The legislative session is off to a fast start and committee hearings have started at the Capitol. In my last column, I introduced you to myself and my staff, and this week I'd like to share more about the committees I've been assigned to and how I hope to help the constituents of the 21st Senate District while serving on those committees.
This year I'm thrilled to be serving as vice chair of the Committee on Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources. The purpose of the committee is to consider and report upon bills and matters referred to it relating to animals, animal disease, pest control, agriculture, food production, the state park system, conservation of the state's natural resources, soil and water, wildlife and game refuges. Agriculture is the state's No. 1 industry and a huge economic driver in the 21st district. I pledge to work with the committee to protect and encourage this vitally important sector of the economy, as well as protecting our states most valuable resources.
In addition to the agriculture committee, I'll be serving on the Appropriations Committee, which will consider and report upon all bills and matters referred to it pertaining to general appropriations and disbursement of public money. Working with the members of the committee we will help with crafting the state budget, which is a rather large responsibility. My experience as a certified public accountant will guide me in decision making and I vow to be a good steward of the taxpayer's money and find the best uses for tax dollars.
While serving on the Committee on Economic Development, we will consider and report upon bills and matters referred relating to the promotion of economic development, creation and retention of jobs, tourism and the promotion of tourism as a state industry, and community and business development. Job growth and creation is a top priority this year and the Economic Development committee has the task of hearing legislature that can further those priorities. I'm eager to see the legislation that will be reviewed by the committee and what changes we can bring to Missouri and the 21st Senate District.
With potentially new rules at the federal level, my membership on the Committee on Insurance and Banking will be very important. The purpose of the committee is to consider and report upon bills and matters referred to it relating to the ownership and operation of insurance and banking; and life, accident, indemnity and other forms of insurance. The committee shall also take into consideration and report on bills and matters referred to it relating to banks and banking, savings and loan associations, and other financial institutions in the state. These are incredibly important issues that deserve serious consideration and study of the impact they might have on the citizens of Missouri.
Finally, I'm honored to serve on the Committee on Veterans and Military Affairs. This committee will consider and report upon bills and matters concerning veterans' and military affairs. The 21st Senate District, home to Whiteman Air Force Base and many active and former military constituents, has a huge stake in veterans and military affairs. As a veteran, I know the issues important to these constituents and I pledge to consider all legislation very carefully and vote in the best interest of the people I represent.
I'm eager to get to work and start considering legislation that has potential to improve the lives of our citizens. I'll keep you updated as session continues on issues impacting you or your business.
I urge you to contact my office with any questions or concerns you have about state government so that I can better represent you during the 2017 legislative session.
I always appreciate hearing your comments, opinions, and concerns. Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at 573-751-4302. You may also email me at email@example.com.