw and attended a retirement reception for Donna Hart. Representative Roger Reedy and I presented Donna with a Resolution honoring her for more than 35 years as the Benton County Collector.  Donna has been recognized as an outstanding citizen delivering exceptional service and dedication over the years.

Representative Roger Reedy and I had the privilege of presenting Donna Hart with a Resolution honoring her more than 35 years of dedicated service as Benton County Collector.

House bills of the week Third read, passed and sent to the senate for consideration:

HB 260  Poaching

Members of the House of Representatives have approved legislation that would create stiffer penalties for poaching certain animals.

Supporters say the bill will address an issue that currently exists where it’s cheaper for a non-Missourian to come into the state, poach an animal, and pay the fine than it is to buy an out-of-state hunting tag. The bill would increase the fines for poaching wild turkeys, deer, elk, black bears, or paddlefish in Missouri. Specifically, it would make the fines range from $500 to $1,000 for poaching a wild turkey or paddlefish; between $2,000 and $5,000 for poaching a white-tailed deer; and between $10,000 and $15,000 for poaching a black bear or elk.

The poaching of paddlefish has been very lucrative because paddlefish roe is often sold on the black market as caviar. This means one fish can be worth thousands of dollars. Supporters say they are happy the bill includes increased fines for poaching those fish.

When a fine is collected under HB 260 that money would go to the school district in which the poaching incident occurred.

HBs 161 & 401 prohibits local school districts from setting an opening date for the school term that is more than 14 calendar days prior to the first Monday in September. Supporters say that as school start dates have become earlier, students who participate in fall sports and agricultural education have had to choose between the two activities. It has hurt more than just those students participating in agricultural education events such as the Missouri State Fair; it has hurt the tourism industry as well. It also cuts part-time jobs for students and teachers short, even most municipal swimming pools close before Labor Day weekend.

I spoke on the House Floor in support of this Bill and basically this is what I said “This is a very reasonable compromise on school start date. It will give all schools in Missouri an opportunity to get 2 full weeks of school in before Labor Day weekend. Plus it gives all the Business in the Tourism industry across our State both city and rural to have 3 full weekends for business before school starts. It will also allow all the Students and Teachers to have more of August to earn money in their Part-time jobs.”

Visitors of the week:

March 7 was Hemophilia Disorders Advocacy Day at the Capitol. I had the privilege of visiting with John and Pam Carleton and their daughter Kristin Marema, and grandson Trenton Marema.  .Missouri has six Hemophilia Treatment Centers and two non-profit organizations.  Hemophilia affects as many as 800 Missouri citizens.

Keith Carmichael, Lowry City stopped by to update me on the progress of having a Convention of the States.