Legislative Column - Feb. 13, 2014

During the first weeks of February, we delivered the first Senate bills over to the House of Representatives for its consideration, including one that relates to the process of placing candidates' names on the election ballot. Senate Bill 630 provides for fair placement of candidates' names by allowing representatives of military candidates and candidates with disabilities to draw numbers to establish ballot order. Just this week the Senate and House gave its final approval to a similar bill, sending it to the governor for his signature. House Bill 1125 contains an emergency clause, so if it is signed into law, Missourians who fall under the guidelines of this measure would be able to use a proxy to draw their name for placement on the next election ballot.

Another bill, which I voted in support of, gives those who go in for breast exams the option to receive additional information that could later save their lives. Senate Bill 639 requires mammography facilities to provide patients certain information if their mammogram shows they have dense breast tissue, which could hide abnormalities. These particular patients might benefit from supplemental screenings that could deviate between normal tissue and potential issues that need immediate medical attention.

Douglas R. Kennedy stands with Sen. Libla before the Senate Gubernatorial Appointments Committee on Feb. 5, 2014.
Harry Riley Bock stands with Sen. Libla before the Senate Gubernatorial Appointments Committee on Feb. 5, 2014.
East Prairie FFA member Rylyn Small with Sen. Libla on the dais in the Senate Chamber.

I recently had the privilege of sponsoring two citizens from the 25th District who were appointed by the governor to serve on a board or commission. Douglas R. Kennedy of Poplar Bluff was confirmed by the full Senate to serve on the Coordinating Board for Higher Education. This board is responsible for formulating, implementing, evaluating and coordinating the its policies, priorities and initiatives. The Senate also gave its confirmation to the gubernatorial appointment of Harry Riley Bock of New Madrid, who was appointed to serve as a member of the Public Defender Commission. This commission is responsible for hiring the State Public Defender director, assisting the director, and determining the philosophy of the public defender system of our state, among other duties. Harry has served in the role of prosecuting attorney for new Madrid County, assistant public defender, and as the county's public administrator.

Capitol Visitors

I had a great time visiting with Rylyn Small from East Prairie. Rylyn is an agriculture education major at Southeast Missouri State University and is a member of the East Prairie FFA. He also trains and breaks colts, and gives riding lessons, as well as horsemanship advice to youngsters, in the East Prairie area. He plays the trumpet and enjoys music, and is also active in the Elm Street Baptist Youth Group. Rylyn's future plans are to receive a degree in agriculture education and become a teacher back home. On obtaining this as a career, he also wishes to become an FFA adviser. I was impressed with Rylyn's knowledge, and he will be a positive role model for young folks, especially those interested in agriculture.

Other guests visiting the Capitol this week include Poplar Bluff Mayor Ed DeGaris, Councilman Robert Smith, Councilwomen Susan McVey and Angela Pearson, and City Manager Doug Bagby. These officials were here for the MO Municipal League Conference. Ed Dust and Jon Douglass from Sikeston also attended the conference.

We had a lot of retired teachers visit the Capitol for their legislative advocacy day. I even had the chance to meet up with a couple of retired teachers and friends from Greenville!

Chase Phillips, Dustin Berry, Adam Vonallmen, and Lance Dell, all from Poplar Bluff, were here for Missouri National Guard training. Thank you gentlemen for your service!

I also enjoyed seeing friends from Shannon County — John and Judy Stewart, Alex and Allen Ramsey, and J.C. and Nancy Ray. They were all here to testify in a House committee concerning the impact of stifling federal regulation of the Jacks Fork and Current Rivers.

Janet Coleman from the Dexter Chamber of Commerce also visited with the MO Economic Development Council, and dental hygiene students from the district made their way to the State Capitol for their legislative advocacy day.

It was nice to see Charlie Barker from Twin Rivers High School, along with representatives from the Sikeston Career and Technology Center. They were here for Career and Technology College Day at the Capitol. Bill Robison from Dexter and Jeremy Manning from Ellington also visited to discuss the necessity of infrastructure in Southeast Missouri and the Bootheel.

If you would like to read more about the legislation or committees mentioned in this column, visit www.senate.mo.gov/libla. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.

State Senator Doug Libla
201 W. Capitol Ave., Rm. 226
Jefferson City, MO 65101
(573) 751-4843

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