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This week l had the honor along with 12 other Representatives to have breakfast at the Governor’s Mansion with the Governor and First Lady.

Governor Parson shared his vision for Missouri going forward including how we need to get a handle on state tax credits, continue developing our workforce for the 21st century jobs available in Missouri, and make sure we take care of the vital infrastructure needs of Missouri. I agree with Governor Parson on how vital these things are to the future success for all Missourians. I do not want to go into debt in the state of Missouri, but we must be diligent in our efforts to repair our roads and bridges as they are vital to the economic success of Missouri.

This week at the Capitol featured a showcase of Missouri State programs for those who love the outdoors. Missouri Prairie Foundation brought information on choosing native plants for landscaping, water protection, pollinator and wildlife habitat. Vendors also included Missouri Stream Team, Missouri Park Association, information regarding Trapping and Furbearer Management, Conservation Federation of Missouri and the Missouri Canoe and Floaters Association. If interested in receiving any information on any of these agencies, please contact my office and we will get this information to you.

I enjoyed visiting with the group from Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services located in Farmington. Destinee Harris and Chris Massey who are the Residential Case Managers provide a safe place for those youths who find themselves in a crisis mode or no housing or just need counseling. I also had the chance to meet with Registered Dietitians and students from Southeast Missouri State University.

My Legislation:

HB 604 was passed out of the House 150-4. This is a bill intended to assist both public and Charter schools that are not performing up to standards. It addresses concerns at the building level and puts shared power to turnaround a poor performing building in the hands of the parents, teachers and administrators of the building.

HB 324 deals with flying drones over our state penitentiaries, mental health facilities and County and municipal jails. This bill is all about the safety of the workers and offenders. It will help to prevent contraband form entering these facilities. This bill has passed out of the House and was heard in the Senate. We will be adding on an amendment that will protect our large stadiums such as Busch Stadium. The officials for the Cardinals have been working with the FBI and Homeland security on safety measures concerning unauthorized drones. Through this bill we will give them state protection.

Bills of Interest:

HB 628 This bill prohibits a dentist from writing a prescription for long-acting or extended-release opioids for the treatment of acute dental pain, unless, in the professional judgment of the dentist, the use of said opioid is necessary to treat the patient's acute pain. If the dentist prescribes a long-acting or extended-release opioid, the dentist must document in the patient's record the reason for the necessity of the type of opioid used. This bill requires a dentist to avoid prescribing an opioid dose of greater than 50 morphine milligram equivalent (MME) per day for the treatment of acute dental pain, unless, in the professional judgment of the dentist, the use of said dosage is necessary to treat the patient's acute pain. If the dentist prescribes a greater dose, the dentist must document in the patient's record the reason for the particular dose. The Missouri Dental Board must maintain an MME conversion chart and instructions for calculating MME on its website. I see this bill as another step to stem opioid abuse.

HB 824 Currently, under the Industrial Hemp Pilot Program, the Department of Agriculture can only issue a permit to a single registrant or permittee for a plot of no less than 10 acres and no more than 40 acres and a total of 2,000 acres statewide. The department can only issue a permit to an institute of higher education for a plot of less than 10 acres and a total of 20 acres statewide. This bill removes all the acreage limitations from the Industrial Hemp Pilot Program. This could be a huge bill for the farmers of Missouri. This is industrial hemp that would have a THC level of less than .031%. People cannot get high smoking it. It can be a great cash product for farmers.

HB 352 This bill specifies that any incarcerated offender 65 years of age or older who has no prior felony convictions of a violent nature, who is not a convicted sexual offender, and who is serving a sentence of life without parole for a minimum of 50 years or more must receive a parole hearing upon serving 30 years or more of his or her sentence. The Board of Probation and Parole within the Department of Corrections must determine whether there is a reasonable probability that the offender will not violate the law upon release and therefore is eligible for release based upon a finding that the offender meets specified criteria. Any offender who is not granted parole under these provisions must be eligible for reconsideration every two years until a presumptive release date is established.

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