Rep. Sharice Davids (D) – Kansas City Women’s March – January 19, 2019

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Yesterday’s Kansas City Women’s March was centered at Unity Temple on the Plaza. After the 2:00 p.m. march through the Plaza and back participants gathered for a 3:00 p.m. inside rally, this due to the extreme cold.

Reprentative Sharice Davids (D) spoke at the rally:

Representative Sharice Davids (D) – January 19, 2019.


The transcript:

Representative Sharice Davids (D): …Thank you all for being here today, um, and for, well, actually it’s so much, it’s so much nicer now than any of us anticipated I think, so. Um, I’m grateful for that. Ah, so happy to be here today with all of you. Uh, this will be the third, um, march, rally, uh, that I participated in, the first time I was in Washington, D.C. and I marched with the native women rights group. And then last year, without realizing it, um, I didn’t know that I was going to be running for Congress in that moment but I got to stand on stage with Laura Kelly who is now Kansas’ governor. And now this year I get to be here with all of you.

I’m so excited about the progress that we’ve seen since twenty-sixteen although I now we have a lot more work to do. Um, certainly my victory and Laura Kelly’s victory, which was all of our victories, um, meant a lot in Kansas this last year. But, we all also recognize that twenty-nineteen is gonna be a lot of work. Twenty-twenty is gonna be a lot of work. But we’re here for it. I know we are.

I can’t express, because I’m not as amazing as the poets that stood up here before me today, the honor and privilege that I feel standing in front of you as the Congressional representative for the Third District in Kansas. But I can tell you that the reason that I ran was because I had a lot of faith in the people in Kansas in the Third District and my community. And, this year, Kansas showed up. This year women showed up. LGBT folks, people of color, people of different socio-economic statuses, people with different educational backgrounds, all showed up. And it made a huge difference. And I’m here for that, too.

I knew that we were ready for something different, something that all of us know that our communities stand for. We all want public education, regardless [inaudible]. That we want public education regardless of what zip code you live in, that you should have high quality education. It doesn’t matter who your parents are, it doesn’t matter what your background is, that you are just as deserving of a quality public education as anyone else.

That’s the same for health care. We showed up this year because we know that in the most wealthy country in the world, I heard it from a couple of other speakers, no one should go broke paying for health care. No one should put their family’s ability to have their livelihoods at risk because of something that they can’t control. We all have to worry about our health care. And no one should go broke because of that.

We showed up because we know that those are our values. We know that people, regardless of your background or your socio-economic status, that you, you’re voice should be heard in thi political process.

I ran because I know, I represent a voice that, until Deb Halland and I got elected this year, had never been heard in Congress before. But that didn’t happen because of me, it happened because of all of you. It happened because the people in Kansas showed up. It happened because people on the Missouri side showed up. I know that’s true. It happened because so many of us put our blood, sweat and tears in to this last election cycle in a way that so many of us had not done before.

And a whole bunch of people had. A whole bunch of people have been doing all of this work for so long. And their voices were not being listened to. So many people have been fighting for women’s rights, for LGBT rights, for the rights of Black women, Black men, and Black trans people. And those voices were not being listened to.

But we have started a path of change. This year that’s changing. But the work’s not done. We can clap even though the work’s not done.

We’re at the beginning of a new year that’s gonna be really hard. It already is. I did not anticipate getting sworn in to a closed, partially closed federal government and going to sleep at night knowing that part of the responsibility that I hold is that the decisions I make impact a whole bunch of people that I will never see, a whole bunch of people who are doing work right now and not getting paid for it. Which should never happen, anywhere, and it shouldn’t be [inaudible]. People who are trying to keep us safe.

And I know that a lot of you, probably there are people in this room who are experiencing that right now, that a lot of you care about, not just our federal Civil Service workers and the contractors help keeping, who help keep the federal government going, but also all the people who depend on those federal programs. People who make use of HUD for housing, who make use of SNAP and WIC, so our children and our families in our communities can be fed. All of these things are so important. And it is so heavy going to and from my office and meeting with federal employees and people who are affected by these programs. But I signed up for that.

I intentionally put myself into this process because it matters that we now have more people in Congress who actually know what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck. [inaudible] To have people who are making decisions that this is not a thought experiment for. It’s not a thought experiment for me to be thinking about what it’s like to not have health care. Starting February 1st, when I have healthcare for the first time in over a year.

When so many people in this country know what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck and we have people in the Senate and in the White House who will never understand the pain and that feeling in your chest when you don’t know if you’re gonna to be able to make rent or pay your phone bill or pay for child care or gas to get to work. All of these things that affect all of us are not affecting the people who are sitting in the halls of Congress right now. Until this year, when we have seen so many new people. I’m happy to be part of that class.

So, I’m one of four hundred thirty-five in the House of Representatives right now. But it’s one voice that represents seven hundred thousand people. And each one of us in the House of Representatives has that responsibility. In the Senate there are a hundred of them. And I hope that they will think about the effects of not even voting on the bills that we’re passing because that is unacceptable.

I decided a long time ago that, even though it was not until nineteen twenty-four that Native Americans were recognized as citizens in this country, that, this is a copy of the Constitution. And in this little book is a copy of the Declaration of Independence. And that this is just as much my document a all of yours and the people who signed it. And since I decided that I’ve been keeping a copy of the Constitution with me, all, for like ten years. And, someone bought me this fancy one because I just got in to Congress.

So, the reason that I brought this with me is because I want to encourage everyone to remember that our government has power because the people allow the government to have power.

My favorite line in the Declaration of Independence has to do with the fact that our government derives its just power from the consent of the governed. And that’s all of us.

But recently, one of my more favorite pieces of it is the conclusion. At the end of the Declaration of Independence there’s a pledge. We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.

During the campaign cycle I told a large group of people that I wanted Democracy as bad as I wanted to breathe. And right now I’m making this pledge to all of you. That my life and fortune and honor is tied up with yours. And I pledge that that will always be the case. And if you see actions out of me and that’s not the case, then you should vote for someone else.

Because I need you to help me keep on the right path to keep representing all of you as best I can.

Please stay active. I know you will. Encourage your friends and family to stay active. Because we are making progress. We’re for sure making progress or I wouldn’t be standing here with all of you. And I hope you’ll continue and join me, continuing to support each other. I’m gonna keep supporting as many of you a I can so that we can raise each other up. Because that’s what we’ve been doing these last couple of years. And it’s working. It’s gonna be a long haul, but it’s working. So keep doing it.

Previously:

Kansas City Women’s March – January 19, 2019 (January 19, 2019)

Kansas City Women’s March – January 19, 2019

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Today’s Kansas City Women’s March was centered at Unity Temple on the Plaza – the organizers modifying the march and their earlier rally plans due to the extreme cold weather.

Partcipants gathered in the Unity Temple lobby before the 2:00 p.m. start of the march. Well over five hundred individuals participated in the march.

The march proceeded through the Plaza to Mill Creek Park and back.

“We refuse to be second-class”

“Patriarchy is for Dicks”

“You can’t shut us down”

“You reach back”

“I fight like a girl”

“…since the 1960s”

“There can be no human rights without women’s rights”

“Limp Donald”

“Make integrity great again”

The marchers then returned to Unity Temple for a rally. There were close to a thousand individuals in attendance at the rally.

“Impeach…”

Subornation of perjury – 18 U.S. Code § 1622

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“Россия” (Russia) – a variant of the Russian presidential flag.

There are reports in the news that Donald Trump (r) instructed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress under oath about Trump’s business dealings in Russia.

Charles P. Pierce @CharlesPPierce
Here’s the real truth behind the Buzzfeed story.

Mueller knows everything.
7:00 AM – 18 Jan 2019

Rule of law. Right?

18 U.S. Code § 1622 – Subornation of perjury

Whoever procures another to commit any perjury is guilty of subornation of perjury, and shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

Bad combover. Check. Too long red tie. Check. Orange spray tan. Check. Tiny hands. Check. Cluelessness. Check…

There you have it.

Rep. Jason Smith (r): Puerto Rico is America!

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So, this happened today:

smoky eye @shewhopersists
Replying to @RepJasonSmith

Kyle Griffin @kylegriffin1
The Hill IDs the congressman who yelled “go back to Puerto Rico” at Rep. Tony Cardenas (who’s not from P.R.) as Republican Rep. Jason Smith.

Cardenas: “It’s sad that anything even remotely close to that would be said to me…

4:39 PM – 17 Jan 2019

Oh, my.

Jason Smith (r) represents the 8th Congressional District in Missouri.

“…Nobody knows in America
Puerto Rico’s in America!…”
West Side Story (1957)

There are a lot of responses on Jason Smith’s (r) Twitter account:

You do realize literally everyone in the world would rather go to Puerto Rico than Missouri right? Fodor’s actually ranked you between Myanmar and Honduras in awfulness.

Respectfully, where’s your decorum as a House of Representatives’ member?

Complete lapse of manners to yell “go back to Puerto Rico” while on the floor of our Congress.

You owe the citizens of this nation, and their representatives, an apology for your rudeness.

Shameful!

IOKIYAR*

* it’s okay if you’re a republican

I can’t believe I have to admit you are my rep. You are also a racist ass. Resign you don’t represent our state.

Talk about embarrassing, your behavior is inexcusable.

You really shouted “go back to Puerto Rico?” To a minority colleague on the floor of the house? Boo.

Putz

Your crazy is showing buddy, might wanna tuck that back in.

Didn’t you know Puerto Rico is a part of the United States? You should be ashamed of your behavior. It was not befitting a U.S. Representative.

Heh.

Reprehensible behavior on the House floor today. Extremely disappointed but sadly not shocked. #racism

Thanks for making sure none of us would mistake you for a good person.

Ouch, that one left a mark.

Actually have you been to Puerto Rico? Lately? Helped out much?

I truly hope everyone calls you out repeatedly for your bad behavior. I read people didn’t know who you were, I guess we do now. Congratulations, you’re “that guy that yelled go back to Puerto Rico”. Not that impressive.

Does this rep know Puerto Rico is part of the US? That the people there are US citizens? Would he have told a Congressman to “go back to Sioux Falls”?

I heard what you said on the House floor. It was unbecoming of your title to behave in this manner. #PuertoRico = Americans. You spoke in a negative manner about Americans. Apologize then resign.

The people you represent must be so embarrassed by you. Very sad for them.

Resign you racist! Have all of you lost your minds??

You need to be removed from Congress!!
#Racist f*ck
You don’t represent my #America

Oh, my.

So does being from Puerto Rico somehow diminish his ability to legislate, or his humanity? Does it make him any less an American in your view?

Did you yell “go back to Puerto Rico” at a fellow congressman?

Apparently he did.

Republican Congressman is offended at the decorum of a colleague, yet shouts a clearly racist remark at a MEXICAN descended colleague to go back to puerto rico. You can try to spin however you like, but you were clearly going for racism Mr Smith.

Life in the minority is tough.

You shouted “Go back to Puerto Rico” to @RepCardenas.
– Puerto Rico is part of the U.S.
– Mister Cardenas is not born in Puerto Rico.

Did you really yell “go back to Puerto Rico?” Because if you did, I think you should resign.

Ridiculous. You yell at a House Rep to “go back to Puerto Rico” and expect us to take you seriously? Apologize.

You and your behavior today has been identified. I’m guessing you’re cool with your racism considering how comfortable you were screaming “go back to Puerto Rico” at a Hispanic congressmen. Nice to see such great workplace behavior.

There are hundreds of responses.

Campaign Finance: they Gerrymandered fair and square

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Today at the Missouri Ethics Commission for a republican funded initiative to reverse the redistricting reform of CLEAN Missouri overwhelmingly approved by the voters in November:

C180700 01/17/2019 Fair Missouri Republican State Committee PO Box 73 Jefferson City MO 65102 1/17/2019 $50,000.00

[emphasis added]

Of course, right after the November 2018 general election:

C180700 11/21/2018 Fair Missouri Republican State Committee PO Box 73 Jefferson City MO 65102 11/21/2018 $150,000.00

That is so, you know, grassrootsie. We can’t wait to see the astroturf (fake grassroots) ad campaign.

Previously:

Gerrymander (November 16, 2018)

Gerrymander – illustrated (November 17, 2018)

Campaign Finance: the smell of fear (November 21, 2018)

Gov. Mike Parson (r): State of the State

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Governor Mike Parson (r) [2018 file photo].

Governor Mike Parson (r) delivered his State of the State address at the capitol in Jefferson City this afternoon.

His remarks:

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Thank you Lieutenant Governor Kehoe,Speaker Haahr, President Pro-Tem Schatz, Judges of the Missouri Supreme Court, Distinguished state officials, Members of the 100th General Assembly and my fellow Missourians.

I am honored and proud to stand before you this afternoon as the fifty-seventh Governor of the state of Missouri.

And, one of the highest honors I have as Governor is to introduce the First Lady of the State of Missouri Teresa Parson. I am so proud of her and the grace she brings to her position as First Lady. And I look forward to the days when we have more time to spend with each other, our family, and our grandchildren. But, until that time, our dedication will be to the people of the State of Missouri.

Months ago I came into office amid rare and unique circumstances, yet the focus from day one of my administration was putting the people of Missouri first where they belong, ahead of partisan differences or personal gain. We traveled to every corner of this great State, we listened, we heard, and we learned.

I stand before you today to share a vision. A vision that will chart Missouri’s future into the next decade. Missouri is dear to my heart, and by working together, we can protect and build a Missouri that is successful for the next generation.

The more we listened, the more it became clear that the people of Missouri are ready for bold solutions.

Even when times are good, Missourians still face many issues and have a frustration with government that often works to protect the status quo and is unwilling to take bold steps.

However, to move Missouri forward, we must take bold steps and tackle big issues. I will commit to you that bold ideas and tough challenges will not be something we shy away from, but my administration is willing to work with this legislature in a disciplined and focused way, and together, we can achieve big results and lay a solid foundation for our state’s future.

It’s time to have an honest conversation about the challenges we face and the solutions we need.

The honest truth is that we have not been as efficient as we can be. We don’t promote our state, our resources, and our people as best we should, and we have not prepared our state well enough for the future. And every Missourian deserves better. Make no mistake about it, we have before us one of the greatest opportunities, by working together to improve Missouri and to be the best in the United States of America.

The longer we delay and avoid tough decisions, the bigger our problems become. Many of us are willing to admit this, and I hope you can agree that we cannot afford to delay action any longer. I am asking for your help to move Missouri forward and deliver results, because after all, we are the Show Me State.

What this means in practical terms is that we have to be honest about our priorities and united in our focus. As elected officials, we are good at declaring priorities. While some of our priorities may not be the same, when we try to make everything a priority, the fact is nothing is truly a priority.

So let me be crystal clear, cultivating and training our workforce for high-demand jobs and investing in critical infrastructure are the priorities we must address this session.

As I have traveled the state, I know these are issues important to every single one of your districts, whether republican or democrat, urban or rural, we have good reason to work together to achieve real results for all Missourians.

By addressing these issues now, we will make major investments for the next generations of the state of Missouri.

There of course will be other issues that are important, like passing tax credit reform, working to make government more efficient and more accountable, protecting freedoms and promoting a culture of life, and passing regulatory and venue reform.

All of which must be done.

But our focus for the state of Missouri to thrive both now and into the future are on two key priorities, workforce development and infrastructure.

Let me tell you a story about a young man with us today. Troy is an eighth grader from Eldon who has experienced some hardships in his life. Troy’s struggles are not unlike many families across Missouri. Quaker Windows is a Missouri based company that has developed a partnership with Eldon Schools to ensure students like Troy have a mentor all throughout high school. And, to make sure that he not only receives a quality education and training, but he is also taught valuable life skills, like, the importance of showing up on time and having a strong work ethic. Quaker Windows and Eldon Schools have a community partnership. This example should be a model of how we approach new efforts to train the next generation of workers. Please welcome Troy who is with us here today.

We must consider making necessary changes to our education programs and update the training pipelines to ensure economic growth in Missouri.

Our true dedication should be to build and create wealth not redistribute it.

For example, Missouri’s high school graduation rate is higher than most states. This is something we should all be proud of, however, we fall behind other states when we look at postsecondary education. We are well into the 21st century, and yes, extra levels of education are needed to meet the demands of our workforce. And these jobs are going to provide higher wages which will benefit Missouri families.

This is why my budget calls for a total investment of nearly seventy-five million dollars into bold and innovative workforce development programs.

Consider those programs that build off the many projects we already have in place like NGA West, Boeing’s TX, Nucor Steel, and many others.

When combined with our current economic development tools all can be tremendously successful.

In today’s world, a higher level of education should not simply mean getting college degrees. This is why I am advocating that we provide twenty-two million dollars to fund a program known as Fast Track. Fast Track will allow Missourians to receive advanced training in high-demand areas largely taught at our community colleges, technical schools, and colleges and universities. This will open the doors for Missourians to have opportunities to earn more money for their hard work. Fast Track will benefit tens of thousands of Missourians from every corner of the state.

But, to have a laser-like focus, we can’t stop there. We must also start integrating employer and industry-led input into the needs and demands of the workforce, like increasing Industry Recognized Credentials as part of our high school curriculum.

To further workforce development, this focus must also extend into the economic development tools we use as well.

As a result, we are going to consolidate, repurpose, and add flexibility to a series of incentives we currently offer into a more streamlined program called Missouri One Start. That is why I am adding ten million dollars to the Missouri One Start program, to help place a greater emphasis on building out the workforce needs and for job creation projects, so companies who use them are forced to plant deeper roots here in Missouri and become longer and more substantial partners.

Also we are providing sixteen million dollars for Missouri Excels, a program for Missouri higher education institutions to develop and expand employer-driven education, training programs, and initiatives to increase career readiness.

Finally, when looking ahead, we know that we are up against the clock, competing with every other state across the country, but Missouri will be ready, with the right tools in the toolbox. We’ll be ready to ensure our state will move forward in workforce development and all Missourians will prosper.

Not only is workforce development going to be a priority, but to ensure future success, we also need to take a serious look at long term investments in Missouri’s infrastructure. When we talk about infrastructure, we can no longer just think about bricks and mortar, roads and bridges, but also the location in which people look to invest capital and operate the economy of the future. One of those areas in Missouri is high-speed broadband access. We currently have about ten school districts and many rural communities that lack access to high speed broadband, and that is unacceptable. Most recently, thanks to the President and our federal delegation Missouri secured two hundred twenty-five million dollars for the expansion of broadband to connect our state. With this exciting opportunity, it is also important we at the state provide funding to cover the gaps in delivering broadband. That is why my budget calls for an additional five million dollars in broadband funding to close the gap that exists in federal funds, and truly give the highest impact for Missourians.

Another area of focus is to put a greater emphasis on our Missouri ports. Located in the heart of the country we are at the center of major opportunities, especially with the expansion of the Panama Canal. Missouri’s agriculture and manufacturing industries have no better route to global expansion than delivering our high quality products to the world through our waterways. In addition to our rivers Missouri has one of the largest highway systems in the country, and since we sit at the nexus of east and west, this system receives a great deal of strain.

Nonetheless, we maintain this system with one of the lowest levels of funding in the country.

Over the years, we have seen proposals go before the voters and fail, but this cannot and does not mean we are expected to do nothing. This is why I am asking you to consider an infrastructure plan. While funded through our budget savings, it will give us the ability to begin immediate work on nearly two hundred fifty bridges across the state of Missouri, all in need of critical repair or replacement. By doing so, we will be freeing up nearly three hundred fifty million dollars in state and federal resources, allowing us to accelerate MoDOT’s current list of state infrastructure projects.

Also, we will be adding a fifty million dollar cost sharing program to assist our cities and counties to help address the most serious infrastructure needs in our local areas. In fact, this raises the challenge for each of us to find even more creative ways to locate savings to make more substantial investments in our infrastructure without a tax increase to the people of Missouri.

These priorities did not come without some tough decisions, but as I said to you before if we are to deliver on meaningful priorities to the people of Missouri, tough decisions must be made.

As many of you know, the Department of Corrections is faced with many challenges. And, we will not shy away from these challenges. As a former sheriff and law enforcement officer for over twenty-two years I understand, firsthand, the importance of re-entry programs and alternative sentencing. We need to be more efficient in these programs so we truly offer a second chance and as Governor, I am not interested in building more prisons.

In fact, we’ve identified a plan to consolidate the operations at Crossroads and Western Missouri facilities in Cameron, Missouri. This decision is largely driven by our dedication to find efficiencies wherever we can in state government and this can be done while ensuring safety, improving security, and delivering a much needed pay raise. All being done with no layoffs.

Not only are we making tough decision within the Department of Corrections, but our budget recommends another major change to reorganize and streamline the efforts of the departments of economic development and higher education, a plan which will make our government more efficient.

We have to start focusing more on the importance of outcome in state government and less on arguing over the inputs. While this restructuring is important for the people of Missouri, I also want to be very clear that the problem is not our state workforce. To the contrary, I have found overwhelmingly that we have a remarkable and dedicated state workforce. But, we as elected leaders must do a better job clearly identifying expectations and priorities, communicating and managing responsibilities, and providing better training to promote our success.

Many of us in this chamber have programs in state government we think are important to our people, but as time goes by, Governors change and legislators return home and these programs grow with little oversight or accountability. The result is an expanding bureaucracy which becomes less efficient for the people of Missouri.

Under my administration, we are going to fundamentally restructure state government, demand greater efficiency and accountability, and improve our customer service to all Missourians. I’ll admit this is going to take some time, but we are not going to put it off any longer. It will start today.

Just like families across Missouri having a responsible budget is important and a way of life. For the first time in more than a decade, the Governor’s budget does not plan to spend every tax dollar. We have a business smart budget that saves nearly one hundred twenty million dollars to ensure we are prepared for any unexpected expenses. Our budget also proposes a reduction of nearly four hundred thirty government positions, all while maintaining our conservative approach to managing and streamlining government services. In fact, our administration recently completed the state’s largest deregulation effort, eliminating nearly one out of every five state regulations.

And, each of the initiatives I have laid out would not be possible without the drive, commitment, and dedication of the Cabinet because we will not be able to achieve the type of common sense conservative reforms and restructuring Missouri needs without the remarkable talent and leadership in this administration. Please join me in recognizing the entire Cabinet seated in the upper gallery. It is important to understand that being a good leader is not about being the best, but rather about your ability to make those around you better. Every day my staff and Cabinet are committed and focused to making all of us better, pushing one another to make Missouri a better place.

Just weeks after I took office quick decisions had to be made on over a hundred legislative items and the twenty-eight billion dollar state budget had to be approved. By working together, we were able to save millions of taxpayer dollars and implement the largest tax cut in Missouri’s history.

After taking the oath of office this summer, Missouri faced some tough and difficult times. We experienced one of the worst droughts Missouri had witnessed for many years. I called the administration together, and we reviewed our options. To no surprise, we learned that the typical state government response was a series of requests to the federal government for assistance. We believed that was simply unacceptable for the farmers and families of Missouri. And instead of pushing paper it was time for us to do more. Through the teamwork between the Departments of Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Conservation we put Missouri state government to work for its people and delivered meaningful relief by working together.

Again, several weeks later, we experienced tough times when seventeen individuals tragically lost their lives in the Branson incident. It was through the efforts of both state and local officials, including nearly every state department that Missouri was able to quickly respond, recover, and offer immediate assistance to those in dire need.

We had tough times when we lost three local law enforcement officers, and six others were shot in the line of duty. Thankfully, by God’s grace, three members of the Kansas City Police Department are with us this afternoon after being shot in the line of duty. Please welcome these officers Matt Williams, Brent Cartwright, and Michael De-Laney. As a former sheriff, I understand what it’s like to lose an officer in the line of duty, and we owe ALL these brave men and women a debt of gratitude for their dedication to public safety.

It’s only a matter of time before we again face tough situations but by faith and working together, we can and we will move Missouri forward.

I was proud that we were able to come together during a special session to finish your legislative priorities and pass meaningful reform to our drug courts and create opportunities for STEM education in our high schools.

These are the successes I am confident we will be able to expect this legislative session because I am also willing to acknowledge no one person or party has a monopoly on good ideas, but the best ideas are those that will serve the people of Missouri.

A key part of our efforts to improve Missouri’s workforce and infrastructure is improving our citizen’s health and healthcare by developing better access to providers and hospitals. Almost forty percent of Missourians live in rural areas and, we are committed to making sure they too have access to both preventive and emergency care.

In addition, we will be providing a substantial increase to help those facing the challenges of mental health, expand telemedicine technology, fight the opioid crisis, and better serve those in need.

I’d also like to introduce another very special guest here this afternoon, my great niece Zoey who is one of thousands living with the challenges of Autism. The First Lady and I are deeply committed to doing all that we can to learn more about, to promote awareness, and to advance Autism research. That is why we are advocating for one million dollars to ensure families and parents have access to the right resources and are equipped to deal with the challenges that come with caring for a loved one with Autism. Please welcome my great niece Zoey and her family to the chamber.

And, while my focus this legislative session will be on workforce development and infrastructure we have already started intense planning for next session because we must also curb Medicaid costs, which accounts for over ten billion dollars of the state budget, and that is the reason why I hired Director Todd Richardson to lead this charge. Safeguarding the integrity of the Missouri Medicaid program is vital to the state of Missouri, nearly one-third of Missouri’s entire budget is devoted to the Medicaid program. It must be run with the highest level of integrity to ensure every tax dollar is accounted for.

When I began this afternoon, I said it was time to have an honest conversation. A big part of that conversation had to revolve around all of us recognizing we can do better, and as your Governor, I am committed to trying to get better every day myself. I am willing to make the tough decisions that will put our state in a better position.

If we truly care about the next generation I am absolutely confident that by focusing on the major issues of workforce development and infrastructure. Together, we will have a successful legislative session because, these are the issues that will benefit all Missourians.

In closing, I will leave you with a story about a young student that lives by these ten, two-letter words:

“If it is to be, it is up to me.”

These words have stayed with me after hearing his inspirational story. This young man had reached rock bottom and considered ending his life, but chose to overcome his obstacles and instead succeed in life. When asked what motivated him, he mentioned those ten, two-letter words, “If it is to be, it is up to me.”

Even as someone with my share of gray hair, I have to say that is wise advice. If the American dream is to live on I challenge all of us to remember those ten, two-letters words with one change:

“If it is to be, it is up to us.”

It is an honor and privilege to be the fifty-seventh Governor of the State of Missouri. God bless you, God bless the great state of Missouri, and God bless the United States of America.

“…Our true dedication should be to build and create wealth not redistribute it…”

Uh, doesn’t that go both ways? Just asking.

“…our budget recommends another major change to reorganize and streamline the efforts of the departments of economic development and higher education, a plan which will make our government more efficient…”

There’s a distinct difference between training and education. It would be a big mistake to conflate the two.

“…For the first time in more than a decade, the Governor’s budget does not plan to spend every tax dollar…”

Wait, didn’t you earlier intimate that we had to prioritize use of resource and we couldn’t meet every need? They’re called needs for a reason.

“…In fact, our administration recently completed the state’s largest deregulation effort, eliminating nearly one out of every five state regulations…”

Uh, wait, I hope none of those discarded regulations had anything to do with drinking water, the air we all breathe, food safety, public health, transportation safety, etc…

“…because we will not be able to achieve the type of common sense conservative reforms and restructuring Missouri needs without the remarkable talent and leadership in this administration…”

Well, Eric Greitens’ (r) administration did have issues.

“…It is important to understand that being a good leader is not about being the best, but rather about your ability to make those around you better…”

We are eternally thankful that you didn’t say, “Be best!”

“…To no surprise, we learned that the typical state government response was a series of requests to the federal government for assistance. We believed that was simply unacceptable for the farmers and families of Missouri…”

Uh, isn’t that one of the reasons why we pay federal taxes? Or do you just want our federal taxes to go to other states? You know, like in the case of Medicaid expansion?

“…A key part of our efforts to improve Missouri’s workforce and infrastructure is improving our citizen’s health and healthcare by developing better access to providers and hospitals…”

You mean like through Medicaid expansion? Just asking.

“…Almost forty percent of Missourians live in rural areas and, we are committed to making sure they too have access to both preventive and emergency care…”

You mean like through Medicaid expansion? Just asking.

Uh, how many rural hospitals have closed in Missouri in the past couple of years? Just asking.

“…we have already started intense planning for next session because we must also curb Medicaid costs..”

Uh, this one is incompatible with your previous statements on access to health care in this very same address. You do know that Medicaid has a very low administrative overhead when compared to other health insurance programs (including private health insurance), right?

MEDICAID TOPICS State-By-State Comparisons Administrative Costs
Medicaid Administrative Costs (MACs) are among the lowest of any health care payer in the country. MACs are significantly less than private health insurance plans; typically in the range of four to six percent of claims paid. By comparison, a health maintenance organization (HMO) with administrative costs of eight to twelve percent of claims paid would be regarded as efficient and a well-run commercial health insurer typically would have administrative costs of 15 to 20 percent of claims paid. No insurer has more limited administrative costs than Medicaid. Researchers at Harvard found that 31 cents of every dollar spent on health care in the United States pays administrative costs (nearly double the rate in Canada, by contrast).

Medicaid: True Or False?
…Administrative costs of Medicaid are less than 7 percent, or half the rate that’s typically seen in the private sector. Medicaid holds down costs in part by paying providers lower fees and doing little marketing…

Uh, yep.

“…It must be run with the highest level of integrity to ensure every tax dollar is accounted for…”

Well, apparently, that already is the case.

“If it is to be, it is up to us.”

At least it’s not “Be best.” That’s a good thing.

HB 577: for God’s sake…

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Ladies and Gentlemen, our Missouri General Assembly:

“Useless laws weaken the necessary laws.” – Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu (1689 – 1755)

Dean Dohrman (r) [2017 file photo].

A bill introduced today by Representative Dean Dohrman (r):

HB 577
Requires school districts to display “In God We Trust” in prominent locations in all schools
Sponsor: Dohrman, Dean (051)
Proposed Effective Date: 8/28/2019
LR Number: 0953H.01I
Last Action: 01/15/2019 – Introduced and Read First Time (H)
Bill String: HB 577
Next House Hearing: Hearing not scheduled
Calendar: Bill currently not on a House calendar
[….]

You think painted in three foot high letters at the center jump circle on the school basketball courts will be enough?

…All others pay cash.

HB 508: restoring voting rights

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Representative Bruce Franks, Jr. (D) [2019 file photo].

Representative Bruce Franks, Jr. (D) introduced HB 508 which restores voting rights to individuals on probation for a felony by removing that voting prohibition in statute.

The bill as introduced:

FIRST REGULAR SESSION
HOUSE BILL NO. 508 [pdf]
100TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY

INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVE FRANKS JR. 0276H.01I DANA RADEMAN MILLER, Chief Clerk

AN ACT

To repeal section 115.133, RSMo, and to enact in lieu thereof one new section relating to voter qualification.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:

Section A. Section 115.133, RSMo, is repealed and one new section enacted in lieu 2 thereof, to be known as section 115.133, to read as follows: 115.133.

1. Except as provided in subsection 2 of this section, any citizen of the United States who is a resident of the state of Missouri and seventeen years and six months of age or older shall be entitled to register and to vote in any election which is held on or after his eighteenth birthday.

2. No person who is adjudged incapacitated shall be entitled to register or vote. No person shall be entitled to vote:
(1) While confined under a sentence of imprisonment; or
(2) After conviction of a felony or misdemeanor connected with the right of suffrage.

3. Except as provided in federal law or federal elections and in section 115.277, no person shall be entitled to vote if the person has not registered to vote in the jurisdiction of his or her residence prior to the deadline to register to vote.

The text of the removed provision [in bold]:

“…No person who is adjudged incapacitated shall be entitled to register or vote. No person shall be entitled to vote: While on probation or parole after conviction of a felony, until finally discharged from such probation or parole…”

State Auditor Nicole Galloway (D) – oath of office

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Today in Jefferson City State Auditor Nicole Galloway (D) took the oath of office at a swearing in ceremony inside the state capitol.

State Auditor Nicole Galloway (D) [2018 file photo]..

Via Twitter:

Auditor Galloway @AuditorGalloway
“I’m so proud to renew my oath of office today and to expand on the great work we have accomplished.”
[….]
3:25 PM – 14 Jan 2019

Four more years. That’s a really, really good thing.

Previously:

Nicole Galloway (D) appointed State Auditor (April 15, 2015)

Defeated Republican challenger for State Auditor raises $67,227.81, gets 1,060,066 votes (November 7, 2018)

Minority Leader Crystal Quade (D): at the opening of the legislative session – January 9, 2019

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After the opening of the legislative session on Wednesday the majority party and the minority party held separate press availabilities in the House Lounge. Speaker Elijah Haahr, on behalf of the Republican majority, did not make a statement but did take questions from the media. Later, House Democratic Minority Leader Crystal Quade, on behalf of House Democrats, made remarks and then took questions from the media.

House Democratic Minority Leader Crystal Quade – January 9, 2019.

Representative Quade’s remarks:

House Democratic Minority Leader Crystal Quade: Good afternoon. House Democrats are excited and energized as we begin the benchmark hundredth general assembly. Though few in number, we are bold and strong in our convictions. We are determined to act in the best interests of all Missourians and hold the majority accountable when it fails to do so.

Our priorities for twenty-nineteen, as they have always been for Democrats, include fighting for quality and affordable public education for all Missourians, access to affordable and quality health care for all Missourians, and defending rights for all workers throughout Missouri.

This year House Democrats are also committed to defending the will of Missouri voters. As you know voters stood with progressive value in November – from increasing the statewide minimum wage, to legalizing medical marijuana, to enacting major redistricting and legislative ethics reform. We also overwhelmingly rejected the Republican push to undermine workers’ ability to organize and defend their rights.

House Democrats will do all we can to stop the majority from balancing their tax cuts on the backs of school children, the elderly and disabled, and working families. Democrat will fight for a balanced budget that put every day Missourians first. And because of these Republican reckless tax policies that have sharply reduced state revenue collection Missouri will once again be faced with difficult financial choices. Democrats will insure that the state’s most important investments – in our people – are not on the chopping block.

[….]

Representative Steven Roberts (D).

Representative Deb Lavender (D).

Previously:

The opening of the legislative session – in the House – January 9, 2019 (January 9, 2019)

The opening of the legislative session – in the House – photos – January 9, 2019 (January 10, 2019)