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Ed Emery for State Senate 31 http://edemery.com Leadership in the Right Direction! Tue, 03 Mar 2015 21:05:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.5 Liberty is Choice http://edemery.com/updates/liberty-is-choice/ http://edemery.com/updates/liberty-is-choice/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 21:05:53 +0000 http://edemery.com/?p=1185 “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess highest seats in government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”  — Samuel Adams

Much of last week was applied to the “perfection” of Senate Bill 1, the so-called School Transfer Bill. Senate Bill 1 will receive one more vote in the Senate, the third-read vote, and then will move to the Missouri House for further consideration. A similar House bill,House Bill 42, has already passed the Missouri House and is awaiting a Senate hearing. Both bills address the pressing need to provide students a path out of failing schools. The bills will offer new options to parents who, regarding their children’s opportunity to learn and succeed, feel hopeless and helpless.

New options for student learning include transferring within their district to schools that are succeeding, the expanded use of charter schools, and the availability of virtual schools. Senate Bill 1 also addresses the tragedy of “social promotion” – passing students to the next grade level, ready or not. The results of social promotion can include graduating seniors that can’t read or even make change. There are additional details and provisions in the two education bills, and of course the bills will likely be further refined throughout the process as one or both make their way to the governor’s desk. Fundamentally, SB 1 is about giving parents and student’s choice; liberty is choice.

By now you have heard about the tragic death of State Auditor Tom Schweich last Thursday. A large group of us attended a memorial service in St. Louis on Tuesday, March 3. Besides the unspeakable grief for his wife and children, Missouri has lost a brilliant statesman and incredibly effective auditor. Please pray for Tom’s family and all who mourn his passing.

Monday, March 2, included a coordinated trip to Fort Leonard Wood for 23 state senators, a large number of House members, as well as statewide elected officials and federal legislators. The purpose of our visit was to support the incredible community, business, and state effort to win military support for keeping Fort Leonard Wood at its present staffing and mission level. Military budget cuts and base reductions are threatening thousands of military and support jobs in Pulaski and surrounding counties. Nearly 2,000 local citizens and military personnel attended the public hearing in support of the fort.  I have not attended any of the other 20-plus meetings in support of other bases, but the public support and the information provided could not have been more compelling. Now it is up to the military.

Thank you for reading this legislative report. You can contact my office at (573) 751-2108 if you have any questions. Thank you and we welcome your prayers for the proper application of state government.

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Public Perception http://edemery.com/updates/public-perception/ http://edemery.com/updates/public-perception/#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2015 20:05:19 +0000 http://edemery.com/?p=1182 “We must look at the lens through which we see the world, as well as the world we see, and that the lens itself shapes how we interpret the world.” 
― Stephen R. Covey

 

We have recorded and tallied responses from a total of 2,326 constituents who returned my recent survey. The most responses (2,294) were received in reply to the question of whether a student should be able to transfer to another district if one better fits their needs. Of those, 68 percent agreed that they should, with 38 percent disagreeing. The lowest number of replies (1,628) came from the question of how Missouri should fund any increase in Medicaid. Medicaid expansion was rejected by 68 percent against the 24 percent in favor, and, if expanded, funding by increasing taxes was preferred by 33 percent; 16 percent of respondents favored cuts in education funding; and 40 percent selected neither but without agreement on another approach. Possibly the reason for the low number of responses on Medicaid funding was the nearly 3 to 1 opposition to any expansion.

Most survey questions supplied five possible choices: strongly agree, somewhat agree, no opinion, somewhat disagree, and strongly disagree. Combining the for and against positions produced the following results:

  • Eliminating the state income tax
    49 percent for - 39 percent against
  • Right-to-Work
    75 percent for – 21 percent against
  • Option to transfer to private school
    76 percent for - 18 percent against
  • Assigning a letter grade to school buildings
    72 percent for - 18 percent against
  • Eliminating teacher tenure
    76 percent for – 22 percent against.

Much has been made of the 76 percent no vote on Amendment 3 last November, but survey results would suggest that was not a vote in support of tenure.

The other two questions asked whether Missouri entitlements were too high – 48 percent; too low – 15 percent; or about right – 37 percent; and who should be in control of choices regarding a child’s education? Parents, by 77 percent, were selected as the right place for control of education choices with local school boards coming in second at 16 percent. The full survey results will be posted soon on my Senate website. Thank you to all who took time to complete the survey and those who sent additional comments. The survey confirms that we do not all agree on everything, but there was significant agreement on some of the most controversial issues.

Thank you for reading this legislative report. You can contact my office at (573) 751-2108 if you have any questions. We welcome your prayers for the proper application of state government.

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Wisdom, Understanding and Knowledge http://edemery.com/updates/wisdom-understanding-and-knowledge/ http://edemery.com/updates/wisdom-understanding-and-knowledge/#comments Fri, 13 Feb 2015 23:59:12 +0000 http://edemery.com/?p=1180 “The schools are teaching what I ought and I what the schools ought.” -  Don Warren, parent and engineer

An aphorism frequently repeated to our children was – “Pick your path; determine your destination.” We wanted them to know intuitively that their direction is more important than their location, their worldview more important than their circumstance. If you are lost, knowing where you are is not nearly as crucial as knowing what direction to go to be un-lost: to get where you want to be. Understanding and wisdom are about direction. There are many capable teachers of knowledge, fewer who are able to impart understanding and fewer still that should be trusted to impart wisdom. Wisdom is like the absolute of North, South, East and West; understanding knows which direction is home, and knowledge is able to read the compass.

An individual’s worldview is immeasurably important to their choices, their reputation, and their direction; there is no winning argument to the contrary. That’s the reason I enjoy attending theEducation Policy Conference (EPC), offered annually in St. Louis, MO. Last week’s Capitol Report was inspired by the content of the EPC as is the Capitol Report this week. The quotation above from the remarks of Don Warren, one of the EPC presenters, grows out of his passion for truth in education and the love of a father of three small children.

One EPC session this year addressed the ongoing battle to fight nationalization of public school curriculum via Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Collectivists and central planners are drawn to CCSS as a deceptively subtle conduit toward a clearly illegal government take-over of public and private schools. From “progressive” math to endless testing, to massive data collecting, and the expungement of Christianity, the pattern developing is the one described by Don Warren:“The schools are teaching what I ought and I what the schools ought.” In other words, the schools are high jacking the development of a worldview by imposing one that is government-approved but sabotaging learning by convolution. It is not the job of government schools to promote worldviews in competition with parents. Conversely, it is the task of those schools to teach accurate history and science, math and language arts, and to clearly differentiate fact and opinion.

In 2014, Missouri passed House Bill 1490 to fight back against the illegal and unconstitutional implementation of CCSS that had already begun in Missouri public schools. Eight teams are working to develop Missouri Standards for Missouri schools. The teams file written reports monthly and presents periodically to the State Board of Education. Possibly the most significant weakness in the Missouri plan is that the standards developed by these eight teams must be approved by the State Board. If the Board approves the Missouri-developed standards, tests will be developed for those standards.

In other states there have been attempts to rebrand CCSS to deceive students and parents into accepting nationalized standards and curriculum. Parents are finding creative ways to fight back. In Cedarburg, WI cries to the local school board for relief from unfair testing standards fell on deaf ears. A concerned parent invited other families to opt-out of the standardized test in response. Under No-Child-Left-Behind, school districts must have a testing participation rate of 95 percent to qualify for federal grant money. By threatening to opt-out of testing, a small group of determined parents was able to persuade the board to reconsider. Others are using social media to consolidate and synchronize their opposition to CCSS. These parents are not giving up no matter how tyrannical the opposition. They actually believe they are responsible for what and how their children learn.

The 2016 Education Policy Conference will be in St. Louis the last weekend of January; some of you might want to make plans to attend next year’s event.

Thank you for reading this legislative report. You can contact my office at (573) 751-2108 if you have any questions. Thank you and we welcome your prayers for the proper application of state government.

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Public Discourse http://edemery.com/updates/public-discourse/ http://edemery.com/updates/public-discourse/#comments Fri, 06 Feb 2015 21:30:29 +0000 http://edemery.com/?p=1177 Former U.S. Congresswoman Michelle Bachman reminded a crowd at the 26th annual Constitutional Coalition’s Educational Policy Conference (EPC) held in St. Louis that, “We must allow open debate that seeks the truth rather than allow untruths to become fact simply due to their lack of political correctness.  Topics that threaten the freedom of the American people are simply brushed aside for the simple fact that a small group of people have dictated that these topics are not politically correct.”  This de facto encroachment has slowly eroded the First Amendment rights of the public by shaming them into silence.

Our Founding Fathers believed the freedom of expression to be so important they incorporated it into the Bill of Rights.  But there are some who seek to limit freedom of speech.  They have not been so brazen as to flat out deny that right to the American people but have instead adopted a covert war on words.

George Orwell, in his book Nineteen Eighty-Four, wrote of censors removing any language that would threaten the regime.  Some might say changing the meaning of words is a work of fantasy or a problem that happens elsewhere but not in the United States. However, this could not be further from the truth.  The transformation of words is happening now.  Words like “free”, “diversity”, and “greed” no longer have the same meaning they did a generation ago.  This was the theme addressed by Daniel Hannan, a Member of European Parliament and author, during his lecture at the EPC.

“Free” in this country used to mean the ability to assemble, to believe in your own religion, and to form your own opinions.  Freedom now means entitlements; free access to healthcare, free food, free housing, free utilities, free childcare, and free money, all provided by the government by way of the taxpayer.  Genuine freedom is the opportunity to seek a life outside the bondage of governmental programs.  Conversely hard work and struggle are no longer indicators of character and virtue, but now have negative social stigmas.  The American Dream once rested in the promise of reward from hard work but has come to mean dependence on government via the social welfare system.

The word “diversity” has come to be applied to race, creed, and gender, but seldom to ideas. The intrinsic value of diversity appears when people with different backgrounds and experiences profit from open debate.  Different perspectives allow us to solve complex issues and generate positive outcomes by looking at problems from different vantage points.  I often learn the most through civil discourse from those with whom I disagree.

“Greed” is another example of a devolving lexicon.  Greed was once used to describe those who seek, unethically or illegally, to take money from those who have earned it. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case.  The left uses greed to describe those who have been diligent their entire lives, saved, scrimped, and suffered to achieve a status of financial independence.  Many of these successful people started out with little but took the initiative to seek a better life and to realize the American dream.

The good news is the public forum is alive.  Mark Twain famously wrote, “I never let my schooling get in the way of my education.” We live in an age that has never been more connected.  Learn and grow as a citizen, husband, wife, mother, father, or friend. Engage those around you at the dinner table, at work, in the checkout line at the grocery store.  Approach difficult subjects with an open mind to uncover truth and possibly find common ground.  In many cases, you might be surprised that you want the same things.

Do not cower beneath the threat of political correctness.  Do not let society dictate what can and cannot be discussed.  This is the foundation of our democratic republic, the ability of the electorate to openly debate any issue.  Yes, there are some helpful limits, some even divine.  James, the Apostle, warns us to be “swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”  The apostle Paul counseled his friends to speak truth in love.  When confined by such wisdom, honest debate can be a treasured friend.

Thank you for reading this legislative report. You can contact my office at (573) 751-2108 if you have any questions. Thank you and we welcome your prayers for the proper application of state government.

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Expanding Medicaid Piecemeal http://edemery.com/updates/expanding-medicaid-piecemeal/ http://edemery.com/updates/expanding-medicaid-piecemeal/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 22:39:55 +0000 http://edemery.com/?p=1175 “Humanity is tormented once again by an age-old issue—is man to live in dignity and freedom under God or be enslaved—are men in government to serve, or are they to master, their fellow men?” — Erick Erickson

One of the most conspicuous and egregious characteristics of slavery is dependency. Senate Bill 287 was introduced the week of Jan. 19, proposing to expand Medicaid incrementally. It has been the contention of some of my Senate colleagues and myself that there are market-driven health care solutions far superior to any proposed solution that expands government’s size and power. Price transparency for providers, the sale of insurance across state borders, reduction of government mandates and barriers to entry, and even special initiatives like Project ECHO hold promise for improving health care solutions and reducing costs without expanding government.

As you would expect, introducing market-driven solutions will change the balance of power within any industry, and changes in the balance of power draw opposition from those whose power is threatened or reduced. It doesn’t matter whether the power is over the consumer or over the market, those who have it will fight to keep it. Usually, those who are already empowered benefit the most from more government intervention. The taxpayers and consumers almost always lose, even though improving their lot is trumpeted to promote whatever the new program or expansion may be.

In my opinion, SB 287 seeks to expand Medicaid by reducing veterans to a “special interest group.” It separates out veterans – whether alive or not – from the general population and exempts them and their families from existing Medicaid eligibility requirements. The way I see it, the Constitutional values for which they fought is compromised by such a carve-out. Looking at those who are promoting SB 287 would suggest that the greater agenda may not be to honor the veterans as much as to exploit the honor we hold for them in order to begin the unpopular expansion of Medicaid in accordance with the Obamacare mandates. Someone once said: “It is not as important where we are as where we are headed.” I think I do not like either where SB 287 is, or where it is headed.

Thank you for reading this legislative report. You can contact my office at (573) 751-2108 if you have any questions. Thank you and we welcome your prayers for the proper application of state government.

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Reports from Your Government http://edemery.com/updates/reports-from-your-government/ http://edemery.com/updates/reports-from-your-government/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 21:30:21 +0000 http://edemery.com/?p=1168 I think the currency of leadership is transparency. You’ve got to be truthful. I don’t think you should be vulnerable every day, but there are moments where you’ve got to share your soul and conscience with people and show them who you are, and not be afraid of it.

— Howard  Shultz

Last week included three reports from branches of the state and federal governments. The President’s State of the Union address from Washington D.C.; the State of the State Address from Missouri’s governor; and the State of the Judiciary address from Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary R. Russell. Both of the State addresses are presented annually to a joint session of the Missouri Legislature. As you know, the two chief executives are elected while the Supreme Court Justices are appointed. It was interesting that only one of the three reports mentioned came anywhere close to Mr. Shultz’s description of leadership. Out of the three addresses, the sole example of leadership was from Chief Justice Mary R. Russell.

Does it surprise you as much as it did me that the branch of state government that showed genuine leadership was the one that Federalist 78 describes as the weakest of the three because it had, as Alexander Hamilton put it, “no influence over either the sword or the purse, …It may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment.” That is why the judiciary properly issues opinions rather than rulings.

Judge Russell and I may sometimes disagree over judicial opinions, but her lucidity, sincerity, and personal integrity are never in question. As Missouri’s top judicial officer, Judge Russell has already done much to assess and improve access to the courts across Missouri. Her remarks expressed an ongoing, personal commitment to justice and a determination to make the courts more accessible and easier to navigate – even from your home computer. Judge Russell’s candor and straightforward presentation of her vision for Missouri courts was a refreshing contrast to the two executive branch reports offered earlier in the week.

After the governor’s speech the night of Jan. 21, a legislative colleague remarked how similar it was to the State of the Union Address the night before. Their observation was of countless platitudes and promises of government handouts without detail about the path or payee. There were also frequent rebukes to the majority party, who had been heavily preferred in the November election, for their policies on things like Medicaid expansion. I like the governor, personally, but had to agree.

I was disappointed in the vague generalities of panacea, amply distributed but without direction for their achievement. The governor’s budget proposal for 2014 has been off by approximately $800,000,000, and I fear the 2015 budget proposal may be worse. The governor’s description of Medicaid funding was a glaring violation of Mr. Schultz’s principles of leadership quoted above.

The governor has either been seriously misinformed, or he deliberately misinformed his constituents. He suggested that millions of Missouri’s taxpayer dollars would be lost to other states. Medicaid is, in fact, a need-based program which means that Missouri’s decline of Federal debt (there are no more federal dollars) will not go to another state but simply will not be spent and therefore will not be laid at the feet of your children.  The most positive part of the governor’s speech was his commitment to work more closely with the Legislature. We have already seen evidence of that as we deal with education issues, so I hope it continues.

Finally, regarding the State of the Union Address on the night of Jan. 20, that address sounded more like a community organizer than a president. Faced with the most Republican Congress of his presidency and a glaring rejection of his policies in the November election, the president’s remarks sounded ideologically resolute. It was what I expected, but not what I had hoped for. The speech was consistent with his pseudo title of the “imperial president.”

Thank you for reading this legislative report. You can contact my office at (573) 751-2108 if you have any questions. Thank you and we welcome your prayers for the proper application of state government.

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Service Before Self http://edemery.com/updates/service-before-self/ http://edemery.com/updates/service-before-self/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 21:30:44 +0000 http://edemery.com/?p=1170 “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”   — The Apostle John

Wednesday (Jan. 14) was a difficult day; it included a drive from Jefferson City back to my district for two funerals. One was for a 33-year-old husband and father, the son of a close friend. The other was for a 41-year-old firefighter, resulting from an emergency call. He left a wife and two young sons. It is these newly widowed wives and fatherless children that remind us of the value of an individual life. Both families are families of faith, and I know they would value your prayers as they face an unexpected and uncertain future.

The firefighter funeral included full honors to memorialize a loss that occurred in the line-of-duty. This was my first such service, and it was an impressive and sobering event, involving numerous emergency-response vehicles and hundreds of uniformed public servants – many of which traveled great distance to participate. It was a clear reminder of the oft-quoted description that when others are rushing out, these are the men and women who rush in. The expression applies equally to firefighters, law enforcement, and members of the military. These are the brave people who choose to temporarily set aside their own lives, families, and possessions to instead protect the lives, families, and possessions of those they serve. It is unlikely there is any love more genuine than this.

Deaths like these always remind me of the frailty of this life and the importance of the next. They instruct me to keep relationships up-to-date and fully healed. Isn’t it interesting how a sudden and untimely death can focus our attention on the importance both of the moment and of eternity? We cannot set the span of a relationship, but we can set the tone. We can acknowledge and honor its significance. I welcome your prayers as I strive for that perspective during this legislative session – with my family, my constituents and my Senate colleagues.

Thank you for reading this legislative report. You can contact my office at (573) 751-2108 if you have any questions. Thank you and we welcome your prayers for the proper application of state government.

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2015 Legislative Session Begins http://edemery.com/updates/2015-legislative-session-begins/ http://edemery.com/updates/2015-legislative-session-begins/#comments Fri, 09 Jan 2015 21:32:19 +0000 http://edemery.com/?p=1172 “…to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”   —  The Declaration of Independence

This week began the 98th General Assembly – the 2015 legislative session. The President Pro Tem of the Missouri Senate, Sen. Tom Dempsey, R-Town and Country, identified three of his priorities: agriculture legislation, education reforms, and judiciary reforms. Only judiciary reforms were new to this legislative session; the other two were priorities last year but were blocked by the governor’s veto pen.

Legislation for the 2015 Session can be filed through Feb. 26, and all legislation that I have sponsored or co-sponsored can be found on the Senate Website:www.senate.mo.gov/15info/bts_web/sponsoredby.aspx?SessionType=R&legislatorid=406.

Most of the bills listed have been filed in prior years and are not new to either proponents or opponents. Your comments, suggestions or questions on any of these issues are welcome and encouraged.

In the case of almost any legislative initiative, I will have constituents on both sides. Such is the nature and necessity of government. If we all agreed all the time, there would be little need for civil government. We have elections because we don’t all agree all the time. Elections can provide direction. The absence of direction is the worst possible scenario. I contend that the purpose of campaigning for public office is to effectively communicate direction – the direction that the candidate is likely to lead if elected. The actual vote is the public’s empowerment of the people to choose the majority’s preferred direction.

The November 2014 general election represented a clear proclamation from citizens across the country that the people have taken notice of the direction of Washington D.C., and they do not like it. The dissatisfaction affected federal, state, and even local elections; I could give examples just from my Senate District. The unpopularity of Obamacare had a profound impact, but I argue that even more offensive to the public is the arrogance that policy reflects regardless of the political party. Besides Obamacare, another example is the proliferation of executive orders in violation of clear constitutional jurisdictions. If there is a silver-lining, it is that Americans and Missourians are reawakening to our personal responsibility to keep a watchful eye on government.

As we enter the 2015 legislative session, it is important to me that my legislative agenda is consistent with the fundamentals of good government as I see them and commit myself to them whether in campaigns, forums or conversations. The oath of office that every Missouri officeholder must take is simple – we promise that we will support the Constitutions of the U.S. and of Missouri and that we won’t take bribes. I am sure it disappoints some citizens when we seem to be favoring interest groups ahead of our oath.

My goal in the new session is to be ever more attentive to identify proposals that seem inconsistent with my oath of office. I hope I will have the courage to oppose even my friends when our collective action, no matter how well intentioned, puts any other interest ahead of protecting individual liberty and economic freedom. That is what our Constitution(s) are devised to preserve. Next week I hope to examine further – “the consent of the governed.” I welcome your prayers and petitions.

Thank you for reading this legislative report. You can contact my office at (573) 751-2108 if you have any questions. Thank you and we welcome your prayers for the proper application of state government.

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Thank you, Veterans! http://edemery.com/updates/thank-you-veterans/ http://edemery.com/updates/thank-you-veterans/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 05:01:35 +0000 http://edemery.com/?p=1165 “Greater love hath no man that this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Whether bearing arms, supplying the front lines or supporting and serving stateside, whether draftee or volunteer, each uniformed American signed a blank check to lay down their life for their friends if called upon.

The spouses of warriors, without rank or recognition, may not have served in the military but they served the military by securing the home and waiting without assurances. They could not join the fight, but they shared the cost and often bore it alone.

God granted our liberty, but it is the United States military that must repeatedly defend it against tyrants and terrorists. There will always be those who crave power more than freedom, so there must always be a few who are willing to lay down their lives for their friends.

Thank you, veterans and those still serving at home and abroad, for being among those few. May the God of creation bless you and our exceptional country.

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Points of Light http://edemery.com/updates/points-of-light/ http://edemery.com/updates/points-of-light/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 03:16:53 +0000 http://edemery.com/?p=1163 “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”  Jesus Christ

President George H. W. Bush popularized the phrase “a thousand points of light” when speaking of organizations that work for a better America. I visited two such organizations in the past few weeks. Just last week (Sept. 25th), my wife and I attended the 25th anniversary celebration of Life Choices of Joplin. They also have a services location in Carthage and continue to grow and expand not just geographically but also in the demographics they serve. Their tag line is “choose to know,” and their most fundamental outreach is assisting young people facing a sexual health crisis to be fully informed in order to make wise decisions.

Life Choices continues to assess the sexual health issues of our day and address them with medically accurate and age-appropriate curriculums. They work with teenagers throughout Jasper County to encourage healthy discussion between parents and teens. Unimaginable peer pressure, plus the youthful delusion of indestructibility, push teens toward risky behaviors that have life-long consequences. Be encouraged: Life Choices is helping students to overcome destructive pressure by empowering them with a stronger sense of who they are and what enduring rewards await those who make wise choices.

The tireless, selfless staff of Life Choices is seeing unparalleled success as they approach daily challenges with life affirming values. None can deny that because of their 25 years of service to the community, there are thousands of children alive today who would not be. Additionally, there are countless families intact and functioning today that would not exist were it not for Life Choices. Life Choices is more than a “point of light,” it is more than a beacon; it truly “shines forth as the sun.”

Another point of light I discovered recently in Cass County is the Ray-Pec Community Alliance whose mission is “to promote and support healthy communities across Raymore and Peculiar.” They invited me to visit their site a few weeks ago during an open house for parents and the community. What an impressive beginning to a truly visionary mission! Their volunteers are skilled and enthusiastic; their physical facilities are top-notch and should be extremely inviting to youth who would like to build and cultivate genuine friendships in a safe and supervised environment.

The Ray-Pec Community Alliance was still inviting volunteers and donations when I visited, and I am sure they still are. You will be encouraged to go online and check out their website. You can find the schedule of events as well as a list of items they still need to “finish-out” the recreation and relaxation areas of their building. Our teens are continually bombarded with pressures to ignore moral absolutes and violate their God-given consciences. This group in Cass County refuses to take these lifestyle assaults lying down and are raising up a standard against it.

Two points of light: one celebrating 25 years, the other just stepping into the fray to ensure that young minds and bodies have an alternative option to the drugs, alcohol, and sexual deviancy of our day. If you agree that strong families and healthy communities are crucial to the future of our state, then I encourage you to somehow be involved in one or both of these heavenly oases. Don’t miss the opportunity to help; you can add to the brightness. We cannot neglect the future; it is where we are headed.

Thank you for reading this legislative report. You can contact my office at (573) 751-2108 if you have any questions. Thank you and we welcome your prayers for the proper application of state government.

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