The signs of Christmas are all around us in Northwest Missouri. Everywhere we look, homes are trimmed with lights. Wreaths and holly decorate doorways and Christmas trees are on display everywhere. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year! The recent winter weather, although not my favorite for driving, provided a blanket of snow that added a festive feel to the holiday season. I hope everyone had an opportunity to drive through St. Joseph’s Krug Park or Kansas City’s Zona Rosa to see the lights or take part in the many holiday events in our area.
As I celebrate Christmas with my family, I wish all of one of you a joyous holiday season. I hope the season is filled with love and happiness. Christmas is a time when all people of good will come together, celebrate with family and spread good cheer. No wonder it’s the favorite season for so many, including myself.
To all the residents of Buchanan and Platte counties, have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year! If you’re traveling over the holidays, I wish you a safe journey. Amid all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, take time to slow down and savor the moments spent with family and loved ones. The memories we create at Christmas are often the most treasured of the year. I hope that the final weeks of 2019 are a Christmas to cherish for you and yours.
LOOKING FORWARD TO 2020
As a member of the Missouri Senate, the holidays offer a reminder that the busy legislative season is right around the corner. The Missouri Legislature reconvenes in Jefferson City on Jan. 8 for the Second Regular Session of the 100th General Assembly. Already, the upcoming session promises to be focused on many important issues that will impact the lives of all Missourians.
One of the most pressing issues for the upcoming session is the alarming level of crime in Missouri’s metropolitan areas. I am sponsoring a number of bills that address this problem, by toughening penalties for violent offenses.
I have also proposed legislation to limit runaway property tax assessments. Last year, many residents in my district and across the state saw their property taxes rise significantly. Some homeowners only learned of the tax hikes at the last minute, and were afforded no time to appeal. The legislation I have pre-filed caps property tax increases and ensures homeowners will have the opportunity to appeal assessments.
I will have a chance right after the holidays to join Governor Parson and the First Lady at the Governor’s Mansion to discuss some of my legislative priorities for the upcoming session. I’m looking forward to seeing “The Peoples’ House” decorated for the holidays, and spending time with the governor to plan how to address the issues that I know are important to you and your family.
I had the pleasure of attending the 2019 annual dinner of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. The area’s premier business event, this gala celebration gathers nearly 2,000 business leaders, educators and members of community organizations. It was great to come together with so many engaged residents in our community as the Chamber honored outstanding citizens who contribute so much to the Kansas City area.
This month, I was also able to help the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce and businesses leaders in our community welcome the Director of the Department of Economic Development Rob Dixon to St. Joseph for an economic development summit. This meeting was an opportunity to discuss ways in which the department and local business and civic leaders can partner together to bring more jobs and economic opportunity to St. Joseph and the surrounding areas. I appreciate DED’s dedicated staff for making the trip to search for ways to partner with our region.
In mid-December, I had the honor of presenting Senate resolutions to three heroic members of the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Department. Deputies Joanna Mayer and Stephen Smith, along with Investigator Billy Paul Miller are credited with saving the life of a citizen who suffered a heart attack at the courthouse on Nov. 12. I appreciate the dedication of these three fine officers and the sacrifices of their families. They have a tough job, and I’m thankful for their service to our community.
Finally, congratulations to two of our district’s sports teams. First, I want to congratulate the fighting Griffons of Missouri Western State University for their victory in this year’s Live United Bowl game. It was the team’s ninth win of the season, their best showing since 2012. The 35-14 win in Texarkana, Arkansas, was also the Griffon’s eleventh straight victory on the road. Secondly, the Platte County R-3 Pirates football team reached the Missouri Class 4 state title game. Although they came up short in that game, I’m extremely proud of the way they represented our district in the championship and all of the hard work and talent it took to get there. I’m looking forward to congratulating both teams in person after the holidays.
It is my great honor to represent the citizens of Buchanan and Platte counties in the Missouri Senate. Please contact my office at 573-751-2183, or visit www.senate.mo.gov/mem34.