Creating Opportunities for Economic Development and a More Competitive Show-Me State Top the List

JEFFERSON CITY— Creating a Missouri that encourages economic growth will be the top issue for this year’s legislative session Senate Leader Ron Richard, R-Joplin, and Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, announced today (1-4).

Just after noon, Sen. Richard was again elected President Pro Tem by his peers. After accepting the nomination, Sen. Richard said he hoped to set the tone for the 2017 legislative session.

“I’m hopeful our Senators plan ahead and pay attention to the details,” said Richard. “Have the courage to say what needs to be said and rise to the grandeur of the occasion, and the courage to sit down and listen.”

Sen. Richard said this year the Senate will focus on legislation that creates a smaller, better government, helps to create jobs, and increases meaningful work opportunities.

“We need to be more competitive with our surroundings states and the south,” said Richard. “We need to better compete for high skilled manufacturing opportunities. We will be focused on legislation that will help facilitate economic growth and build stronger communities across the state.”

Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, said tort reform is critical to economic development.

“Far too many frivolous suits and meritless cases are burdening Missouri taxpayers and consumers, ultimately running employers out of town. We need to pass reforms that will more fairly apply laws to defendants as well as rein in frivolous lawsuits.”

Both Sen. Richard and Sen. Kehoe said they expect positive and productive coordination with the governor’s office and the House this session.

“This is the first time in eight years that I will be working with a Republican governor. For some of my colleagues, this is the first time ever. We are not only excited, but inspired to get to work and pass legislation that can fundamentally change Missouri,” said Richard. “We will conduct the business of the Senate in a way that rises to the grandeur of the great state of Missouri. I’m hoping we are remembered for respecting the institution of the Senate and each other, for restoring civility to the chamber, and that we were able to be passionate about our convictions without being combative with one another.”

The First Regular Session of the 99th General Assembly will run through May 12. To learn more, visit www.senate.mo.gov.

VIDEO: Senate Leader Ron Richard, R-Joplin, addresses the Missouri State Senate

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