Inquiries Continue Regarding CCW Information
In the Missouri Senate’s quest to understand how your personal information is handled by DOR and other agencies and to ensure your personal information is protected, several pieces of information were uncovered regarding the entities that have allegedly been involved in issues regarding Missourians’ private data.
Recently, a Missouri lawmaker announced that the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the U.S. Social Security Administration obtained a list of Missourians with concealed weapons permits (CCWs). According to an Associated Press article, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, which is said to have provided the list to the federal agencies, released an email sent in January regarding the use of the list. The article states the email was sent “…by an employee in the Missouri Information Analysis Center to others in the Highway Patrol saying that the Social Security Administration wanted a ‘comprehensive list of every person who holds a concealed carry weapons permit in Missouri’ as part of a ‘joint venture’ with the ATF.” It’s stated that the Social Security Administration was investigating potential disability fraud.
ATF has denied receiving or seeking a list of Missourians with CCWs and the Social Security Administration stated that it did not provide a disk of information on Missourians with CCWs to the government organization. The process of investigating the actions of DOR and other agencies is ongoing and new facts are continuously discovered. The Missouri Senate is dedicated to working diligently to ensure your information is secure and is taking action to prevent these types of circumstances from occurring again.
This week, my SB 432 was given initial Senate approval; one more affirmative vote would send it to the House for consideration. My bill would help continue the kindhearted work of nonprofit organizations that prepare food at fundraising events. President Ronald Reagan once said, “All great change in America begins at the dinner table.” Good food is a fantastic way to draw crowds for a charity event, and serving a meal or snack is a great opportunity for people to get together and come up with ideas on how to do good for others.
Unfortunately, certain health inspectors are preventing community events (such as charitable chili suppers and other nonprofit events) from serving food, due to the fact that the food was not prepared in an inspected kitchen. These health inspectors should focus their efforts on businesses that offer food, such as restaurants, as opposed to little local events that are trying to help others in the community. Food safety is very important, but at charitable chili supper-type events, personal responsibility should come into play. If the food looks questionable, you don’t need to partake.
My bill will help protect the efforts of charitable organizations by allowing a nonprofit organization to prepare food in a private home or other area. The consumer must be informed by a clearly visible placard at the serving location that the food was prepared in a kitchen that is not subject to regulation and inspection by the regulatory authority. The nonprofit organization may notify the regulatory authority prior to the beginning of the event. If the nonprofit opts to notify the regulatory authority, that organization must include information regarding its name; the date, time, and location of the event; and the name and contact information of the person in charge of the event. This bill does not apply to a food establishment that is regulated by the Department of Health and Senior Services that provides food for an event, or to Jefferson County, St. Louis County, St. Charles County or the City of St. Louis.
Investing in the well-being of our communities in Missouri is incredibly important. The people of our state are happy to help out their neighbors and roll up their sleeves to make a positive impact for others. Although I’m one who prefers limited government regulations and laws, this legislation needs to be put in place to allow the good work on nonprofits to continue.
If you have any questions about the matters I’ve addressed in this legislative report, please don’t hesitate to contact my Capitol office.
Welcoming Capitol Guests
I had the pleasure of meeting numerous good Missourians this week at the State Capitol. Some of my guests this week were members of the Three Rivers Community College and the Missouri Credit Union Association, employees of the Ozark Community Health Center, representatives from the Missouri Highlands Health Care Center, Farmers Insurance, and Centers for Independent Living, and constituents advocating for the well-being of children.
If you would like to arrange a time to come and visit me in Jefferson City, please don’t hesitate to contact my capitol office at (573) 751-1882.