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Jumpstarting Economic Growth By Modernizing the Grid

Measure Could Create nearly 3,000 Missouri Jobs

For 100 years, Missouri’s electricity has been operating under the same regulatory environment. While other states, 46 to be specific, have been updating and modernizing their grid, lowering consumer energy costs, and creating more reliable energy, Missouri has been moving at a snail’s pace. Energy costs in the Show-Me State have risen 46.7 percent since 2007. The national average is 11.2 percent over that same time period. That’s four times more than the rest of the nation, faster than in all but three other states in the country. Continue reading “Jumpstarting Economic Growth By Modernizing the Grid”

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Seeing Strength in Survivors’ Stories

How We are Bringing More Awareness to the Sex Trafficking Epidemic

It’s a list we don’t want to see our name appear on. Unfortunately, Missouri is a hotspot for human trafficking with St. Louis and Kansas City ranking among the top 20 in the frequency of reports. These are young men and women in our own communities who are bought and sold for sexual exploitation. We have learned that many of these victims are vulnerable children, some as young as six years old. This statistic is appalling and frightening, and we must pay more attention to this modern day slavery epidemic. Continue reading “Seeing Strength in Survivors’ Stories”

Restoring Essential Services to our Seniors

Taking Care of Some of Our Most Vulnerable Citizens is our Priority

Last year was a tough budget year for the state of Missouri. Lawmakers had to make some hard decisions. Unfortunately, one of last year’s budget reductions was the MO Rx program. This budget situation forced the General Assembly to reauthorize the program for dual eligible (Medicaid and Medicare) recipients only, reducing the program’s enrollment by about 25 percent. The move saved the state about $12 million, but for many of us in the Senate, that $12 million came at too high a cost. Continue reading “Restoring Essential Services to our Seniors”

Making Missouri a Model State

By Reining in Regulations, We Can Create a More Encouraging Business Environment

More regulations means more money out of pocket for many of our farmers and small business owners. For far too many years, the amount of new regulations in Missouri was outpacing the federal government. It’s time we hold these regulations by the reins and take a more conservative approach to governing the Show-Me State. Continue reading “Making Missouri a Model State”

Bringing Life Back to the Bootheel

The Game-Changing Measure Passed in Special Session

When Noranda closed last year, New Madrid and the surrounding areas saw 900 jobs leave. Since then, the economy in Southeast Missouri has been deeply crippled by the loss of its aluminum smelter production. The average household income has dropped $6,000 in New Madrid County. The 8th Congressional District is now the 11th poorest district in the country. Nine of the 10 poorest counties per capita income in the state are also in the 8th Congressional District. Families looking for work have been forced to leave the area or receive welfare. At some times, it seemed as if our area was never going to bounce back. Continue reading “Bringing Life Back to the Bootheel”

Job Creation – the #1 Priority

Building a Job-Friendly, Pro-Worker Environment

The first time I walked into the beautiful and historic Capitol building as an elected official, I thought, well what I am I going to do next? It didn’t take me long to realize what our state needed was exactly what I worked on doing as mayor of Joplin – job creation. Since that first day, my number one priority in the Legislature has been finding ways, some new and some innovative, to create jobs in our communities. Continue reading “Job Creation – the #1 Priority”

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