Sen. Ron Richard’s Legislative Column for the Week of Jan. 15, 2018

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Selecting the Right People to Move Missouri Forward

One of the most important functions of the Missouri Senate is the checks and balances of the gubernatorial appointment process. The governor appoints members to over 200 boards and commissions, which then create rules and regulations Missouri’s citizens must follow. Since 2002, Missouri’s regulations have grown faster than the federal government. The only check to these unelected appointments is the Missouri Senate’s responsibility to conduct hearings on the individuals, and research their qualifications and backgrounds for the position they are seeking to serve.

Under the previous governor, many of the more than 1,500 positions for gubernatorial appointments, were left vacant or had members serving expired terms. This left citizens of Missouri vulnerable to those boards that have very important functions. For instance, the Child Abuse and Neglect Review Boards, which could not meet due to a lack of quorum, protect children from predators getting jobs in preschools, schools, foster care and other child related jobs. They also, remove those names from the Child Registry when there has been evidence the person is not a child abuser, making sure only those who truly could hurt children are on the list. As Chairman of the Missouri Senate’s Gubernatorial Appointments Committee, I have been extremely impressed with the talented individuals nominated by the governor and his wife. The committee has met with many doctors, child care specialists, law enforcement officials and others who are uniquely qualified for the positions.

Another important board for Joplin is the Missouri Southern State University Board of Governors. William “Bill” Gipson was reappointed to the board this week. Mr. Gipson is a long-time resident of Southwest Missouri where he served as President and CEO of the Empire District Electric Company. He graduated from MSSU and has served as the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the MSSU Foundation and is currently serving as Vice-Chair of the MSSU Board of Governors. Additionally, Mr. Gipson has served on the boards of numerous business organizations in the community. Benjamin Rosenberg was appointed to also serve on the MSSU Board of Governors. Mr. Rosenberg is a well-known pediatric dentist and a long-time member of the Joplin community. He has served on the Joplin City Council, served as President of the Joplin School Board and has served on the boards of many community and business organizations.

Despite the numerous individuals already approved by the Missouri Senate, there are still many vacancies on our state’s boards and commissions. However, there has been legislation filed by several lawmakers to reduce the number of boards and commissions, so the ones not meeting or are redundant can be erased from the books. If you are interested in serving on a board or commission, you can visit the Missouri Boards and Commissions’ website to see what positions are available.

Contact Me


I always appreciate hearing your comments, opinions and concerns. Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at (573) 751-2173. You may write to me at Senator Ron Richard, Missouri Senate, State Capitol, 201 W. Capitol Ave., Rm. 326, Jefferson City, MO 65101; email me at or visit me on the Web at

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