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It’s no secret that President Joe Biden and Washington Democrats have a spending problem. In a matter of just two years, they spent a record-breaking $10 trillion on ridiculous things like welfare for the wealthy and handouts to radical environmentalists. After maxing out our nation’s credit card far sooner than anyone expected, they had the nerve to demand Republicans give them a blank check debt limit increase so they can continue wasting trillions of dollars to advance their radical agenda. Are you kidding me? more
For the first time in nearly five months, I’m not starting the week packing bags or getting ready for the long drive to Jefferson City. The 2023 legislative session ended on Friday, May 12. Absent a callback by the governor, the only legislative activity remaining for the year is the annual veto session in the fall. I truly enjoy the time I spend working for the people of the 33rd Senatorial District at the Capitol, but I look forward to spending some time with my family and welcoming our new grandbaby home.  more
In the two years following Joe Biden’s inauguration, nearly everything he touched under one-party Democrat rule turned into a crisis. His executive actions and the administration’s policies created an energy crisis; the massive spending he championed set off the worst inflation crisis in 40 years; and Washington Democrat’s embrace of soft-on-crime policies helped create a violent crime crisis. more
It’s graduation time — and this year is especially exciting because more high school students from our region are crossing the stage to get their diplomas with strong plans in place for their futures.  more
When I came up to Jefferson City in 2018, one of the first things I noticed was there weren’t a whole lot of people from the Ozarks serving on boards and commissions. more
This week, the focus in the Missouri Senate shifted to the state operating budget for Fiscal Year 2024. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I spent the week reviewing 14 appropriations bills passed by the House of Representatives. During “mark-up,” we looked at each line of every budget bill to determine whether we would advance the House appropriations, defer to the governor’s requests or express our own budget recommendations.  more
Rep. Jason Smith of Missouri’s 8th District announced this week he is accepting applications for nomination to U.S. service academies for fall 2024. more
April is National Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month. Named for the physician who first described it in 1817, Parkinson’s disease, or PD, is degenerative disorder of the central nervous system and typically affects motor functions. The disease manifests itself with tremors or twitching, rigid limbs, slow motor movements and instability when standing or walking. Other symptoms include cognitive impairments, including memory loss, dementia and psychosis. Symptoms progressively get worse over time.   more
It’s been another busy week at the Capitol. I’ve got a lot to talk about, so I’ll try to keep my summaries short, and hopefully, interesting. more
Access to health care is always a challenge in rural Missouri. If you’re lucky, you only have a 30-minute drive to reach a doctor. If you live in one of the more remote parts of our state, you could find yourself driving hours for health care. That’s a long drive for a simple checkup, but it’s almost unbearable when you’re in pain. more
It’s been a fun and hectic time at the Capitol. We’ve continued to host several school groups, and last week in the House, we finalized most of our state’s balanced budget for fiscal year 2024 which starts July 1.   more
Just six weeks remain before the final gavel comes down on the 2023 regular legislative session. We have quite a few issues ahead of us, but the Missouri Senate continues to move forward, passing legislation to strengthen our state. Among the top priorities for the coming weeks are legislation addressing crime and safety, reforms to Missouri’s initiative petition process and the passage of a balanced budget for the next fiscal year.   more
At the Capitol, we’ve been getting a lot of visitors this year, and meeting with guests is one of my favorite parts of the job. I’ve been talking with folks from back home that are advocating for their occupations and other interests, including farming, banking, health care (both short and long-term care), and K-12 and college school matters. I really enjoy visiting with everybody from our area and getting their advice on important issues that impact them personally.   more
We’ve reached the halfway mark in the 2023 legislative session. On March 8, the Missouri Senate adjourned to begin its annual “spring break.” Although we call it a break, this mid-session week off is anything but. I’ll spend the week making my way around the 33rd District, meeting with constituents, updating them on the session and hearing directly from residents about what they want to see accomplished before we adjourn in May.  more
At the Capitol, we’re busy into the first two months of session. I think session is going very well this year, and we should (at least in the House) accomplish many of our top priorities. One thing that is frustrating about Jefferson City politics is the propensity of the other party to sometimes call us out as being racist and immoral.   more
Over the past two weeks in the Missouri Senate, one measure took center stage. A comprehensive package of legislation relating to education, Senate Bill 4 provides greater transparency to K-12 education and takes steps to ban the teaching of divisive racial concepts in our classrooms. I was under the weather this week and not able to be at the Capitol to cast a vote for SB 4, but I do support the legislation.   more
The Missouri Senate entered a new phase of the legislative process this week as the first bills referred out of committees were taken up for perfection. more
The 102nd General Assembly is fully underway and the Capitol is abuzz with activity. The halls are packed as people from all across the state come to share their views on proposed legislation and to ask us to address issues that impact them. It’s an exciting time, and I especially enjoy the opportunity to meet with folks who travel from the 33rd Senatorial District. Believe me, I know it’s a long drive to Jefferson City, and I truly appreciate the commitment of everyone who makes the effort to come to the Capitol. more
On Jan. 18, the Missouri General Assembly convened in a joint session in the House of Representatives’ chamber to listen to the governor deliver his annual State of the State Address. In the speech, the governor outlined his legislative priorities and highlighted his budget recommendations for Fiscal Year 2024. I’d like to discuss a few of his proposals relating to workforce development, education, infrastructure and public safety, which I believe are important to those of us who live in the 33rd Senatorial District. more
At the Capitol, we’ve been sworn into office and are starting the 2023 Session. A lot of family and friends traveled up in support of the public swearing-in ceremonies and we had a great time. I thank everyone for the honor of serving your interests in my third two-year term.   more
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