Saturday, April 10, 2021

Joplin City Council to update action plans during work session


JOPLIN CITY COUNCIL WORK SESSION
MONDAY,  APRIL 12, 2021
5th FLOOR COUNCIL CHAMBERS
602 S. MAIN ST. JOPLIN MO
5:45 P.M.


 AGENDA


Billy Long: Trump's thoughtful policies kept China on its heels- Biden will strengthen Chinese economy


(From Seventh District Congressman Billy Long)

In last week’s Long’s Short Report, I discussed how raising the corporate tax rate will make the United States less competitive on the global stage. 

During the Obama era, the corporate tax rate caused companies to move tens of thousands of jobs to other countries, including to our main geopolitical competitor, China. 

China is a country that will do anything to supersede the United States as a world leader. They steal American intellectual property, impose unfair trade practices, and use unethical and forced labor policies to lower the cost of manufacturing goods. We have seen what this mix of Chinese trade practices and a high corporate tax rate has done in the United States before – slow economic growth and decrease manufacturing jobs.








As President Trump promised during his campaign for president in 2016, he stood up to China by renegotiating trade deals and imposing tariffs to directly counter unfair trade practices by the Chinese. These tariffs worked. 

In conjunction with the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, President Trump was successful in bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States and putting immense pressure on China to play fair. 

Luckily for China, they weathered the storm through the presidential election and are now dealing with President Joe Biden, who on the campaign trail loudly denounced President Trump’s tariffs, claiming they would only hurt the American economy and businesses.

What you haven’t heard is that despite his strong criticism for President Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods, President Biden has not removed them. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo has called his tariffs “effective” and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai has publicly stated that she has no plans to change President Trump’s trade policy on China. This is a complete turnaround from what President Biden stated on the campaign trail.








But we are only a few months into the Biden presidency, will he make good on his promise and end the tariffs on China? I have encouraged him to leave these policies in place. The United States currently runs a $310 billion trade deficit to China, making us a significant source of wealth for the Communist Chinese government and fueling China’s economic growth. 

While China remains a significant trade partner, President Trump’s tariffs have reduced the trade deficit by over $100 billion from its high of $419 billion. 

This is a significant hit to a tyrannical regime that uses these funds to cheat other countries, commit human rights atrocities, and buy influence with our adversaries. It is also a significant boost for American manufacturing and trade with allies as $100 billion worth of goods is now being manufactured here at home, or being acquired from a more friendly country.

To put it simply, China is a bad actor. The Obama Administration rewarded China’s bad behavior by regularly rolling over to their demands and supporting a high corporate tax rate. These policies opened the door for U.S. businesses to move jobs to China and other more competitive economies. 

President Trump’s thoughtful policies finally put the Communist Chinese regime on its heels and demonstrated that the United States was through with their antics. There was a new sheriff in town and Beijing didn't like it. During his campaign, President Biden said everything that China wanted to hear, and their man got elected. If President Biden keeps his campaign promises, we can expect a stronger and more resilient Chinese economy and a more emboldened Chinese regime.

Sam Graves: "Shall not be infringed" sounds pretty absolute to me


(From Sixth District Congressman Sam Graves)

“Shall not be infringed.”It’s a critical phrase in the 2nd Amendment. Our right to keep and bear arms is one held dear across North Missouri. Hunting, target shooting, and most importantly, self-defense, are just a few of the reasons why.

When President Biden ran for office, he promised to “defeat the NRA.” To me, it sounded like code for “get rid of guns.” 

Unfortunately, I don’t think going after guns was a campaign platitude. With his track record of actually banning some firearms for a time with the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, it shouldn’t have been a surprise.








Facing pressure to follow through on campaign promises, President Biden announced a slew of executive orders this week to try to dismantle the 2nd Amendment.

Using the Justice Department and Attorney General Merrick Garland, the President wants to restrict gun-making kits and parts, as well as pistol braces. He also wants to provide “model” red flag laws for states to temporarily take guns from folks deemed a danger to themselves.

Most concerning is his nomination of a radical gun control lobbyist to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. David Chipman previously served at ATF and has made it clear that he doesn’t understand why folks think they need to own guns and that the 2nd Amendment means guns should be “well-regulated.” Once again, the rest of his words indicate that his definition of “well-regulated” is probably different than what we think of in North Missouri.

Unfortunately, if the President could go farther than what he’s proposed, he would. That’s the problem. Add a restriction here, toss in a new regulation there, try to pass a few new laws and suddenly the law-abiding citizens have a problem. The criminals though? They’ll still be committing the same crimes.

Criminals don’t care about laws or executive orders. That’s why it’s called “breaking the law.” The point of the 2nd Amendment is for law-abiding citizens to be able to protect and defend themselves. Against criminals, I might add.

Make no mistake, criminalization of our constitutional rights and confiscation of legally possessed weapons is the ultimate goal here. In the meantime, court challenges will ensue and hopefully we can slow down the impending gun grab.

The common theme running through all of this gun control talk is a dubious interpretation of the Constitution to suit a political belief. While unveiling his executive orders this week, President Biden went so far as to say that the 2nd Amendment isn’t absolute. I don’t know about you, but “shall not be infringed” sounds pretty absolute to me.

 

Springfield Mega Vaccine Event breaks single-day record


(From the Springfield-Greene County Health Department)

A total of 6,131 individuals were vaccinated Thursday and Friday at the COVID-19 Mega Vaccine Event. On Friday, 4,385 doses were administered, breaking the single day record of 3,999 set in St. Charles County and making it the largest one-dose vaccination event in the state of Missouri to date.

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department and Missouri State University are grateful for the support of the many partners that made this event a success. This includes:

City of Springfield
City Utilities
Drury University






 
Evangel University
Springfield-Greene County Office of Emergency Management
Ozarks Technical Community College
Missouri Dept. of Health and Senior Services
Missouri Disaster Medical Assistance Team
Missouri National Guard
Springfield Public Schools
and others

Vaccinating this many people brings Springfield, Greene County closer to its goal of fully vaccinating 25% of our population by April 16 – the day the City will enter the yellow phase of our Road to Recovery. In addition to the 6,131 doses administered during the mega event, area healthcare partners have provided an additional 7,500 doses in the last two days - bringing our two-day regional total to more than 13,631 doses administered.

The remaining supply of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine from the mega event will be used in the Health Department’s outreach efforts to vaccinate hard to reach populations in our community and distributed to local healthcare partners for use in local vaccination clinics.

The Health Department and MSU want to thank everyone who did their part to protect themselves and their community by getting vaccinated. Those who were unable to attend can visit health.springfieldmo.gov/vaccine or call 417-874-1211 to get connected with the next available opportunity.

COVID-19 vaccine now available to all Missourians over 16


By Jason Hancock

All Missourians 16 and older are now eligible to receive a COVID vaccine.

Starting today, an estimated 4.5 million residents will be eligible.

Gov. Mike Parson first announced last month that the state intended to open eligibility to all Missourians by April 9. About 1.8 million Missourians have already received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Yet just as more Missourians become eligible, the state is also seeing a decrease in supply of vaccines.








For the week of April 12, the state anticipates seeing roughly 157,040 doses in total — a decline of about 351,460 doses from last week’s projection for the same time period.

By vaccine type, the state will see 160,760 fewer Pfizer doses, 112,800 fewer Moderna and 77,900 fewer of Johnson & Johnson, Missouri vaccine providers were told on a call Tuesday. The state anticipates relying on those reduced levels for future allocations until increases are seen.

Missourians searching for a shot can go to the state’s Vaccine Navigator website, or call the COVID-19 hotline at 877-435-8411.

Ash Grove Republican unhappy with prescription monitoring bill, Biden's executive orders on guns


(From Sen. Mike Moon, R-Ash Grove)

Recently, President Biden announced his intent to place further restrictions on gun ownership by issuing executive orders. 

Well, Mr. Biden, please let it be known: Article I, section 1 of the U.S. Constitution states, “All legislative authority is vested in a congress, which shall consist of a senate and house of representatives.”

Mr. President, according to the U.S. Constitution (which you swore an oath to support) only the congress can make law; not the president; not the courts; and, not agencies of the government. Any Executive Order issued by you does not carry the full force and effect of law – PERIOD!








Now, if only the several states will (proverbially) grow a spine, stand erect upon their own two feet, and oppose any effort(s) to usurp their authority. (Here’s a suggestion to the several states: read and understand Article I, section 8 of the U.S. Constitution.) In addition, the states should also be ready to stand on the authority of the X Amendment of the United States Constitution.

So, where will Missouri stand when it comes to protecting the God-given rights of her citizens? I’ll tell you this: I will not stand down and allow unlawful attempts to emasculate our ability to protect ourselves and our families!

On that note, two bills are making their way through the Missouri legislature. HB (House Bill) 85 in now in the Senate. SB (Senate Bill) 39 is still awaiting debate in the Senate. There is still time to pass SAPA in this session.

Please contact your county sheriff to ask their position on each of the bills.

PDMP RISKS PATIENT HEALTH AND PATIENT PRIVACY

The PDMP (Prescription Drug Management Program) passed the MO Senate recently. Following a near eight-hour debate, the bill was perfected (a true misnomer) – even though, the bill sponsor was made aware of flaws in the bill.








First, due to letters sent to about 8,000 physicians in 2018 (by the Greiten’s administration), doctors who treat patients who suffer from chronic pain became concerned that they might lose their ability to practice medicine. The letters “threatened” doctors with the potential of being brought before the Board of Healing Arts for sanctioning and/or losing their ability to prescribe needed medicines for their patients.

This is outrageous! Government (and, in this particular case, a Governor) attempts to flex their proverbial muscle by implementing regulations on areas they literally have no expertise. In this case, the result was causing undue harm to chronic pain patients.

One of the primary reasons for implementing a PDMP was to stop “Dr. Shopping” (when persons who want to acquire more prescription medicines than necessary seek out multiple physicians in hope of obtaining the drugs – specifically opioids). I should note that “Dr. Shopping” is attributed to approximately 2.3% of the drug abuse problem.
In order to control “Dr. Shopping,” does it not make sense to require doctors to participate in the PDMP? I say, “YES!”

Well, here’s the “skinny:” Physicians are not required under the provisions of the Missouri bill recently passed by the Senate. The reason, Physicians do not want to be required to participate. So, if a PDMP becomes law in Missouri and the doctors are not required to participate, what’s the purpose?

In addition, although 49 states have PDMPs, the abuse (and deaths) related to opioid drug abuse has continued to rise. According to reports, the reason for the continued rise is due to illicit (illegal) fentanyl). The illegal fentanyl is manufactured in mass quantities in China and Mexico. These are not prescribed by doctors and PDMPs will not control the drugs.

The real losers, if the PDMP becomes law in Missouri: Missouri citizens. Additionally, the PDMP creates yet another database. Remember the CCW data shared with the federal government in 2013? Well, consider this: if the PDMP is passed, our personal data will likely be shared with the federal government (I recently obtained confirmation from the Senate Appropriations chairman that Missouri received federal grant money in exchange for prescription information on individual Missourians – a program President Trump created.)

So, with this exchange of information, what would stop a government bent on taking away our right to own guns from using the PDMP data against us? Psychotropic drug use will be in the PDMP database (are you following this line of reasoning?). There may come a day in the not too distant future where this PDMP data will be used to disarm law-abiding citizens.

Please, call your Missouri Representative and tell them to “kill” the PDMP!

UNCONSTITUTIONAL LAWS ARE PASSED EVERY YEAR

Should Missouri lawmakers follow the law when creating laws?
For nearly eight years now, I’ve been told that in order to get a law passed, bills must be amended (even though this process will likely violate the MO Constitution). Since time is short, “it’s the only way your bill will pass,” they say.
I
say, “BOLOGNA!”

Article III, sections 21 and 23 state clearly the requirements of passing laws in our state. I encourage you to become familiar with these sections. And, more importantly, hold your elected officials accountable. If you don’t get involved, who will?

In short, the Missouri Constitution requires that bills have a purpose (I imagine you agree that this is reasonable). In addition, the Constitution limits bills to one subject (that’s sensible, too, I hope you’ll agree). And, the Missouri Constitution prohibits the changing of a bill’s original purpose during the amending process.

If you think Missouri lawmakers should follow the law when creating laws you have to abide by, take a look at the laws passed, and learn whether or not the one representing you is following the law they pledged to follow.

IN THE NEXT REPORT, I’LL UPDATE THE ABOLITION OF ABORTION BILL

Friday, April 09, 2021

Agenda posted for Carthage City Council meeting


COUNCIL AGENDA CITY OF CARTHAGE, MISSOURI 
TUESDAY, APRIL 13, 2021 6:30 P.M. - 
COUNCIL CHAMBERS 

1. Call to Order 

2. Invocation 

3. Pledge of Allegiance to Flag 

4. Calling of the Roll 

5. Reading and Consideration of Minutes of Previous Meeting 

6. Presentations/Proclamations • James Harrison 

7. Public Comments 

8. Reports of Standing Committees 

9. Reports from Special Committees and Board Liaisons 

10. Report of the Mayor 








11. Reports/Remarks of Councilmembers 

12. Administrative Reports 

13. Report of Claims Presented Against the City 

14. Public Hearings 

15. Old Business 

1. C.B. 21-15 - An Ordinance to allow the Mayor to enter into a contract with Hunter Chase and Associates for City Sidewalk Improvements Phase 4 (Central East to 96 Bridge) in the amount of $385,528.00. (Public Works) 

2. C.B. 21-16 - An Ordinance authorizing the Mayor to enter into a contract with the Fair Acres Family YMCA, Inc. for Aquatic Facility Management at Municipal Park. (Public Services) 

3. Election Results - Motion to Approve 

4. Adjourn Old Council

16. New Business 

1. Oath of Office 

2. Roll Call 






3. Mayor's Committee and Board Liaison Appointments 

4. Election of Mayor Pro Tern 

5. C.B. 21-17 - An Ordinance authorizing the Mayor to execute a Contract between the City of Carthage and Sprouls Construction, LLC for storm water improvements in the Phelps subdivision. (Public Works) 

6. C. B. 21-18 - An Ordinance rezoning certain property located at 1306 West Central Avenue (Boggess and Graul Addition, Lot # 29), in the City of Carthage, Missouri from District A, 'Residential' to District E, 'General Business' as requested by Connie Lynn Hobson-Grinstead. (Planning, Zoning, and Historic Preservation Commission) 

17. Mayor's Appointments 
• Carthage Water & Electric Plant Board • Care Leave Committee 

18. Resolutions 

19. Closing Comments 

20. Executive Session 

21 .Adjournment

Joplin reaches 6,000 COVID-19 cases


The city of Joplin recorded its 6,000th COVID-19 case today, according to statistics posted on the city's website.

The Joplin Health Department confirmed four new cases today to reach 6,000 and has 22 active cases.

The city has recorded 130 COVID-19 deaths.


Thursday, April 08, 2021

Biden nominates Robin Carnahan to lead General Services Administration


By Ariana Figueroa

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden Tuesday nominated former Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan to lead the General Services Administration.

GSA is a $20 billion independent agency that provides basic support and supplies communications for federal agencies. The post is subject to U.S. Senate confirmation.

Carnahan ran for Missouri’s Senate seat in 2010, but lost to Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, who is not running for reelection. In a statement, Blunt said he plans to back her nomination.








“Robin Carnahan is smart, capable, and understands what they do at GSA. I look forward to supporting her nomination,” he said.

Carnahan, 59, served as Missouri’s secretary of state from 2005 to 2013. From 2016 to 2020, she founded and led the State and Local Government Practice at 18F, which is a digital services agency within GSA that collaborates with other agencies to help them build and buy technology.

“At GSA, Carnahan helped federal, state and local government agencies improve customer facing digital services and cut costs,” the White House wrote in a release. “In particular, she taught and empowered non-technical executives about how to reduce risk and deliver better results for the public by more effectively budgeting, procuring, implementing and overseeing digital modernization projects.”

She comes from a long line of Missouri politicians.








Her father, Mel Carnahan, served as governor and her mother, Jean Carnahan, became the first woman to serve as a U.S. senator for Missouri. Her brother, Russ, was a member of Congress from 2008 to 2013. Her grandfather, Albert Sidney Johnson Carnahan, also served as a congressman for Missouri.

Robin Carnahan is currently a fellow at Georgetown University’s Beeck Center, where she co-founded the State Software Collaborative, which helps states obtain software so they can coordinate better with the federal government’s technology.

She was also a fellow at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics in 2013.

Carnahan earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., and a juris doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Ariana Figueroa covers the nation's capital for States Newsroom, a network of state-based nonprofit news outlets that includes The Missouri Independent. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections and campaign finance. Before joining States Newsroom, Ariana covered public health and chemical policy on Capitol Hill for E&E News. As a Florida native, she's worked for the Miami Herald and her hometown paper, the Tampa Bay Times. Her work has also appeared in the Chicago Tribune and NPR. She is a graduate of the University of Florida.

Missouri legislature moves closer to finally passing prescription drug monitoring bill


By Tessa Weinberg

Missouri is one step closer to shedding its designation as the only state in the country without a prescription drug monitoring program after a bill to establish one was passed out of the Senate Tuesday.

Senate Bill 63, sponsored by Sen. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston, (pictured) cleared what has historically been a stumbling block for the legislation by a vote of 20 to 12 Tuesday. It now heads to the House, where unlike the Senate it has historically found success.

(Photo by Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

For nearly a decade, Missouri has been the only state without a prescription drug monitoring program, more commonly known as PDMP, which would allow physicians and pharmacists to track prescriptions.








The bill would establish a “Joint Oversight Task Force for Prescription Drug Monitoring,” which would be made up of licensed healthcare professionals, like physicians and pharmacists, who would oversee the creation of a centralized database. The bill is based on the compromise lawmakers reached on last year’s legislation, Rehder said.

Supporters argue it’s necessary to monitor patients’ history and help providers intervene to stop opioid abuse. And for Rehder, the issue is personal, as her own family has struggled with opiod addiction.

“This would simply move our patchwork program to a statewide program with legislative oversight,” Rehder said Tuesday.

Republican Sens. Mike Moon of Ash Grove and Rick Brattin of Harrisonville both reiterated their concerns with the legislation Tuesday and were among the 12 Republican senators who voted against the bill.






 

Eleven Republicans joined nine Democratic senators in passing the legislation.

Brattin said that the 49 states that have already implemented a statewide PDMP program are test cases for whether such a system works effectively.

“Forty-nine have failed. Forty-nine still continue to fail. And we still continue to see an epidemic of these sorts of overdoses, the movement to fentanyl,” Brattin said. “It has not cured or even helped move the ball forward. It just moves people to transition to a different form of drug to overdose from.”

In the past, even with the support of Gov. Mike Parson, opponents have managed to block the legislation. It appeared to be on the brink of passage last year but was shot down after Democrats who have traditionally supported the program joined Republican lawmakers in opposition.

Amid the roughly six-and-a-half hours of debate on the bill last week, familiar concerns resurfaced.

Moon questioned the security of third-party vendors overseeing data entered into the system, and the effectiveness of the current local PDMP program in St. Louis County.

“We may not have a lot of control over foreign entities and what they do with it,” Moon said. “Once it’s gone, it’s gone.”

St. Louis County’s program is housed by a third-party vendor and covers a little over 80 percent of the Missouri population, Rehder said. It would be phased out after the statewide program is implemented. Rehder stressed that any vendor contracted by the state would have to meet the bill’s qualifications.

Under the bill, data would be purged on a rolling basis and could only be kept for three years — a provision the current St. Louis county program does not have, she said.

What’s more, provisions also stipulate information in the database cannot be used by law enforcement to prevent an individual from owning a firearm, or as probable cause to obtain a search warrant or arrest. If a person knowingly discloses patient information in violation of the bill, they could be guilty of a class E felony.

An amendment offered by Moon attempted to strike any PDMP program from operating in the state altogether.

“It’s no longer a question if we’re going to have a PDMP,” Rehder said. “We have a PDMP. It’s which one do you want.”

The bill now heads to the House with time running out on the 2021 legislative session. Only six weeks remain before the General Assembly adjourns for the year.

Tessa Weinberg covers education, health care and the legislature. She previously covered the Missouri statehouse for The Kansas City Star and The Columbia Missourian, where her reporting into social media use by the governor prompted an investigation by the Attorney General’s office. She most recently covered state government in Texas for The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.