Protecting Children Online
I believe one of the main priorities of the Legislature is ensuring our state has a bright future ahead of it, and that future begins with our children. We should do everything we can to make sure they are able to live good, healthy and happy lives. With that in mind, the Senate’s Commerce Committee recently approved legislation meant to protect our children from obscene materials.
Senate Bill 923, known as the “Protect Young Minds Online Act,” would require Internet service providers to block pornographic websites. Meanwhile, the service provider will provide an authentication process for those 18 and older to access those websites if they choose to do so. Prior to accessing an obscene website, a user would have to provide a password. The legislation would also require the password to be changed every three months. Anyone who knowingly provides a minor with a password would be guilty of committing a class A misdemeanor.
Research has found that 70% of children ages 8-18 have accidentally encountered online pornography, and 31% of kids ages 12-18 have lied about their age in order to access these websites. Senate Bill 923 attempts to cut down these startling statistics and protect young minds while they’re online. I look forward to working on this bill in the near future as it heads to the Senate floor. The health and well-being of our children depend on it.
Show-Me Green Sales Tax Holiday
Consumers can save on ENERGY STAR® certified new appliances during the 2022 Show Me Green Sales Tax Holiday, which runs from April 19 to midnight April 25. During this annual event, qualifying appliances are exempt from Missouri’s state sales tax. This includes washers, dryers, dishwashers, air conditioners and refrigerators, provided they are ENERGY STAR® certified.
Many local jurisdictions are also participating in this year’s sales tax holiday. Qualifying appliances purchased in these locations will be exempt from the state sales tax, as well as the sales tax of any participating county, city or district. For complete listings of participating jurisdictions and frequently asked questions, visit dor.mo.gov/taxation/business/tax-types/sales-use/holidays/show-me-green/.
Missouri Humanities is an organization dedicated to enriching lives and strengthening communities by connecting Missourians with the people, places and ideas that shape our society. With that in mind, they have several grant opportunities available.
Missouri Humanities’ mini-grants fund projects up to $2,500. Applications are considered twice a year with the following deadlines: May 1 and November 1. The organization’s major-grants fund projects up to $10,000. Applications are considered twice a year with the following deadlines: February 1 and August 1. Please do not submit applications prior to two weeks before the submission deadline. Award notifications will be received six weeks following the application deadline. For more information on these grants, please visit mohumanities.org/grants.
Visitors to the Capitol
This past week, I have had the opportunity to visit with a group of international students from the Kansas City Area American Field Service program, as well as members of the Missouri Federation of Republican Women.
Senate Art Show
The Senate Student Art Exhibit showcases fine arts programs in all 34 state senate districts. The exhibit is located on the grounds of the Capitol in the hallway that leads from Senate parking to the Capitol ground floor entrance.
I’m pleased to have the wonderful artwork of Jisue Kim from Summit Christian Academy representing the 8th Senatorial District for this year’s art show. I hope visitors to the State Capitol from the 8th District stop by the exhibit and see this great artwork, as well as other pieces from around the state.
I am honored to continue serving the citizens of the 8th Senatorial District. Please feel free to contact my office in Jefferson City at (573) 751-1464. For information about committees or sponsored legislation for the 2022 session, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at senate.mo.gov/Cierpiot.