Representative JIm Neely's Capitol Report
Greetings, friends of the 8th Legislative District!
Missouri Takes Action to Provide Farmers with Drought Relief
Missouri Governor Mike Parson has mobilized state resources to help Missourians battling drought conditions throughout the state. Parson recently announced both a program to provide water to family farms and a lottery for farmers to obtain adequate livestock feed.
It was on July 18 that the governor issued an executive order declaring a drought alert for 47 Missouri counties. A month later, every county in Missouri has been impacted by the dry conditions, and the number of counties considered to be in drought alert has risen to 86. In an effort to help with the drought, the departments of Natural Resources, Conservation, and Agriculture and others are working together to provide information and resources to those impacted by the drought conditions.
The relief efforts taken by the governor will provide up to 5,000 gallons of water per family farm per day. The water is not for resale and is for the needs of livestock only. The water will be available at 28 Department of Conservation areas and five Department of Natural Resources state parks, and farmers will need to provide their own pumping and hauling equipment. Anyone interested in making arrangements to pump water can call 573-751-4115, ext. 3209.
To help provide adequate livestock feed for farmers, nearly 900 acres of state park grasslands will be made available to mow and harvest as hay. Anyone who is interested in participating in the drought assistance hay program may apply for access to any of the state park haying locations listed below. A lottery system will be used to randomly select one winner from the list of applicants for each location. The lottery for haying at Missouri State Parks is now open and runs through Saturday, August 25. The Department of Natural Resources will announce lottery results on Monday, August 27. Additional details are available at https://mostateparks.com/.
Further information, along with maps showing locations for the pumping of water and for haying, are available at https://dnr.mo.gov/droughtresources.htm. Missourians can also visit the Department of Natural Resources drought website for information about drought conditions, agriculture and drinking water assistance, and resources at https://dnr.mo.gov/drought.htm.
New Government Transparency Website Goes Live
A new transparency website launched by the Missouri State Treasurer will give Missourians access to important information about government finances. The treasurer’s office says the new website, ShowMeCheckbook.mo.gov, is one of the most comprehensive state government financial data portals in the country.
State Treasurer Eric Schmitt said, “Unfortunately in the past the state has not provided adequate tools for accessing information about state finances. Show-Me Checkbook gives greater access to state finances by creating a one-stop-shop for information on state spending, revenue, payroll, debt and cash flow. Missourians have a right to see how their money is being spent and managed in Jefferson City and Show-Me Checkbook lets them do just that.”
The website was launched to help provide Missourians with access to state financial data that has been difficult to find and analyze in the past. In April of last year the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) gave Missouri a D+ grade for financial transparency. Show-Me Checkbook is meant to be an important step in increasing transparency.
The treasurer’s office said Show-Me Checkbook was designed to be user-friendly while maintaining the unprecedented depth of data exploration available through its interface. Government accounting experts and data analysts contributed to the review of the portal to ensure an accurate reflection of accounting standards.
According to PIRG, websites like Show-Me Checkbook can result in significant cost-savings for states that launch them. Texas saved an estimated $163 million as a result of a similar project, and North Carolina credits their website with leading to a comprehensive reform of their state purchasing laws. Treasurer Schmitt is encouraging citizen watchdogs who find interesting or concerning data trends through Show-Me Checkbook to contact his office through the submission link that appears on the bottom of each page of the website.
Yours in service,
Representative Jim Neely
Proudly Serving the 8th House District
Clinton, Caldwell, Ray, & Clay Counties
Missouri House of Representatives