Reports from the 51st District by DEAN DOHRMAN http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/ en-us 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 Capitol Report Nov. 16, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/70359 A newly-formed group of lawmakers will spend the rest of the year looking at the direction health care should take in Missouri. House Speaker Todd Richardson recently created the Interim Committee on Stabilizing Missouri’s Health Insurance Markets for the purpose of gaining a better understanding of what changes at the federal level will mean to markets in the state. More on this topic in the first section of the report. Last Saturday was Veterans Day and it was a busy day. I started... Thu, 16 Nov 2017 16:11:15 -0600 Capitol Report Nov. 9, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/70312 A Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia has completed its work and released recommendations for having Missouri public school students screened for dyslexia. The task force’s report to legislative leaders and the governor recommends that all students in kindergarten through grade three be screened for dyslexia and related disorders beginning in the 2018-19 school year. More on this topic in the first section of the report. Next Tuesday, Nov. 14, an event will be held at the Capitol to... Thu, 09 Nov 2017 16:02:26 -0600 Capitol Report Nov. 2, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/70261 As a society, we are very dependent on electricity. Where would we be, if suddenly, that supply of electricity went away? This is a question addressed by a new Missouri research group, the American Leadership and Policy Foundation (ALPF), a 501(c)3 nonprofit research organization. The ALPF recently had its groundbreaking study involving the strategic threats to America’s electrical grid posed by an electromagnetic pulse (EMP), featured in a report submitted to Congress. More on this topic... Thu, 02 Nov 2017 15:42:29 -0500 Capitol Report Oct. 26, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/70220 Good news in jobs and job training are featured in this week’s Capitol Report. As you know, our new governor and this legislature are dedicated to job growth in our state, and we are beginning to reap some very good benefits from this focus. I am glad to share some very good news from a local perspective as well as on a regional basis. The local news will be highlighted in the first section. In other news, last week, Governor Eric Greitens traveled to London to meet with executives... Thu, 26 Oct 2017 15:51:06 -0500 Capitol Report Oct. 19, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/70161 First, some good news this week from the governor’s office. Governor Greitens recently announced that 800 new jobs will soon be coming to Missouri. The new jobs will come from an increase in Missouri’s National Guard. The new jobs will include transportation units, military police units, and cyber units all having an estimated economic impact of $15 million. More on this topic in the first section of this week’s report. In other news, Planned Parenthood and the American... Thu, 19 Oct 2017 16:13:36 -0500 Capitol Report Oct. 12, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/70110 As mentioned over the last few weeks, the Chair of the Policy Development Caucus, Representative Jeff Messenger, has been touring the state gathering feedback from Missourians about road funding options. As promised, this week I will discuss the final two funding options, motor vehicle and driver’s license fees and changes to the open container law, in the first section of this week’s report. In other news, CenturyLink recently announced that they will be awarding over $1.4... Thu, 12 Oct 2017 15:56:17 -0500 Capitol Report Oct. 5th, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/70061 As mentioned over the last few weeks, the Chair of the Policy Development Caucus, Representative Jeff Messenger, has been touring the state gathering feedback from Missourians about road funding options. In a continuing effort to keep you informed, this week I will discuss two additional funding options, consumer price index on motor fuel and a general sales tax increase, in the first section of this week’s report. In other news, as you may remember this past July, Governor Grietens... Fri, 06 Oct 2017 08:52:27 -0500 Capitol Report, Sept. 28, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/70006 As mentioned last week, the Chair of the Policy Development Caucus, Representative Jeff Messenger, has been touring the state gathering feedback from Missourians about road funding options. I am a part of this committee and expressed a few concerns about some of the suggested options, but Representative Messenger wanted to seek some true input from taxpayers about several different paths for funding. Also, as mentioned last week, I do not endorse any particular option expressed in these... Thu, 28 Sep 2017 15:11:27 -0500 Capitol Report, Sept. 21, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/69942 Unfortunately, misunderstanding is a part of politics. When this occurs, I believe it is best to step in front, and explain matters, which is how I will begin this Capitol Report. Recently, the Chair of the Policy Development Caucus toured the state gathering feedback from Missourians about road funding options. I am a part of this committee and expressed some concerns about some of these options, but Representative Messenger wanted to seek some true input from taxpayers about... Thu, 21 Sep 2017 15:37:56 -0500 Capitol Report September 14th, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/69877 As mandated by the Missouri Constitution, the General Assembly met yesterday to consider bills that were passed by the House and Senate but vetoed by the governor. The annual Veto Session gives legislators a final opportunity to enact their ideas into law despite the governor’s objections. In both chambers, a two-thirds vote is required to override a veto. In the House that is equal to 109 votes. Twenty-three votes are needed in the Senate to successfully complete an override... Thu, 14 Sep 2017 15:33:00 -0500 Capitol Report September 7th, 2017 http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/report51/entry/69816 Last Tuesday, I was fortunate enough to attend the Missouri Innovation Center grand opening in Lee’s Summit. The new building represents another milestone illustrating the progress in STEM education and an accelerated, cost-saving pathway to a four-year college degree in our state. The new facility includes the Missouri Innovation Campus program, a nationally recognized program that reshapes the way students experience education; Summit Technology Academy (STA), a unique... Thu, 07 Sep 2017 16:41:42 -0500