At noon on Wednesday, Jan. 9, the Missouri General Assembly will officially convene for the 2019 legislative session. Over the next four months, senators and representatives will discuss and debate proposed changes to Missouri law. Many bills have already been pre-filed in advance of the legislative session. These measures deal with a wide variety of topics, including tax reform, property assessment, workforce development, election security, professional registration and more. Ilook forward to evaluating the merits of each of these proposals when my colleagues and I return to the State Capitol.
During this year’s legislative session, I will have the honor of serving as the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. One of the General Assembly’s most important functions — in fact, its only constitutionally-mandated duty — is to establish a state operating budget for each fiscal year. The Appropriations Committee is responsible for developing the Senate’s preliminary budget proposal, which is then sent to the full chamber for further discussion and debate. As chairman, I will do my best to ensure this process runs as effectively as possible.
During the 2019 legislative session, the General Assembly will also have to deal with a few pressing issues. For one, the governor has requested the Legislature make reforms to the state’s inefficient low-income housing tax credit program. Additionally, statutes relating to the minimum wage might need a few technical updates to align with the newly passed Proposition B, which was approved by voters in November. These issues and others will be on our legislative to-do list when the Senate gavels into session.
As always, please feel free to call, email or write with your ideas or concerns. My Capitol office number is (573) 751-1415, my email firstname.lastname@example.org and my mailing address is Room 332, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.