Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer’s Legislative Column for Jan. 3, 2022 – Missouri Senate

Legislative Resolutions for the New Year

It’s a tradition this time of year to reflect on the past 12 months and consider things we’d like to change or improve. Often our New Year’s resolutions relate to personal habits. Whether our goal is to stop smoking, spend more quality time with loved ones or finally do something about the extra pounds we put on recently, making a formal declaration focuses our intentions and strengthens our determination.

We all have our own personal resolutions for the New Year, and I won’t bore you with mine. But as your representative in the Missouri Senate, it seems right to share some thoughts about the past year and also my intentions for the coming legislative session.

As I look back on 2021, I am grateful for my colleagues’ support of Senate Bill 53, a comprehensive package of reforms to support Missouri’s law enforcement officers. This legislation addressed chronic shortages of police officers by relaxing residency requirements for members of the Kansas City Police Department. It also made it a felony to “dox” a police officer by exposing their personal information for purposes of harassment or intimidation. Another highlight from 2021 was the passage of Senate Bill 51, which shields employers, schools, churches and health care workers from frivolous lawsuits related to the pandemic. As our state continues to combat evolving variants of the virus, the protections provided by SB 51 take on even more importance.

Looking forward to 2022, I resolve to renew my efforts to protect Missourians from runaway property assessments. In 2020, my legislation ensuring homeowners sufficient time to appeal increases and requiring a physical inspection for large assessment hikes was signed by the governor and became law. This session I have filed legislation to cap assessment increases. This legislation will prevent property owners from being taxed out of their own homes, and provide a measure of predictability to property taxes.

In the coming year, I also vow to provide our brave men and women of law enforcement the resources they need to keep our communities safe. I have filed legislation to raise minimum funding levels for the Kansas City Police Department to prevent further efforts to defund the police. I’ve also introduced legislation to make our elections more secure by requiring voters to present a photo ID at the polling place.

Every New Year’s resolution reflects best intentions, and I will need to enlist the consensus of my legislative colleagues to bring these New Year’s plans to fruition. I have high hopes that we will get these reforms enacted and I vow to work toward realizing these goals. I hope all of you have a happy New Year and that all your dreams and ambitions for the coming year come true.

It is my great honor to represent the citizens of Platte and Buchanan counties in the Missouri Senate. Please contact my office at (573) 751-2183, or visit www.senate.mo.gov/mem34.

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