Weather Alert

THE EGGLESTON REPORT – THANKSGIVING

Representative J. Eggleston (R-Maysville)

 

Most everyone enjoys a good holiday.  For some, their favorite holiday is Christmas, where we celebrate the birth of Jesus and the giving of gifts to our loved ones in His honor.  Others prefer Valentine’s Day, when we dote on that special someone in our lives.  And most of us enjoy the 4th of July when we can shoot off some fireworks to show our patriotism and acknowledge the freedoms we are fortunate to have as Americans.  And along with that, Veterans Day and Memorial Day to recognize those who have served and sacrificed for our country.  And then there are Mother’s Day and Father’s Day when we show reverence and honor to those who gave us life and raised us.  While I enjoy and celebrate all of those holidays, I think my favorite is Thanksgiving, for Thanksgiving is a unique combination of all of the other holidays and more.

As we have all learned, the original Thanksgiving celebration dates back to the days before America was a country when the pilgrims dined with the Native Americans to celebrate their survival in this strange, new land.  As time went on, Thanksgiving also became a harvest celebration, giving thanks that the hard work of stockpiling food for the coming winter was fruitful.  The traditional Thanksgiving turkey and ham honor successful hunting and ranching, and the corn, sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce celebrate a bountiful farming crop.  And we can’t forget the desserts, especially my grandmother’s angel food cake with peanut butter icing, which is now an Eggleston / Wilson family tradition.

Thanksgiving may arguably be the best holiday because it embodies the highlights of the other holidays, and allows us time to pause and acknowledge them.  This Thanksgiving holiday, please take a moment to set aside thoughts of the stresses of life of which we are constantly reminded in the daily news, and focus instead on the many blessings we have all been given – faith, food, family, and freedom.  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Until next time, health, happiness and prosperity to you and your family.

Please contact me at:

201 West Capitol Avenue, Room 414

Jefferson City, MO  65101

Phone: 573-751-4285

Email: [email protected]

If you would like to unsubscribe to this Capitol Report

Please contact: [email protected]

 

OTHER NEWS FROM THE CAPITOL

 

Joint Committee Investigates Issues within the Department of Social Services

Lawmakers from both chambers came together this week to ask questions about the many issues that continue to plague the state’s Department of Social Services. The members of the Joint Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect held a public hearing in the State Capitol building to allow the new acting department director to outline changes he is making to improve the department.

Legislators have been highly critical of the department over the last year as it has had several serious issues come to light within its Children’s Division that have put children in harm’s way. The department took heavy criticism for ignoring allegations of abuse and neglect at unlicensed youth residential facilities. The issue prompted lawmakers to approve legislation to provide additional oversight for the unlicensed religious reform schools.

Members of the House and Senate also took issue with recent news that the department was failing to adequately report missing foster children. A federal watchdog group’s review of 59 cases in 2019 found that almost half the case files showed children were not properly reported as missing. In failing to do so, the department violated both federal law and state policy.

The new acting director of the department told the committee he has started a 90-day evaluation of the department. As part of that process, he will travel across the state and take input from the department’s frontline workers. The new director also said the department is working to upgrade its Family and Children Electronic System. He said upgrading the system will greatly reduce the amount of time case workers have to devote to paperwork.

The chair of the Joint Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect said the hearing was held in the spirit of accountability and moving forward. She told the department that she and her colleagues hope to see change and good outcomes for kids.

During the hearing, lawmakers also heard about other concerns within the department including a worker shortage and low morale. Legislators noted they had approved a three percent pay raise for Children’s Division case workers, but saw that increase vetoed by Gov. Parson. The new director asked legislators to work with him to help get a new compensation strategy across the legislative finish line in 2022.

As one member of the committee said, “If we don’t have a strong Children’s Division, our kids lose.”

Missourians Encouraged to Participate in Discussion on Transportation Needs

Missourians are encouraged to participate in a discussion on the state’s most important transportation needs. The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) is holding a series of meetings around the state to accept public input on the state’s high priority transportation needs.

Missouri’s transportation system consists of 33,830 miles of roads and 10,399 bridges, both of which rank among the largest for any state in the nation. The Missouri Department of Transportation has worked with statewide regional planning partners to identify $1 billion in annual unfunded needs. From the broader unfunded needs, MoDOT has developed a High Priority Unfunded Needs list to guide the development of projects into funded projects as state and federal transportation funds increase.

The department will hold public meetings across the state from Nov. 16 through Dec. 9. The full list of the meeting dates, time and locations can be found at https://www.modot.org/unfundedneeds.  Missourians also can submit comments regarding unfunded needs in their community through Dec. 22 at modot.org/submit-comments.

The director of the Missouri Department of Transportation said, “Across every region of the state, feedback from Missourians has consistently prioritized maintaining the existing system as the highest priority. Other priorities include projects that improve safety, spur economic growth, and provide more transportation choices. We value Missourians’ input in this new draft as we work to prioritize the increasing federal and state transportation revenue.”

The draft document and comment forms will be available online through December 22.  For more information, call MoDOT at 888-ASK-MODOT (275-6636) or visit www.modot.org.

Missouri State Library Offers High School Completion Program to Adults

The Missouri State Library is now the first state agency in the nation to offer an accredited diploma completion program online. The library is partnering with Gale, which is part of the Cengage Group, to offer adult residents in Missouri the opportunity to earn a high school diploma through participating libraries.

The Gale Presents: Excel Adult High School program is designed to help adults who have aged out of the traditional educational system to obtain their high school diploma.

The state librarian said, “This program gives individuals the opportunity to advance their education to better achieve career goals by setting the stage for future workforce advancement and economic growth.”

The program is currently available to all public libraries in the state. Each library can determine their participation. Current libraries offering the program include:

  • Brentwood Public Library
  • Daniel Boone Regional Library
  • Kansas City Public Library
  • Mid-Continent Public Library
  • Rolling Hills Consolidated Library
  • St. Charles City County Library
  • St. Joseph Public Library
  • St. Louis County Library
  • St. Louis Public Library

Patrons aged 18 years and older can apply for the program. Once accepted and enrolled, students have 24 months to finish the program and can complete it sooner by transferring previously earned high school, GED, HiSET or TASC credits. Upon completion, students earn an accredited high school diploma.

There is no cost to students, enrollment is limited and requires a library card. Learn more at www.gale.com.



Connect With Us Listen To Us On