Sen. Mike Bernskoetter’s Legislative Column for Dec. 9, 2020

Unwrapping the Capitol

We’re getting to that point in the year when gifts are being bought, wrapped in festive paper and bows and placed under the Christmas tree. If you were anything like me as a child, this was always the hardest part of the holiday season. With all those presents just sitting there, waiting to be opened, it was agonizing. As a child, I’d stare at my presents and dream about what might be inside, just waiting for Christmas morning to arrive. If I was really brave – and if Mom and Dad weren’t around – I would even give the present a little shake or peel back the paper on one of the corners to see inside. Time and time again, I thought, “Couldn’t Christmas just be a little early for once?”

Well, all these years later, I suppose it has, with the return of the greatest gift to Jefferson City’s skyline – the Missouri State Capitol.

As I’m sure you’re aware, for the past several years, the Capitol has been under wraps as work has been done to restore the building’s limestone marble exterior. Covered in scaffolding and protective plastic, the Capitol hasn’t been much to look at, but now, that’s all gone and the beauty of the building shines through better than ever. Over 170,000 square feet of the Capitol’s exterior surface was inspected and cleaned, and the building received a waterproofing treatment to prevent future water leaks. Additionally, more than 4,500 stones were repaired, with fewer than eight percent of the building’s original stones having to be replaced.

Projects like the Capitol restoration remind us that cherished historical buildings don’t just stay a part of history without care and upkeep. To support restoration and preservation efforts like those that occurred at the Capitol, I’ve filed Senate Bill 36 for the upcoming legislative session in January. This bill creates the Capital Complex Tax Credit Act, which will allow donors to certain rehabilitation and renovation projects throughout downtown Jefferson City to receive a percent of their donation back as a tax credit. My hope is that this will encourage donations to preserve important pieces of Missouri history like the Capitol, while also providing more bang for the state’s buck.

I truly believe our Capitol and several of our state’s other historic buildings are a gift to all Missourians, and we must do all we can to ensure they are passed down from generation to generation. I look forward to moving SB 36 forward during the upcoming legislative session and supporting future restoration projects.

Please feel free to contact my office at (573) 751-2076. For information about my committee assignments or sponsored legislation, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at