Reports from the 51st District by DEAN DOHRMAN en-us Capitol Report: May 11, 2017 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Capitol Report February 23 Many House members and visitors to the Capitol wore purple on Wednesday, Feb. 22 in honor of Missouri Memory Day. The annual event saw hundreds of advocates make their way to Jefferson City to educate elected officials about Alzheimer's disease and the need to enhance access to care, support and services for people with dementia and their families. In legislative news, we undertook a variety of topics at the Capitol this week. The House debated several bills including unemployment system... Fri, 24 Feb 2017 10:42:24 -0600 Capitol Report: February 16th, 2017 On Tuesday this week, members of the House and Senate took time to honor Missouri's military service members. Many of the state's top military officials made their way to the State Capitol to be recognized for their service during Military Appreciation and Awareness Day. The annual event, hosted by the Missouri Military Preparedness and Enhancement Commission and Missouri's Military Advocate Joe Driskill, illustrates the significant contributions and sacrifices of military service members and... Fri, 17 Feb 2017 14:40:46 -0600 Capitol Report - February 9th, 2017 This week included several visits from district career center students, dental hygienists, nurse practitioners, and libraries from the district including Boonslick Regional and Trails Regional Library. An interesting new program is currently being implemented in local libraries called the Remote Electronic Access for Libraries (REAL) program. REAL strives to connect public libraries with each other and with schools and universities through the Internet to ensure that public libraries are the... Thu, 09 Feb 2017 13:52:21 -0600 Capitol Report, Feb. 2, 2017 This week the University of Missouri system provided some interesting research and economic development highlights that I would like to share. Here is list of a few highlights: St. Louis Medical Devices -- Created around an UMSL technology related to non-invasive blood glucose monitoring -- UMSL faculty member received $50,000 from UM Fast Track Program to develop the technology -- Licensed to St. Louis Medical Devices, a start-up created around the technology Nanova Inc. -- Initially... Fri, 03 Feb 2017 09:32:12 -0600 Capitol Report, January 26 House and Senate members convened for a joint session this week to receive the annual State of the Judiciary Address. Delivered by Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Patricia Breckenridge, the speech focused on the reforms and improvements made by the court system, and the need to improve pretrial incarceration practices in Missouri. Also, this week, during a Veterans Committee hearing, the Missouri Military Preparedness and Enhancement Commission presented a briefing sharing five specific... Thu, 26 Jan 2017 15:17:26 -0600 Capitol Report -- Jan. 12, 2017 This week the legislature really got under way after the inaugural ceremonies of Monday. Ethics and gift bans were foremost on the agenda both in the House and in the Governor's office. I discuss this topic in more detail further on in the report. Also, we are continuing to add duties and assignments for this session. In addition to serving again as Vice Chair of Higher Education and as a member of the Veterans Committee, I will also serve on the Special Committee on Employment Security.... Fri, 13 Jan 2017 10:47:23 -0600 Capitol Report, Jan. 5 The 99th General Assembly First Regular Session has officially begun! Yesterday, the official swearing in ceremony was conducted on the House Floor and Representative Todd Richardson was elected again to serve as Speaker of the House. I was honored to be sworn in for a third time to serve as your state representative! Some important news for those who will be visiting the Capitol, beginning January 10, 2017 visitors entering the Missouri Capitol will be subject to search. X-ray conveyors and... Thu, 05 Jan 2017 15:50:24 -0600 Capitol Report, Dec. 29 The end of the year is traditionally a time for reflection and resolutions for future improvement. Looking back over the past political year, I think it is important to try to gather the lessons from the recent cycle, and hopefully, improve the process for the future. Here are my thoughts. We Need Political Foresight Remember when you were young and you wanted sweets? If unsupervised, you ate and ate and ate sweets until you felt satisfied. However, an hour later you became so miserable you... Thu, 29 Dec 2016 15:29:15 -0600 Capitol Report, Dec. 22 Earlier this week, members of the Republican Caucus gathered to conduct winter caucus where we elected a new Caucus Secretary, my suitemate Rep. Jason Chipman, and discuss the upcoming legislative agenda. Among one of the topics discussed was an increase in Capitol security measures and protocols. These security enhancements are currently being implemented to coincide with the quickly approaching inauguration and related festivities. Now, on to a few lighter, holiday-inspired topics! Holiday... Thu, 22 Dec 2016 11:03:16 -0600 Capitol Report, Dec. 8 This week I traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend an annual meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs. The agenda covered important topics such as solutions to veteran health care and veteran treatment courts, and updates from the Department of Defense (DOD) Office of Economic Adjustment and the DOD State Liaison Office, among several other topics. For a quickupdate, let's take a look at the DOD economic impact in our state.... Fri, 09 Dec 2016 09:30:55 -0600 Capitol Report - November 23, 2016 Once again there is negative news from Mizzou. A former tutor at the University of Missouri reported that she was encouraged to help student athletes with testing and even to complete entire courses. She stated that the athletes were involved in "revenue generating" sports which translates to football and men's basketball. This revelation comes on the heels of sanctions against the University of Notre Dame for assisting their athletes. Mizzou officials had no comment on the allegations. On a... Wed, 23 Nov 2016 15:32:54 -0600 Capitol Report -- Nov. 10 Election Day is finally behind us! Thank you to everyone in the 51st District for your support and votes. It is an honor to be your representative! As you know, Missourians had a number of important ballot initiatives to consider on Tuesday. As the final ballots were tallied, voters had decided to reject both proposed cigarette tax increases, but supported the other measures on the ballot. Below is a brief summary of the election results. Missouri Sees Major Changes on Election Day Headed... Thu, 10 Nov 2016 15:53:51 -0600