Richard (R-MO) was elected to the Missouri Senate in 2010. Previously, he served in the Missouri House of Representatives, including as Speaker of the House. His education includes having attending Missouri Southern State University and Missouri State University.
Senator Richard's legislative review
The General Assembly sent two bills to the governor this week. Senate Bill 20, which includes a provision based on legislation I filed this year, renews and extends the sunset on a number of important benevolent tax credits. These programs help support organizations that provide critical aid to Missouri families. I was happy to see this bill pass so quickly out of the legislature. It contains an emergency clause, which means it will go into effect upon executive approval.
We also sent Senate Bill 10, which I co-sponsored, to the governorís desk. The bill creates a tax incentive to attract amateur sporting events to the state. These events are a huge economic boost to the communities that host them. I would like to acknowledge Jim Frazier, Past Director of Joplin Sports Authority for his efforts regarding this bill. He has worked hard so Joplin can compete in hosting these events.
The Missouri Senate approved a handful of measures this week, including Senate Joint Resolution 16, which, upon voter approval, would implement a temporary one cent sales and use tax to fund transportation. We also approved Senate Bill 29, which gives members of public unions more freedom in choosing how their dues are collected and used.
A resident in Stoddard County recently filed a lawsuit against the Missouri Department of Revenue over the alleged collecting and scanning of private documents for residents seeking concealed carry gun permits. The documents were then sent to a private company which specializes in partnering with state and federal governments.
This news was disturbing, to say the least. State law prohibits this information from being shared with the federal government. Lawmakers were justifiably concerned, but when we inquired at the department about the issue, we were assured this wasnít taking place. We now know we were misled.
We have also been informed the private company collecting the data has had problems keeping these documents secure. During committee, it was discussed that documents in Texas and Virginia have been stolen and, in turn, millions of identities have been taken...[and] this is definitely an issue that needs to be addressed. We will continue investigating these charges until we know exactly whatís going on and can take the necessary steps to stop any inappropriate actions.
On Monday, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources announced Webb City will receive a $12,000 grant through the federal Historic Preservation Fund. The city plans to use the funds to register three historic districts in the downtown area. Preserving state history is of the highest importance, and I was glad to see Webb City receive this grant.....
The Missouri Department of Conservation continues to help the communities of Joplin and Duquesne replant trees in areas impacted by the May 2011 tornado. This project has been a joint effort involving a multitude of donors, volunteers, and agencies. This year the department is helping provide free trees to the homes of Joplin and Duquesne. Applications for trees may be picked up at the Joplin Park Office, 3010 W. 1st and Duquesne City Hall, 1501 South Duquesne Rd. or apply online here. For more information on volunteering for this tree distribution, or if you have questions, please contact the departmentís urban forester, Jon Skinner at (417) 629-3423, ext. 27.
Next week the Senate will stand in recess for our annual spring break. We will return on Monday, Mar. 25, 2013, for the last half of the 2013 session.