River stage: 8.56 ft. Falling
Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013
Memorial Day, State 2013 Budget Summary & MorePosted Thursday, May 24, 2012, at 3:09 PM
This weekend will be a time for reflection on those who died in service to our country. We should do no less than be appreciative of our national and personal freedoms that were bought with a price. I encourage you to take some time to read about the history of this important holiday and to join me, Monday at 9 a.m., for the Jackson Memorial Service at the Jackson Cemetery on South High Street.
Both years I have been in office --and no doubt previous years- have experienced great struggles to fulfill Missouri's constitutional mandate for a balanced budget. With a $500 million general revenue shortfall, the decision of what state programs to fund and by how much was nightmarish. I have placed below a Fiscal Year 2013 budget summary, and I underlined what I felt would be of interest to most constituents. You can get additional information on the state budget by visiting the Misouri Office of Administartion and click on the Missouri Budget & Planning Division tab. Missouri's fiscal year always begins in July.
* State-wide -- Pay raise for state employees of 2% beginning July 1st for those making less than $70,000. This will affect 97% or about 54,500 state employees, last pay raise was 2009 and the FY13 budget has 950 fewer state workers compared to the current FY12.
* State Debt -- taking advantage of Missouri's AAA Bond Rating, the state will save an estimated $41.0 million from restructuring general obligation and revenue bond debt in FY13.
* Dept. of Elementary & Secondary Education - $5.0 million increase in the K-12 School Foundation Formula, $2.0 million increase for First Steps for caseload growth, $1.0 million increase for Parents as Teachers Program, $100,000 additional for the Early Childhood Literacy Program.
* Higher Education - $106.0 million restoration of Governor's recommended cut to state colleges and universities.
MO DOT Southeast District will have Interstate 55 improvements in Ste. Genevieve, Perry, Cape Girardeau and Scott Counties - The first project includes resurfacing the southbound lanes of I-55 from Route 51 in Perryville to US 61 in Fruitland, and from Route 74 in Cape Girardeau to Route 77 near the Benton Exit. The project also includes resurfacing the northbound lanes from Route 77 near the Benton Exit to Route 74 in Cape Girardeau. Work to improve the north and southbound lanes of I-55 in Ste. Genevieve County is also underway. The project includes resurfacing and under-sealing more than 40 miles of the north and southbound lanes from the Jefferson County line to Route J/N (Exit 143).
Median guard cable will be installed from Route 67 near Crystal City to Route E near Oak Ridge. During work, traffic will be reduced to one lane, with work in Cape Girardeau and Scott City areas completed during the nighttime hours. Completion is anticipated by Fall 2012.
STATE-WIDE NEWS: Summer is time for travel and vacations, and to help ensure your travels are as carefree as possible, the Missouri Department of Transportation has developed a list of significant work zones to be on the lookout for this summer. So take advantage of the department's Traveler Information Map (find it on the department's webpage) or call toll-free 888-ASK-MoDOT. While most work zones will not be active over the Memorial Day weekend, it may be necessary for lane closures to remain in place.
Besides these highway improvements, more than 90 bridges are scheduled for work this year. A map showing bridge construction schedules and available detours can be found at the Safe and Sound Map. This also can be found on the MO DOT website along with a "Rate Our Work Zone" online form where you can comment on MoDOT's work zones
Don't forget to keep an eye out for motorcyclists and kids and adults riding their bikes.
Hope you all have a great time at the 100-Mile Yard Sale This Memorial Day weekend.
Just remember that out-of-town visitors and residents will be out in full force along Route 25 in search of bargains.
MoDOT will do its part to bring the safety message to the forefront. Message boards will be in place along the route to alert drivers of the unusual traffic patterns and promote safe driving.
For more information, contact Compas at (573) 472-5310 or call MoDOT's Customer Service Center toll-free at 1-888-ASK-MODOT (1-888-275-6636).
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State Representative Donna Lichtenegger is currently serving the 146th District of the Missouri House of Representative. Born July 26, 1950, in St. Louis, MO. A 1969 graduate of Normandy High School. She received an A.S. in Dental Hygiene in 1973 from St. Louis Community College -- Forest Park. Rep. Lichtenegger has 37 years of experience as a dental hygienist. She resides in Jackson with her husband, John. They have two children, Brent and Leigh Ann. Current and past memberships: Missouri Dental Hygiene Association; American Dental Hygienist Association; Southeast Missouri Dental Hygienist Association. St. Paul Lutheran Church -- Ladies Guild; Jackson Noon Optimist Club; Cape Girardeau Boys and Girls Club, board member; Cape County Black and Gold Club; Lutherans For Life; University of Missouri Alumni Association; and the Regional Samaritan Clinic, board member; and former memberships with JC Wives and the Lutheran Family Children Services' Cape Girardeau board. Public Service: 20 years Republican Central Committee; the Republican State Committeewoman from 1998 to 2010 for the 25th Senatorial District; Chair of the 32nd Judicial District for six years; ten years Chair for the Eighth Congressional District.