The Capitol Report | December 15th, 2016

DOC Investigation & Employment Trends

The beginning of the 2017 legislative session is now only three weeks away! On January 4th the new General Assembly will begin its first day of business at the Capitol and new and returning members will be sworn in on the House Floor. A few days later, on January 9th, Governor-elect Eric Greitens will succeed Gov. Nixon during the gubernatorial swearing-in ceremony to be held on the south Capitol steps.

cappingofdomeAlso, this year is a very special year in the history of the Missouri Capitol, as 100 years ago last week marked the formal ceremony celebrating the capping of the dome upon the top of the Capitol building. A small group of determined ladies and gentlemen including Governor Elliot Major climbed 238 feet up to perch on a small wooden scaffold in order to place the capstone onto the new dome. Coins and other small items were pressed in the mortar before the capstone was lowered and sealed. This milestone event signaled the approaching completion of the Capitol building. In other news, The House of Representatives will soon investigate reports of harassment within the state Department of Corrections (DOC), which has reportedly victimized numerous employees and cost the state millions in legal settlements. A recent article on Pitch.com outlined multiple cases in which, it said, court documents showed some Corrections employees were the victims of harassment, retaliation, and threats based on sex, age, religion, or physical ability. Details on how the House investigation will proceed will be released in coming weeks.

On a lighter note, as Missourians prepare to enjoy the holidays, they do so with some welcome good news about the state’s employment picture. The most recent numbers reported by the Missouri Department of Economic Development show healthy job growth and a continued decline in unemployment. The number of jobs in Missouri grew by 1,900 during the month of November. This brings the total number of jobs gained in the state during the last year to 57,000. The figure represents job growth of more than 2 percent, and brings the total number of jobs in Missouri to more than 2.8 million, which is a record high. At the same time, unemployment dropped to 4.7 percent in November, which is down from 5.1 percent unemployment in October. 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 House to Investigate Reports of Harassment within Department of Corrections

The House of Representatives will soon investigate reports of harassment within the state Department of Corrections (DOC), which has reportedly victimized numerous employees and cost the state millions in legal settlements.

A recent article on Pitch.com outlined multiple cases in which, it said, court documents showed some Corrections employees were the victims of harassment, retaliation, and threats based on sex, age, religion, or physical ability.

In several of those cases, the employees or former employees making the allegations agreed to a settlement with the state. Between 2012 and 2016 those settlements totaled more than $7.5-million.

“The things that have been reported coming out of the Department of Corrections are unacceptable. They’re unacceptable for our state. They out to be unacceptable in any workplace environment,” said House Speaker Todd Richardson. He added, “They’re doubly concerning here in Missouri because it’s leading to a huge budget impact. The cost to the state to have to settle these claims has been significant.”

The Speaker said the House will take up a “very thorough review” of what’s been happening at the Department. He said, “That will involve our budget committees but it’s also going to involve our policy committees, so we can get to the bottom of what’s going on and most importantly – how do we make the environment better than it is today,” said Richardson.

Details on how the House investigation will proceed will be released in coming weeks.

Holiday Season Brings Good News for Missouri Workers

As Missourians prepare to enjoy the holidays, they do so with some welcome good news about the state’s employment picture. The most recent numbers reported by the Missouri Department of Economic Development show healthy job growth and a continued decline in unemployment.

The number of jobs in Missouri grew by 1,900 during the month of November. This brings the total number of jobs gained in the state during the last year to 57,000. The figure represents job growth of more than 2 percent, and brings the total number of jobs in Missouri to more than 2.8 million, which is a record high.

At the same time, unemployment dropped to 4.7 percent in November, which is down from 5.1 percent unemployment in October.

 

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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