The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

August 4, 2013

Susan Redden: Local lawmakers garner recognition

JOPLIN, Mo. — Joplin area legislators are racking up honors for their efforts during the 2013 legislative session.

State Rep. Bill Reiboldt, R-Neosho, will be recognized Monday for his help in legislation that supports University of Missouri Extension. State Rep. Charlie Davis, R-Webb City, recently received the Legislator of the Year award from the Missouri Department of the American Legion for his work on bills to help veterans.

Extension officials will be hosts of a dinner today in Neosho to honor Reiboldt, chairman of the House Agriculture Policy Committee.

“We want to recognize his work on behalf of MU Extension because he championed a bill that will allow local extension councils to form districts so they can combine resources and be more effective and efficient,” Jay Chism, southwest regional director for University of Missouri Extension, said Friday.

The legislation sponsored by Reiboldt will provide more options for extension councils that oversee extension programs in each county but may have limited funds to provide services to farmers and other residents.

“That’s part of the reason we appreciate it so much, because this is not a need in his district but he knew it was important for the rest of the state,” Chism said.

Reiboldt said he was happy to help get the measure adopted.

“Extension is very important in our state,” he said. “I’ve been in agriculture my entire life, and I’ve used extension services. This will give them some tools for future funding so we can be sure they will always be there.”

While extension services are most identified with agriculture, Reiboldt noted that the work goes on throughout the state in both urban and rural areas, addressing other issues such as consumer information, nutrition and health.

Officials on hand at the dinner will include Michael Ouartstet, MU Extension vice provost and director of cooperative extension; Beverly Coberly, associate vice provost; and Marty Oetting, director of government relations.

Davis, chairman of the House Veterans Committee, accepted Legislator of the Year honors during the annual convention of the American Legion in Missouri on July 20 in Jefferson City.

The award honors Davis’ “untiring efforts in sponsoring and supporting legislation beneficial to the veterans of Missouri.”

A number of bills to help veterans in voting, child custody, education and other issues passed last session. Davis insisted that the credit needs to be shared with other lawmakers.

“I made the point that it was a teamwork effort,” he said. “There were zero ‘no’ votes on any of our veterans’ bills in the House or Senate committees or in floor debate. We have a Legislature who wholeheartedly supports our military, and that’s on both sides of the aisle.”

In addition to his work on veterans’ bills, Davis organized a day honoring Patriot Guard riders who support the military and its families at funerals and other events.

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