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After two years in a row of more than 1,000 fatalities on Missouri’s roadways, Gov. Mike Parson signed the Siddens Bening Hands-Free Law, prohibiting all drivers from using a handheld electronic communication device while driving, effective Monday. more
On July 10, the Ways and Means Committee held a hearing at a cattle auction barn in Kimball, Minn., to hear directly from farmers and ranchers in the community about how America’s trade policies affect their daily lives and what Congress can do to make trade work better for their families. more
We have wrapped up our spring session at the Capitol in Jefferson City. In this report, I’ll be visiting with you about several public safety bills that I worked on this spring. more
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
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