Representative Jim Neely's Capitol Report
This week on my Missouri Veterans Home Tour, I visited the Mexico Missouri Veterans Home. I love visiting with our Veterans and listening to their stories. It is such an honor that I am able to do this.
This week I also visited Miss. Null’s communication class at East Buchanan High School. I received letters from the students taking interest in certain bills that they researched. When I spoke to Miss. Null she wanted the students to write to someone that would hear their voice. It was a great visit and I am glad I was able to see them and let them know that I heard their voice. They had many great questions and I believe that we have some future politicians in our district.
Lawmakers Begin Filing Legislation for 2020 Session
Monday, Dec. 2 saw members of the Missouri House introduce their legislative priorities in record numbers. The date marked the beginning of the bill pre-filing period for the 2020 regular session that begins Wednesday, Jan. 8. The first day of pre-filing saw 315 bills introduced in the House, which is the highest total seen in the House in more than a decade. In comparison, the first day of pre-filing for the 2019 regular session saw 161 bills introduced.
Lawmakers filed legislation dealing with a wide variety of topics. Issues addressed by the pre-filed bills range from health care access and affordability to protections against school seclusion and restraint policies to property tax relief for seniors and disabled veterans. To keep informed on the bills that are pre-filed in the House, please visit the official website of the Missouri House of Representatives at www.house.mo.gov and click on the “Bill List” link.
Missouri Joins Program to Help Missourians Finish Their College Degrees
The state of Missouri is making an effort to help Missourians with some college experience finish their degrees. The Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development was selected to join 20 other states to participate in the Degrees When Due program that endeavors to engage students who have pressed pause on finishing their degree.
Nineteen Missouri colleges and universities have joined the program that will give them access to a variety of resources to help identify students with credits and determine the most efficient pathway to graduation. The initiative works to build expertise, capacity, and infrastructure on campuses across the nation to get near-completers across the finish line. It will provide access to an interactive online tool and live coaching to guide staff through implementation of degree reclamation strategies; build and facilitate communities of practice among campus staff and state agencies; and perform important research into best practices for reengaging students.
Missouri currently has more than 75,000 individuals who have been identified as having at least two years of college credit, but no awarded degree. Participation in the Degrees When Due program is part of the state’s effort to see 60 percent of working-age adults with a high quality certificate or degree by 2025.