Letter to the Editor

Letter to the editor

Monday, January 28, 2019

To the editor,

While many people have been focused on the shenanigans in Washington, D.C., lately, I have been more concerned about what is going on closer to home in Jefferson City. I have been appalled that the legislature is essentially thumbing their noses at voters while professing to be guardians of the Constitution. Anything the voters are in favor of, they seem to rush to reject.

One example of this is the 2018 rejection of the so-called Right-to-Work law. In 2019, the GOP filed the legislation again. Didn’t they “get it” when voters rejected that?

Another example is the passage of the Clean MO (Amendment 1) campaign finance reform that included measures to ensure fair redistricting. Already, the GOP has tried to change the rules to suit them. Voters also said, via the polls, that legislators’ official records must be open to the public. Then, last week, the Missouri House overturned that and declared members can keep their records closed!

This rejection of the will of the voters of Missouri apparently has a long history as Missouri voters voted against conceal and carry, but in 2003, the GOP legislature passed that same rejected idea! Also, in the 90s, there were caps on campaign contributions, but in 2008, the GOP removed those caps. In 2011, voters passed a law banning “puppy mills” and required confined animals be allowed access to water and room enough to stand — certainly not outlandish requirements. In 2011, the GOP nixed that law before it even took effect!

Now the legislature is bemoaning the passage of the law banning gifts to them of over $5. Oh, horrors! Now they’re going to have to use their per diem allowance to pay for food. No more free lavish meals, free tickets to sports events and concerts, etc. They think that is too terrible to deal with, yet they appear to be perfectly content to let our thousands of educators (who have spent many dollars and hours becoming qualified to teach) start at pay that is the second lowest in the nation. Even Louisiana and Mississippi (typically at the bottom of everything) pay a starting teacher salary that is higher than Missouri’s.

Obviously, our elected officials in Jefferson City either haven’t been paying attention or are simply too self-absorbed to work on the issues that Missouri voters are concerned with. They appear not to “get” that they work for the people of MIssouri! Perhaps we should work on finding folks to replace them that will do the necessary hard work to resolve these problems and follow the will of the people, not just take our tax money.

Thank you,

Charlotte Smith


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