The White Pages: Extraordinary session is underway

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On Monday, July 27, the lieutenant governor pounded the gavel at noon to officially start the First Extra Session of the Second Regular Session of the 100th General Assembly. A total of 18 bills and one senate joint resolution were filed by members of the Missouri Senate, but only one was second read and referred to committee. The all-inclusive Senate Bill 1 contains each legislative proposal requested by the governor to address our state’s prevalence of violent crime, and it was heard by the Senate Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety Committee on Tuesday in the Senate Chamber. Over a dozen proponents representing law enforcement, prosecutors’ offices, state departments, police associations and public safety entities offered their supportive testimony for the measure. Several opponents of the bill were concerned that certifying juveniles as adults may have unintended, negative consequences for our children. The session will reconvene next Wednesday, Aug. 5.

MO Eating Disorders Council Invitation Accepted

I recently accepted the invitation extended by the director of the Department of Mental Health to serve as the legislative representative on the Missouri Eating Disorders Council (MOEDC). This consortium is a collaboration of organizations and stakeholders working with the Departments of Mental Health, Health and Senior Services, Elementary and Secondary Education and Higher Education and Workforce Development. Formed in 2011, the council is tasked with leading education and awareness initiatives throughout the state while promoting access to proven treatment options.

According to MOEDC, over 500,000 Missourians suffer with anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorders. As a formal juvenile attorney and guardian ad litem, I am aware of the devastation and upheaval to lives that eating disorders cause. Too often, families suffer alone in silence because of the stigma associated with behavioral health disorders. I look forward to serving on this council to debunk the myths and align sick people with necessary treatment options. If you or someone you know is struggling with this disease, please call the national hotline at 800-931-2287 or text “NEDA” to 741741.

These beautiful prayer shawls are headed to the White House.

Prayer Shawls Knit Southwest Missouri to Washington, D.C.

The kindness and generosity of the residents of the 32nd Senatorial District never ceases to amaze me. Last week, I had the great honor of knitting our small corner of the world to the White House with prayer. Thank you, Betty Boyd of Greenfield, for creating these beautiful symbols of support and devotion for our president, first lady, vice president and second lady.

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The president’s shawl has 45 columns to coincide with him being our 45th president. My wife, daughter and I enjoyed moving the gifts one-step closer to the finish line when we passed them off to U.S. Rep. Billy Long last week in D.C. I believe our leaders will appreciate this small gesture of love and the power of prayer that is backing it all the way from southwest Missouri!

Representative Ann Kelley receives the shawls from Betty Boyd to launch their journey.
Representative Kelley passes the shawls to Sen. White.
Senator White delivers the shawls to Michael Appelbaum from U.S. Rep. Billy Long’s office in Washington, D.C.

Vote on Tuesday

Flex your civic muscles on Tuesday by casting your vote. Although it is too late to register to vote in the primary election on Aug. 4, there is still plenty of time and ways to register for the general election this fall.

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