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The Final Days

Taking a Look Back at the Last 16 Years at the Capitol

It’s been nearly 16 years since I first walked into this beautiful, historic Capitol building as a legislator. Today, I feel very fortunate to have spent so much time here. As a senator, you are representing thousands of Missourians. People are counting on you to create jobs, put more of their hard-earned money back into their pockets and protect our essential state services. Continue reading “The Final Days”

The Senate’s Commitment to the Show-Me State

Upper Chamber Approves the State’s $28 Billion Operating Budget

For the last 15 weeks, the Appropriations Committee and staff have been studying budget line-items. We have discussed and debated the best uses of our taxpayers’ dollars. The ultimate goal is to find a way to fund the critical functions of government including education, public safety and transportation while still balancing the needs of the most vulnerable in Missouri. Continue reading “The Senate’s Commitment to the Show-Me State”

Protecting Patients

How we can keep insurance companies accountable and ensure patients are protected

So many of us have experienced, or know someone who has experienced, one of those nights. You wake up with excruciating pain. Could it be a heart attack? Stroke? Something worse? Or could this pain be something less severe? Because I’m not a medical doctor, the last thing I want to do is self-diagnose my symptoms, especially when it could potentially be a life and death situation. I don’t want my constituents to have make those decisions either. Continue reading “Protecting Patients”

Simplifying the Corporate Tax Code

How We Can Drive Economic Development While Keeping the Budget Balanced

This session, the Senate has spent a lot time discussing how we can reform and simplify our tax code. Most of the discussion has been focused on balance. To have a stable tax code, we need one that helps us drive economic development across the state. Cutting taxes on our families, small businesses and corporations but also funding a healthy budget to pay for our state’s necessary services is part of that balance. Continue reading “Simplifying the Corporate Tax Code”

Reforming Missouri’s Criminal Justice System

Strengthening Community-Based Services for the Criminal Justice Population

As a state senator, I’m always looking for opportunities that can help Missouri move ahead of other states. I’m passionate about serving my community, helping small businesses find success and improving education at all levels. In order for our communities to thrive, we must take a serious look at our criminal justice system. Continue reading “Reforming Missouri’s Criminal Justice System”

Creating More Competitive, Efficient Programs

Reforming Missouri’s Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program

As we move through session, the one thing the Constitution requires the Legislature to approve is the state operating budget. Along with the House, the Senate will build and balance Missouri’s $28 million budget in a way that continues to decrease the size of government while funding necessary services. But, we will have to make the difficult decision about how much we will fund our higher education, our roads, health care, and how are going to take care of our senior citizens. Continue reading “Creating More Competitive, Efficient Programs”

Building on Momentum

Missouri’s Economy is off and Running, and the Jobs are Emerging

For the past few years, the legislature has been passing legislation to improve and transform Missouri’s economy. From tort reform, to labor reform and regulatory reform, we are moving Missouri forward. We knew we were headed in the right direction last session when we learned that a new aluminum smelter had its eyes on the former Noranda plant in Southeast Missouri. The hard work was finally paying off. Continue reading “Building on Momentum”

Creating Positive Outcomes for our Vulnerable Youth

Raising the Age, Putting 17-year-olds Back into the Juvenile Justice System

It’s not about being “soft” on crime. It’s about being “smart” on crime. Too many of our youth are spending time in adult jails and prisons, where they are five times more likely to commit suicide than youth in juvenile detention. Many end up spending 23 hours every day in solitary confinement because of high risks of violence and sexual assault. Continue reading “Creating Positive Outcomes for our Vulnerable Youth”

A Step Towards Economic Independence

Allowing Families of Individuals with Disabilities More Financial Flexibility

Sometimes it’s easy in the middle of a busy session to get distracted with every day interruptions. We get caught up in the news of the day. We get caught up with conflicts between colleagues. But for us in the Senate, there is not a day that goes by that we aren’t trying to make life better for our constituents. That’s why many of us ran for office, and that’s why many of us spend countless hours debating bills on the floor we believe will ultimately make a difference in our communities. Continue reading “A Step Towards Economic Independence”

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