Senator Denny Hoskins Capitol Report
Legislation Moving Forward
I’m pleased to report the Senate has passed my Senate Bill 644 and sent it onto the House of Representatives. This measure makes changes to Missouri’s law regarding service animals. It expands the definition of service dog to include “mental health service dogs,” which are animals specifically trained to assist persons with psychiatric or developmental disabilities. This would include animals that assist veterans with the effects of PTSD. Under the law, service dogs must be individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability or medical condition. The act also creates a misdemeanor offense of knowingly misrepresenting a service dog for the purposes of receiving accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Also this week, the Senate Appropriations Committee conducted a hearing on two of my bills relating to gaming. Senate Bill 566 establishes the Missouri Video Lottery Control Act while Senate Bill 567 authorizes sports wagering in Missouri. Both of these measures are offered in recognition of the fact that the activities they regulate are already happening in our state.
Anyone who’s stopped into a truck stop or visited a fraternal lodge lately has probably seen video gaming machines in use. These “grey” gambling devices are not authorized by state law and no money from their use flows to the state. My SB 566 would eliminate these illegal devices and allow the Missouri State Lottery to license and regulate video gaming machines, thus ensuring that our local schools benefit from the revenues. Similarly, SB 567 brings sports wagering out of the shadows and provides for state regulation. There are several sports betting bills before the General Assembly this year, all of which allow our existing casinos to develop online platforms for placing wagers. My legislation differs in that it also allows the Missouri Lottery to sell parlay games based on sporting events. According to the fiscal note prepared for my bill, the expected revenue of lottery parlay games far exceeds the income expected from casino-based sports wagering.
Congratulations are in order for two residents of the 21st Senatorial District who received much deserved recognition this week. Neal Bredehoeft of Alma was confirmed by the Senate to serve on Missouri’s Clean Water Commission. The president of Bredehoeft Farms and a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, Neal is a past president of the Missouri Soybean Association. This week, Neal also received an Outstanding State Volunteer Award from the American Soybean Association. An early advocate of biodiesel production in Missouri, he is a past-president of the national association.
I’d also like to give a shout out to Ronnie Russell of Ray County, who was just named president of the Missouri Soybean Association. In addition to raising corn, soybeans and cattle, Ronnie owns Russell Sunflower Patch in Richmond. A popular agritourism destination, the sunflower operation allows Ronnie to interact with people from urban and suburban areas and educate them about agriculture.
IN SEARCH OF OUTSTANDING SENIORS
The lieutenant governor’s office wants to recognize exceptional seniors in Missouri. If you know a worthy senior whose service and dedication makes a positive difference in your community, please consider nominating them for a Senior Service Award. Nominees must be at least 60 years old and volunteer a minimum of 25 hours each year. Nomination forms can be found online at the lieutenant governor’s website. The deadline for nominations is March 28 and winners will be announced April 3. An awards presentation is scheduled in the Capitol Rotunda on May 4.
Among the groups Sen. Hoskins welcomed to the Capitol this week were 84 nursing students from the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. The students were in Jefferson City to participate in a grassroots legislative visit sponsored by the Missouri Nurses Association. We also hosted visitors from the Freedom of the Road Riders organization, a group of school superintendents from the 21st District, representatives of the Alzheimer’s Association and a delegation representing the Missouri Soybean Association.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.