Rowland Report 3.3.2016

Greetings from your State Capitol.  This past Tuesday I completed my final filing for District #155 State Representative.  I joined approximately 330 other individuals filing for various offices with the Secretary of State’s Office on this opening day of filing.  Filings close at 5 p.m. on March 29.

Bills passed on to the Senate this week include the following:

HB 1387 – Expands the newborn screening requirements to include severe combined immuno-deficiency.

HB 1392 – Changes the requirements for the Department of Health and Senior Services to survey every hospice to not less than every three years.

HB 1414 – Exempts data collected by state agencies under the federal Animal Disease Traceability Program from disclosure under Missouri’s sunshine law.

HB 1419 – Changes the laws regarding gifted education.

HB 1433 – Establishes the Supporting and Strengthening Families Act.

HB 1474 – Modifies provisions relating to ethics and repeals provisions of law deemed unconstitutional.

HB 1477 – Amends laws relating to elections and political parties.

HB 1480 – Allows voting machines to be used for the purpose of processing absentee ballots.

HB 1565 – Raises the MO HealthNet asset limits for disabled persons.

HB 1588 – Waives corporate registration report requirements for certain farming corporations.

HB 1612 – Requires the State Board of Education to establish minimum requirements for a career and technical education certificate.

HB 1613 – Requires school districts to develop a system for identifying students who are at risk of not being ready for college-level work or entry-level career positions.

HB 1728 – Establishes the Fertilizer Control Board to administer and enforce fertilizer sales regulations.

HB 1729 – Prohibits political subdivisions from adopting any ordinance or regulation relating to the labeling, cultivation, or other use of fertilizers or soil conditioners.

HBs 1780 & 1420 – Specifies that school teacher and employee retirement allowances must not exceed 2.55% of the member’s final average salary for each year of service if the member’s service is 31 years or more.

HB 1817 – Extends the sunset on provisions related to amending county budgets.

HB 1850 – Allows various state boards to collaborate with the Department of Health and Senior Services to collect and analyze workforce data to assess the availability of qualified health care professionals.

HB 1964 – Changes the laws regarding public safety officers who are eligible for a survivor’s and disabled employee’s educational grant and the disbursement of any unpaid workers compensation into his or her estate.

HB 2155 – Allows individuals currently serving in the Missouri National Guard to have resident student status for admission and tuition purposes at public institutions of higher education.

HCR 69 – Encourages the attorney general to take all necessary legal actions regarding EPA’s final Clean Power Plan to prevent unlawful obligations being imposed on states and others.

HCR 96 – Urges Congress to enact the “Toxic Exposure Research Act of 2015”.

All bill information can be found on the House website under bill tracking at www.house.mo.gov.

I received a newsletter from Ozarks Water Watch with some important information that I want to share regarding private wells.

Wells do not just automatically produce safe drinking water. Municipalities and community water systems are required to test the water on a set schedule. A private well is under no such requirement and I know of many homeowners who have never had their drinking water tested. Wells can become contaminated from many sources. In the Ozarks we have fractured limestone and caves, known as karst topography, which allows water at or near the surface to travel very quickly down to the aquifer so one of our major sources of groundwater pollution is from septic system effluent.

Well systems need to be maintained, but most homeowners are lost as to what to do.  The nonprofit organization Water Systems Council has just published a Well Owners Manual at www.watersystemscouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Well-Owners-Manual.pdf. This 32 page .pdf document can be downloaded to your computer and then printed. The sections of this manual are:

• Well Records

• Where Your Water Comes From

• Wells

• Well Maintenance

• Selecting a Well Contractor

• Protecting Your Wellhead

• Water Well Testing

• Understanding Your Test Results

• Well Owners Checklist

• Wellcare®  Hotline

In addition, anyone can sign up on the Water Systems Council website at www.watersystems council.org, for a free membership in the wellcare®  Well Owners Network to receive quarterly newsletters with tips and tools on caring for well systems, septic systems and well water as well as discounts on water test kits.

All well owners have access to the toll free wellcare®  Hotline to ask questions on any topic related to wells and well water care, testing and maintenance at 888-395-1033 or online at wellcarehotline.org. The Hotline operates Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

As always, it is a privilege to represent you in state government.