Senator Denny Hoskins' Capitol Report
Legislative activity continued at the State Capitol this week with a full schedule of committee hearings and a number of bills being debated in the Senate Chamber. The Agriculture Committee approved two of the bills I presented last week and sent them on to the full Senate for its consideration. Senate Bill 568 creates a biodiesel standard in Missouri. Adding Missouri-grown, plant-based biodiesel to our diesel fuel increases demand for soybeans and offers motorists a quality fuel that’s less expensive and reduces emissions. Senate Bill 644 addresses the issue of ordinary pets being presented as service dogs or support animals. This legislation makes it a misdemeanor to misrepresent a service animal for purposes of obtaining accommodations.
The Senate Rules Committee took action and voted “do pass” on two resolutions I’ve sponsored to help Missouri landowners affected by last year’s floods. Senate Concurrent Resolution 34 calls on the U.S. Congress to instruct the Corps of Engineers to remove the protection of wildlife as an authorized purpose of its Missouri River management plan and make flood control the highest priority. Senate Concurrent Resolution 35 encourages the passage of a federal program that would make money available for flood mitigation.
Also this week, I presented my Senate Bill 645, to the Education Committee. This bill requires schools to establish specialized educational programs for gifted children – usually defined as students who test within the upper 5 percent on standardized tests. School districts would be required to provide specialized education programs when 3 percent of the student body is determined to be gifted. These exceptional students often fall through the cracks when schools don’t offer programs that challenge and engage them. The bill requires programs to be staffed with teachers certified in gifted student education. Schools with fewer than 350 students may employ teachers that are trained, but not necessarily certified, in gifted education.
Senate Joint Resolution 38, which I discussed in previous Capitol Reports, was passed by the Senate. This measure relates to the method of determining legislative districts in Missouri. If approved by the House of Representatives, voters will have an opportunity to make the final decision on an upcoming ballot.
This was another busy week in the office, with a steady stream of visitors from the 21st Senatorial District. I was pleased to welcome groups representing Missouri’s credit unions, technical school students from the 21st District, state officers of the FFA Organization and members of a two-time national championship soccer team from Fayette, among many other visitors. I appreciate these groups stopping by the office to share their views, learn about the legislative process and see our wonderful State Capitol.
As always, I appreciate hearing your comments, opinions and concerns. Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at (573) 751-4302. You may also email me at email@example.com.