From : Jefferson City – A newly-formed interim committee will spend the next few months developing policy solutions that will help promote and strengthen healthy Missouri families. Missouri House Speaker Steven Tilley, R-Perryville, said he created the House Interim Committee on Strengthening Missouri Families 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,” said Tilley.

He noted that more than half of all marriages end in divorce and that Missouri’s divorce rate has consistently been higher than the national average. “We can’t stand idly by and allow the family structure to be  weakened to the point that most marriages have no chance for success,” Tilley said. “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 said state Rep. Scott Largent, R-Clinton, will serve as chairman of the committee. Tilley said Largent was the ideal choice to lead the committee’s efforts based on his experience as  the current chair of the House Committee on Children and Families.

“This is an issue that Rep. Largent is passionate about and one that has received much of his attention during his time as a legislator,” said Tilley. “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.”

“As a legislature we often look for ways to fix problems in our state while failing to recognize the cause of these problems; trouble at home,” said Largent. “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 allows them to reach their vast potential.” Largent said
the committee will hold a series of hearings around the state in the coming months.

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