An eight-year state representative has thrown in his hat as a Democratic nomination for Senate District 10 in the Missouri State Senate and could potentially face Republican Rep. Jeanie Riddle of Mokane after primaries.
Ed Schieffer, D-Troy, is the representative for the majority of Lincoln County - Missouri's 41st district. Lincoln County is east of Montgomery County and has a population of more than 53,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Sen. Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City, currently holds the Senate District 10 seat, which encompasses Monroe, Audrain, Callaway, Montgomery, Warren and Lincoln counties.
So far in the 2014 legislative session, Schieffer has filed four bills. One of those is House Bill 1194 that would provide a $750,000 increase in the fiscal year cap on tax credit donations to food pantries. The fiscal year cap is $1.25 million and the bill would change that to $2 million. The Ways and Means Committee, which hears tax-related legislation, will hear the bill on Feb. 18.
Sen. Scott Sifton, D-Affton, has sponsored a similar bill in the state senate, Senate Bill 638, that would increase the cap to $1.75 million. SB 638 would also up the cap on tax credits to pregnancy resource centers from $2 million to $2.5 million. The Jobs, Economic Development and Local Government Committee in the Senate voted "do pass" on the bill.
Schieffer said he and Sifton conversed in December about their two similar bills. HB 1194 has not met any opposition, Schieffer said, and the bill would help combat food stamp cuts through the national Farm Bill.
Schieffer's other bills include:
•House Bill 1605: Deems May as "Mental Health Awareness Month" and May's first full week as "Bipolar Disorder Awareness Week."
•House Bill 1606: Deems "Thank a Farmer Day" as Nov. 21.
•House Bill 1607: Deems March's second week as "Master Gardeners' Week."
The representative was also appointed to the 12-member special standing committee which has taken an interest in finding out why propane prices have increased recently. Schieffer said his elderly aunt recently purchased 200 gallons of propane that cost her $1,169. The time before that the total came to less than $500. For people like his aunt on fixed incomes, the problem is more severe, Schieffer said.
"There's some serious issues on how people are going to heat their homes," Schieffer said.
House Concurrent Resolution 18 filed by Rep. Jay Houghton, R-Martinsburg, is a request from the Missouri General Assembly for the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the propane price increases.
Schieffer said he's supporting bills for a one-cent sales and use tax increase that would go toward transportation. There are two bills, Senate Joint Resolution 48 and House Joint Resolution 68, that would do just that. Schieffer said the money could possibly benefit Interstate 70 by making it a six-lane highway, which would improve safety, trucking, commerce and jobs across central Missouri.
Schieffer added that he is a retired teacher who wants to see education fully funded and is "100 percent" pro-life.
Bryant Liddle, treasurer for the Callaway County Democratic Club, said the organization has not yet made any formal endorsement decisions.