Capitol Report

Intended for the Jan. 22 edition of the Times

We hit the ground running this week as most committees had received bills to review. HB 2038 is scheduled for a hearing next week. HB 2038 establishes the Workforce Diploma Program. The Workforce Diploma program assists in the attainment of a high school diploma and developing employability and career technical skills. Basically, the bill outlines the duties of the Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development in the development, implementation, funding processes as well as evaluation of the program. I believe the Workforce Diploma Program could be a great resource for our district and encourage folks to contact me if you would like additional information, want to share your thoughts or have any questions. Please go review the complete bill and summary.

Wednesday the Senate and House gathered in the House chambers for the State of the State address. Governor Parson highlighted his priorities for the year ahead, such as strengthening Missouri’s communities, supporting education and preparing the state’s workforce for the jobs of the future, updating the state’s aging infrastructure, and making government more efficient.

Parson said, “We have made record progress over the past year, but there is still more to do and much more we can achieve with hard work. That is why my call this legislative session is to propose initiatives aimed at building stronger communities, improving workforce development and education, revitalizing our aging infrastructure, and making government more accountable.”

Some of Gov. Parson’s proposals include:

Combating violent crime by providing greater protection for victims and witnesses, providing more mental health resources and services, and strengthening laws to target violent criminals.

Providing full funding once again for the School Foundation Formula and increasing school transportation funding.

Strengthening the state’s early childhood offerings to better prepare Missouri children for success. 

Increasing opportunities for high-demand job training at the high school level. Parson announced his administration is seeking a $750,000 investment to certify approximately 12,000 new high school students as work-ready through the WorkKeys program. 

Increasing Bright Flight and A+ Scholarship funding by $5.3 million.

Allocating an additional $19 million for the MoExcels Workforce Training Initiative. 

Making key investments in Missouri’s infrastructure, including $4 million in disaster recovery funds and another $50 million for the transportation cost-share program. 

Setting aside $100 million to use in case of financial emergencies. The fund would be supplemented by Wayfair collections if lawmakers approve legislation to require online retailers to collect sales tax on purchases made in Missouri.

I want to make sure all are aware that our office has moved to the first floor of the Capitol, room 118 CA. The office phone number, 573-751-2042 and email, are the same as last year. Please drop in anytime and visit our new home. As you know, I look forward to hearing from folks at home. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can be of service. It is an honor and privilege to represent the 155th District.

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423