This photo was taken during opening of session during the prayer that takes place at the beginning of each session, asking the Lord to guide us, as legislators.
Many constituents have indicated they pray for me as well as our lawmakers. I appreciate that because I do believe strongly in the power of prayer. Please continue praying for us during my last year as your Representative due to the term limits.
House members returned to the State Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 8, for the start of the 2020 legislative session. This is the second regular session of the historic 100th General Assembly. The beginning of the 2020 session also marked the start of the legislative careers for six new House members who were elected during November 2019 special elections. The new members were officially sworn in by House Speaker Elijah Haahr. With their addition, the House now has 114 Republicans, 48 Democrats, and one vacancy.
After the traditional opening day ceremonies, members made their way to the House Lounge to meet with the press about their upcoming priorities for the year.
Speaker Haahr said the House would not be supportive of an increase in the gas tax, but would consider a Wayfair fix that would level the playing field for Missouri businesses. Missouri is currently one of only two states with a general sales tax that does not tax remote sales. A Wayfair fix would allow the state to collect taxes from out-of-state retailers.
During the press conference, the Speaker also said the legislature is ready to craft a fiscally responsible state budget. He said lawmakers are ready to budget judiciously in preparation for possible expenses that could put additional strain on the state spending plan. Lawmakers will again make education funding a top priority as they prepare the state operating budget.
Haahr noted that the House already has 866 pieces of legislation filed. His office will refer approximately 100 bills to committee this week so work on the bills can begin. The legislature has until May 15 to get bills across the legislative finish line and to the governor’s desk.
Understanding the Governor’s Decision on Refugee Resettlement
Recently, I have received questions about the Refugee Resettlement issue in Missouri. As 2019 came to a close, Gov. Mike Parson announced his consent to initial refugee settlement in Missouri in response to an executive order signed by President Donald J. Trump. Parson’s decision will allow individuals who enter the country legally to assimilate into communities in Missouri after proper scrutiny. (Please notice the word legally)
Governor Parson committed that, “Our administration is thankful for President Trump’s leadership on this issue, and we look forward to working with the President and his administration to ensure the responsible resettlement of lawfully admitted and vetted individuals.”
President Trump signed the executive order in September of 2019 to facilitate coordination and
consultation between the federal, state and local governments concerning the resettlement of refugees in the United States. The refugees involved must go through proper federal channels and will be appropriately screened and vetted to ensure they are not a threat before being placed in communities.
The governor’s office projects an increase of approximately 500 individuals who will settle in Missouri. These individuals will be placed in communities that have specifically applied to receive them. Gov. Parson said the state will continue to work hard to ensure lawfully admitted and fully vetted refugees become a thriving part within the State of Missouri in the communities that request them, in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.
I have and will continue this coming year to make decisions on each bill that crosses the House Floor for a vote, based on the platform I campaigned for. I realize everyone does not have the same political opinions, but I feel I have been open minded to everyone’s opinion, using Common Sense and a Christian attitude in serving the 48th House District.
If we can ever be of any assistance to you at your State Capitol or you ever have questions, concerns, or input, do not hesitate to contact us at 573-751-0169 or you can reach my assistant, June, at email@example.com. If your plans bring you to Jefferson City at any time during the year, please feel free to visit my Capitol office room 317B.