Kyle Gann and Nicholas Newton, both of Saline County, are members of the national champion Missouri 4-H Shooting Sports Team. The 35-member team, with 4-H students from throughout Missouri, received recognition at the Capitol this week.
The Missouri Constitution requires the General Assembly to balance the state budget every year. The process begins in the House of Representatives, where lawmakers draft 13 budget bills that outline revenue and expenses for the various state government agencies. The Senate Appropriations Committee completed its review of the House budget proposals last week and the full Senate reviewed and passed the Senate’s substitute bills this week.
The good news is that the budget shortfall that has loomed over the legislative process most of the year has eased. Initial analysis of state tax returns suggests revenue is relatively on-track to meet budget projections. Now, it’s a matter of sorting out the differences between the House and Senate proposals.
Before any legislation can become law, it must pass both chambers of the General Assembly in identical form. Senate bills must receive House approval, and vice versa. This week, I had the pleasure of presenting Senate Bill 45 to the House Committee on Health and Mental Health Policy. Part of what makes handling this bill so enjoyable is the opportunity to work with a remarkable young man.
Several years ago, Nathan Schlep could barely speak. With appropriate therapies, he’s overcome some of the disabilities he’s experienced due to an unknown genetic disorder. Now 11, Nathan was the star witness as he presented testimony in support of this legislation that would expand insurance coverage for children diagnosed with a variety of developmental and physical disabilities. No lobbyist or health care professional could have done a better job conveying the impact this bill would make in the lives of Missouri children.
ANOTHER SLICE OF PIE DAY
For as long as many Capitol insiders can remember, the senator from the 21st District has hosted “Pie Day” at the Missouri State Capitol. I was proud to continue this tradition this year, picking up where my predecessor left off. The Rolling Pin of Glasgow brought 150 of its delicious gourmet pies to Jefferson City and served Capitol visitors, my legislative colleagues and Statehouse employees a mid-day treat.
We usually try to find consensus in the State Capitol, but with so many varieties of pie, there was no need for legislators and their staffs to agree. Apple, cherry, blackberry, lemon meringue, banana cream, pecan or raisin – all views were represented and respected. Jeremy Sayler and his team from the Rolling Pin do a wonderful job and I couldn’t have been happier to share this wonderful hometown business with my friends at the Capitol.
Among the visitors to your 21st Senatorial District office this week were representatives of the Rotary International organization. For more than 110 years, the Rotarians and their local chapters have addressed challenges in their own communities and around the world. It was my pleasure to welcome Fayette Rotary member Gale Schafer, who visited the Capitol with students Murphy Quint, Meredith Stumbaugh and Grant Himmelmann. Representing the Warrensburg chapter, Duane and Pat Sterling, accompanied by Sheethal Velamarthi, a Rotary Sterling Scholar from the University of Central Missouri, also visited my office this week.
I also had the honor to meet two outstanding teens from the district. Marshall-area students Nicholas Newton and Kyle Gann are members of the Missouri 4-H Shooting Team, which brought home first place honors from the 2018 4-H national championship in Grand Island, Nebraska. Both students are members of the Saline County 4-H program and take aim as part of the state 4-H air rifle team. Congratulations to Nicholas and Kyle!
Finally, it was my pleasure to welcome members of FFA chapters from the 21st Senatorial District who traveled to Jefferson City to participate in FFA Youth Leadership Day. The young people who are active in FFA are always enthusiastic, optimistic and respectful. It’s a treat to welcome them to the State Capitol and discuss issues that interest them. Our future is in good hands with these young people.
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.