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May God bless you - Representative Bill Reiboldt
Do you know how many U.S. senators we have? How about the number of justices on the Supreme Court? What is the purpose of the United States Constitution? When was it adopted? These are some of the questions that legislators want high school students to be able to answer correctly before graduating.
As we begin our fourth week of the Ninety-Eighth Missouri General Assembly, I want to let you know about a very important piece of legislation that will be moving forward this Session. It is being sponsored in both the Missouri House and Senate and would require all high school students to pass a civics test before receiving their diploma. This test is similar to the civics portion of the U.S. naturalization test and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service would produce the exam with questions about the U.S. Constitution, the country’s economic system, U.S. geography, and American government and history.The Civics Education Initiative is a nationwide effort to get all graduating high school students equipped with a better understanding of the United States Government in an effort to help them become more educated and informed citizens.
A Missouri story that has been unfolding over the last two years is that of the St. Louis Rams stadium situation. Last week the task force appointed by Governor Nixon announced their plans to finance and build a new facility in St. Louis. This ninety-acre site would be developed on the Mississippi riverfront in the northern part of the St. Louis downtown area. The new stadium would be located north of the Gateway Arch and south of the Stan Musial Veteran’s Memorial Bridge. This area of North St. Louis is in bad need of revitalization and a new stadium could be the answer to redeveloping the area.
The plan for the new stadium calls for a 64,000 seat, open-air NFL stadium. This stadium would be the home of the St. Louis Rams as well as a possible attraction to lure a Major League Soccer team to St. Louis. The new stadium would have a price tag estimated to be $860 million up to $975 million, with the possibility of reaching $1 billion. The task force lists a number of ways to fund this venture, including the use of private funds and an extension of the current bonds. Also suggested was the use of tax credits and seat license proceeds. The task force suggests that part of the money should come from the wealthy team owner and a part from the National Football League. However, it is almost a certainty that some public money will be required. Most believe that if public money were to be used, the citizens of St. Louis and St Louis County would have to vote on it.
Last month President Obama announced that he would begin to establish diplomatic relations with Cuba. A Caribbean island nation of about 11 million people, Cuba lies just ninety miles off the coast of Florida. After more than fifty years of limited association with the small country by the U.S., this could all change. Trade embargoes that were put into place by the U.S. government after the Cuban takeover by Fidel Castro and the Communists will also change.
In 1959, a 33 year-old Fidel Castro led a successful revolution, seizing control of Cuba and setting up the first Communist regime in the western hemisphere. The Cuba-U.S. relationship weakened further when in April of 1961 the United States took part in the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion—supporting the Cuban exiles driven out by Castro in 1959. The struggling relationship became even more strained when in October 1962 there was a thirteen-day standoff between the two countries when the Soviet Union deployed missiles in Cuba that had the capability of striking major U.S. cities, missiles that could be equipped with nuclear warheads. This crisis took the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of a nuclear war.
Select Committee on Agriculture - Chairman
Appropriations - Agriculture, Conservation, and Natural Resources