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Linn County Leader - Brookfield, MO
  • Rep. Lair Visits Brookfield

  • One of Linn County’s two voices in the Missouri House, 7th District Representative Mike Lair, made himself available to local constituents Tuesday afternoon. Appearing in the Brookfield Fire Dept. Conference Room, Lair was as generous with his time as he was receptive to any question those who attended might have had.
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  • One of Linn County’s two voices in the Missouri House, 7th District Representative Mike Lair, made himself available to local constituents Tuesday afternoon. Appearing in the Brookfield Fire Dept. Conference Room, Lair was as generous with his time as he was receptive to any question those who attended might have had.
    Some questions were more personally relevant than socially, but Rep. Lair was happy to respond to them all.
    From Julie Johnson’s questions about her son’s ability to access A+ program benefits retroactively to Brookfield City Manager Dana Tarpening’s questions about the status of a Community Development Block Grant application for drought recovery that may benefit an entire community, the queries ran the gamut. And Rep. Lair’s responses reflected his ability to be genuinely concerned about matters impacting individuals as well as political subdivisions.
    Lair, for instance, expressed his anxiety about the potential for data mining that will accompany the new procedure for renewing vehicle operator’s licenses.
    “We’re seeing data mining everywhere,” shared the 7th District Representative. “We’re concerned about a system of renewing operator’s licenses that sends personal data to some private contractor in Georgia. There’s no need for Missourian’s personal information to go somewhere else. Your driver’s license now contains more personal data than it used to.”
    Rep. Lair transitioned from the potential for the data mining of driver’s licenses to the same danger when it comes to student records.
    “That student data is being sold, and that stuff is scary!” he exclaimed.
    The 7th District Representative has sponsored a bill (HB 1157) that restricts who can see or transfer a student’s personal data to the Missouri Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and its contractors, school district personnel, and the student’s immediate family members, unless authorized by law. The bill also prohibits DESE from collecting student data from criminal records or information regarding political or religious affiliations.
    With regard to the A+ program, which makes it possible for qualifying students to attend two-year community colleges who might otherwise not be able to afford doing so, Rep. Lair advised that it is fully funded. He was careful to distinguish a community college that holds on-site classes from online, for-profit “colleges” that “will help you get a student loan but could care less whether you graduate.” Lair assured his listeners, “We have divorced most of those online schools from state funding.”

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