Senator Dan Brown (R-16) was recognized at the open county commission meeting, Tuesday at the courthouse, for his commitment to improve county government operations. Visiting Dent County commissioners Darrell Skiles, Dennis Purcell and Gary Larson made the presentation representing the Commissioners Association of Missouri (CCAM).

“About everything a commission does revolves around state statutes, state funding, reimbursement for our costs, and so on, so it’s very important that we have legislators that will listen and work with us as relates to our issues and concerns, so we can do the best job we can to meet the needs of our constituents,” said Dent County Presiding Commissioner Darrell Skiles and treasurer of CCAM.
According to the organization, Sen. Brown, Senate Appropriations Chair, supported the House position to restore the cuts of $3 million on state reimbursement for the per diem to Missouri counties ($21.58 for prisoners). He also approved the increase of $500,000 for assistance in back payments to counties. Sen. Brown held the line on additional cuts to counties on the per-parcel assessments and juvenile salaries.

Commissioner Skiles awarded Sen. Brown a plaque that reads:
“The County Advocate Award is presented to Sen. Dan Brown, Mo. Senate District 16, in recognition of his leadership and commitment to improve county government operations and to strengthen the local government/state partnership, by the CCAM, 2017.”

Sen. Brown talked about the importance of fair compensation among the county clerks for the work they do. He also spoke about fair legislation that is designed not to be a burden on the counties.  
“If we are going to put a regulation on the county, then I want us to pay for it,” he said.  
“In the past, we had just given the judiciary all of their money and let them spend it, with 100 percent flexibility. By the time it (budgeted money) got down to the county level, some clerks were still working 17 years without a pay raise. Pay equity was achieved by taking some money out of judges pay.
Working with Becky Aubuchon, the clerk for the Mo. Supreme Court, Sen. Brown said, “Some counties around the metropolitan areas were being paid more than they should be and county workers in Phelps, Dent, Pulaski and Crawford were paid way low—she (Aubuchon) fixed that.”
“I think the clerks are happier—they needed a bigger raise than they got, but it’s going to take a little while to get there.”
“I appreciate all the works the counties do,” he said. “The jail reimbursement rate for the counties is low. Numerous times it was always pulled out of the budget. Right now, we’re in pretty good shape. There’s probably no reason for the Governor to be withholding as much as he is and we hope he lightens up on that.”
Three other legislators were honored as well in their home counties by commissioners in the surrounding counties. Sen. Dan Hegeman (R-12), Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick (R-158) and Rep. Nate Walker (R-3).