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July 25, 1985     Press-News Journal
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!,1 ,i:   'I'! i Dear Friend, Many people do not realize it often takes two or three years to get a bill passed and signed into law. Complicated mea- sures making many changes can even take longer! That's one reason this session was significant• A large number of major bills won approval. The General Assembly took decisive steps to upgrade the state's educational system, implement the state lottery, establish a missing children's information network, and provide public agencies with information on toxic substances used in the workplace• In addition, measures passed by lawmakers now require owners of motor vehicles to maintain liability insurance, allow judges to consider protection of the community in determining bail for persons charged with serious felonies, and allow the terminally ill to order the removal of medical treatment that unduly prolongs their life. I hope you will continue reading this report. Many other bills may affect you personally. This session was exception- ally productive and I worked to resolve the problems you have called to my attention. As always, I am honored to be your representative. Let me know how I can continue to be of service. Estil V. FretweU lence In Education Act Adopted- s major accomplishments was the "Excellence In Education" Act. I served as five House members on the interim committee which formulated this act from the of teachers, administrators and citizens across the state. last year at this time to work on the reform package. We met many times in many s to hear firsthand about the problems facing Missouri's elementary and secon- s a law which I feel will have a lasting impact on our schools -- and our children's gree with every provision, I am proud to have helped provide solutions to state's educational problems. separate areas of reform are singled out in the new law and a number of the key follows: • int Committee on Education composed of House and Senate members is established to on educational improvements and bring educational needs to the attention of the Assembly. districts are required to test students on an annual basis for competency in reading, language arts, science, m.a.thematics,socia! studies, and civics. I dls wmtten disclplme policy cnool , " trict must prepare a " • " . personnel in compliance with code will no longer be civilly liable. which establish "Excellence Programs" in certain areas will be compensated by the on a matching basis. Eligible programs include business-education partnerships, math or writing programs, high technology projects, and many others. for teachers are set at $15,000 for 1986-87; $16,000 for 1987-88; $17,000 for and $18,000 for 1989-90. Those districts meeting local tax effort guidelines will be by the State to meet the minimum salary schedule. in 1988, prospective teachers will be tested before entrance into a teacher educa- Program. Education students must also pass a competency test before receiving a compensation will be available to teachers with satisfactory performance if their district adopts a "career ladder" plan which follows guildelines presented in the new Performanceof school administrators must be evaluated on a regular basis. used to rank 46th in the nation in per capita taxes dedicated to education. Now, state will be contributing an additional $102.5 million through the foundation r $25 million in fiscal year 1985-86 to help fgnd these changes, and local school be expected to do their part in generating funds as well. rmly believe 1985 will be remembered as the year when great strides were taken to on of our young people. With this new law, we have taken many steps in the the floor of the House is one key to • f legislation. Amendments Slated00 Later this year you will be voting on three other constitutional amendments besides the one I introduced. Two of these other constitutional amend- ments pertain to the State Treasurer. One would give theState Treasurer the authority to invest state funds and non-state funds held by the state. The other would establish a cash operating reserve fund in the state treasury. A final constitutional amendment you will be considering would permit the governing body of a city or county to issue general obli- gation bonds for improvements in an area in which two.thirds of the owners of two-thirds of the property petition to be a special benefit district. These measures offer a number of advan- tages and I'm sure you will want to take a further look at them. Bills I Introduced Meet With Success_.__ One of the most rewarding aspects of being a lawmaker is the opportunity to change things. In particular, it is rewarding to take a good idea to the General Assembly and see it added to state statutes. This session, I introduced a number of measures which won passage. One would amend the Missouri Constitution to allow a bill to become law automatically if the gover- nor failed to sign or veto it within specified time limits. Currently, the General Assembly must pass a joint resolution directing the Secretary of State to enroll such a bill before it becomes law. You will have an opportunity to vote on this amendment later, and I feel it will save us all a great deal of expense and inconven- ience in cases where controversial legislation is at stake. Other bills I introduced and passed which benefit various citizens in our district addressed the following topics: * School Transportation/ This measure could help schools in our area a great deal. It allows school districts to receive extra state aid for transportation when the State Board of Education determines that it is warranted. This will allow many rural schools to keep operating their transportation systems when their costs are far above the state average due to sparsity of population. * Readiness Assessment Program/A school district may set up an assess- ment program to determine the readi- ness of any child born between July 1 and September 30 to enter kindergarten or first grade. If the district determines the child is ready, the district will receive state aid even if the child's birthday falls after the cut-off date. Parents of a child bern between July 1 and September 30 may request an assessment even if the district does not have a regular assessment program. * Pesticide Use/It is no longer consi- dered misuse of a pesticide to use a lesser concentration of a pesticide for agricul- tural purposes than is indicated on the label. Requests for pesticide application at a lesser strength must be made in writing. * Employment Security Judicial Review/This proposal provides that the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission will notify the Division of Employment Security when proceedings for judicial review are initiated. At that point, the Division will become a party to the proceedings. * Junior College Funding/ The tax rates in effect for junior college districts in 1984 will not be reduced twice because of an increase in the assessed valuation of property created by reassessment. In addition, the measure provides a method for newly formed public community jun- ior college districts to receive state aid. Missing Children Bill Passed, Each year, thousands of children are reported missing. Some are away from home only a few hours -- but some never return home. A number of those who disappear for good could be located through a concerted effort by law enforcement officials, but in Missouri there has never been an organized system to report missing children and a sub- sequent method of followup. Because Northeast Missouri citizens wished to see this changed, I introduced a bill this year which established procedures for local and state law enforcement officials to follow in relaying reports of missing children to the National Crime Information Center and other agencies. The law also provides for following up cases which are not solved through a spe- cial unit in the State Highway Patrol. The bill was passed by the General Assem- bly as part of an overall package to protect our kids further from persons who would harm them. I feel children are defenseless in many matters and it is up to adults - and lawmakers - to evaluate hazards to their safety and well-being. Child pornography is one case in point. Another provision of the bill establishes a penalty of up to 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $500,000 for those con- victed of promoting child pornography. In addition, the bill makes selling children for profit a felony and allows children to be videotaped when their testimony is needed in abuse and other cases. The bill was included in Governor Ash. croft's list of priority measures for the ses- sion. I think we can all be proud of the fact that input from Northeast Missouri has led to these safeguards. Airport LawEnacted One bill which Sen. Norman Merrell spon- sored and I handled in the House will allow us to improve transportation and general aviation facilities in Northeast Missouri. The bill permits the governing body of a county to establish an airport authority which can acquire and operate one or more airports in that county or an adjoining county. State matching funds for all, port construc- tion are also increased. State Lottery Set As you probably already know, Missouri's first state lottery will be getting underway toward the beginning of 1986. Lawmakers adopted a plan this session for putting the • lottery into operation. Under the plan, the Governor appointed a lottery commission of three people whose names were approved by the State Senate. The commission then appointed a director to be in charge of the day to day lottery operation. The law established guidelines in numer- ous areas including the handling and distri. bution of lottery monies, criminal penalties, conflicts of interest, and contracting proce- dures. The law also eliminated the influence of political patronage in the licensing of sales agents - a provision I worked to ensure. Overall, our concern in drafting the law was to make sure the lottery operates hon- estly and efficiently, To achieve these goals, audits are required. Plus, lottery participants and employees are strictly regulated. As for striking it rich, all lottery winnings are exempt from state taxes prior to July 1, 1988. After that date, winnings of less than $600 will not be taxed at all and prizes of more than $600 will be taxed at 4%. First District Projects Receive Funding Three First District projects will receive funds from the sale of $400 million in state bonds authorized this session. The Battle of Athens State Park in Clark County will receive more than $1 million for the planning, renovation and construction of a visitor's center. Funds for preparation of exhibits, road construction, and stabilization of the hotel are included in this amount. Wakonda State Park in Lewis County will also be making improvements with an addi- tional $104,000. The money will be used for playgrounds, campgrounds, and fire alarms and extinguishers as well as other projects. In addition, a new runway, taxiway, and aircraft parking apron will be constructed at the Memphis Memorial Airport in Scotland County with $350,000 in bond proceeds. Summary of Major Legislation Timesharing Regulations Purchasers of timesharing plans or proper- ties would have the right to cancel within five days of purchase. The attorney general will have final approval of solicitation letters, and the use of gifts in timesharing adverti ing is regulated. Seat Belts To cut down on head injuries and their cost to society, a new law will require motorists to use seat belts starting September 28. The $10 penalty for those who do not wear safety belts does not go into effect until July 1, 1987. Northeast Missouri State University Under a new law, Northeast Missouri State University - presently a regional institution - will become a state-wide institution of lib- eral arts and sciences. The current board of six regents will be replaced by a ten-member board of governors. The new board of gover- nors must submit a three-year plan outlining the program of liberal arts and sciences by January 1, 1987. Living Wills Those 18 or older with a terminal illness can now order the removal of medical treatment which prolongs their life. Witness Immunity This bill permits local prosecutors, with the approval of the attorney general, to offer wit- nesses immunity from prosecution in return for testimony. Hazardous Waste Formerly, companies which produce hazard- ous wastes contributed to the state "Super- fund" for the cleanup of such waste on the basis of the number of people they employed. Under a new law, these companies will now pay fees based on the volume of waste they produce. Companies which treat their waste so it is no longer hazardous will pay only half the regular fee. Mandatory Insurance Motorists must now carry auto liability insur- ance or some other type of financial coverage, Motorists driving without coverage cod lose their license and pay a stiff fine. Right To Know Companies that use or produce toxic sub- stances would have to file information about the hazards and characteristics of the mate- rials with the state Division of Health and local fire departments. Infrastructure Development Improvements to Missouri's highways, streets, bridges, water supply systems, mass transportation facilities, public buildings, jails, prisons, waste water treatment facili- ties, airports, port facilities, and sewers and sewage treatment facilities will now be coor- dinated by a Commission on Infrastructure Development. I I II I II I IIII Estil V. Fretwell Representative, 1st District Room 206A, State Capitol RR #2, Box 227 Jefferson City, MO 65101 Canton, MO 63485 314-751-2092 314-288-3431 J - II I III !,1 ,i:   'I'! i Dear Friend, Many people do not realize it often takes two or three years to get a bill passed and signed into law. Complicated mea- sures making many changes can even take longer! That's one reason this session was significant• A large number of major bills won approval. The General Assembly took decisive steps to upgrade the state's educational system, implement the state lottery, establish a missing children's information network, and provide public agencies with information on toxic substances used in the workplace• In addition, measures passed by lawmakers now require owners of motor vehicles to maintain liability insurance, allow judges to consider protection of the community in determining bail for persons charged with serious felonies, and allow the terminally ill to order the removal of medical treatment that unduly prolongs their life. I hope you will continue reading this report. Many other bills may affect you personally. This session was exception- ally productive and I worked to resolve the problems you have called to my attention. As always, I am honored to be your representative. Let me know how I can continue to be of service. Estil V. FretweU lence In Education Act Adopted- s major accomplishments was the "Excellence In Education" Act. I served as five House members on the interim committee which formulated this act from the of teachers, administrators and citizens across the state. last year at this time to work on the reform package. We met many times in many s to hear firsthand about the problems facing Missouri's elementary and secon- s a law which I feel will have a lasting impact on our schools -- and our children's gree with every provision, I am proud to have helped provide solutions to state's educational problems. separate areas of reform are singled out in the new law and a number of the key follows: • int Committee on Education composed of House and Senate members is established to on educational improvements and bring educational needs to the attention of the Assembly. districts are required to test students on an annual basis for competency in reading, language arts, science, m.a.thematics,socia! studies, and civics. I dls wmtten disclplme policy cnool , " trict must prepare a " • " . personnel in compliance with code will no longer be civilly liable. which establish "Excellence Programs" in certain areas will be compensated by the on a matching basis. Eligible programs include business-education partnerships, math or writing programs, high technology projects, and many others. for teachers are set at $15,000 for 1986-87; $16,000 for 1987-88; $17,000 for and $18,000 for 1989-90. Those districts meeting local tax effort guidelines will be by the State to meet the minimum salary schedule. in 1988, prospective teachers will be tested before entrance into a teacher educa- Program. Education students must also pass a competency test before receiving a compensation will be available to teachers with satisfactory performance if their district adopts a "career ladder" plan which follows guildelines presented in the new Performanceof school administrators must be evaluated on a regular basis. used to rank 46th in the nation in per capita taxes dedicated to education. Now, state will be contributing an additional $102.5 million through the foundation r $25 million in fiscal year 1985-86 to help fgnd these changes, and local school be expected to do their part in generating funds as well. rmly believe 1985 will be remembered as the year when great strides were taken to on of our young people. With this new law, we have taken many steps in the the floor of the House is one key to • f legislation. Amendments Slated00 Later this year you will be voting on three other constitutional amendments besides the one I introduced. Two of these other constitutional amend- ments pertain to the State Treasurer. One would give theState Treasurer the authority to invest state funds and non-state funds held by the state. The other would establish a cash operating reserve fund in the state treasury. A final constitutional amendment you will be considering would permit the governing body of a city or county to issue general obli- gation bonds for improvements in an area in which two.thirds of the owners of two-thirds of the property petition to be a special benefit district. These measures offer a number of advan- tages and I'm sure you will want to take a further look at them. Bills I Introduced Meet With Success_.__ One of the most rewarding aspects of being a lawmaker is the opportunity to change things. In particular, it is rewarding to take a good idea to the General Assembly and see it added to state statutes. This session, I introduced a number of measures which won passage. One would amend the Missouri Constitution to allow a bill to become law automatically if the gover- nor failed to sign or veto it within specified time limits. Currently, the General Assembly must pass a joint resolution directing the Secretary of State to enroll such a bill before it becomes law. You will have an opportunity to vote on this amendment later, and I feel it will save us all a great deal of expense and inconven- ience in cases where controversial legislation is at stake. Other bills I introduced and passed which benefit various citizens in our district addressed the following topics: * School Transportation/ This measure could help schools in our area a great deal. It allows school districts to receive extra state aid for transportation when the State Board of Education determines that it is warranted. This will allow many rural schools to keep operating their transportation systems when their costs are far above the state average due to sparsity of population. * Readiness Assessment Program/A school district may set up an assess- ment program to determine the readi- ness of any child born between July 1 and September 30 to enter kindergarten or first grade. If the district determines the child is ready, the district will receive state aid even if the child's birthday falls after the cut-off date. Parents of a child bern between July 1 and September 30 may request an assessment even if the district does not have a regular assessment program. * Pesticide Use/It is no longer consi- dered misuse of a pesticide to use a lesser concentration of a pesticide for agricul- tural purposes than is indicated on the label. Requests for pesticide application at a lesser strength must be made in writing. * Employment Security Judicial Review/This proposal provides that the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission will notify the Division of Employment Security when proceedings for judicial review are initiated. At that point, the Division will become a party to the proceedings. * Junior College Funding/ The tax rates in effect for junior college districts in 1984 will not be reduced twice because of an increase in the assessed valuation of property created by reassessment. In addition, the measure provides a method for newly formed public community jun- ior college districts to receive state aid. Missing Children Bill Passed, Each year, thousands of children are reported missing. Some are away from home only a few hours -- but some never return home. A number of those who disappear for good could be located through a concerted effort by law enforcement officials, but in Missouri there has never been an organized system to report missing children and a sub- sequent method of followup. Because Northeast Missouri citizens wished to see this changed, I introduced a bill this year which established procedures for local and state law enforcement officials to follow in relaying reports of missing children to the National Crime Information Center and other agencies. The law also provides for following up cases which are not solved through a spe- cial unit in the State Highway Patrol. The bill was passed by the General Assem- bly as part of an overall package to protect our kids further from persons who would harm them. I feel children are defenseless in many matters and it is up to adults - and lawmakers - to evaluate hazards to their safety and well-being. Child pornography is one case in point. Another provision of the bill establishes a penalty of up to 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $500,000 for those con- victed of promoting child pornography. In addition, the bill makes selling children for profit a felony and allows children to be videotaped when their testimony is needed in abuse and other cases. The bill was included in Governor Ash. croft's list of priority measures for the ses- sion. I think we can all be proud of the fact that input from Northeast Missouri has led to these safeguards. Airport LawEnacted One bill which Sen. Norman Merrell spon- sored and I handled in the House will allow us to improve transportation and general aviation facilities in Northeast Missouri. The bill permits the governing body of a county to establish an airport authority which can acquire and operate one or more airports in that county or an adjoining county. State matching funds for all, port construc- tion are also increased. State Lottery Set As you probably already know, Missouri's first state lottery will be getting underway toward the beginning of 1986. Lawmakers adopted a plan this session for putting the • lottery into operation. Under the plan, the Governor appointed a lottery commission of three people whose names were approved by the State Senate. The commission then appointed a director to be in charge of the day to day lottery operation. The law established guidelines in numer- ous areas including the handling and distri. bution of lottery monies, criminal penalties, conflicts of interest, and contracting proce- dures. The law also eliminated the influence of political patronage in the licensing of sales agents - a provision I worked to ensure. Overall, our concern in drafting the law was to make sure the lottery operates hon- estly and efficiently, To achieve these goals, audits are required. Plus, lottery participants and employees are strictly regulated. As for striking it rich, all lottery winnings are exempt from state taxes prior to July 1, 1988. After that date, winnings of less than $600 will not be taxed at all and prizes of more than $600 will be taxed at 4%. First District Projects Receive Funding Three First District projects will receive funds from the sale of $400 million in state bonds authorized this session. The Battle of Athens State Park in Clark County will receive more than $1 million for the planning, renovation and construction of a visitor's center. Funds for preparation of exhibits, road construction, and stabilization of the hotel are included in this amount. Wakonda State Park in Lewis County will also be making improvements with an addi- tional $104,000. The money will be used for playgrounds, campgrounds, and fire alarms and extinguishers as well as other projects. In addition, a new runway, taxiway, and aircraft parking apron will be constructed at the Memphis Memorial Airport in Scotland County with $350,000 in bond proceeds. Summary of Major Legislation Timesharing Regulations Purchasers of timesharing plans or proper- ties would have the right to cancel within five days of purchase. The attorney general will have final approval of solicitation letters, and the use of gifts in timesharing adverti ing is regulated. Seat Belts To cut down on head injuries and their cost to society, a new law will require motorists to use seat belts starting September 28. The $10 penalty for those who do not wear safety belts does not go into effect until July 1, 1987. Northeast Missouri State University Under a new law, Northeast Missouri State University - presently a regional institution - will become a state-wide institution of lib- eral arts and sciences. The current board of six regents will be replaced by a ten-member board of governors. The new board of gover- nors must submit a three-year plan outlining the program of liberal arts and sciences by January 1, 1987. Living Wills Those 18 or older with a terminal illness can now order the removal of medical treatment which prolongs their life. Witness Immunity This bill permits local prosecutors, with the approval of the attorney general, to offer wit- nesses immunity from prosecution in return for testimony. Hazardous Waste Formerly, companies which produce hazard- ous wastes contributed to the state "Super- fund" for the cleanup of such waste on the basis of the number of people they employed. Under a new law, these companies will now pay fees based on the volume of waste they produce. Companies which treat their waste so it is no longer hazardous will pay only half the regular fee. Mandatory Insurance Motorists must now carry auto liability insur- ance or some other type of financial coverage, Motorists driving without coverage cod lose their license and pay a stiff fine. Right To Know Companies that use or produce toxic sub- stances would have to file information about the hazards and characteristics of the mate- rials with the state Division of Health and local fire departments. Infrastructure Development Improvements to Missouri's highways, streets, bridges, water supply systems, mass transportation facilities, public buildings, jails, prisons, waste water treatment facili- ties, airports, port facilities, and sewers and sewage treatment facilities will now be coor- dinated by a Commission on Infrastructure Development. I I II I II I IIII Estil V. Fretwell Representative, 1st District Room 206A, State Capitol RR #2, Box 227 Jefferson City, MO 65101 Canton, MO 63485 314-751-2092 314-288-3431 J - II I III