Missouri senator addresses local concerns news nwmissourinews.com electricity clipart

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One of the bigger questions brought up during the town hall was regarding the Area Agency on Aging cutting the Nodaway County Senior Center funding 100 percent. The question revolved around why three centers had been completely cut instead of making cuts across the board.

“The Area Agency on Aging took away our funding Sept. 1st. We do not know why our funding was taken away completely and we have asked that question many, many times. It was taken away from us, the Senior Center in Cameron and the Bartlett Center in St. Joseph,” Firavich said.

According to Broadband Now, 68.6 percent of Nodaway county’s population has access to 100 plus megabits per second while only 36.4 percent of the population has access to one or more gigabytes. Overall, Missouri is ranked as the 42nd most connected state in the U.S.

“I’m working with the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) to make sure that bigger broadband companies don’t try to bid on speeds that they can’t provide so that they get the bid, but then don’t actually follow through,” McCaskill said. “The biggest threat to progress in rural Missouri is a lack of broadband access, and I want to make sure every Missourian has that access.”

McCaskill also touched on the subject of higher education costs, and the rising price of college in Missouri. McCaskill stated that college education was the number one cost increase in Missouri for 2016. McCaskill believes students should be given more options when it comes to paying their student loan debt.

“We all know we can refinance our house loans, the interest goes down and you can go into the bank and bring down the interest rate putting more money in your pocket,” McCaskill said. “I do not understand why there was such an issue on passing a law to do something similar with student loans.”

“All the student loan debt out there is preventing people from participating in the economy,” McCaskill said. “People aren’t out buying cars or houses because they have all this student loan debt they have to worry about. It is a huge problem in our economy and so bad that they (the government) have begun to garnish social security funds to pay off student loan debt.”

According to the website CollegeCalc, the average annual in-state college tuition in Missouri was $13,462 for the 2016-2017 academic year. Missouri also ranked as both the 26th most expensive and 27th most affordable state to attend college.

“The president was duly elected in this country and I do not agree with him on everything, but he was duly elected and this notion that because he is doing things that we really disagree with that, that somehow means he should be removed from office is not the right way to approach the issue to me,” McCaskill said. “Part of the reason I think this is because of how I approach my job.”

“I don’t get up every morning, my feet don’t hit the group and my first thought isn’t ‘my job today is to fight President Trump,’” McCaskill said. "Instead when my feet hit the ground each morning my job it’s how can I fight for you and how can I do things for you…”