Sen. Justin Brown’s Legislative Column for Nov. 18, 2020

Giving Thanks

There’s a familiar Christian hymn that’s often sung at Thanksgiving: “We gather together to ask the lord’s blessing,” the song begins. The opening stanza evokes the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday. Friends and family come together each year at harvest time to thank God for the bounty we’ve received and sing the Lord’s praises. “Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining, ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine.” I believe the words of the song concisely express our faith. Whatever life presents us, we can endure with God’s grace.

This song holds special meaning for many as we look back on a year that challenges us to count blessings among hardships. The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted lives, impacted the economy and brought suffering to many families across the nation. Perhaps it is times like this when the lessons of the first Thanksgiving are best remembered. The faithful settlers who gathered at Plymouth Plantation in 1621 could have easily cursed their plight. In the year since their arrival, they had lost half their number and endured incredible hardship. And yet, they praised God and gave thanks.

Gathering together is more complicated this year. But, for many of us, foregoing Thanksgiving is simply not an option. We’ll take precautions, of course, but we will celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday together. Others may make a different choice. However your family chooses to observe Thanksgiving, I wish you a joyous holiday. And if your family has suffered loss this year, either personally or financially, my prayers are with you.

Legislative Activity Resumes

The Legislature is back in session, as the governor has called lawmakers to the Capitol for another extraordinary session. The focus of this Second Extra Session is limited to two topics. We will attempt to pass a supplemental budget, allowing the governor to spend additional federal money aimed at combating the coronavirus pandemic. Our second task is to consider legislation to provide liability protection for health care providers, businesses and other facilities from civil litigation arising from the COVID-19 state of emergency in Missouri.

Once the extra session concludes, lawmakers will begin to look toward the 2021 legislative session. Pre-filing of bills begins Dec. 1, and the 101st General Assembly is scheduled to convene on Jan. 6, 2021. I will provide regular updates as the session continues through mid-May.

It’s my honor to serve as your senator for the 16th District. If you have questions or need any assistance, please call my office at 573-751-5713 or log onto my webpage at for more information.