Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New Senate Committee to Oversee Expected Federal Stimulus Funds

Senate Leader Charlie Shields (R-St. Joseph) yesterday (1/26) appointed lawmakers to the newly created Senate Select Committee on Oversight of Federal Stimulus , which is charged with studying and analyzing strategies for securing the maximum amount of federal dollars for Missouri that will likely come from the anticipated federal economic stimulus plan.

Sen. Shields named Sen. Scott T. Rupp (R-Wentzville) as chair and Sen. Rita Heard Days (D-St. Louis) as vice-chair. The committee has invited the governor, lieutenant governor and all members of Missouri’s Congressional delegation to speak before the committee to share information and strategies for securing a share of the economic stimulus package for Missouri.

The committee was created so the Legislature can act quickly, if necessary, to modify and adopt state laws so as not to impede the state’s ability to receive a portion of the stimulus funds. States that show the ability to invest in and complete projects quickly will be more likely to receive grants from the federal economic stimulus package, Sen. Shields said.

Thirteen senators were named to the committee for their specific knowledge and their district’s relationship with the 13 primary areas of federal government. The members are:

 

  • Sen. Chuck Purgason (R-Caulfield) for agriculture
  • Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-Glendale) for commerce
  • Sen. David Pearce (R-Warrensburg) for defense
  • Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) for education
  • Sen. Luann Ridgeway (R-Smithville) for energy
  • Sen. Tom Dempsey (R-St. Charles) for health
  • Sen. Rita Heard Days for housing and urban development
  • Sen. Scott T. Rupp for the interior (conservation and natural resources)
  • Sen. Jack Goodman (R-Mt. Vernon) for justice
  • Sen. Victor Callahan (D-Independence) for labor
  • Sen. Jolie Justus (D-Kansas City) for science
  • Sen. Bill Stouffer (R-Napton) for transportation
  • Sen. Jason Crowell (R-Cape Girardeau) for veterans’ affairs

 

The Senate Select Committee on Oversight of Federal Stimulus Plan will hold its first meeting this Wednesday, January 28, in Senate Committee Room 1 at 2 p.m.

 

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Senate Committee Appointments Begin

JEFFERSON CITY — Senate President Pro Tem Charlie Shields (R-St. Joseph) has begun filling the various standing Senate committees, including today announcing his appointments to the Senate Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics Committee and the Gubernatorial Appointments Committee.

The Senate Rules Committee considers any issues that may arise relating to the governing rules of the Senate, as well as ensures that each bill and amendment is properly drafted and printed. Appointed to the committee are Chairman Sen. Kevin Engler (R-Farmington), Vice-Chairman Sen. Gary Nodler (R-Joplin), Sen. Norma Champion (R-Springfield), Sen. Shields, Sen. Joan Bray (D-St. Louis) and Sen. Timothy Green (D-St. Louis)

The Gubernatorial Appointments Committee considers the nomination of constituents for appointment by the governor to state boards and commissions. Sitting on the committee are Chairman Sen. Shields, Vice-Chairman Sen. Engler, Sen. Champion, Sen. Dan Clemens (R-Marshfield), Sen. Jason Crowell (R-Cape Girardeau), Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-Glendale), Sen. Victor Callahan (D-Independence), Sen. Ryan McKenna (D-Crystal City) and Sen. Robin Wright-Jones (D-St. Louis).

For more information about the events and legislation in the Missouri Senate, visit www.senate.mo.gov. To contact Senate Communications, call (573) 751-3824 or e-mail newsroom@senate.mo.gov.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Missouri Senators Attend Educational Seminars

JEFFERSON CITY — Today Missouri senators attended the first of several seminars in the coming weeks designed to give them additional knowledge on many of the issues they will be tackling throughout the 2009 legislative session.

Senate Leader Charlie Shields (R-St. Joseph) scheduled these seminars to help give the senators a solid grasp on the issues so the General Assembly can get an early start on crafting legislation this year. Experts in each subject area will be on hand to present information and answer questions.

Today’s seminar focused on the current and future energy policies for the state, with special attention given to alternative and renewable energy efforts. Representatives from utility companies and energy producers were in attendance.

Tomorrow (1/14) legislators will hear presentations that focus on life sciences and health insurance. The first will touch on how Missouri can remain viable in the life sciences industry and emerge as a leader in science and technology and the latter will focus on health insurance affordability and the uninsured.

For more information about the events and legislation in the Missouri Senate, visit www.senate.mo.gov. To contact Senate Communications, call (573) 751-3824 or e-mail newsroom@senate.mo.gov.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Senators Attend Inaugural Ceremonies

JEFFERSON CITY — Senators convened with representatives in a Joint Session on the steps of the Capitol today (1/12) to attend the inauguration of statewide officials, including the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, state treasurer and secretary of state.

This evening senators will have an opportunity to mingle with their colleagues, the public and other state officials. Lawmakers will attend the Grand March, which will be held inside the Capitol, where they will be introduced along with their family. The Grand March is followed by the Inaugural Ball.

For more information about the events and legislation in the Missouri Senate, visit www.senate.mo.gov. To contact Senate Communications, call (573) 751-3824 or e-mail newsroom@senate.mo.gov.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Six New Senators Take Office as 2009 Legislative Session Begins

JEFFERSON CITY — Six new faces will soon be familiar fixtures in the Missouri Senate as the individuals elected in November 2008 officially became senators today (1/7).

Sen. Jane Cunningham (R-Chesterfield), replacing Sen. John Loudon in the 7th District; Sen. Jim Lembke (R-St. Louis), replacing Sen. Harry Kennedy in the 1st District; Sen. David Pearce (R-Warrensburg), replacing Attorney General-elect Chris Koster in the 31st District; Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia), replacing Sen. Chuck Graham in the 19th District; Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-Glendale), replacing former Senate President Pro Tem Michael Gibbons in the 15th District; and Sen. Robin Wright-Jones (D-St. Louis), replacing former Senate Minority Floor Leader Maida Coleman in the 5th District, were all sworn in as the First Regular Session of the 95th General Assembly convened today at noon. All of the senators re-elected for a second term also took the oath of office.

Newly confirmed Senate President Pro Tem Charles W. Shields (R-St. Joseph) was unanimously elected to his new post by the upper chamber. As is custom, he addressed the Senate during the opening ceremony. Sen. Shields expressed his desire to create a common vision and purpose for Missouri in the coming years, as well to make the state among the best in the nation in the areas of business, education and health care.

In regular Senate business, more than 160 pre-filed bills were read for the first time today on the Senate floor.

For more information about the events and legislation in the Missouri Senate, visit www.senate.mo.gov. To contact Senate Communications, call (573) 751-3824 or e-mail newsroom@senate.mo.gov.