Taking Care of Our Military and Addressing Workers’ Compensation
Our country is known as “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” It is thanks to the service of our military members throughout history that has preserved this designation. I proudly served our country during the Vietnam War, and I have the highest level of respect for our troops. Sometimes people take for granted the rights they have as American citizens and forget that freedom is not free. Millions of brave citizens have fought for our country, and have even made the ultimate sacrifice, to ensure we can receive an education, go to work, and raise our families in a free country. Our troops deserve the highest level of respect and care possible. I appreciate when quality measures are brought forward in the Missouri Legislature to help better the lives of our servicemen and women and their families.
This week, two bills addressing our military were sent to the House for consideration. One of them, SB 106, would require public, post-secondary institutions to accept credits for courses that the military awarded to personnel as part of their military training, if the courses meet certain standards for academic credit. Also, members of the Armed Forces with health-related professional licenses or certificates that are in good standing when servicemen and women enter into active duty will remain in good standing while these individuals are on active duty. A serviceman or woman could also, in certain circumstances, apply his or her service as a member of our Armed Forces toward qualifications to receive a license or certificate from a professional licensing board.
Another bill addressing our troops, SB 117, would require the display of the Honor and Remember flag at all state buildings and state parks as an official recognition and in honor of fallen members of our Armed Forces. This act also allows Missourians who are separating from the military with an honorable discharge or a general discharge to have resident student status in order to attend one of our state’s public higher education institutions.
Workers’ compensation is also high on the Senate’s list of priorities, and this week, a bill was sent to the House that addresses occupational diseases under the workers’ compensation system, as well as the Second Injury Fund. I am sponsoring a measure (SB 34) regarding workers’ compensation, as well, which was voted out of the Small Business, Insurance and Industry Committee on Tuesday. My bill would require the Division of Workers’ Compensation to develop and maintain a workers’ compensation claims database, which would be searchable by an employee’s name and Social Security number. This would add greater organization and smooth out bumps in the road regarding our state’s workers’ compensation system.
Thank you for your interest in state government. You can follow actions regarding Senate bills by visiting the Missouri Senate website at www.senate.mo.gov.
to the Capitol
I’d like to thank several wonderful groups that came to visit me in Jefferson City this week. One of the many joys of serving in public office is to meet Missourians from all walks of life. I also enjoy visiting with good people from my community back home.
Some good people I had the pleasure of meeting with this week include members and representatives of the Missouri Retired Teachers Association, Community Mental Health Centers (part of the Missouri Department of Mental Health), Missouri City Clerks and Finance Officers Association, FFA (Future Farmers of America), and Missouri Area Health Education Centers. I also visited with teachers and students who participate in Missouri Association for Career and Technical Education programs, as well as students in the dental hygiene program at Missouri Southern State University.
If you would like to arrange a time to come and visit me in Jefferson City, please don’t hesitate to contact my capitol office at (573) 751-1882.