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FROM THE CAPITOL: ‘I’m coming home when this term is done’


After much prayer and thought, I’ll be coming back home from the Missouri Capitol at the end of this year. With a smile on my face, I’ll also be withdrawing my name from the race for Missouri State Representative, 154th District. I should have made this decision earlier, but sometimes God has to knock me in the head a time or two to get the message across.  

It’s just time for me to come home and spend more time with family and especially with the grandkids. Faith and family must always come first in life.  

What God has in store for me next year, I’m not quite sure. Following in the footsteps of both Mom and Dad, I’ll continue to work and live in West Plains giving back to our community. Sandy and I have always believed that we live in the best place with the best of people — truly God’s country. We both are excited about what the future will bring to our lives.  

Before writing this Report, I double checked filings for the office on the Missouri Secretary of State’s website, and no one (except me) has filed for the job. I strongly encourage anyone interested in helping the state and the great people of the Ozarks in a positive way to consider throwing in your hat.

It’s a challenging but great job. It’s been one of my highest honors to work hard in Jefferson City with and for you. It’s been both humbling and worthwhile, and I strongly believe that we have done some good things by working together. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Enough about me, let’s talk about a few things happening in the Missouri House this past week. I was happy this week to support both in the Budget Committee and again on the House floor a supplemental appropriation (additional approved spending) of $2.2 million to help protect our nation’s borders.  

At the request for emergency help by the Texas governor, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson agreed to send additional Missouri National Guard and Missouri Highway Patrol officers to assist with safety and security at our southern border.

Our country is facing a border crisis, and in times of great need, states can and should help each other out. It’s part of what keeps our country strong, and right now, the volume of illegal drug and human trafficking coming across our southern border is unprecedented. We have to do what we can to help.

Another important piece of legislation that passed out of the House this week is House Bill 1486. This bill approves for the first time statewide funding to help local schools pay for voluntary prekindergarten and kindergarten programs for the kids. In the past, state help in funding has largely been for first grade and above. HB 1486 is a priority of our governor, and I’m a huge fan. To me, investing our time, energy and love to help our kids is the best investment we can ever make.  

Although voluntary prekindergarten will not be for all families, it will be invaluable to others. Teachers and other educators not only provide a safe learning space, but they also ensure that our youth are developing important social, ethical, and technical skills. Investing time and money in our kids is imperative to building a better future and will always be one of the principal missions of my life.

To wrap up for now, I’ll briefly mention two bills that I’m working on and supporting as chair of the House Judiciary Committee. One piece of legislation will target and penalize entities that make money on the internet publishing pornography without any thought to protecting kids. In this legislation if the porn site does not do a good enough job of policing their own site from being accessed and viewed (accidental or intentional) by young people, the porn site can be sued by parents for harm caused to their children.  

Also in Judiciary committee, we’re working on a bill the sponsor named “Valentine’s Law.” This bill targets a growing problem across the state — where drivers flee stop and arrest by driving a vehicle in an extremely dangerous manner. If passed, this language will raise the penalty to Class E felony punishment range for repeat offenders, and even higher to Class A or B felony ranges when the reckless driving causes serious physical injury or death to another. I strongly support both bills.

If you would like to schedule a specific time to meet locally or at the Capitol, please call Becky Connell at my office at 573-751-1455, or email my office at david.evans@house.mo.gov. We appreciate hearing from you.