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9/28/11Posted Wednesday, October 5, 2011, at 3:48 PM
T.S. Eliot, born Sept. 26th, 1888, was a poet, critic, and editor, and won several awards for his literary works. Thomas Steams Eliot was born into an intelligently conservative family in St. Louis. His grandfather, a Unitarian minister and a man of mark, founded the Church of the Messiah and Washington University; the Eliot's of St. Louis were Republican reformers, active in good causes, and pillars of order. T.S. himself became a great innovator in poetry, and a great conservative in morals and politics.
T.S. Eliot once said "Business today consists of persuading crowds." This quote lends itself to define the process of law making here at our State Capitol.
Last week, the Missouri General Assembly returned for a special session to pass a number of important bills, including a major job creation package that will help turn our state's economy around and create tens of thousands of jobs. With nearly 9 percent of Missourians currently unemployed, it is the kind of innovative solution that our state needs.
In addition to the job creation initiative that the House and Senate have been working on for months, we have also returned to pass bills that will return control of the St. Louis Police Department to the City of St. Louis; tax relief and funding for disaster affected areas, including Joplin; and a change to the date of next year's presidential primary.
With overwhelming bipartisan agreement, the House passed bills that will do the following:
* Move the presidential primary from February to March to ensure compliance with national party rules. The move will ensure that Missouri will not lose delegates and representation at the national conventions next summer.
* End a 150-year policy of state control over the St. Louis Police Department. The bill will ensure more accountability by returning control of the department to elected officials accountable to voters instead of individuals appointed by the governor.
* Tap the Rainy Day Fund to provide funding for areas of the state affected by disasters. Not only will the fund, which was designed for this purpose, provide relief to disaster affected areas, but it will hopefully put an end to the governor's unconstitutional practice of withholding funds from schools to pay for this recovery.
* Provide property tax relief to businesses destroyed by disaster. State law currently requires businesses to pay full property tax even if they are ruined in disasters. The bill will allow those businesses destroyed by the storms to receive a tax reduction for those months that their businesses were destroyed.
Each of the bills has been sent to the Senate and the Jobs bill has been passed on to the House. The jobs bill will help create thousands of quality jobs in Missouri by investing in high-tech jobs, attracting sporting events to the state, promoting the creation of data centers, and creating a trade hub that will help open doors for Missouri products to international markets. Not only will each of these innovative incentives create thousands of jobs and help turn our state's economy around, they will be paid for by cutting additional spending out of the state's budget.
In the District:
* Delta Fair Parade - 6 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 27.
* A dedication ceremony for Representative Otto Bean Jr. Memorial Highway is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 29, at 3 p.m. at the B.A.I.L.S. Building in Kennett, Mo.
Representative Kent Hampton sponsored the legislation, naming Highway 25 in Dunklin and Stoddard Counties from US 412 to Routes U and Z the Representative Otto Bean Jr. Memorial Highway.Bean, a two term Representative for Missouri's 163 District, made history in 2002 when he was elected the first Republican to represent the district in the Missouri House of Representatives in recorded history. For more information on the dedication ceremony, please contact MoDOT's Customer Service Center at 1-888-ASK-MODOT (1-888-275-6636).
As always, it is an honor to serve you in the Missouri House. If you would like to discuss any issue, please call 573-751-3629. You can also email me at Kent.Hampton@house.mo.gov. I look forward to hearing from you.