Patricia Stinnett had the chance to express her concerns over school bonding limitations with Rod Jetton, Missouri Speaker of the House, in Platte County on Friday. Jetton spoke at the Platte Republican Association's monthly First Friday meeting. Stinnett is a member of the Platte County R-3 School Board.
by Ivan Foley
The speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives Rod Jetton met with several Platte County leaders Friday evening.
Jetton, R-Marble Hill, flew into Kansas City with Gov. Matt Blunt to promote legislation that would end state taxation of Social Security benefits.
“Missouri has 250,000 seniors that pay this tax,” Jetton said.
Jetton is the top elected official in the Missouri House of Representatives. He explained that Missouri is one of the few states that taxes Social Security benefits.
“We’re trying to eliminate the tax on Social Security benefits. I think its an unfair tax. This is the right tax to cut,” Jetton explained to local elected officials and community activists at the “First Friday” meeting of the Platte Republican Association.
Prosecutor Eric Zahnd was scheduled to speak to the group but arranged for Jetton to make the extra stop in Platte County instead.
County commissioners Betty Knight and Jim Plunkett asked Jetton about the proposed state regulation of concentrated animal feeding operations. The Missouri Senate’s committee on Agriculture, Conservation, Parks and Natural Resources held a hearing on Wednesday evening on a bill to override local control of such high density livestock farms.
Knight explained the difficulty Platte County went through to pass local regulations several years ago. Both commissioners urged Jetton to allow local governments to continue to regulate high density livestock operations.
Jetton also received a letter from Platte County R-3 school board member Patricia Stinnett. Stinnett met with Jetton and stressed the need to increase the ability of local school boards to issue bonds for construction.
“We don’t have the bonding capacity to build the schools we need,” Stinnett said. Platte County R-3 has a bond issue on the April ballot but could be limited in the future unless state laws are changed.
Jetton will not be able to continue as Missouri House Speaker past the 2008 election due to term limits. Reflecting on his time as the leader of the Missouri House of Representatives, Jetton said, “I came in with strong beliefs. I’m proud of what we’ve gotten done.”
Jetton closed by emphasizing the role Platte County plays in statewide elections.
“You guys have such a great county,” Jetton concluded.
The Platte Republican Association will next meet on Friday, April 6 at the Granfalloon restaurant near Barry Road and Interstate 29 at 5:30 p.m.