* My deepest condolences go out to the Parker King family. Parker, who was in my grandson Kaleb's class at St. Paul Lutheran, passed away due to an injury sustained in a recent accident.
*As this year comes to a close, we look to a new one to bring us closer to family -because recent events made us realize how precious they are; to make us people of good character-because we'll make better choices; and to strength our personal resolve -because fulfilling our resolutions builds our self-esteem. May you find the new year to be all this and more!
*Legislatively speaking, I look forward to a productive year. One that will properly assist families in need without putting Missouri's economy near bankruptcy; that will create more jobs for the unemployed, bringing more economic stability to families, individuals and the state; and one that will strengthen the public education system, both in the K through 12 and postsecondary sectors.
*Currently I have filed the following bills for 2013:
HB 28 - Authorizes any county commission, municipality, or fire protection district to adopt a burn ban order with enforceable fines or other penalty for violations.
HB 29 - Allows licensed physical therapists to receive the same pay for their services no matter in what setting or venue those services are rendered.
HB 91 - A Right To Work bill which allows Missourians to vote whether to allow employees the option to refuse to join a labor organization, pay dues, fees, assessments, or have donations go to charities or other third parties.
HB 93 - Eliminates legislators' state pensions beginning 2014. Those legislators already in the program will not be affected. Currently the state pays out more than 6 million dollars annually for these legislators on the pension roles.
*On December 14 the Southeast Missourian published a public poll titled "Should Missouri legislators receive a state pension?" The results of the 870 votes are below:
Yes: 8.6% (75 votes)
No: 37.8% (329 votes)
Yes. However, the current pension model for legislators and other state employees should be revised.: 14.3% (124 votes)
No. They shouldn't receive a pension but should be offered some type of retirement savings option.: 39.3% (342 votes)