This week in the General Assembly has been fast paced and packed full of important work. As I've mentioned in previous columns, I'm honored to serve on the Senate Appropriations Committee and eager to put to work my experience both on the House Budget Committee, as well as my expertise as a CPA. This week the committee began public hearings to discuss the best uses of your tax dollars. Traditionally the first few weeks of committee meetings for appropriations are for different entities to come and meet with the committee and present their best case for funding in the state budget.
These committee meetings are vitally important to keep a finger on the pulse of constituent needs and make the best use of your tax dollars. We anticipate a budget coming out of the governor's office sometime next week, which will allow us to have a blueprint of how he sees the budget shaping up for the 2018 fiscal year, and how we should move forward with our decision making. The budget is complex and requires a great deal of thought and study to make sure we are using the people's money in ways that reflect what the citizens of Missouri feel is important. I encourage you to attend a committee hearing if you are able, so that you might see the legislative process in action.
Another big topic of conversation this week was Senate Bill 19, more commonly known as the Right to Work bill. My colleagues and I spent this week debating the Right to Work legislation which bans mandatory union membership.
Currently Missouri is 47th in the nation in job growth, development and attracting a workforce. The passage of Right to Work legislation will allow businesses the opportunity to create better jobs with growing incomes, leading to stronger economic growth. Several states have passed Right to Work legislation and seen an increase in jobs, union membership and increased wages. The 22 states that passed Right to Work laws before 2012 have some of the largest economic growth.
I proudly voted in favor of this legislation and sincerely hope that it receives final approval from the entire General Assembly and is signed into law by the governor. Missouri has to become more competitive and get more of our citizens working. Right to Work will make Missouri more competitive and more attractive to businesses looking to move to our state.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.