Aug 16

Veto Session Preview

by Mike Ferguson

(St. Joseph, MO) – We’re about a month away from the annual Legislative Veto Session and what happens there will likely impact the 2016 elections in addition to our state’s laws and economy now.MWSnap119

This week, Democratic State Representative Pat Conway and Republican State Representative Delus Johnson give us two perspectives on the “Right To Work” bill that passed the Legislature but was vetoed by Governor Jay Nixon. The number of votes for the bill were enough to get it through the Legislature but are not enough to override. Still, many supporters (mostly Republicans) believe there is a chance to make Missouri the nation’s next “Right To Work State”.

We also look ahead to what are likely to be among the top debates of 2016. Supporters of Medicaid expansion say they will try again after slowly gaining ground each of the last few years.

Rep. Conway discusses the effort to address renovation needs at the State Capitol building. The decisions being made today will impact what our great grandchildren experience during their field trips to Jefferson City decades into the future.MWSnap120

Rep. Johnson gives us his thoughts on the 2016 elections and where the momentum is with voters in the Show Me State. Can the GOP increase it’s veto proof majority in the Legislature and win some of the statewide offices? Johnson believes so and explains why.

Special thanks to FOX 26 KNPN & the St. Joseph News Press for hosting this week’s episode and providing the cameras, mics, lights and crew for this week!

On the web:

Rep. Pat Conway:

Rep. Delus Johnson:


St. Joseph News Press:

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Aug 09

Distracted Driving, Speed Traps and Court Reforms in Missouri

by Mike Ferguson

(St. Charles, MO) – No one likes getting a ticket but simple traffic fines became part of a national debate on government and race over the past year. MWSnap118

State Sen. Eric Schmitt (R) explains why he supported an effort to set new rules on local governments’ use of law enforcement. The law reforming municipal courts and, to some extent, local governments was part of the reaction to the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri and across the nation.

The new law reduces the amount of revenue for local governments that can be generated through traffic fines.


Also, ATT Missouri* President John Sondag discusses his industry’s ongoing campaign against distracted driving. The frequency of how often it happens may surprise you. So might the facts on who is looking at their phone when they should be looking at the road.

On the web:MWSnap117

Eric Schmitt:


* Note/disclosure: ATT Missouri is a sponsor of “Missouri Viewpoints”


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Aug 02

Heroin’s Deadly Comeback & Drug Policy Reform in Missouri

by Mike Ferguson

(St. Charles, MO) – Heroin is making a deadly comeback across the nation and particularly in Missouri. MWSnap115

This week, Pete Stenger explains the impact of the drug on his family. His son, Mitch, recently died of a heroin overdose. Stenger has advice on how to spot a potential addiction situation and what to do if you fear for a loved one’s life.

Also, State Rep. Shamed Dogan (R) says we need to reevaluate our drug laws, especially regarding marijuana, in Missouri. Dogan explains why he worked to have the sentence of a drug convict commuted and explains why he believes we should be having a larger discussion when it comes to drug policy in Missouri.MWSnap116

On the web:

Heroin Facts:

Rep. Shamed Dogan:


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Jul 26

Should Missouri Raise The Minimum Wage?

by Mike Ferguson

(St. Charles, MO) – Kansas City’s government has already voted to do it. The debate continues in St. Louis, Columbia and in other communities. Should government force employers to increase the hourly rate for the lowest paid workers?MWSnap110

Now there’s an effort to put that question on the statewide ballot. Different proposals, if approved by voters, would increase the state’s minimum wage to $13.00 per hour and even up to $16.00 per hour over time, depending on which version of the idea would be on the ballot.

This week, Ruth Ehresman from Missouri Jobs With Justice makes their case for increasing the minimum wage, saying it will help many of the lowest paid workers out of poverty.MWSnap111

Dr. Howard Wall, a former St. Louis Federal Reserve economist, is now the director of the Missouri-based Hammond Institute for Free Enterprise. He explains why he is against the idea and thinks it will harm the workers it’s supposed to help.

On the web:

Missouri Jobs With Justice:

Hammond Institute For Free Enterprise:

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Jul 19

Health Care & Foster Care: Efforts To Improve Lives in Missouri

by Mike Ferguson

(St. Charles, MO) – We may like the laws or we may dislike them but, either way, thousands of Missourians rely on government programs for health care.

The laws, benefits and bureaucracies are often complex and leave people behind even if they qualify for coverage. For low income Missourians, there is assistance available when it comes to to appealing denials or just understanding what your rights are with the coverage you have.MWSnap108

Among the services Missouri’s legal aid offices provide is help navigating the complex health care process.

Lucas Caldwell from Legal Services of Eastern Missouri (representing Legal Services of Missouri – the network of regional legal aid offices) explains how these services work to help low income Missourians access government programs for which they qualify and also help with issues that may arise in dealing with private insurance. Each region of the state has a legal aid office.

Dealing with insurance coverage isn’t the only system that can be confusing and frightening for those in it.MWSnap109

Around 13,000 Missouri children are in the state’s foster care system. There’s a collaboration working right now to assess what that system is doing well and what need to be improved.

Missouri Kids Count is active throughout Missouri collecting data on a variety of areas that impact children in Missouri’s foster care system. Les Johnson explains what Missouri Kids Count is and why it matters to the entire state.


On the web:

Legal Services in Missouri:

Missouri Kids Count:


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Jul 12

eLearning In Missouri: Why It Matters To Everyone

by Mike Ferguson

(St. Charles, MO) – Public school students, private school students and home school students: whether urban, suburban or rural, they are no longer limited to the books and classes offered in the buildings where they learn. Missouri is among the leaders in the still-emerging field of online learning.

It’s now possible for a young person to complete their high school education through the University of Missouri. In fact, Mizzou offers eLearning for all K-12 students.MWSnap106

While convenience, access to courses that may not otherwise be available to your child and cost are all factors to weigh when considering eLearning, the discussion is about more than just what’s right for your student. It’s also about the future of our state and our nation. ATT Missouri President John Sondag* discusses the tech/wireless industry’s concerns about the readiness of the workforce in the near future. His company recently made a large donation to support Mizzou’s eLearning system.

Sondag explains why and tells us what he believes improving eLearning options will mean to the entire state.

Why are those options important now and in the years to come?

University of Missouri eLearning Director Zack March explains how all K-12 students can access the fully accredited MU courses and either transfer the credits back to their school or earn their high school diploma online.MWSnap107

Whether it’s a student in a rural area who wants to take a course his district can’t afford to offer or an urban student who has the ability to learn faster than her classmates and get ahead or whether it’s a homeschool family who needs to make sure their children’s learning will be accepted by colleges, today’s online education can meet a variety of needs.

On the web:

ATT Missouri*:

University of Missouri K-12 eLearning:

* ATT Missouri is a sponsor of “Missouri Viewpoints”

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