The Capitol Report | December 14th, 2017

St. Louis Veterans Home & Tax Assistance

As you may know from the news, the St. Louis Veterans Home has been under investigation following a series of complaints made by family members of veterans residing in the veterans home. Ultimately, an independent investigation revealed serious issues across a variety of areas. As a result, the governor launched full investigations into each of Missouri’s other veterans homes, replaced all five of the previous administration’s appointees to the Missouri Veterans Commission, called on Larry Kay to be replaced as the Executive Director of the Missouri Veterans Commission, and for Rolando Carter, the administrator of the home, to be fired. This topic is discussed in more detail below.

Now, for some good news. The Missouri Department of Revenue has decided to reopen its tax assistance office located in the Harry S Truman State Office Building at 301 West High Street, Room 330, in Jefferson City. This office is open to the public from 7:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Monday through Friday and is staffed with tax experts who are available to provide assistance with business tax registration, income tax compliance, corporate income tax questions, lien/garnishment resolution, and electronic filing for online filing and payments, among other services. This is a great free resource to those that may need assistance during the tax filing season! For more info, visit: http://dor.mo.gov/news/newsitem/uuid/3605234a-79c4-4942-bf75-0b2104bc07ec

You may read in more detail about what is happening at your State Capitol below.

As always, I will work diligently for you as your State Representative.

-Jason

 

 

St. Louis Veterans Home

The St. Louis Veterans Home has been under an independent investigation, ordered by Governor Greitens, following a series of complaints made by family members of veterans residing in the Veterans Home. Specifically, in July 2017, the governor’s office received reports of mistreatment and inadequate care at the St. Louis Veterans Home. The Missouri Veterans Commission (MVC) oversees and runs these homes. The governor told the MVC that he expected answers—an immediate investigation and response. The MVC reported that they were unable to find evidence confirming the allegations.

The governor then instructed the Department of Public Safety to follow up, looking for any criminal misconduct. At the conclusion of their work, the Department of Public Safety advised the governor to call in the US Department of Veterans Affairs to conduct another full and complete investigation. The governor then requested an investigation from the VA. They published a 57-page report that examined the quality of the home against 158 different standards. The VA said that, for all 158 standards, the St. Louis Veterans Home met all quality thresholds.

However, not dissuaded by the results and among continued complaints, the governor decided to order an independent investigation of the St. Louis Veterans Home commissioned by Missouri’s Department of Public Safety and conducted by Harmony Healthcare International. Ultimately, the independent investigation revealed serious issues across a variety of areas. As a result, the governor launched full investigations into each of Missouri’s other veterans homes, replaced all five of the previous administration’s appointees to the Missouri Veterans Commission, called on Larry Kay to be replaced as the Executive Director of the Missouri Veterans Commission, and for Rolando Carter, the administrator of the home, to be fired.

“Big government failed these veterans. The Missouri Veterans Commission and VA told us that there was nothing wrong with these homes. Based on what the families told us, however, we were still concerned. So we launched an independent investigation. It found failures at the St. Louis Veterans Home that the VA and Missouri Veterans Commission missed or ignored,” said Governor Greitens.

The governor added: “We hold leaders responsible. Missouri’s veterans—our neighbors, friends, parents, and grandparents–were being hurt. When people are being hurt, and bureaucrats fail to act, fail to listen, and offer only excuses, we’re going to find out, and they are going to be fired.”

Missouri Department of Revenue Tax Assistance Office Reopens

The Missouri Department of Revenue has reopened its Jefferson City Tax Assistance Office. Located in the Harry S. Truman State Office Building at 301 West High Street, Room 330, the office is open to the public from 7:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Monday through Friday. Tax experts are available to provide assistance with business tax registration, income tax compliance, corporate income tax questions, lien/garnishment resolution, and electronic filing for online filing and payments, among other services. The Jefferson City Tax Assistance Office was one of seven such offices that were closed in 2014.

“A principle focus of the leadership of the Department of Revenue over the last year has been to dramatically enhance our level of customer service from where it has been in the past,” said Joel Walters, director of the Missouri Department of Revenue. “Reopening the Tax Assistance Office is part of a larger, renewed commitment to serving our customers better. We understand and appreciate what a void closure of this office left, as well as the tremendous value bringing back face-to-face expert assistance provides.”

(For more info, visit: http://dor.mo.gov/news/newsitem/uuid/3605234a-79c4-4942-bf75-0b2104bc07ec)

I am committed to serve the constituents of the 120th District, so please feel free to contact my office anytime at 573-751-1688. Your District 120 Capitol Office is 201 W Capitol Ave, Rm 415-B, Jefferson City, MO 65101. If you wish to unsubscribe from this report, please email Dylan Bryant at dylan.bryant@house.mo.gov

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The Capitol Report | December 7th, 2017

Bill Pre-Filing Begins & California Egg Lawsuit

While the 2018 legislative session is still weeks away, House members are busy filing the legislation they will work to pass into law in the coming year. Friday, Dec. 1 marked the first day legislators in both chambers of the Missouri General Assembly could pre-file bills for the upcoming session.

The pre-filing period is already moving at a frenetic pace as House members have filed nearly 300 bills in the first five days. In comparison, House members pre-filed a total of 373 bills throughout the entire pre-filing period for the 2017 session, and 366 pieces of legislation for the 2015 regular session. So far the 2018 pre-filing period is on a pace similar to the 2016 session that set the high water mark for pre-filed bills in the House at 623.

In other news, Missouri’s Attorney General is renewing efforts to challenge a California law that forces Missouri egg producers to comply with California’s farming regulations in order to sell eggs in California. Attorney General Josh Hawley is leading the challenge that is joined by 12 other states. The 13 states are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to block the California law that requires eggs sold in the state to come from hens that have a specified amount of space in their cages.

Hawley said the regulations are “unconstitutional and a clear attempt by big-government proponents to impose job-killing regulations on Missouri.” The legal challenge made by the states provides an economic analysis showing the impact of California’s burdensome regulations. The lawsuit alleges the California law has cost consumers across the nation up to $350 million each year because of higher egg prices. A study done by an economist at the University of Missouri found that the price of a dozen eggs has increased between 1.8 percent and 5.1 percent over the last two years because of the California law.

The suit brought by Missouri and 12 other states claims that California’s regulations violate both a federal law prohibiting states from imposing their own standards on eggs produced in other states, and the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which gives Congress exclusive authority to regulate commerce among and between states. A similar lawsuit was previously rejected by a federal appeals court. The current legal challenge asks the Supreme Court to take up the case directly, and provides the economic analysis to show the California law impacts more than just individual farmers.

You may read in more detail about what is happening at your State Capitol below.

As always, I will work diligently for you as your State Representative.

-Jason

 

 

House Members Gear Up for 2018 Session as Bill Pre-Filing Period Begins

While the 2018 legislative session is still weeks away, House members are busy filing the legislation they will work to pass into law in the coming year. Friday, Dec. 1 marked the first day legislators in both chambers of the Missouri General Assembly could pre-file bills for the upcoming session.

The pre-filing period is already moving at a frenetic pace as House members have filed nearly 300 bills in the first five days. In comparison, House members pre-filed a total of 373 bills throughout the entire pre-filing period for the 2017 session, and 366 pieces of legislation for the 2015 regular session. So far the 2018 pre-filing period is on a pace similar to the 2016 session that set the high water mark for pre-filed bills in the House at 623.

House Speaker Todd Richardson issued the following statement on the first day of pre-filing: “We came to Jefferson City to get results for Missouri families, and that’s what we’re going to do. We’re taking action on important issues. Members of the House have filed bills today that increase educational opportunities, improve economic growth, and cut burdensome regulations and barriers to innovation. I look forward to working with the Governor and House members to get these priorities passed.”

Missouri Attorney General Challenges California Egg Law

Missouri’s Attorney General is renewing efforts to challenge a California law that forces Missouri egg producers to comply with California’s farming regulations in order to sell eggs in California. Attorney General Josh Hawley is leading the challenge that is joined by 12 other states. The 13 states are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to block the California law that requires eggs sold in the state to come from hens that have a specified amount of space in their cages.

Hawley said the regulations are “unconstitutional and a clear attempt by big-government proponents to impose job-killing regulations on Missouri.” The legal challenge made by the states provides an economic analysis showing the impact of California’s burdensome regulations. The lawsuit alleges the California law has cost consumers across the nation up to $350 million each year because of higher egg prices. A study done by an economist at the University of Missouri found that the price of a dozen eggs has increased between 1.8 percent and 5.1 percent over the last two years because of the California law.

The suit brought by Missouri and 12 other states claims that California’s regulations violate both a federal law prohibiting states from imposing their own standards on eggs produced in other states, and the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which gives Congress exclusive authority to regulate commerce among and between states. A similar lawsuit was previously rejected by a federal appeals court. The current legal challenge asks the Supreme Court to take up the case directly, and provides the economic analysis to show the California law impacts more than just individual farmers.

I am committed to serve the constituents of the 120th District, so please feel free to contact my office anytime at 573-751-1688. Your District 120 Capitol Office is 201 W Capitol Ave, Rm 415-B, Jefferson City, MO 65101. If you wish to unsubscribe from this report, please email Dylan Bryant at dylan.bryant@house.mo.gov

The Capitol Report | November 30th, 2017

REAL ID Travel Update

Last week there was quite a bit of good news for job growth in Missouri. This week, there is more good news, but this time for Missouri travelers. The Department of Homeland Security granted Missouri an extension to implement REAL ID compliant driver licenses. The extension means Missourians will be able to use their current forms of identification to fly domestically and enter federal facilities until Oct. 10 of next year.

The state will continue to work toward the implementation of the new REAL ID compliant licenses, and is on track to have them in place by March 2019. The state will have to apply for a second waiver next year in order to cover the gap between October, when the current waiver expires, and March, when the new IDs will be in circulation.

In other news, On December 1, at 6:15 p.m., the public is invited to attend the annual lighting of the trees at the Missouri Governor’s Mansion, followed by tours of the decorated Mansion and special music by area choirs. Public tours of the decorated Mansion will begin immediately following the lighting and last until 9 p.m. and will be held again on Saturday, December 2 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Choirs will provide music during the lighting ceremony and the tours.

Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District (ORSWMD) recently held their annual Outstanding Achievements in Solid Waste Management awards banquet. At the banquet, Solid Waste Advisory Board (SWAB) Chairperson, Brady Wilson, presented a letter from my office to Phil Burke, Chemist with Bipacco Coatings, for their achievements in producing eco-friendly product lines. In particular, one of their product lines incorporates crumb rubber into a non-skid surface coating product.

In association with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Ozark Rivers SWMD annually provides approximately $150,000 in grant funds for solid waste projects within the seven county areas that includes the counties of Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington.

The next grant program opening will be in July 2018. For more information about grant eligibility or how to participate, please contact: Jill E. Hollowell, Environmental Programs Specialist, by phone at (573) 265-2993 or via e-mail at jhollowell@meramecregion.org

You may read in more detail about what is happening at your State Capitol below.

As always, I will work diligently for you as your State Representative.

-Jason

 

 

Missouri Travelers Receive Good News with REAL ID Extension

Missourians with travel plans in 2018 received good news this week as the Department of Homeland Security granted Missouri an extension to implement REAL ID compliant driver licenses. The extension means Missourians will be able to use their current forms of identification to fly domestically and enter federal facilities until Oct. 10 of next year.

During the 2017 legislative session, the Missouri General Assembly approved legislation to allow residents to obtain a photo ID that is compliant with the federal REAL ID Act. Because the current version of the Missouri driver’s license is not compliant, DHS announced in January of 2016 that Missourians would not be able to enter federal facilities and would not be able to fly domestically beginning in 2018. The federal government granted an extension to allow Missourians to continue to use their existing IDs for these purposes until January 22, and now the new extension gives Missourians additional months to utilize their existing licenses.

The state will continue to work toward the implementation of the new REAL ID compliant licenses, and is on track to have them in place by March 2019. The state will have to apply for a second waiver next year in order to cover the gap between October, when the current waiver expires, and March, when the new IDs will be in circulation.

Annual Lighting of the Christmas Trees at the Governor’s Mansion

On December 1, the public is invited to attend the annual lighting of the trees at the Missouri Governor’s Mansion, followed by tours of the decorated Mansion and special music by area choirs.

Earlier this week, Christmas trees from Missouri arrived at the Governor’s Mansion. The outside tree is a 30-foot Norway Spruce donated by Rock and Angela Schaller of Canton, from their yard. The five 7-foot trees throughout the first floor of the Mansion are all white pines, as is the 10-foot tree on the back porch. The 18-foot tree for the staircase is a Norway Spruce. All the indoor trees were sourced from Pea Ridge Forest, a Christmas tree farm and wholesale nursery near Hermann.

The annual lighting of the tree will take place at 6:15 p.m. on Friday, December 1.

Public tours of the decorated Mansion will begin immediately following the lighting and last until 9 p.m. and will be held again on Saturday, December 2 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Choirs will provide music during the lighting ceremony and the tours.

On Friday, December 1, the Jefferson City High School Choir will sing outside the Mansion before the lighting ceremony from 6:00 p.m.-6:20 p.m. The Helias High School Choir will be performing inside the Mansion on the Grand Staircase from 6:20 p.m.-6:45 p.m. Other choirs include School of the Osage from 6:50 PM-7:15 p.m., University of Missouri S&T from 7:20 p.m.-7:50 p.m. and Missouri Valley College from 7:55 p.m.-8:25 p.m.

On Saturday, December 2, The Boys and Girls Club of Jefferson City will be performing inside the Mansion on the Grand Staircase from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. During the tours, visitors will have the opportunity to view decorations in several rooms of the historic brick building, which has been the home of Missouri Governors since 1871.docents will be on hand to help describe historical features throughout the Mansion. After the tours on Saturday, visitors can stay in downtown Jefferson City to enjoy the Jaycees’ annual Christmas parade.

The Missouri Governor’s Mansion is located at 100 Madison Street. For the candlelight tours, visitors will enter the Mansion through the front gate on Madison Street.

Outstanding Achievements in Solid Waste Management

112817_ORAwardsBanquet0007Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District (ORSWMD) recently held their annual Outstanding Achievements in Solid Waste Management awards banquet. At the banquet, Solid Waste Advisory Board (SWAB) Chairperson, Brady Wilson, presented a letter from my office to Phil Burke, Chemist with Bipacco Coatings, for their achievements in producing eco-friendly product lines. In particular, one of their product lines incorporates crumb rubber into a non-skid surface coating product. More here: http://www.bipacco.com/

Scrap tires are a targeted material through the Missouri Recycling Association’s Strive for 75% Campaign and the Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District fully supports this campaign through their annual grant call. The grant criteria targets management and reduction of the following materials: scrap tires, paint, electronics and appliances, demolition and construction waste, and household hazardous waste.

In association with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Ozark Rivers SWMD annually provides approximately $150,000 in grant funds for solid waste projects within the seven county areas that includes the counties of Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington.

The next grant program opening will be in July 2018. For more information about grant eligibility or how to participate, please contact: Jill E. Hollowell, Environmental Programs Specialist, by phone at (573) 265-2993 or via e-mail at jhollowell@meramecregion.org

I am committed to serve the constituents of the 120th District, so please feel free to contact my office anytime at 573-751-1688. Your District 120 Capitol Office is 201 W Capitol Ave, Rm 415-B, Jefferson City, MO 65101. If you wish to unsubscribe from this report, please email Dylan Bryant at dylan.bryant@house.mo.gov

The Capitol Report | November 22nd, 2017

Job Growth Increases Across Missouri

As Missourians celebrate Thanksgiving, they can also be thankful for continued job growth in the Show-Me State. The Missouri Department of Economic Development recently released numbers for the state’s unemployment rate in October and it was good news for the state. Missouri’s unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent in October, which is the lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate the state has seen since July 2000.

In comparison, the state unemployment rate was at 4.6 percent the same time last year, and the current national rate for the month of October is at 4.1 percent. Missouri’s seasonally adjusted rate has now been below the comparable national rate for 31 consecutive months. In total for the year, Missouri has seen nonfarm payroll employment increase by 30,700 jobs.

thanksgiving-images-clip-art-happy-thanksgiving-imagesAs we celebrate Thanksgiving, it is our obligation not to forget the origins of this holiday or the reason it has persisted as an important moment of thankful contemplation each and every year. From the trying times faced by the colonists, to the strife this nation endured during the Civil War, to the many other events and moments that have tested our national resolve, our country has endured and persevered against overwhelming odds. As citizens of this great nation, we must be thankful for the many blessings and freedoms that go hand in hand with being an American.

Regardless of the difficulties or setbacks we may face in our personal lives, we continue to be part of something truly remarkable as we live in a land where dreams can and do come true. I hope on this Thanksgiving, as you spend time with family and friends, that you also can find a few moments to appreciate the fact our nation is a land of bountiful opportunity and unparalleled freedom. Happy Thanksgiving!

You may read in more detail about what is happening at your State Capitol below.

As always, I will work diligently for you as your State Representative.

-Jason

 

 

 

Missouri Receives Good News with Latest Employment Statistics

As Missourians celebrate Thanksgiving, they can also be thankful for continued job growth in the Show-Me State. The Missouri Department of Economic Development recently released numbers for the state’s unemployment rate in October and it was good news for the state. Missouri’s unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent in October, which is the lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate the state has seen since July 2000.

In comparison, the state unemployment rate was at 4.6 percent the same time last year, and the current national rate for the month of October is at 4.1 percent. Missouri’s seasonally adjusted rate has now been below the comparable national rate for 31 consecutive months. In total for the year, Missouri has seen nonfarm payroll employment increase by 30,700 jobs.

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month in Missouri

It’s during November that people in Missouri and around the world pause to recognize Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month to highlight the need for greater awareness, funding, and research for pancreatic cancer. It was in 2013 that the state legislature passed HB 68 to designate the awareness month in Missouri to encourage citizens to participate in activities and events to increase awareness of pancreatic cancer, which is incurable and has a low rate of survival due to the advanced stage of the disease when symptoms typically present themselves.

Pancreatic cancer begins when abnormal cells within the pancreas grow out of control and form a tumor. The pancreas is a gland in the abdomen that lies behind the stomach and in front of the spine, with two main functions: digestion and blood sugar regulation. Every day, more than 1,000 people worldwide will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Of that, an estimated 985 will die from the disease.

Additionally, pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate among all major cancers, and in nearly every country it is the only major cancer with a single-digit five-year survival rate.

There is currently no screening test or early detection method for pancreatic cancer, and though research is being conducted in these areas, knowing the symptoms and risks remains the key to early diagnosis. Research shows that patients diagnosed in time for surgery are more likely to live five years and beyond. To learn more about the symptoms and risks, visit http://www.worldpancreaticcancerday.org

Happy Thanksgiving

thanksgiving-images-clip-art-happy-thanksgiving-imagesThe first “Thanksgiving” took place in 1621 when the Plymouth colonists held an autumn feast as a show of thanks to the Wampanoag Indians, who had helped the colonists survive in the new world. Thanksgiving meals went on to become an annual occurrence in the New England states and then throughout the country. It was finally in 1863 that President Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving an official national holiday in a proclamation that called on Americans to ask God to “commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” of the Civil War, and to “heal the wounds of the nation.”

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, it is our obligation not to forget the origins of this holiday or the reason it has persisted as an important moment of thankful contemplation each and every year. From the trying times faced by the colonists, to the strife this nation endured during the Civil War, to the many other events and moments that have tested our national resolve, our country has endured and persevered against overwhelming odds. As citizens of this great nation, we must be thankful for the many blessings and freedoms that go hand in hand with being an American.

Regardless of the difficulties or setbacks we may face in our personal lives, we continue to be part of something truly remarkable as we live in a land where dreams can and do come true. I hope on this Thanksgiving, as you spend time with family and friends, that you also can find a few moments to appreciate the fact our nation is a land of bountiful opportunity and unparalleled freedom.

I am committed to serve the constituents of the 120th District, so please feel free to contact my office anytime at 573-751-1688. Your District 120 Capitol Office is 201 W Capitol Ave, Rm 415-B, Jefferson City, MO 65101. If you wish to unsubscribe from this report, please email Dylan Bryant at dylan.bryant@house.mo.gov

The Capitol Report | November 16th, 2017

Stabilizing Missouri’s Health Insurance Markets

A newly-formed group of lawmakers will spend the rest of the year looking at the direction health care should take in Missouri. House Speaker Todd Richardson recently created the Interim Committee on Stabilizing Missouri’s Health Insurance Markets for the purpose of gaining a better understanding of what changes at the federal level will mean to markets in the state.

The committee will extensively look at how the rollback of the Affordable Care Act will alter the health insurance climate in Missouri. Committee members will also work to determine if Missouri should pursue a federal waiver to sidestep requirements of the ACA and allow the state to have greater flexibility and stability for the health insurance market. Reviewing the state’s Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements law and looking at measures to stabilize small employer and individual insurance risk pools will also be priorities for the committee.

In other news, last Sunday, Governor Eric Greitens returned from his first trade mission to the nation of Israel. The Governor met with business, government, and military leaders in an attempt to build education and public safety partnerships and gain more jobs for Missourians. While overseas, the Governor toured Israel and visited with members of the Israeli military.

In meetings with public safety leaders, the Governor discussed the possibility of an exchange program to share best practices in policy, strategy, and operations between Missouri’s first responders and their Israeli counterparts.

Also, it was a privilege for me to be at the St. James Veterans Home, along with colleague and Veterans Commission member Rep. Steve Lynch, to honor our heroes during their Veterans Day celebration last week. Thanks again to all of our veterans!

You may read in more detail about what is happening at your State Capitol below.

As always, I will work diligently for you as your State Representative.

-Jason

 

New Interim Committee to Seek Solutions to Stabilize Missouri’s Health Insurance Markets

A newly-formed group of lawmakers will spend the rest of the year looking at the direction health care should take in Missouri. House Speaker Todd Richardson recently created the Interim Committee on Stabilizing Missouri’s Health Insurance Markets for the purpose of gaining a better understanding of what changes at the federal level will mean to markets in the state.

The committee will extensively look at how the rollback of the Affordable Care Act will alter the health insurance climate in Missouri. Committee members will also work to determine if Missouri should pursue a federal waiver to sidestep requirements of the ACA and allow the state to have greater flexibility and stability for the health insurance market. Reviewing the state’s Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements law and looking at measures to stabilize small employer and individual insurance risk pools will also be priorities for the committee.

As the chair of the committee said, “In the wake of President Trump’s Executive Order, states have more flexibility in addressing the challenges created by the Affordable Care Act. The individual insurance market carries the highest burden of risk for insurers and the relating costs have sent it into a death spiral. The small employer insurance market is not far off from suffering the same fate. This committee will give us a great opportunity to thoroughly assess our current situation and then develop solutions that will give us a long-term plan to address health care financing concerns in Missouri.”

The committee began its work this week and will produce recommendations for the legislature to consider by the end of the year.

Governor Returns from Trade Mission in Israel

Last Sunday, Governor Eric Greitens returned from his first trade mission to the nation of Israel. The Governor met with business, government, and military leaders in an attempt to build education and public safety partnerships and gain more jobs for Missourians.

While overseas, the Governor toured Israel and visited with members of the Israeli military. In meetings with public safety leaders, the Governor discussed the possibility of an exchange program to share best practices in policy, strategy, and operations between Missouri’s first responders and their Israeli counterparts. The governor also visited the Iron Dome, Jordan Valley, Golan Heights, sat down with Shayetet 13, Israel’s version of the Navy SEALs, and met with top government, military, and public safety leaders in Israel. The main topic of discussion was the potential for training partnerships between Israeli first responders and Missouri’s fire departments, police, National Guard, and cyber security teams.

Finally, last week, the governor met with the CEO of HackerU, a training center dedicated to IT professions and others, who desire an education and training relating to information security and malicious hackers. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Missouri and HackerU in an effort to create higher education partnerships—training Missouri’s next generation of cybersecurity leaders and creating more opportunities for quality jobs.

District Visit

St James Vet HomeIt was a privilege to be at the St. James Veterans Home, along with colleague and Veterans Commission member Rep. Steve Lynch, to honor our heroes during their Veterans Day celebration last week.

I am committed to serve the constituents of the 120th District, so please feel free to contact my office anytime at 573-751-1688. Your District 120 Capitol Office is 201 W Capitol Ave, Rm 415-B, Jefferson City, MO 65101. If you wish to unsubscribe from this report, please email Dylan Bryant at dylan.bryant@house.mo.gov

The Capitol Report | November 9th, 2017

Dyslexia Recommendations & Diabetes Awareness

A Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia has completed its work and released recommendations for having Missouri public school students screened for dyslexia. The task force’s report to legislative leaders and the governor recommends that all students in kindergarten through grade three be screened for dyslexia and related disorders beginning in the 2018-19 school year.

Next Tuesday, November 14th an event will be held at the Capitol to raise awareness for World Diabetes Day. More than 747,370 Missourians suffer from the consequences of diabetes, and the cost to the state surpasses $4.8 billion annually. However, the debilitating consequences of diabetes and its cost can be mitigated with Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES), and Missouri is part of a national effort to provide this education to people with diabetes.

Veterans-Day-2016Also, this Saturday is Veterans Day. It is a time to give thanks to those who have done so much to make our nation a shining beacon of hope for the rest of the world. We are a great nation because of the dedication, passion, and patriotism of the heroic individuals who have stood in defense of the American dream. They have risked their lives on foreign soil, spent long months away from family and friends, and helped forge peace in even the most hostile lands. It is because of their dedication and love of country that we have the many blessings we enjoy today. Happy Veterans Day!

You may read in more detail about what is happening at your State Capitol below.

As always, I will work diligently for you as your State Representative.

-Jason

 

Task Force on Dyslexia Issues Recommendations

A Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia has completed its work and released recommendations for having Missouri public school students screened for dyslexia.

The task force’s report to legislative leaders and the governor recommends that all students in kindergarten through grade three be screened for dyslexia and related disorders beginning in the 2018-19 school year.  It also recommends that students who have not been previously screened, and who have been identified as “struggling” in literacy, be screened.

Representative Kathy Swan, chair of the task force, said early identification of reading difficulties is key to helping children get the education they need. She added, “By identifying and addressing this reading failure, students will not only be successful in school but successful in life.  If our children do not learn to read they will, and cannot, read to learn. This small investment today will have long-term benefits for not only students and families but for the economic and social benefits of our communities and for our state.”

The task force also recommends that schools require two hours of in-service training in assessing reading difficulties.  Currently schools are required only to offer such training. The task force also says it is important that Missouri colleges’ and universities’ teacher education programs address dyslexia characteristics, identification, and intervention. As one task force member said, “It’s critically important that this content is delivered and infused in our teacher preparation courses at the colleges and universities in Missouri.” The final report also says the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) should recommend a process for universal screening that includes a multi-tiered support system.

The Task Force was created with the passage of House Bill 2379 in 2016.

World Diabetes Day

In recognition of World Diabetes Day, leading experts in the field of community-based diabetes health care will discuss the devastating impact of the disease on individuals, both personally and financially, as well as the significant financial costs to the state. The event is scheduled to take place Tuesday, November 14 in the State Capitol.

More than 747,370 Missourians suffer from the consequences of diabetes, and the cost to the state surpasses $4.8 billion annually. Unmanaged diabetes is the cause of blindness, kidney failure and amputations in adults, and a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. People with diabetes spend 2.3 times more on health care costs than others without the disease. African-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans are nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes as Caucasians.

However, the debilitating consequences of diabetes and its cost can be mitigated with Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES), and Missouri is part of a national effort to provide this education to people with diabetes. DSMES teaches patients about, and assists them with, setting goals for proper nutrition, physical activity, regular check-ups with their physicians, glucose monitoring and consistent medication use. DSMES training for persons with diabetes improves their health and quality of life, and helps avoid the complications of the disease. Such training can reduce the chances of the most serious consequences by 8 percent and cut the chance of dying from the disease by 2.3 percent. High-risk persons or those with pre-diabetes are 11 percent less likely to develop the disease.

Legislators in Missouri are working to bring attention to the personal costs to Missourians with diabetes as well as the cost to the state. The DSMES project is focusing on rural and underserved communities in Missouri as well as the Medicare age population. Nearly one-third of persons 65 years and older have diabetes. About 13 percent of persons age 20 and older in the U.S. have diabetes, according to the National Institutes of Health.

I am committed to serve the constituents of the 120th District, so please feel free to contact my office anytime at 573-751-1688. Your District 120 Capitol Office is 201 W Capitol Ave, Rm 415-B, Jefferson City, MO 65101. If you wish to unsubscribe from this report, please email Dylan Bryant at dylan.bryant@house.mo.gov

The Capitol Report | November 2nd, 2017

New Jobs Coming to Missouri

Recently, Governor Eric Greitens traveled to London to meet with executives from WPP and announce that VML, a global marketing agency, plans to create a minimum of 120 new jobs in Kansas City over the next six years. VML is part of WPP, the world’s largest communications services group. According to the company, VML has already experienced staffing increases of more than 50 people since the beginning of the year, bringing their Kansas City facility to nearly 600 people.

In other news, as Veterans Day approaches, several events across the state will soon start to take place. As an official kickoff for “Veterans Week”, the Lt. Governor Mike Parson is inviting all veterans, law enforcement, and emergency personnel to the Capitol this Saturday, November 4th at 10 AM for a day full of celebratory events. The ceremony will feature performances by the Monticello Singers and displays by the Missouri National Guard and State Highway Patrol. Special recognition will be given to all attending World War II and Korea veterans as well as veterans currently serving in law enforcement, firefighters, and emergency personnel. Motorcycles and patrol cars are welcomed and encouraged.

Every year lawmakers and staff where blue and green at the State Capitol in April to promote organ donation awareness. However, organ donation occurs year-round; therefore, I would like to take a moment this week to share some interesting information about organ donation.

According to Donate Life America, 95 percent of Americans are in favor of being a donor, but only 54 percent are registered. Across the nation, approximately 118,000 men, women, and children currently await lifesaving organ transplants. Roughly 8,000 deaths occur each year because organs are not donated in time. Just one person registering as a donor has the potential to save up to 8 lives.

Last session, House members moved to support organ donation in Missouri by giving approval to a bill that would continue the organ donor program fund tax checkoff on state income tax returns. The checkoff is set to expire on December 31, 2017. The bill approved by the House would remove the sunset entirely and allow the checkoff to continue indefinitely.

If you are interested in being an organ donor or would like to learn more, visit: https://www.dmv.org/mo-missouri/organ-donor.php

You may read in more detail about what is happening at your State Capitol below.

As always, I will work diligently for you as your State Representative.

-Jason

 

 

Global Marketing Agency to Create 120 New Jobs in Kansas City

Recently, Governor Eric Greitens traveled to London to meet with executives from WPP and announce that VML, a global marketing agency, plans to create a minimum of 120 new jobs in Kansas City over the next six years. The governor said, “We are proud to have VML headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri as companies continue to thrive in our state.”  “We’re always fighting to help companies like VML create more jobs and higher pay for Missourians,” stated Governor Grietens.

VML is part of WPP, the world’s largest communications services group. According to the company, VML has already experienced staffing increases of more than 50 people since the beginning of the year, bringing their Kansas City facility to nearly 600 people. VML is a lead marketing agency that transforms brands through a consumer experience by providing a broad range of services including strategy and intelligence, marketing and advertising, and platforms and experience. VML’s high-profile clients include Bridgestone, Colgate-Palmolive, Electrolux/Frigidaire, Ford, the Kellogg Company, Kimberly-Clark, New Balance, PepsiCo, Sprint, and Wendy’s.

“We’re extremely proud to be celebrating our 25th anniversary – and doing so right here in Kansas City where our company was founded,” Jon Cook, global CEO said. “VML has seen tremendous momentum, particularly in the past few years, including being recognized as one of the Top 5 advertising agencies in the nation in Advertising Age’s Agency A-List.”

Last year, the company announced a long-term lease to maintain its global headquarters in Kansas City at the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport. With the lease lasting over 10 years and VML celebrating its 25th anniversary, the creation of 120 new jobs over the next six years is a further testament to the company’s commitment for growth in Missouri.  Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, VML joined the world’s largest communications services group, WPP, in 2001. According to VML, the company has more than 3,000 employees with principal offices in 33 locations across six continents.

The announcement was part of the Governor’s second trade mission of the year, in which he promoted Missouri’s strong business climate and opportunities to expand economic ties between Missouri and Europe.

Veterans Kickoff Week

Also, as Veterans Day approaches, several events across the state will soon start to take place. As an official kickoff for “Veterans Week”, the Lt. Governor Mike Parson is inviting all veterans, law enforcement, and emergency personnel to the Capitol this Saturday, November 4th at 10 AM for a day full of celebratory events. The ceremony will feature performances by the Monticello Singers and displays by the Missouri National Guard and State Highway Patrol. Special recognition will be given to all attending World War II and Korea veterans as well as veterans currently serving in law enforcement, firefighters, and emergency personnel. Motorcycles and patrol cars are welcomed and encouraged.

Organ Donor Awareness

Every year lawmakers and staff where blue and green at the State Capitol in April to promote organ donation awareness. However, I would like to take a moment this week to share some interesting information about organ donation.

According to Donate Life America, 95 percent of Americans are in favor of being a donor, but only 54 percent are registered. Across the nation, approximately 118,000 men, women, and children currently await lifesaving organ transplants. Roughly 8,000 deaths occur each year because organs are not donated in time. Just one person registering as a donor has the potential to save up to 8 lives.

Last session, House members moved to support organ donation in Missouri by giving approval to a bill that would continue the organ donor program fund tax checkoff on state income tax returns. The checkoff is set to expire on December 31, 2017. The bill approved by the House would remove the sunset entirely and allow the checkoff to continue indefinitely.

If you are interested in being an organ donor or would like to learn more, visit: https://www.dmv.org/mo-missouri/organ-donor.php

Pro-Life Legislation Becomes Law (SB 5)

A new law takes effect this week that is meant to better ensure the health and safety of women by putting common sense safety requirements in place for abortion clinics. Approved by the legislature during a special session held in June, the bill is also designed to protect pregnancy resource centers from a city ordinance the governor says has made St. Louis an abortion sanctuary city.

The bill that now becomes law contains several provisions to protect the health and safety of women. Some of the main provisions of the bill will:

  • Allow the attorney general to prosecute violations of state abortion laws with no obligation to first inform local prosecutors;
  • Require the physician who is to perform an abortion to inform the woman orally and in person of the immediate and long-term medical risks associated with the proposed method of abortion 72 hours prior to the procedure;
  • Allow the Department of Health and Senior Services to adopt rules governing complication plans to ensure patients undergoing abortions induced by drugs or chemicals have access to safe and reliable care;
  • Prevent abortion clinic staff from requesting emergency responders to alter their normal response procedure by turning off lights or sirens;
  • Require an abortion facility to provide affirmative evidence that each person authorized to perform abortions is a physician currently licensed to practice in Missouri;
  • Allow the state health department to adopt separate rules to apply to ambulatory surgical centers and to apply to abortion facilities;
  • Permit the health department to make an unannounced on-site inspection of any abortion facility at least annually;
  • Strengthen penalties for abortion clinics and hospitals that do not comply with the requirements for submitting fetal tissue after an abortion; and
  • Require that all tissue removed at the time of abortion be sent to a pathologist within five days for examination.

The stronger safety regulations are meant to address a court ruling that struck down Missouri’s previous law that required abortion providers to abide by the same regulations imposed on ambulatory surgical centers. The court also did away with a law that required a doctor providing an abortion to have privileges at a nearby hospital. Supporters say the regulations are necessary to ensure the safety and health of women using the facilities. They note that the Planned Parenthood facility in St. Louis has had to call an ambulance 58 times in the last seven years with 23 of the calls made to respond to hemorrhages as a complication of abortion. They also point out that the St. Louis facility was cited by the Department of Health and Senior Services more than 100 times from 2009 to 2016 for failure to provide a safe and sanitary environment.

Standing up to a recent court challenge is the provision in the bill that requires the doctor who will perform an abortion to give information about the procedure to the woman 72 hours before it is performed. Missouri had allowed any “qualified professional” to discuss the information with the patient. Planned Parenthood filed suit saying the new requirement would place “extreme and unprecedented” requirements on women seeking abortion and would “unduly restrict” their access to the procedure. However, this week, a Jackson County judge rejected the challenge to the new law, saying it was “at best a moderate modification of the informed consent restraints already in place.” With that, the provision will take effect along with the rest of the bill.

The provision in the bill that addresses the St. Louis city ordinance will protect the rights of pregnancy resource centers. The St. Louis ordinance was put in place by the city to prevent employers and landlords from discriminating against women who have had an abortion, use birth control, or are pregnant. The governor has said the ordinance makes it so organizations like pregnancy care centers can’t work the way they’re supposed to. As the governor said, local politicians have tried to make it illegal for pro-life organizations to say that they just want to hire pro-life Missourians. The new law acknowledges and protects the right of an “alternatives to abortion” agency to operate freely and engage in speech without governmental interference, and the right of a person not to be compelled by the government to participate in abortion contrary to his or her religious beliefs or moral convictions.

I am committed to serve the constituents of the 120th District, so please feel free to contact my office anytime at 573-751-1688. Your District 120 Capitol Office is 201 W Capitol Ave, Rm 415-B, Jefferson City, MO 65101. If you wish to unsubscribe from this report, please email Dylan Bryant at dylan.bryant@house.mo.gov