Wrapping Up a Busy Week in the Missouri Senate
During this past week, I was proud to see one of my legislative proposals receive initial approval from the Missouri Senate. Senate Bill 34 establishes the Coroner Standards and Training Commission. This commission will be tasked with establishing statewide training standards for county coroners throughout our state. Missouri is one of 11 states that neither require coroners to be a physician or receive training. Current state law incentivizes coroners to receive training, but doesn’t require them to participate in the training. By creating this commission, I believe we can improve the training standards and create better, more qualified coroners.
This legislation has been many years in the making. We owe it to the citizens of our state to hold these county officials to a higher standard, and I believe my legislation provides an avenue to ensure our coroners receive the proper training to successfully perform their jobs. I am humbled and grateful for my colleagues support, and I look forward to passing this legislation out of the Missouri Senate and sending it to the Missouri House of Representatives. While there are fewer than five weeks remaining in the legislative session, I am confident this proposal will make it to the governor’s desk before the end of the 2019 legislative session.
In addition to working to pass SB 34, I spent a considerable amount of time this past week in the Senate Appropriations Committee. This session marks my first as a member of the committee, and I am thankful for the opportunity to have a voice in the appropriations process. Our state’s operating budget represents our priorities, and I think it is important that we are fiscally prudent with your tax dollars. Thirteen budget bills make up the state’s nearly $30 billion spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year. During this past week, we went through every line of the House’s budget proposal for the 2020 fiscal year. It was an exhausting process, but I am proud that I had the opportunity to roll up my sleeves and analyze the House’s spending plan. As we continue to dig into the appropriations process, I am committed to making sure our schools have the funding they need to provide our students with a world-class education. I will also work hard to make sure our state continues to fund workforce development programs and that our state’s law enforcement community has the tools they need to protect all Missourians.
Missouri School Safety Task Force Holds First Hearing
On Thursday, April 11, the Missouri School Safety Task Force held its first meeting. Established by the governor in March, the purpose of the task force is to examine and evaluate the safety protocols used by our schools, and to provide specific safety recommendations intended to ensure our schools and school districts are prepared for any situation. As a retired school teacher, I am honored to be a part of this important group of people. As a part of this task force, my goal is to make sure our schools are a safe and secure place for all Missouri students, and to ensure our teachers are equipped and prepared to handle any situation. The task force aims to issue a report by July 31. By issuing our report this summer, we hope our recommendations can be implemented for the 2019-2020 school year.
BUY MISSOURI Comes to the State Capitol
Last week, numerous small businesses from throughout our state came to the State Capitol to participate in the first BUY MISSOURI Day. BUY MISSOURI is an economic development initiative that aims to promote products that are gown, manufactured, processed or made in our great state. Maintained by the lieutenant governor, this important program provides a platform for several of our state’s small businesses to showcase their wonderful goods and products. The day provided a wonderful opportunity to meet with several of our community’s small businesses, and I am proud to support these men and women in their efforts to showcase our community.
Residents from the 10th Senatorial District Participating in BUY MISSOURI DAY
It is an honor to be your state senator and my door is always open to your concerns, questions or comments. Please feel free to contact me at (573) 751-2757 or visit my web page at www.senate.mo.gov/riddle.