Senator Schatz’s Column for Dec. 14, 2016

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The results of this year’s legislative survey are in and I want to thank everyone who participated, either online or by mailing in their survey. Over 2000 respondents filled out the survey, which helps give me a better understanding of my constituents’ opinions and preferences.

Most of the questions were identical or similar to questions from the 2015 survey and opinions have not changed much on the key issues, but the results were informative nonetheless.

One hot-button issue that I included in both the surveys was Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, or PDMP. The question in the survey asked, “Should Missouri create a prescription drug monitoring program to track the distribution of controlled substances prescribed by doctors?” Seventy percent of respondents answered “yes,” compared to 55 percent answering “yes” in 2015. That is heartening news to me because I carried the PDMP bill in the Senate last year and I will do the same this year. That bill passed the House but was filibustered in the Senate. Here are the full results of that question:


I look forward to fighting for PDMP during the 2017 session and it helps to know that my constituents have my back on this issue.

Some interesting results were from new questions relating to potential cigarette tax revenue. Two cigarette tax hike proposals were rejected during the election and I am skeptical of these kinds of tax hikes in general, but I wanted to ask these questions because the topic is frequently discussed as a policy proposal.


Other questions focused on transportation elicited similar responses as in 2015. There is a clear understanding in our district that the state’s roads and bridges are nearing a point of disrepair. I share our district’s concern with transportation infrastructure funding and I will be making our case for enhanced funding for roads and bridges in 2017. Some key questions on transportation included:

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Other questions lined up with last year’s responses, including strong support for the state government to keep public higher education affordable and strong support to reform Medicaid programs before any expansion. A 64 percent majority of respondents also felt that Missouri should keep its minimum wage at the federal minimum wage level.

For the full results with exact numbers of respondents and graphs for each question, please visit this link:

Thank you again to everyone who participated. These insights help me better serve our community and communicate our preferences to my colleagues in the Missouri Senate.

Thank you for reading this weekly column. Please contact my office at (573) 751-3678 if you have any questions.