News from the State Capitol by State Representative Donna Lichtenegger en-us Last Week the Last Week of Session After four years of perseverance my fluoride notification legislation, HB 1717, is truly agreed and finally passed. House Bill 1717 requires a public water system notify its customers if it plans to adjust or eliminate fluoridation in the water. Mon, 16 May 2016 15:42:26 -0500 More Bills On the Governor’s Desk The House gave final approval this week to legislation meant to better prepare young people for success after high school. The legislation, Senate Bills 620 & 582, would require the state Board of Education to establish minimum graduation requirements for a Career and Technical Education (CTE) certificate that a student can earn in addition to their high school diploma. Under the legislation, the State Board of Education and the Career and Technical Education... Thu, 28 Apr 2016 14:22:59 -0500 A Truly Agreed and Finally Passed 2017 Budget Sent to the Governor After long hours of discussion and compromise, the Missouri House and Senate came to a final agreement on the state operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year that begins in July of this year. In its final form the budget checks in at $27.26 billion. The... Fri, 22 Apr 2016 13:05:24 -0500 Bills Reported to the Senate The House approved and moved House Bill 1943 along to the Senate; this legislation will institute several important reforms for Missouri’s system of education. One provision will restore a cap on the amount the state needs to provide to the foundation formula that funds public schools in Missouri. Currently, the funding formula increases each year, but even as the legislature increases school funding, it falls short of the amount called for by the formula. The... Fri, 15 Apr 2016 13:15:36 -0500 More House Bills Move Forward Before I report on House Bills I would like to comment on funding the Governor recently released from the current state operating budget. Withheld funds he released amounted to $2.1 million. The Missouri House had voted in bipartisan fashion on Wednesday, March 16 to override the governor’s withholds of $575,000 for the Missouri Scholars Academy and the Missouri Fine Arts Academy, and $350,000 for the Brain Injury Waiver Fund. The governor also... Fri, 08 Apr 2016 11:17:47 -0500 Historic Override of the Governor’s Revenue Withholds The Missouri House of Representatives made state history this week when it overrode two gubernatorial revenue-withholds. Even though the state’s revenue growth is at 5.5% over this day last year, Governor Nixon has withheld some much needed funds. These override votes are related to the state’s current 2016 budget. They do not affect the 2017 budget that was passed out of the House last week. Every 1/10 of a percent of general... Fri, 18 Mar 2016 12:32:59 -0500 Missouri’s 2017 Fiscal Year (FY17) Budget Passes the House Missouri’s Fiscal 2017 Budget made its first major move towards reality as it passed the House and was reported to the Senate. There are no summaries available for these bills, so if you want to know the details you can link here: Budget Report. The budget process yet has a ways to go; next step is Senate approval. It is highly probable several appropriations bills will have to go to conference committees wherein both chambers will hash out differences. Some highlights to the budget as it... Fri, 11 Mar 2016 10:05:10 -0600 Bills Moving Forward in the Legislative Process *House Bill 1892 establishes the Narcotics Control Act. It has more than a dozen provisions. Basically it requires the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) to establish and maintain a program to monitor the prescribing and dispensing of all Schedule II through Schedule IV controlled substances. And although all submitted prescription information is to be confidential and not subject to public disclosure, it does require DHSS to notify appropriate law enforcement or agencies if it has... Fri, 04 Mar 2016 08:34:12 -0600 Legislators Pass Several Bills * At the top of my Capitol Report, and since I’m the Higher Education Appropriations Committee Chair, I need to make a comment regarding the firing of Melissa Click. I’m pleased the MU Board of Curators showed strong leadership by realizing Ms. Click was causing great harm and embarrassment to the University through her actions. I’m confident that she was given a fair review which resulted with this decision. *A... Fri, 26 Feb 2016 09:56:32 -0600 House Bills Reported to the Senate * My fluoridation notification (HB 1717) bill is once again on its way to the Senate. This bill does not mandate fluoridation be added nor removed; it simply requires public water system officials to notify the public when a planned change in fluoridation level is proposed. The bill has bi-partisan support. * The Returning Home Heroes Act (HB 2156) also has been reported to Senate. It removes provisions of the Missouri Returning Heroes' Education Act that limit the amount of... Fri, 19 Feb 2016 13:59:45 -0600 Several Important Announcements The final step in my Appropriations- Higher Education Committee took place this week. For the fiscal year 2017 state budget, Governor Nixon recommended a 6% increase for all public higher education institutions. I could not in good conscience agree to that high increase since only a 4% state income revenue-increase is projected. The committee voted to give a 2% increase to all two and four year public higher education institutions who met... Thu, 11 Feb 2016 15:50:02 -0600 Several Important Bills Reported to the Senate House Bill 1562 -sexual trafficking legislation- enjoyed bi-partisan support. It is hard to imagine this evil in our own “back yard” but apparently it is. This bill adds knowingly advertising a specified minor to participate in a commercial sex act, performance, or the production of explicit sexual material to the offenses of sexual trafficking of a child in the first degree, sexual trafficking of a child in the second degree, sexual trafficking of a child, and sexual trafficking of... Fri, 05 Feb 2016 15:26:19 -0600 2016 State of the Judiciary The annual State of the Judiciary was delivered by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Missouri, Patricia Breckenridge, who after a brief person note emphasized respect and integrity in courts across the state. Her speech reflects a high understanding of the municipals courts and the important role they play in the judiciary integrity of Missouri. Her speech contained multiple points regarding the court system and its relationship to justice. ... Fri, 29 Jan 2016 11:40:31 -0600 Legislative News It has been a fast start to the 2016 session with more than 915 bills filed. This week several ethics reform bills have been debated in the House, resulting in the following bills reported to the Senate: House Bill 1452 - changes the filing deadline for Personal Financial Disclosures House Bill 1575 - requires officials to timely disclose lodging and travel expenses incurred by the official, the official's spouse, the official's family that are paid by a third person for expenses. ... Fri, 15 Jan 2016 12:29:39 -0600 The 2016 Session Begins *Currently I have filed three bills, two of which technically are re-files. Those are my Fluoride Notification House Bill 1717 and my Virtual Education provision House Bill 1716. I firmly believe both are needed and beneficial. My third bill is House Bill 2027 which makes provision for Dental Hygienists to enter into collaborative practice with a dentist. The ongoing need for dental care in several regions --especially rural areas- could be met with a collaborative practice... Fri, 08 Jan 2016 14:50:38 -0600 Heroes of the American Revolution It is that time of year when we all start planning 4th of July activities. We look forward to family and friends getting together, parades, picnics and of course the fireworks, which are the fun part of the 4th, but there is a more important part that we all need to think and even pray about. For my family and many other families this day holds a more important element. I'm speaking of those families who have relatives who fought in the Revolutionary War. Today most forget why this war was... Thu, 25 Jun 2015 13:11:14 -0500 2015 Truly Agreed and Finally Passed *During the course of the 2015 legislative session -officially referred to as the First Regular Session of the 98th General Assembly- I reported on House and Senate Bills of significant importance; of interest to a general audience; or filed bills on which my office was receiving feedback. Given that there were thousands of bills filed and dozens passed, I encourage you to visit the Missouri House of Representatives webpage which lists all House and Senate Bills that were Truly Agreed... Thu, 28 May 2015 12:47:19 -0500 A Few 2015 Legislative Accomplishments *Be sure to take time this Memorial weekend to remember those who have sacrificed to secure America's future. The city of Jackson will sponsor a service at 9 a.m. at the old cemetery on South High Street. This year's speaker is Captain Diane Howard, a 25-year Navy Judge Advocate General (JAG) officer, who currently works for the Limbaugh Law Firm in Cape Girardeau. *The House reauthorized the Government Get Off My Back Act this year; extending the bill to 2019. House Bill 32 promotes job... Fri, 22 May 2015 09:46:19 -0500 An Unusual Last Week >Legislative action this week began lively, vigorous and even playful at times then quite suddenly it came to a screeching halt Thursday morning. The combination of the democratic re-action to the Right To Work bill, the shocking news of Speaker Diehl's indiscretion and a Senate filibuster, in essence, shut down any kind of effective legislative work in both chambers. * Heated discussion regarding Right to Work (HB 116 & 569) resulted in 92 yes and 66 no votes. I've been an advocate for this... Fri, 15 May 2015 18:08:11 -0500 Veto Override of Welfare Reform Bill and Other Legislative Actions The General Assembly overrode the Governor's veto of Senate Bill 24. This bill is considered a significant "welfare reform" bill. Below is a list of several of the provisions which makes the needed reform possible: „Ï The bill tightens the work requirements: Currently Missouri allows 24 months to elapse before enforcing work requirements. This bill requires recipients to immediately comply with work requirements before receiving benefits. „Ï It lowers the TANF recipient lifetime eligibility... Thu, 07 May 2015 16:34:50 -0500