Reports from the 51st District by DEAN DOHRMAN http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/ en-us Capitol Report April 5, 2018 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/71209 First, some good news this week. According to the Clayton Times, WalletHub recently conducted a comprehensive study that ranked Missouri among the best nationwide in terms of return on investment (ROI) for state and local taxes. Specifically, Missouri was ranked 7th in terms of return on investment for state and local taxes, and 5th in total taxes per capita for those age 18 and older. In order to determine which states yield the best and worst ROI for taxpayers, WalletHub compared the quality... Thu, 05 Apr 2018 16:20:59 -0500 Capitol Report March 29, 2018 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/71159 The legislature returned from spring break this week and was focused on completing the state budget and sending it to the Senate. The budget is covered in detail below. Also, today, members of the House welcomed more than 120 Vietnam veterans to the Capitol to be honored for their service to our country in observance of Vietnam Veterans Day! For nearly two hours, House members brought more than 100 veterans onto the House floor to honor and thank them for their service. It was my pleasure to... Thu, 29 Mar 2018 18:08:51 -0500 Capitol Report March 22, 2018 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/71103 Last week, members on the House Budget Committee completed the markup of the state budget, and the House as a whole sent several bills to the Senate. This week, the legislature is on its annual spring break. Once the break ends, members will focus on the budget, and then turn to tax relief legislation. The legislature has a deadline of May 11 to complete the state budget. As mentioned, the House sent several more bills to the Senate for consideration as we moved closer to the break. In all,... Thu, 22 Mar 2018 17:48:24 -0500 Capitol Report March 15, 2018 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/71069 Members on the House Budget Committee worked diligently this week to complete the markup of the state budget. Once the legislature returns from spring break, members will focus efforts on the state operating budget, as well as tax relief legislation. The legislature has a deadline of May 11 to complete the state budget. Also, this week we cleared the calendar, so to speak, ahead of the legislative spring break by sending several more bills to the Senate for consideration. In fact, in the... Thu, 15 Mar 2018 21:03:05 -0500 Capitol Report March 8, 2018 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/71020 Back at the Capitol, we are starting to see this year’s budget proposal take shape. This week, the chairman of the House Budget Committee unveiled his versions of the appropriations bills that will make up the Fiscal Year 2019 state operating budget. The bills include some key changes from the recommendations made by the governor. One such change calls for the K-12 School Foundation Formula to be fully funded. Also, because of extended Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)... Thu, 08 Mar 2018 16:28:59 -0600 Capitol Report March 1, 2018 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/70977 As in years past, the Office of Missouri Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson is conducting the Senior Service Awards. This is a wonderful opportunity for outstanding senior citizens across Missouri to be recognized for their service and dedication to their communities. The Lt. Governor will recognize each of the exceptional seniors who are selected at their annual Senior Service Award banquet at the State Capitol in May. Individuals should be at least 60 years of age and volunteer a minimum of 25... Fri, 02 Mar 2018 10:14:21 -0600 Capitol Report Feb. 22, 2018 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/70929 Last Thursday, Governor Greitens, Senator Hoskins, and I met with veterans, staff, family, and community members at the Warrensburg Veterans Home to discuss efforts to protect Missouri veterans and ensure they get the quality care they deserve. The Governor presented a proclamation to the Warrensburg Veterans Home commending them for the excellent care they provided. In the recent investigations ordered by the Governor into Missouri’s Veterans Homes, there were several recommendations for... Fri, 23 Feb 2018 08:23:49 -0600 Capitol Report Feb. 15, 2018 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/70886 Another round of legislation is now on its way to the Senate after yet another busy legislative week at the Capitol. This week, the House approved a bill meant to protect the state’s unemployment system from insolvency in the event there is another economic downturn. The legislation is designed to make sure the state has enough money in its unemployment trust fund so that businesses don’t have to pay a penalty. In addition, the House approved a bill that would ease state law to... Thu, 15 Feb 2018 16:33:32 -0600 Capitol Report Feb. 8, 2018 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/70846 Several more bills are now on their way to he Senate after yet another busy legislative week at the Capitol. This week, the House approved a bill that would allow a teacher to count hours spent in a local business externship as contact hours of professional development and a bill that would require every school district and charter school to maintain an accountability portal for the public. Other bills passed out of the House inclued a peice of legislation that would modify the laws... Thu, 08 Feb 2018 18:50:42 -0600 Capitol Report Feb. 1, 2018 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/70800 Several bills are now on their way to the Senate after another busy legislative week at the Capitol. This week, the House approved a bill that would provide young people with greater access to highly-skilled, experienced instructors in areas such as health care, manufacturing, and engineering. The legislation, which also received House approval last session, would allow the State Board of Education to issue a visiting scholar certificate as a license to teach in public schools. The House also... Thu, 01 Feb 2018 16:06:25 -0600 Capitol Report Jan. 25, 2018 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/70763 Another legislative week comes to a close. Members of the House and Senate gathered in the House Chamber this week to listen to the annual State of the Judiciary Address. Delivered by Missouri Chief Justice Zel Fischer, the address provided lawmakers with an overview of the state’s court system and the challenges it faces. Fischer used his speech to highlight the need for expanded drug treatment courts to help fight against the abuse of opioids in Missouri. Fischer also called on... Thu, 25 Jan 2018 16:20:08 -0600 Capitol Report Jan. 18, 2018 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/70724 This week was another busy one at the Capitol! Among the first bills the House passed this week was a ban on lobbyist gifts. The House also passed HB 1500, known as the hair braiding bill. This bill lowers regulations for certification, making it easier to open a small business, an important employment category in our state. Lowering regulations, as this bill does, will create more jobs in Missouri. Finally, another important piece of legislation passed through the House this week was HB 1246.... Fri, 19 Jan 2018 08:33:21 -0600 Capitol Report Jan. 11, 2018 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/70678 The 99th Missouri General Assembly, Second Session, has officially begun. Governor Greitens delivered the 2018 State of the State Address yesterday in the House of Representatives Chamber at the Missouri State Capitol. In the address, the governor discussed the current condition of Missouri as a state, job growth, economic outlook and forecasts, among several other topics important to the well-being of the state. As I have mentioned previously, 2017 played host to some very historic events... Thu, 11 Jan 2018 19:02:35 -0600 Capitol Report Jan. 4, 2018 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/70633 The 99th Missouri General Assembly, Second Session convened yesterday. As I mentioned last week, 2017 played host to some very historic events in Missouri. Now, in 2018, the new year brings more topics to the table including approval of measures to cut bureaucratic red tape, lessen the regulatory burden on families and businesses, and advance policy changes that will provide more educational opportunities to young people in all parts of the state. Following are some highlights of the first... Fri, 05 Jan 2018 09:13:27 -0600 Capitol Report Dec. 28, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/70595 This year has seen some historic events in Missouri. In January, Eric Greitens of St. Louis became the state’s 56th governor. Also, during the 2017 session, the General Assembly passed some very significant legislation. Among these were some needed legal reforms, full funding for K-12 education, the passing of HB1 during Special Session 1 played a role in NUCOR’s choosing Pettis County for its new micro-steel mill, and the implementation of REAL ID, which will assure that... Thu, 28 Dec 2017 15:48:12 -0600 Capitol Report Dec. 21, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/70562 Last week, I shared with you that 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, including Warrensburg. Since this announcement, there has been some concern regarding the potential for the... Thu, 21 Dec 2017 16:18:47 -0600 Capitol Report Dec. 14, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/70518 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... Thu, 14 Dec 2017 16:25:32 -0600 Capitol Report Dec. 7, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/70475 Welcome to December; this year has really flown by. I traveled to Jefferson City earlier this week for a quarterly meeting of the Missouri Military Preparedness and Enhancement Commission. At the meeting, we received an update from the Military Advocate, reviewed a report on Congressional and Pentagon issues affecting Missouri’s military sector and defense interests, and considered a Military Appreciation Day in February or March of next year, among other topics. While I was in Jefferson... Thu, 07 Dec 2017 15:59:55 -0600 Capitol Report Nov. 30, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/70438 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. More on this topic in the first section of the report. Missouri... Fri, 01 Dec 2017 08:33:17 -0600 Capitol Report Nov. 22, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/70391 There’s lots of good news this week for job growth in Missouri. The Missouri Department of Economic Development recently released numbers for the state’s unemployment rate in October and it was all positive. 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... Wed, 22 Nov 2017 13:21:58 -0600