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This week, the Gubernatorial Appointments Committee discussed the proposed appointments to various boards and committees across the state. I would like to congratulate Robert P. Walsh, a constituent of the 3rd Senatorial District, who was appointed to the Missouri State Board of Nursing. I am confident that Mr. Walsh’s experience and expertise in the nursing field will make him an exceptional addition to the Missouri State Board of Nursing.

Committee hearings also began this week, and several Senate bills have already started moving through the legislative process. On Wednesday, Jan. 23, Senate Bill 17 was heard by the Health and Pensions Committee. I filed SB 17 to fix an unintentional consequence from Senate Bill 892 (2018). Senate Bill 892 allowed retired teachers to be employed in certain positions throughout a school district, such as a school bus driver, while still receiving their retirement benefits from the Public School Retirement System of Missouri (PSRS). The language of SB 892 unintentionally excluded retired teachers from receiving their retirement benefits if they were employed at one of our state’s community colleges. This led to a decline in the number of adjunct professors as many retired teachers had previously filled those positions. It is evident that this was not the intention of SB 892, and I am pleased to file SB 17 which will allow retired teachers to teach at community colleges and still receive their retirement benefits.

The Education Committee will begin discussing bills and proposals next week. As chairman of this committee, I am eager to start considering bills, especially those concerning workforce development. The governor has made it clear that workforce development is a priority, and I believe this issue is closely tied to education. I look forward to hearing testimony on each of these bills and discussing them with my fellow committee members.

My staff and I are pleased to introduce our intern, Erin Warner. Erin is from LaMonte, a small town in mid Missouri where she grew up on a farm. She is a Pershing Scholar attending Truman University. She has already traveled the world visiting many countries and studying their culture, economics and political landscapes. Her major is Justice Systems with a minor in Agricultural Studies. We are very happy to have Erin join us for the 2019 legislative session.

I always appreciate hearing your opinions and concerns regarding your state government. Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at (573) 751-4008. You may write me at Gary Romine, Missouri Senate, State Capitol, Jefferson City, MO 65101; or email me at gary.romine@senate.mo.gov. For more information, please visit my official Senate webpage at www.senate.mo.gov/romine.

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