Looking Toward Session
The Second Regular Session of Missouri’s 101st General Assembly convenes on Jan. 5 and will continue through May 13. In just a few days, committees will begin taking testimony on the hundreds of bills before the Senate this year. The importance of committee hearings in the legislative process cannot be overstated. It is “in committee” that legislative proposals are vetted and citizens have the opportunity to weigh in on pending legislation. Each member of Missouri’s Senate is assigned to committees that reflect their unique interests, knowledge and experience. In my case, most of my committee work is focused on Missouri’s economy.
I am pleased to continue in my role as chairman of the Senate Economic Development Committee, where I will have a tremendous input into legislative proposals to make Missouri an even better place to work and grow a business. With a background in accounting, I bring decades of experience to the Senate’s Insurance and Banking Committee, as well as the Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment Committee. The decisions made by these two committees can greatly impact Missouri’s business environment, either for the better or worse. I am a committed conservative, so you can be sure I will work to clear regulatory burdens and reduce governmental intrusions on our state’s job creators.
I am also grateful to continue as a member of the Senate Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources Committee. Agriculture remains Missouri’s No. 1 industry, and food production is vital to the eight counties I represent in the Senate. As a member of the Senate’s Appropriations Committee, I will strive to keep Missouri’s ever-growing state budget in check and ensure that your tax dollars are spent wisely.
One other committee bears particular mention. As a member of the Senate’s Select Committee on Redistricting, I have been involved in reviewing Missouri’s eight congressional districts. Every 10 years, following the U.S. Census, the maps of legislative districts are redrawn to reflect changing populations. That work is underway now and may impact who represents you in Washington, D.C. The same process is underway on the state level, as each of Missouri’s 163 House and 34 Senate districts are redrawn. The bipartisan citizen committees working on the state districts are supposed to finish their work by Jan. 23, so we’ll have a better idea of the legislative landscape in the next few weeks.
It’s too early to know how Missouri’s 2022 legislative session will unfold. It’s clear, though, we have a lot of work ahead of us. Already, more than 375 separate pieces of legislation have been pre-filed in the Senate, and well over 650 in the House of Representatives. So far, I have filed 17 bills and resolutions, and I will discuss these in detail in future Capitol Reports. In the meantime, you can see every measure before the Senate by visiting www.senate.mo.gov. Click on the “Legislation” tab at the top of the page. At the 2022 Senate Bills page, you can sort by bill number or sponsor.
I encourage you to visit your State Capitol and watch the Legislature at work. Please stop by my office to say hello or express your views. While you’re here, you can watch proceedings from the visitor galleries in both legislative chambers or sit in on committee hearings. There’s also an excellent museum on the first floor of the Capitol and the entire building is beautiful. I’m sure you’ll enjoy your visit. If you can’t make it to Jefferson City, you can listen to hearings or chamber activities online at the Senate website.
As always, I appreciate hearing your comments, opinions and concerns. Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at (573) 751-4302. You may also email me at email@example.com.