Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder Press Releases
February 3, 2012
Lt. Governor Peter Kinder's Week in Review
Jan. 30-Feb. 3
In the spotlight: Seniors and school children
This week, lawmakers are weighing plans to get students in beleaguered Missouri school districts the help they so drastically need. The Missouri Supreme Court’s ruling in Turner v. Clayton gives students in unaccredited public school districts like Kansas City and St. Louis the right to attend neighboring accredited school districts at the expense of the unaccredited districts.
On Tuesday, the Senate General Laws committee heard testimony on a measure to help increase funding to private charter schools and allow districts to share resources as part of the so-called “Turner Fix.”
With her bill, Sen. Jane Cunningham of Chesterfield wants to reshape urban public education in Missouri. On Tuesday, I testified in support of her efforts.
I have been fighting this battle since I first was elected to the Senate in 1992. The accreditation problems of public schools in Kansas City and St. Louis have been ongoing for years, and it’s time Missouri tries solutions that involve more than simply throwing more money at failing schools. We cannot afford to lose another generation of Missouri children stuck in failing public schools.
Senior Service Awards
My office is accepting nominations for this year’s Senior Service Awards. I started this award in 2005 to promote and highlight the positive accomplishments Missouri’s senior citizens provide their local communities. Thousands of Missourians’ lives are touched by the unselfish work and caring hands of volunteering seniors, who offer their time and efforts back to their communities.
This year, I’m expanding the program to include winners in each of the state’s 34 senatorial districts. To nominate a senior volunteer, or for more information on the Lt. Governor’s Senior Service Awards, please visit my state website at: http://ltgov.mo.gov/.
In other senior news, registration is now open for the 18th Annual Missouri State Senior Games, an Olympics-style sports festival that provides an opportunity for Missourians over the age of 50 to compete in their favorite sports. The Senior Games will be June 8-10 in Columbia. For more information, visit http://www.smsg.org/senior_games/
Alzheimer’s State Plan Task Force
The Missouri Alzheimer's State Plan Task Force was created in 2009 to address the impact of Alzheimer's in Missouri. As chairman of this task force, I can tell you we are making great strides to address the Alzheimer's epidemic in Missouri.
The Task Force's State Plan first was submitted to the governor and the Missouri General Assembly in November 2010. The State Plan assessed the impact of Alzheimer's disease and related dementia on Missouri residents and included recommendations for responding to this critical public health matter.
This week the task force is finalizing the 2012 supplement to the State Plan, which contains updates to the statistical and legislative data in the plan and addresses the task force's five recommendations for effectively combating and preventing Alzheimer's and related dementia in Missouri.
Warm welcome for Iraq War veterans
Tens of thousands of people braved a cold January wind last weekend in St. Louis at a parade to honor Iraq War veterans. About 600 veterans walked along downtown streets lined with appreciative crowds that parade organizers estimated reached 100,000 people. Thanks goes out to organizers Craig Schneider, a school district technical coordinator, and Tom Appelbaum, a lawyer, who came up with the idea after noting little fanfare for returning Iraq War veterans. Their grassroots effort resulted in a huge turnout and, most importantly, showed our returning veterans that Missourians honor and appreciate their sacrifice.
Mizzou veterans honor
Congratulations to MU Veterans Center Director Carol Fleisher and former MU Student Veterans Association President Daniel Sewell. The U.S. Department of Defense this week gave Fleisher and Sewell its Outstanding Public Service Award, the second-highest honor for a civilian, for their work in establishing the MU Veterans Center. The center, one of only a few such facilities in the nation, helps veterans on the MU campus and surrounding area adjust to academic life.
MAVO visits Capitol
Members of the Missouri Association of Veterans Organizations were at the Capital this week to seek support for legislation aimed at helping Missouri veterans. I spoke to the group and pledged my support for pro-veteran legislation this year, including the creation of a dedicated revenue stream to ensure Missouri Veterans Homes are well-funded and fully staffed.
Governor's appointments getting scrutiny
The Senate Gubernatorial Appointments Committee refused to vote on Wednesday to confirm Jason Hall, the governor's nominee to head the Missouri Department of Economic Development. On Thursday, Hall stepped down and Gov. Nixon named Chris Pieper, currently deputy counsel to the governor, as acting director.
Recently, then-DED Director David Kerr resigned in the wake of the failed Mamtek project in Moberly. That project, and its promise of 600 jobs, fell through after the artificial sweetener company defaulted on a $39 million bond payment to the city of Moberly.
Hall's rejection means that Gov. Nixon will have to find a fourth economic development director as he begins his fourth year as governor. In a year in which jobs and the economy are everyone's top priority, Missouri needs someone in this post who leaders in the Senate and the governor's office can agree will champion our state's economic development.