Greetings Friends of the 144th!
I certainly enjoyed the warmer weather we had this past week. Although I was stuck working inside for most of it, I still enjoyed the sun shinning in. I did take time to step outside and take a couple of short walks to enjoy the warm temps while we have them. It won’t be long until old man winter comes rolling in!
Paying Tribute to Our Heroes
As we celebrate Veterans Day this year, I hope you and your family will take time to talk about the significant contributions our veterans have made, and continue to make. We must take time to appreciate the willingness of our veterans to leave behind the comforts of home to fight on foreign soil and to put their lives in harm’s way in order to defend our way of life. Whether they served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam or even more recently, they deserve our respect, our gratitude, and our commitment to preserving the memory of their deeds.
As citizens who enjoy the freedoms our heroes have defended, we owe it to them to extend our thanks and gratitude at every opportunity. We also owe it to our current generation of veterans to recognize not only the contributions they made during their service, but also the ones they will continue to make as citizens. Our latest generation of veterans has returned home to further their education, continue their legacy of service, and take up the mantle of leadership within their communities. It’s important to acknowledge that these men and women who have fought so bravely to protect our nation from forces outside our borders are now working diligently to strengthen our country from within. We are blessed to have these true heroes who have done, and continue to do, so much for our great nation.
On this Veterans Day, I ask you to keep these amazing men and women in your hearts and prayers, and also to give thanks to all of the brave Americans who have served in defense of our nation throughout its history. We would not be the greatest nation on this planet today without their service and sacrifices, and our future would not be nearly as bright without the leadership they will continue to provide in the years to come.
Missouri Continues to See Strong Economic Indicators
While the nation’s economy seems to be on the brink of a recession, Missouri continues to see encouraging trends on the state level. The most recent numbers show Missouri’s unemployment rate has hit a record low and the state’s revenue collections continue to grow.
The most recent employment numbers show Missouri saw an increase of 2,700 jobs for non-farm payroll employment from August 2022 to September 2022. With that employment growth, the state’s unemployment rate now stands at 2.4 percent, which is down from the 2.5 percent rate seen in August. Although these unemployment numbers are low, we are still continuing to see many help wanted signs across the district and beyond.
Missouri has also continued to see healthy revenue growth. The state recently announced general revenue collections for September 2022 grew 14.7 percent compared to those for September 2021. This year the state collected $1.26 billion in revenue in September while last September it collected only $1.10 billion. For the 2023 fiscal year-to-date the state has seen a 17.2 percent increase in revenue collections. To date the state has collected $3.24 billion in revenue. Last year at this time it had collected $2.76 billion. Higher prices = more sales tax = more revenue.
State Launches Missouri Blue Scholarship Fund
In an effort to help attract more Missourians to law enforcement careers, the state has launched a $1 million “Missouri Blue Scholarship” fund. Gov. Mike Parson announced the launch of the fund that will help law enforcement agencies across Missouri address officer shortages.
Missouri Blue Scholarships was established to help attract recruits who may not have the resources to attend a law enforcement academy. Missourians support our law enforcement who keep us safe and value the contributions officers make every day. These scholarships are an additional way of showing our support and commitment to those who choose to serve, and it comes as many law enforcement agencies are experiencing officer shortages.
The Missouri Blue Scholarship pays $5,000 toward the cost of a Missouri resident attending a law enforcement academy in the state. Missouri Blue Scholarships are now available and will be awarded on a first come, first served basis. Applications for Missouri Blue Scholarships are now being taken online at the following link: https://apps1.mo.gov/DPSRoster/
Chris Dinkins is the area’s state representative for the 144th Legislative District. she can be reached by email ChrisDinkins@house.mo.gov or by telephone: 573-751-2112
The scholarships are available until all available funding is utilized for applicants who intend to be commissioned as law enforcement officers upon academy graduation. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and Missouri residents attending or planning to enter a law enforcement academy. Missouri Blue Scholarships are paid directly to the law enforcement academy after completion of eight weeks of training. The scholarships are available to non-sponsored law enforcement training academy recruits (those whose tuition is not being paid by a law enforcement agency).
To apply for a Missouri Blue Scholarship go to the link above or dps.mo.gov and click on “Missouri Blue Scholarship” under Popular Links. For questions call (573) 526-2765.
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions, concerns, or suggestions you might have. As your Representative, I am here to assist you however I can. I can be reached by email at Chris.Dinkins@house.mo.gov or by phone at 573-751-2112. Please do not contact me via social media. These messages are easy to overlook and may not be responded to in a timely manner.