The White Pages: Disagreements on legislative priorities

Gary VanMater of Carthage was honored to be a 2019 recipient of the Lieutenant Governor's Senior Service Award. He was nominated by Mercy Hospital in Carthage for volunteering with the local Meals on Wheels program.


As legislators, we recognize that not every proposal will be approved and sent to the governor’s desk for consideration, but I believe it is important to continue to stand up for the issues that matter most to Missourians.

During the final weeks of the 2019 legislative session, legislators in the Missouri Senate have reached a point of contention due to disagreements on several of the remaining legislative priorities.

When lawmakers disagree, this can cause contentious debate and result in the use of a filibuster, which is exactly what has happened this week.


A filibuster is typically used to delay, block or in some cases used to negotiate the language of a bill. This course of action can be most effective when there are opportunities to compromise on legislation or used to prevent an unfavorable piece of legislation from passing. One of the issues that legislators in the Missouri Senate have not been able to find a compromise on is whether or not Missouri needs a statewide prescription drug monitoring program.

Without an end to the gridlock, there is a chance that several bills that my colleagues and I have in the que may not be considered for any further debate. On the upside, I am confident that we will pass the state’s operating budget for Fiscal Year 2020 before our constitutional deadline of May 10.


In light of the upcoming anniversary of the 2011 Joplin tornado, I would like to take a moment and raise awareness of state treasurer’s effort to assist residents who live in Newton, Jasper and Dade counties retrieve any unclaimed property.

Each year, financial institutions, businesses, government agencies and other organizations turn over millions of dollars in cash and the contents of safe deposit boxes to the state treasurer.

These entities are required to turn over unclaimed property after there has been no documented transaction or contact with the owner for five years. Businesses and residents who had to move as result of the Joplin tornado should look into this opportunity to see if they have any property that has been left unclaimed.

The treasurer’s office recently launched the Show-Me The Money campaign and is working to help individuals residing in my senatorial district access any funds they may be owed. Data from the treasurer’s office shows that in Jasper County alone there is approximately $13.5 million in unclaimed property. In the past three weeks, the treasurer’s team has helped families in our community recover more than $150,000. I encourage everyone to visit the treasurer’s website to see if you are entitled to any unclaimed property. You may also call their office at 573-751-0123.


Missouri’s educators deserve to be recognized for their hardwork and dedication to our students. I just want to say thank you to all teachers for their hardwork.



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