For those of us who don't have opponents in November, the work has never really ended. I've reported on each of my Interim Committee hearings and while I have at least one more before our annual report, it seems like I'm just getting started. December 1st is the date we can pre-file legislation for next session. I have been meeting with Representatives and Senators all summer to get ideas and work out differences in proposed bills. There are 197 of us in the Legislative Branch for a reason. The originators of Missouri's government wanted to make sure that every person in the state had someone that could represent their interests in Jefferson City. One of the first things I learned 4 years ago was that there are really no new ideas. Someone has already proposed nearly every law you can imagine over the last 150 years. Most of the ideas for new laws come from constituents. When I start brainstorming an idea I go to the House Research Division and ask them what has been proposed in the past. Here's where it can really get interesting. I've found prior legislation on children's issues that have been proposed by both political parties at different times in history and each time the same issue drew nay votes from the minority party. "Those things are to be expected in politics" is the answer I was given when I posed the question to senior members. Bologna! I think we need to spend more time preparing our bills and working to get support from all members before we try to pass them. Ideas for Social Reforms are ever changing and as such, we find our Legislature needing to change their ideas also. It is no longer sufficient for a Legislator to be a Republican or a Democrat. We have too many local issues in the Southwest that are totally foreign ideas to someone in St. Louis and vice versa. We will always have the core beliefs of our parties but I think there is plenty of neutral ground for us to pass bills that help our entire state. Our new Speaker Elect has taken measures to address some of these differences. He has a plan to consolidate many of our committees and create sub-committees to fully explore the bill proposals and make sure there is ample time to work out differences. There are plenty of things we can all agree on: jobs, lower taxes, more funding for schools, etc. The trick is to find a way to get it done I was able to spend a little time with Catherine Hanaway last week also and her vision as a prospective Governor is basically that we've got to stop being so divided and work together to make Missouri great.
I was privileged to participate in an Eagle Scout Court of Honor for Trenton Blue on Saturday. The ceremony and the young men who participated were extremely impressive and we can rest assured that they will become the leaders of the future. People like Glen and Carol Roark and Eric Corcoran deserve our thanks and admiration for the great work they are doing with the County's youth!
This week it's back to Jeff City for a committee hearing and a visit from White Rock and Anderson Eighth Graders. I'll give you a full report next time, until then I am and remain in your service