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Posted Monday, May 16, 2011, at 12:46 PM

"Help others and give something back. I guarantee you will discover that while public service improves the lives and the world around you, its greatest reward is the enrichment and new meaning it will bring your own life."--Arnold Schwarzenegger

Service is a reward unto itself. Whether it's a volunteer helping to protect a community from an impending flood or a state legislator working to improve the lives of the citizens he represents, the person serving gets more out of the experience than the person he or she helped.

Serving you in the Missouri House has enriched my life immeasurably, and I am grateful that you have given me this opportunity.

As we reflect on the end of session, we should continue to be mindful of our neighbors who have been affected by the flooding. The flood waters are receding, and the cleanup efforts are commencing. But they still need our help. Please find a place to volunteer if you can.

Community Response Meetings were held last week. These meetings provided information on the state aid available to flood victims. This is the start of the process for many.

The state has promised to expedite the application process for aid. If you have any questions or difficulty with the application process, please contact my office.

Aid for those in Wilhelmina can't start until Dunklin County is declared a disaster area. State and federal officials visited Wilhelmina last Tuesday to assess the damage. We expect the official announcement for Dunklin County by the end of this week. We will continue monitoring the flooding situation at both the state and local levels.

Overall, the legislative session was a success. With the help of my fellow Southeast Missouri legislators, we were able to accomplish a few things for the citizens of the 163rd District.

HB 798 included language naming Highway 25, from Route U in Bernie to U.S. Highway 412 in Kennett, the Representative Otto Bean Jr. Memorial Highway. This bill passed last Tuesday. Otto died of leukemia while serving in office, and it was important to honor him. He was a very dedicated servant of the people, and would often stay to vote even while he was feeling ill. Once, he was told that if he had spent 15 more minutes on the House floor before getting to the hospital, he would have died. Naming this highway after him was a good way to honor his memory.

HCR 34, urging the U.S. Forest Service to amend or rescind the Travel Management Rule restricting motor vehicle access in Mark Twain National Forest also passed both chambers of the General Assembly.

The Travel Management rule unduly affects the elderly and physically challenged. This resolution sends a strong message that we think all of our citizens should have the opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities in Mark Twain. This resolution will now be sent to the Forest Service for their consideration.

Now that the session is finished, we will be working in the district for the remainder of the year. We are opening an office in the Malden Community Center, located at 607 N. Douglass St., on June 1st. Dan will be there on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. He will also be there on Thursdays from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. Look for our district office phone number in next week's report.

As always, it is an honor to serve you in the Missouri House. If you would like to discuss any issue, please call 573-751-3629. You can also email me at Kent.Hampton@house.mo.gov. I look forward to hearing from you.

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163rd Capitol Report
Rep. Kent Hampton - 163rd District
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