Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Jack Goodman Interview

State Sen. Jack Goodman is concerned about the location of a chicken farm in his district, optimistic that the sale of Missouri's loan authority will eventually pass and surprised by a federal judge's decision to reinstate Medicaid cuts.

I got to speak to Sen. Goodman on a range of issues in Monett last week. Here are excerpts from the interview:

On Senate passage of "The Castle Doctrine," legislation he sponsored:
"Essentially in Missouri, under existing law, if an intruder is breaking into your home, while they are coming through a window, you can use full force to defend yourself. Once the intruder has gained entry into your house, the self-defense rules revert to what you have on the street. So if someone has successfully broken into your home unlawfully, you'd have to retreat or wait for them to attack you physically before you could use force to defend yourself or your family," Goodman said.

Is this a widespread problem?
"There have been not a lot of cases, but there have been some cases in Missouri of people who were victims of home intruders, being sued as a result of injuries they inflicted defending themselves," Goodman said. "Not a lot of cases, but some."

Has this happened around here?
"Not in this immediate area that I'm aware of, but they have been in the state of Missouri," Goodman said.

On Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, and a proposed chicken farm in Barry County near Roaring River State Park:

"There is an issue there, and a concern. I have great concern about having a CAFO in such proximity to Roaring River State park and the water theat goes into Table Rock Lake. The concern is we maintain the air quality and water quality for the beauty of these natural resources," Goodman said.

Do you oppose the chicken farm being located there?
"It wouldn't be my first choice to place it there, but we've been in close communication with DNR. They've just issued the permit to proceed with the progress. My hope is the regulations are stringent enough that the water and air will be protected. I have received some assurances that's the case, I hope that we are accurate."

But if the owners have complied with DNR requirements, what is the worry?
"With chicken, comes chicken litter. This type of operation is a different operation. My understanding is that the chicken litter is removed and not land applied. It's supposed to be a very clean operation," Goodman said.

Is there any legislation that you are looking at to address these operations?
"We've given a lot of thought and discussion to buffer zones and parks like that. I think the chance of something like that passing the Senate is very remote. Actually, the real vehicle to deal with that issue would be at the county level and the people of Barry County have always made it pretty clear that didn't want planning and zoning, and their county government has been responsive to that, so they don't have it." Goodman said.

So what are the consequences of not having planning and zoning?
"It is one of the affects of free land use is your neighbor also has free land use," Goodman said.

Do you support the current version of the MOHELA plan in the Senate?
"I do. I think it's a good use of the capital resources there. I think it's being done responsibly. We're keeping all the Missouri loans within the Mohela program. We're going to continue to make the same loan available on the same terms to the same numbers they are now. It's a way to make use of a resource, an asset the state of Missouri has just sitting there, to bring some needed added assets to the state of Missouri." Goodman said.

Do you think it will ultimately pass?
"It's been a real process. There's sort of a renewed hope that it does move," Goodman said.

Would any of the projects benefit your district?
"There would be at least one significant project in the 29th District. There would be a significant amount of projects going to our community colleges which are a great resource that students, and young people benefit from, whether they are located in the 29th District or not," Goodman said.

Do you support the Mo. HealthNet plan currently in hearings?
"There are a lot of good ideas involved in Missouri HealthNet. I don't think we see yet what the final projects will be, but good ideas to give patients more control over their own healthcare, more motivation to live healthier, more available preventative healthcare, so that they can stay healthy. I do think that reforming and replacing our current Medicaid system was necessary because as a state we were not providing the best care to our people," Goodman said.

Any concerns stand out to you yet about HealthNet?
"There are a few items I'm hoping . . . and heard in committee very recently. There are a couple things I'm looking into for a clearer understanding," Goodman said.

What did you think of the court ruling Medicaid cuts to be restored? Did the judge overstep his bounds?
"It's difficult fore me to predict what judges are going to do. It was not a decision that I anticipated," Goodman said.

Do you support the judge's decision?
"I'm not sure I would've applied the law to the facts in the same manner the judge did," Goodman said.

Sen. Goodman, who was elected during a special election in 2005, represents parts of Barry, Lawrence, McDonald, Ozark, Stone and Taney counties.

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