Missouri Governor Mike Parson will step up to a podium in mid-January in the Missouri House chamber to deliver his final State of the State address. The Bolivar Republican will once again have GOP supermajorities in both chambers. State Sen. Mike Bernskoetter (R-Jefferson City) joined us live in-studio on 939 the Eagle’s “Wake Up Mid-Missouri” to preview the session and to discuss the governor’s state of the state address. Senator Bernskoetter would like to see Governor Parson propose another pay raise for state employees and wants him to discuss fixing the inside of the Capitol in Jefferson City. Governor Parson proposed a bipartisan 8.7 percent pay raise for Jefferson City’s 14,000 state employees in January, which received strong bipartisan support and was quickly sent to the governor’s desk. Governor Parson signed it in February. Senator Bernskoetter praises the January plan and hopes state employees receive another raise in 2024. Senator Bernskoetter also notes lawmakers have set aside $600-million for capitol improvements and wants to see some of that money go toward repairs inside the Capitol in Jefferson City. He says there is tape in parts of the Capitol, along with peeling paint in the legislative library:
A major mid-Missouri grocery store in both Columbia and Jefferson City will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.
St. Louis-based Schnucks, which has three stores in Columbia and one on Jefferson City’s Missouri Boulevard, will be open for regular hours on the day before Thanksgiving and on Black Friday, which is the day after Thanksgiving.
Schnucks’ three Columbia stores are are Forum Boulevard, Clark lane and on South Providence. The Schnucks Express on South Providence location is connected to the popular EatWell.
A key mid-Missouri state lawmaker is optimistic about bipartisan child care tax credit legislation being approved by the Missouri House in 2024, but he’s not sure about the Senate. Missouri House Workforce and Infrastructure Development Committee vice chair Willard Haley (R-Eldon) represents three mid-Missouri counties in Jefferson City.
“I know that we’re going to face some challenges this next session probably again in the Senate. It seems like there is quite a few individuals running for statewide offices that might want to kind of hold things up again,” Representative Haley says.
A bipartisan bill died on the 2023 session’s final day in May due to a Missouri Senate filibuster on unrelated issues.
The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry says the Show-Me State has a child care crisis that is costing Missouri more than $1-billion annually. That number doesn’t surprise Representative Haley, who tells 939 the Eagle that child care is a top priority for voters and businesses in his bright-red GOP district.
“I hear as a number one complaint from both employers and also those in the workforce that affordable and safe child care is a very big concern. And it’s a critical factor in getting our workforce back to where it needs to be,” says Haley.
Haley represents Moniteau, Morgan and Cooper counties in Jefferson City. State Rep. Brenda Shields’ (R-St. Joseph) bipartisan child care tax credit bill died on the 2023 session’s final day in May due to a Missouri Senate filibuster on unrelated issues.
State Sen. Lauren Arthur (D-Kansas City) was the Senate sponsor of the same bill that Representative Shields carried in the House.
U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-St. Elizabeth) represents Columbia, Jefferson City, Fulton, Boonville and much of the 939 the Eagle listening area on Capitol Hill. Congressman Luetkemeyer joined us live this morning on 939 the Eagle’s “Wake Up Mid-Missouri,” telling listeners that new U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) will do a great job in the position. Congressman Luetkemeyer says he’d like to get Speaker Johnson to Columbia or Jefferson City, similar to getting then-House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to Jefferson City several years ago. Congressman Luetkemeyer also discussed the House spending bill being debated today on Capitol Hill, which includes a 64 percent cut in Amtrak funding compared to last year. The congressman tells listeners he’ll have to study that, noting most Missourians don’t use public transportation. But Congressman Luetkemeyer says many people on the two coasts use public transportation, noting he doesn’t have a vehicle in Washington because it’s so difficult to find a parking spot:
A Friday night fundraiser will be held in Jefferson City to benefit an organization that aims to foster safe and nurturing homes for children and to facilitate heartfelt adoptions.
The Central Missouri Foster Care and Adoption Association’s (CMFCAA) “Puttin’ on the Ritz” gala will take place Friday evening from 5:30-8:30 at the Capitol Plaza Hotel. CMFCAA spokesman Gerry Tritz says gala proceeds will directly bolster the association’s vision.
“This year we added an extreme family finding program and we added an advocacy program. The extreme family finding program just tries to find family and extended family for kids in the system who are in danger of aging out,” Tritz says.
Mr. Tritz says single tickets are $50, with couple tickets at $90. Dave and Tori Baker will provide the musical backdrop. The CMFCAA’s aim is leading foster children toward safety and permanency, ultimately to a forever home.
There are about 500 children in foster care in Boone County. Mr. Tritz tells 939 the Eagle that the CMFCAA now includes 24 counties. Columbia, Jefferson City and Fulton are all served by the organization:
“We go as far as south as Dallas County and north to Randolph County. You know we have a lot in between,” says Tritz.
Mr. Tritz says gala proceeds will directly bolster the association’s vision of advocating for children, fortifying families and reshaping lives. State Sen. Travis Fitzwater (R-Holts Summit) will be the keynote speaker at Friday evening’s event, which will take place from 5:30 to 8:30 at the Capitol Plaza hotel.