Jefferson City Events
My wife and I had dinner at the Governor’s Mansion last week.  The dinner was with newer representatives and Governor Nixon and his wife attended also.  It was a good time to meet with other representatives and their wives outside of the capitol. It was nice to be able to talk to people about their lives and experiences and hopefully that will translate into better communication during session.

 On Tuesday, I attended my 14th Missouri School Board Association Legislative day.  This was my second as a legislator and I definitely have a different perspective on this day now.  I am more aware of the state's financial situation and the balancing act it takes to fund our schools.  I got to meet with representatives from School of the Osage, Camdenton and Iberia.  One thing that has not changed over the years is my dedication to ensuring all students in Missouri succeed.

 Appropriations Committee
We spent part of the week finalizing the budget in the Appropriations Committee.  We began work with last year’s budget amount plus some additional revenue to split amongst the Divisions we overlook.  The division of Tourism administers a good program called Cooperative Marketing that utilizes a match with local money to advertise our area.  However, I was told by Tourism that they would severely cut this program in the Lake area and we were not given a good reason why.

 I and the other Representatives and Senators in the area, spent a lot of time explaining that this was a poor plan.  We would hope they would spare this very valuable program and one of the best returns on our tax money.  For whatever reason, the cut to our program was going to stand, while other places received increases.  So, I felt I had to budget the same amount of money to all the areas the Division had decided to decrease.  This will allow our tourism to continue to advertise this area.  I have alerted the appropriate Senators that will allow this budget line to stay intact as it moves to finalization.

 Other Events
I also attended a statewide function in Springfield, Missouri. I attended many breakout sessions on many subjects important to us all.  Senator Rand Paul was the highlighted speaker.  He stressed the importance of working together and being open to many different concepts. He also indicated that the war on drugs was failing but we should not give up on it. If we work on the societal issues first we may be able to combat the current drug issues more effectively.

 Town Hall Meeting
This is a reminder that I will be holding a town hall meeting this Friday, February 28th from 10:00 am – Noon at the Miller County Courthouse Administrator’s Office in Tuscumbia. Please stop by and join the conversation and discussion.