House Leaders Discuss Legislative Agenda for 2016
Members of the House Majority Caucus met recently to discuss some of their legislative priorities for the upcoming session that begins Wednesday, Jan. 6. While the issues will change and evolve as session progresses, the caucus meeting did make it clear that several items will be prominently discussed during the upcoming months.
Ethics Reform – The House Speaker has made meaningful, substantive ethics reform a top priority that will be one of the first things addressed when the session begins. Reforms will likely include a ban on all gifts from lobbyists to legislators, and an end to the revolving door that allows members to leave the legislature to immediately become lobbyists. Most of you know where I stand on this issue. I am 100% for it. I am against elected officials leaving office to be lobbyists, and feel there should be limits on the amount of money given to help fund campaigns.
Transportation Funding – Missouri continues to face a funding crisis that will jeopardize the state’s ability to maintain and upgrade the state’s highways and bridges. House members are focused on finding transportation funding solutions, and are equally committed to doing so without increasing taxes on Missouri citizens. I am 100% for it, but feel more oversight is needed before tax payers should be expected to just hand over more hard earned money.
Economic Development – The members of the Missouri House will continue efforts in 2016 to bolster Missouri’s economy by attracting more job creators to the state. The legislature will also continue to work to minimize bureaucratic red tape to ensure businesses can thrive and grow. This must be a case by case review. I do feel like we are sometimes to eager to give incentives out that are unconstitutional.
Stadium Financing – The legislature continues to be opposed to the governor’s plan to finance a new stadium for the St. Louis Rams without securing the approval of the public or the legislature. Under the present plan, I am a no on this issue. Nixon is way off on his back door dealing and the taxpayers should have the last say on this. Not a judge or Governor!
Addressing the Terrorist Threat – In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, legislators in Missouri continue to look at ways to ensure the safety of Missouri citizens. It’s obvious our government is not on our side here. We are living in some crazy times, so keep your eyes open and your powder dry!
University of Missouri Reforms – Following the protests that led to the resignation of both the system president and the MU chancellor, legislators are now looking at reforms to ensure adequate oversight and accountability within the system. Legislators are committed to ensuring the state’s flagship state university can carry out its mission to provide a quality education to all students. At this point, I will need more information on this topic, to give my best educated opinion on the steps that should be taken.
Reining in an Overreaching Executive Branch – The Missouri House will continue its efforts to rein in a governor who continues to abuse his authority. The legislature will likely move to override the governor’s budget restrictions that he put in place despite having a revenue surplus. This is a big, big problem that we will continue to fight!
Pro-Life Agenda – The legislature will continue its efforts to protect the sanctity of all life by working to make abortions even rarer and safer. I am for anything we can do to stop the performance of abortions.
Protecting Second Amendment Rights – House members also will work this session to ensure the rights of law-abiding gun owners are protected. I will always fight to protect our right to arm ourselves and protect our family and property.
I’m wishing everyone a Happy New Year! As I head into a new session I want thank everyone who has supported and prayed for me, and ask that you continue to do so. For those of you who haven’t seen eye to eye, I appreciate you also for the feedback you have given me. I look forward to working toward a common goal during this next session.
As always, it is an honor to serve you in the Missouri House. If you would like to discuss any issue, please call 573-751-9459. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.