Speaker Tilley Names Committee to Study Missouri Families
Missouri House Speaker Steve Tilley
has announced the creation of a special
committee to study how the state of Missouri can support the traditional family unit. The Speaker has established the House Interim
Committee on Strengthening Missouri Families. Tilley says he appointed the committee because he believes "a strong family unit is the key to helping Missourians reach their potential."
"Government certainly can't solve every problem but we can work to ensure our policies are conducive to strengthening the family unit and providing a support network that will help parents and children successfully meet some of the challenges they may have little chance to overcome on their own," Representative Tilley said in a prepared statement.
Speaker Tilley observed that the divorce rate in Missouri has consistently been higher than the national average, with more than half of all marriages ending in divorce. "We can't sit idly by and allow the family structure to be weakened to the point that most marriages have no chance for success. We have to
recognize that families represent the essential building blocks for our communities and our state, and that without strong families, we will never be able to reach our potential."
Tilley instructed the
committee to not only make policy recommendations to promote strong families in Missouri, but also to evaluate current state government policies which may be harming the family structure in our state.
The Speaker has appointed Representative Scott Largent
of Clinton to lead the 21-member interim committee. Representative Largent is the current chairman of the House Committee on Children and
Families, and has been a good friend of the pro-family and pro-life community.
"This is an issue that Representative Largent is passionate about...I know he will be a strong guiding voice for the committee as they develop common sense solutions that will help strengthen the family unit and give our young people a much better chance for success."
Representative Largent had this to say about his assignment: "As a Legislature we often look for ways to fix problems in our state while failing to look at the cause of these problems--trouble at home. The cost of a weak family structure, both economically and socially, is something we as a state cannot afford. We have to take a long, hard look at our policies to ensure they are meeting the needs of Missouri families so that
our young people are supported and nurtured in a way that allow them to reach their vast potential."
Representative Lindell Shumake of Hannibal has been appointed Vice-Chair of the interim committee. Since being elected to the Legislature, Shumake has placed major emphasis on reducing the incidence of divorce.
Representative Randy Asbury of Higbee welcomed his appointment to the committee. "Strong families are essential to the future of Missouri and especially to the education of our children. Strong, healthy families provide the foundation for thriving communities, states and our nation."
The Interim Committee on Strengthening Missouri Families will be holding hearings around the state in
the coming months. Speaker Tilley has instructed the committee to provide him with a final report by the end of the year in time for next year's legislative session.
Other members of the
committee in addition to Representatives Largent, Shumake, and Asbury are: Representatives Steve Cookson, Mike McGhee, Keith Frederick, Rick Brattin, Paul Curtman, Wanda Brown, Kent Hampton, Melissa Leach, Paul Fitzwater, Thomas Long, Ward Franz, Stacey Newman, Gail McCann Beatty, Kevin McManus, Jeanette Mott Oxford, Ben Harris, Paul Quinn, and Ed Schieffer.
We commend Speaker Tilley for making this subject an issue of priority attention for the Missouri Legislature. Please be praying for the members of this interim committee as they go about their work in the months ahead.