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Monday, Sep. 22, 2014
Saying good-bye
Posted Thursday, December 13, at 11:49 AM
It may be hard to believe, but eight years have passed since I was first elected to the Missouri Senate, and this means my time in these hallowed halls is coming to an end. This will be my final column. We have seen a lot of ups and downs since January 2005. ...

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The 21st Senatorial District Is Changing
Posted Wednesday, November 21, at 2:09 PM

Many changes are underway in the Missouri General Assembly as we gear up for the next legislative session. As you are well aware by now, the effects of the 2010 Census and redistricting will be complete, starting in January. In addition, many lawmakers have reached their maximum number of years in which they can serve in the Legislature. This can mean different things to different people...

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Make Your Voice Heard on Career and Technical Education
Posted Saturday, November 17, at 9:13 AM

The state Board of Education approved the new standards in December 2011, after several months of public hearings. The plan is for MSIP 5 to begin in public school districts in the 2013-2014 school year. Before this happens, DESE is talking with school district officials about what they can expect...

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The Election Comes to an End
Posted Tuesday, November 13, at 2:05 PM

After weeks of campaign ads, polling data and expert analysis on "what happens next," the election season has come to a close. In Missouri, we saw voters decide the fate of four ballot issues, each with huge implications for our state. Amendment 3 was designed to change the way judges are picked in Missouri. ...

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Are Missouri Dog Breeders Feeling the Effects of 'Prop B?'
Posted Friday, November 9, at 4:43 PM

Over the last few years, I have had several columns highlighting issues dealing with the Proposition B of 2010, the Human Society of the United States (HSUS) and the "Missouri Solution." If you have not been following the issues, make sure to check out my column from late last year to get a quick recap...

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Tax Loophole Vetoed by Governor
Posted Sunday, July 29, at 8:09 AM

Among the measures that were vetoed by the governor this year is one that would have impacted the price paid for an automobile. House Bill 1329 would have changed some of the laws relating to motor vehicles. The measure would have removed an advantage that neighboring states currently have on vehicle taxes. If you buy a vehicle in any of those states, you do not have to pay local sales tax...

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End of the 2012 Legislative Session: Successes and Failures
Posted Thursday, May 31, at 11:49 AM

As I mentioned in my most recent column, the Second Regular Session of the 96th General Assembly has come and gone. Here are some of the measures that the Legislature sent to the governor, some we did not, and some the governor said "no" to. PASSED:...

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How Highway Designations and Specialty Plates Happen
Posted Friday, May 11, at 1:02 PM

There are a couple aspects of state government you probably do not hear a lot about, and that is naming highways for people and how specialty license plates become reality. Both processes are relatively easy to do. Fortunately, the Legislature has removed politics and the state's costs from the process in the last few years...

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Missouri Senate Finishes Its Version of Budget
Posted Tuesday, May 1, at 4:14 PM

Members of the Missouri General Assembly have only one constitutional obligation, and that is to pass a budget every year. Missouri senators are one step closer to doing just that. In a rare turn of events, the 13 individual bills that make up the entire budget for Missouri's next fiscal year -- plus a supplemental bill for the remainder of the current fiscal year -- were handled in about six hours. ...

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Education issues: Teacher tenure, charter schools, the "Turner Fix"
Posted Friday, April 27, at 4:29 PM

Education is one of the top priorities in the Missouri Legislature. These issues have an impact on everyone, including all taxpayers. However, most ideas have a long way to go before becoming law; our current legislative session ends on May 18, 2012...

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Tracking Your Missouri Senate
Posted Friday, April 13, at 2:56 PM

We are in the time of year when legislation moves quickly in the Missouri General Assembly. There will be some ideas that Missourians have a strong opinion about. Fortunately, it is easy to keep tabs on those bills that are most important to you...

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Keeping Government out of Your Religious Freedom
Posted Friday, March 23, at 11:32 AM

There is a growing, national debate over government's role in religious freedom. Because of this, the Missouri Legislature has had to respond. The concern began in January, when it was revealed that the president had decided that Catholic hospitals would be required to cover contraception for employees, even though the church itself does not believe in this. ...

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The First Half of Session Is Complete
Posted Tuesday, March 20, at 8:22 AM

We have had an interesting and productive first half of the 2012 legislative session, with several measures passed by both the Missouri Senate and House. Among the bills that have been passed is Senate Bill 572. This is a measure that takes up where tort reform left off in 2005. Senate Bill 572 would make changes to Missouri's workers' compensation laws...

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Let us not forget: Businesses pay our bills
Posted Thursday, February 16, at 6:10 PM

We have been in a down economy for a few years in Missouri. Most of the downsides of a recession or an economic slump are obvious, but there are some consequences we fail to comprehend. Part of the money that pays federal unemployment benefits comes from business owners. ...

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Transportation tweaks could mean more money on roads
Posted Friday, February 10, at 2:27 PM

Among the first bills passed in the Missouri Senate this year is Senate Bill 443, which would make some changes to part of Missouri's transportation laws, mainly to bring the state in line with federal standards and put more money toward our roads. The bill has two major parts: the first dealing with intoxication-related traffic offenses and the second relating to commercial driver's licenses...

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Without education: Prison, poverty or death
Posted Tuesday, February 7, at 6:24 PM

When it comes to providing a world-class education to all Missouri students, the stakes are extremely high. If we are to compete in the global economy, we must have a skilled work force. Among the issues related directly to this topic in 2012 is a look at school reform...

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Keeping an eye on HSUS
Posted Tuesday, January 31, at 8:13 AM

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is at it again. It is working, once again, to manipulate the ballot box in Missouri. This time there is one difference: we all know this out-of-state organization really desires an end to agriculture in Missouri...

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Our district is changing, again
Posted Thursday, January 19, at 12:43 PM

With only a few weeks before folks can start filing to run for office this year, the Missouri Supreme Court has made a decision on two of the redistricting plans, which we thought had already been set. There were three different maps drawn last year: one for the Missouri Senate, one for the Missouri House and one for Missouri's congressional districts. ...

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More Rural Representation on the Conservation Commission
Posted Friday, January 13, at 5:02 PM

Our conservation department here in Missouri is one of the highest ranking in the United States. Because of an issue raised by the Conservation Federation of Missouri, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) became a reality in 1936, after a vote of the people. However, the way board and commission members are currently appointed tends to make these panels one-sided, and at times, unreliable in the work they complete or produce for the state...

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How to contact your elected officials in 2012
Posted Sunday, January 8, at 8:18 AM

A new year means new activities for elected officials at every level. For your convenience, I have provided a list of contacts for those representing our area in state and federal government. You may want to keep these numbers handy throughout the year...

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Past Reports from the 21st District
SEN. BILL STOUFFER
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Sen. Bill Stouffer, R-Napton, represented the 21st district in the Missouri Senate until January 2013, when he left after reaching established term limits. He is a life-long resident of Saline County, a farmer and small business owner. He and his wife, Sue Ellen, live on their family farm in Napton. He was the chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee and Joint Committee on Transportation Oversight. He served on a number of other committees, including Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources; Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy & the Environment; Financial & Governmental Organizations & Elections; Joint Interim Committee on School Accreditation; Missouri Alternative Fuels Commission; Missouri Civil Air Patrol; Missouri Military Preparedness and Enhancement Commission; Missouri Senior RX Commission; Alzheimer's State Plan Task Force; Coordinating Council on Special Transportation; and Midwestern Interstate passage Rail Compact Commission.