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World War II Veterans
On April 12, Ozarks Honor Flight will be sending WWII veterans from our area on a trip to Washington D.C. Since November 2009, the group has organized and managed the transport of veterans to see their World War II Memorial and other commemorative sites, at no cost to the veterans. This is an important program that honors our WWII veterans and shows our deepest gratitude for their service. I have been honored to join them on a flight in the past, and I know the deep impact the program makes on the participants and volunteers.
One group that deserves special recognition is a group of Nixa High School students and staff that raised $6,500 to help Ozarks Honor Flight. The money was raised during a yearlong fundraiser led by the school’s history department.
I would like to encourage members of the community to get involved in this important program. One way you can participate is by welcoming the veterans home from their trip on April 12. A group will be gathering at the Springfield Airport around 9:30 p.m. Bring a small American flag and be ready to give these heroes the welcome that they deserve.
Ozarks Honor Flight is definitely a community effort, but there are a few individuals that play a significant role in keeping the program going. These include VFW Ozark Post 7628 members:
* Bill Edwards, treasurer for the Ozarks Honor Flight and Quartermaster for the post.
* Mike Orchard, member of Veterans Committee for the Ozarks Honor Flight and Post Commander.
* Sid Smith, volunteer for the Ozarks Honor Flight and VSO Officer for the post and VFW district.
* Jack Polete, board member for the Ozarks Honor Flight and VFW District 14 Commander.
For more information, visit www.ozarkshonorflight.com or call 417-268-3390.
Shrinking the Size of Government
This week, I presented my Senate Bill 388 in the Senate General Laws Committee. The bill would eliminate 28 state boards and commissions and modify six boards and commissions. These boards have fulfilled their statutory duties and many have not met in years. The legislation shrinks the size and cost of state government by weeding through these boards and commissions and making sure that those that have become obsolete are eliminated.
With so much talk about reducing the size of state government and finding ways to cut costs, I think this is the perfect time for this legislation. State boards and commissions can be a valuable tool in state government, but they should not be just another layer of bureaucracy. By consolidating and eliminating some of these panels, we would make our government more efficient and effective.
Proposed Senate Redistricting Map Released
This week, the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting released and approved their proposal for congressional redistricting. Since census results showed that Missouri’s population growth rate was lower than other states, the map would reduce the number of congressional districts in the state from nine to eight.
Under the proposed map, the most significant change to our region would be that Webster County would be split between the 4th and 8th Congressional Districts; currently, Webster County is a part of the 4th District. The rest of our region would stay pretty much the same with Christian and Greene counties as a part of the 7th District, and Douglas County included in the 8th District.
For more information on redistricting and the full House and Senate plans, visit http://oa.mo.gov /bp/redistricting/.
State House and Senate districts will also change to reflect shifting populations. This is completed by two apportionment committees made up of individuals appointed by the governor. These commissions have begun meeting and have recently scheduled public hearing dates to get feedback from the public on the process. A public meeting will be held on May 23 in Springfield with more details to come.
If you have any questions or comments about this or any other matter regarding your state government, please feel free to contact me at (573) 751-1503; you are also welcome to e-mail me at email@example.com.