Reports from the 51st District by DEAN DOHRMAN http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/ en-us Capitol Report August 17th, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/69646 I’m happy to report that the Missouri State Fair kicked off with record crowds over the opening weekend. The strong crowds have continued throughout the following days. Again, besides a very strong line up at the Grandstand, there are lots of exhibits, contests, displays, livestock shows, and many other events. You can look at the full schedule at http://www.mostatefair.com/. Come home and enjoy some Fair! Once again and as promised, this week includes three additional TAFP’d... Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:47:39 -0500 Capitol Report August 10, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/69595 In this week’s news, I’ve included a Missouri State Fair preview. It begins today. Also, there is a short summary of Missouri’s newest state budget that went into effect last month, and some law enforcement changes that will take effect because of the changes. More on these topics later in the report. As promised, three additional TAFP’d bills are summarized below. More TAFP’d bill summaries will follow in the weeks to come. Finally, before Veto Session... Thu, 10 Aug 2017 15:46:15 -0500 Capitol Report August 3rd, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/69548 Tax break alert! Remember, this weekend is a sales tax holiday. To help prepare for going back to school, Missouri has a three-day back-to-school tax holiday that exempts everything from school supplies to computers from sales tax. For more information, visit: http://dor.mo.gov/business/sales/taxholiday/school/ As promised, four additional TAFP’d bills are summarized below after notice of a special event and some remarks on recent actions by the governor on foster care funding cuts.... Fri, 04 Aug 2017 08:23:58 -0500 Capitol Report July 27, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/69481 After several weeks, the Senate met Tuesday afternoon to take up and pass the House version of legislation what the governor has said made St. Louis an abortion sanctuary city. The bill took about four hours on Tuesday before 19 senators moved the previous question motion to go to a vote. The final vote went 22-9 in favor of the House Committee Substitute. More on this later in the first section of this week’s report. Also, as promised, five additional TAFP’d bills are... Thu, 27 Jul 2017 16:13:18 -0500 Capitol Report: July 20, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/69433 As mentioned in last week’s report, the Missouri Department of Agriculture recently placed a temporary ban on the use of dicamba. The ban is now lifted. As you recall, after more than 140 complaints of damage from those not using the product (dicamba is an indiscriminant broadleaf herbicide, so drift onto unintended crops is a problem), the department called for a temporary stoppage of its use. Late last week, the Department of Agriculture announced the lift on the dicamba ban... Fri, 21 Jul 2017 10:17:21 -0500 Capitol Report July 6th, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/69347 Many people ask me about the future of Missouri’s highways and roads. I’m glad to report that something is being done. Recently, the 21st Century Missouri Transportation System Task Force, which was created by HCR 47 that was passed during the recent legislative session, held its first meeting at the State Capitol. More on this Task Force below. Also, the second extraordinary session continues on. The special session was called by the Governor to address health and... Fri, 07 Jul 2017 09:40:20 -0500 Capitol Report: June 29th, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/69297 Recently, some constituents have inquired about the latest changes to the MO Rx program, which is a program that helps seniors afford their medications by reducing drug costs by 50 percent. Therefore, much of this week’s report will focus on this topic. Also, last week the legislature reconvened for a second extraordinary session to amend and strengthen a piece of legislation sent over from the Senate to better ensure the health and safety requirements in place for abortion clinics.... Thu, 29 Jun 2017 15:00:13 -0500 Capitol Report: June 22, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/69254 After several years of determination, “Old Drum” and “Jim the Wonder Dog” will finally become Missouri’s official state canines this Friday. SB 376, sponsored by Sen. Denny Hoskins, a bill which I handled in the House, was passed this last regular session. Governor Greitens will be in Warrensburg this Friday, June 23, to speak at Boys State being held at the University of Central Missouri. On his way, he will sign the Old Drum/Jim the Wonder Dog bill (SB... Fri, 23 Jun 2017 09:27:13 -0500 Capitol Report: June 15, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/69211 Tuesday I traveled to the Lake of the Ozarks for the annual Lakeside with the Locators meeting hosted by the Missouri Economic Development Council. This annual event brings economic development professionals from across the state and the country to discuss Missouri’s business environment. It is always a meeting packed with information and a way to let industries and services know that we are open for business! The meeting proved successful, as always, and many of the site locators... Fri, 16 Jun 2017 07:49:32 -0500 Capitol Report: June 8, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/69174 The Governor announced yesterday that lawmakers will once again return to Jefferson City to convene for an extraordinary, special session. The special session is set to begin Monday, June 12. This time the governor has called the House and Senate back to address several issues meant to “protect the lives of the innocent unborn and protect women's health.” Governor Greitens issued the call Wednesday for multiple pro-life issues he said the legislature needs to work to... Fri, 09 Jun 2017 15:47:21 -0500 Capitol Report: June 1, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/69123 Last week the Senate passed HB 1 to allow electric rate negotiations for a new aluminum plant operator at the old Noranda facility in the Bootheel. The bill is being sent through the final stages of processing in the legislature, and Governor Greitens is expected to sign the bill when it arrives in his office. Hopefully, this will help place at least 500 jobs in our state! Now that both the regular and special legislative sessions have come to an end, the legislature stands at a little over... Thu, 01 Jun 2017 14:59:16 -0500 Capitol Report: May 25, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/69088 As weekly readers, you know the Regular Legislative Session for 2017 ended on May 12. However, there was ongoing conversation about Governor Greitens calling a special session to accomplish some legislative topics that did not cross the finish line during the regular session. Late last week, the governor did call one of these special sessions to discuss a bill that would allow two companies interested in setting up operation in Missouri to negotiate a lower electricity rate. In turn,... Fri, 26 May 2017 15:01:43 -0500 Capitol Report: May 11, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/68984 Tomorrow (Friday, May 12) is the last day of the 2017 legislative session! We have had some early wins by sending a few bills to the governor, but passing legislation in the last few months has been cumbersome. However, there is still a little time to pass some important pieces of legislation, such as Real ID, in the next day before session ends. The budget has also been a major topic this year. Each year we must develop a balanced budget and the process is always complex. However, this... Fri, 12 May 2017 10:23:16 -0500 Capitol Report: May 4, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/68935 Today, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill on Thursday to repeal major parts of Obamacare and replace it with a Republican healthcare plan. With the 217-213 vote, Republicans obtained just enough support to push the legislation through the House, sending it to the Senate for consideration. The new healthcare plan aims, in part, to help slow the loss of major insurers providing health care coverage across the country. Anthem Blue Cross-Blue Shield is the latest major... Thu, 04 May 2017 15:46:39 -0500 Capitol Report April 27th, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/68889 As has been well-publicized recently, Dollar Tree will invest approximately $110 million to build a 1.2 million square foot distribution facility in Warrensburg. Dollar Tree expects to create 375 new jobs within three years and the facility will support Dollar Tree’s retail store network in the Midwestern U.S. The facility will see 150-200 inbound/outbound trucks per day. It is expected to be operational in May 2018. The new facility will be located on Highway 13 in the Brady Commerce... Mon, 01 May 2017 09:50:51 -0500 Capitol Report April 20th, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/68797 First some good news, the latest employment data shows the state continues to see a positive trend in the jobless rate. Missouri is now at 3.9 percent employment as of March, which is down from 4.1 percent in February. The number is also a significant drop from the rate last year when the state saw 4.5 percent unemployment in March. According to the Missouri Department of Economic Development, Missouri gained approximately 770 jobs from February to March. The increase took Missouri’s... Thu, 20 Apr 2017 16:00:54 -0500 Capitol Report April 13th, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/68747 Last week the House passed the state budget and sent it to the Senate for review. This week, the House voted on several bills spanning several topics including: ridesharing, overdose victims, motorcycle helmets, among other topics. During the next 4 weeks both chambers will work together on a compromise for the budget that works for all Missourians. Our state’s constitution requires a balanced budget every year, ensuring we are fiscally responsible. We can be confident that the final... Fri, 14 Apr 2017 10:17:03 -0500 Capitol Report, April 6 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/68696 This week, House members discussed and debated the Fiscal Year 2018 state operating budget for several hours before giving final approval to the $27.7 billion spending plan and sending it to the Senate. House members faced the challenge of creating a fiscally responsible budget that invests in the state’s priorities while also dealing with the reality of sluggish revenue growth. Not only were lawmakers able to bridge a $500 million shortfall in the budget while still making record... Thu, 06 Apr 2017 15:39:34 -0500 Capitol Report March 23 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/68602 Happy Spring! Spring break continues until Monday. When we return, we will focus our efforts on the budget. Our goal in the House is to have the budget out of the House and on to the Senate by April 6. The final budget has a May 5 deadline completion and submission to the governor. Being at the midpoint of this legislative year, I believe it is appropriate to briefly recap some accomplishments achieved so far. During the first half, we have move forward with several initiatives,... Fri, 24 Mar 2017 15:53:51 -0500 Capitol Report March 16th http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/68440 It was 100 years ago today, on March 16, 1917, the 49th General Assembly of Missouri met for the first time in our current Capitol. It was not completely finished with all the trim at the time, but legislators met in our current building after the devastating fire of 1915. Happy Birthday Capitol building! The state of Missouri received good news last week as the state’s jobless rate continues to decline. The Missouri Department of Economic Development released its latest data... Fri, 03 Mar 2017 11:40:33 -0600