This week, I was pleased to welcome two terrific young people from the 21st Senatorial District to my office. Kara Smith and Morgan Starbuck were selected as delegates to the 2019 4-H Legislative Academy, which was held in Jefferson City, Feb. 18-20. As part of their participation in the three-day conference, the delegates had the opportunity to job shadow me as I carried about my daily duties in the Missouri Senate.
Kara is the daughter of Dale and Luciann Smith, of Warrensburg, and is a member of the Mount Moriah Hustlers 4-H Club. Morgan is the daughter of Darren and Julie Starbuck, of Warrensburg, and is a member of the Good Neighbors 4-H Club.
This annual event also brought recognition to another resident of the district. Ronnie Russell, of Richmond, received the 2019 Peter Myers Distinguished Service Award at a banquet held as part of the Legislative Academy. Mr. Russell raises corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa on a farm in Ray County. He was a founding member and first chairman of the Missouri Fertilizer Board and serves on a number of agricultural and commodity boards in Missouri.
SENATE BILL 283
This week, the Veterans and Military Affairs Committee approved my Senate Bill 283 and sent it on to the full Senate for consideration. This legislation removes a sunset provision from the Veteran’s Survivors Grant Program. Surviving children or spouses of veterans who died from combat-service-related injuries or illness since Sept. 11, 2011, are eligible for tuition assistance through this program. Up to 25 recipients each year may receive grants to pay for tuition, room and board, books and other college expenses.
I’ve received a few questions concerning the law regarding snow days at schools. Missouri law requires a minimum of 1,044 hours of attendance per school year. Typically, that works out to at least 174 days for schools that meet five days each week, or 142 days for schools with four-day weeks. When schools cancel classes due to inclement weather, such as snow and ice, they must make up the first six days of school lost or canceled, and half the number of days lost in excess of that, to ensure that students are in school for 1,044 hours. Given the harsh winter we’ve experienced so far, many school districts are likely watching the calendar closely, with another eye on the weather report. Let’s all hope spring comes soon.
As always, I appreciate hearing your comments, opinions and concerns. Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at 573-751-4302. You may also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.