Sen. Mike Bernskoetter’s Legislative Column for June 29, 2021

Fourth of July

Two-hundred and forty-five years ago, a group of men gathered together and signed their names to a piece of parchment that would change the world. This revolutionary document asserted that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The document went on to boldly say government derives its authority from the consent of the people, and that these people were now declaring themselves “Free and Independent States.” These brave men knew their actions would have consequences, that by signing this declaration, they were committing an act of treason against the British Crown – something that could cost them their very lives. But it was something they had to do. Because they were seeking to build a better life not just for themselves, but for all those who would come after them too.

The legacy of the Founders and their actions are what we honor on July 4. We’ve been through some trying times as a country: civil war, a depression, global conflicts and most recently, a pandemic. But through it all, I think we’ve come out stronger. To me, that’s the enduring spirit of America: working through the challenges of today, in the hopes of a better tomorrow.

In that same vein, that’s what brings many lawmakers to the General Assembly in the first place – the desire to help build a better tomorrow for our state. Earlier this year, we passed House Bill 476, which I handled when it was before the Senate. This legislation is designed help members of the armed services translate the skills they acquire in the military into jobs back here at home. The bill allows military occupational specialties to qualify under our state’s license reciprocity laws, allowing for easier access to employment opportunities for our returning military professionals. Especially as our economy continues to reopen, it is important we make it as easy as possible for businesses to hire qualified candidates and for Missourians to get back to work. Because as I’m sure we’ll agree, the hard work of building a better tomorrow begins today.

Over the course of the holiday weekend, I hope each of you take a moment to reflect on the importance of Independence Day, and all those who have given so much in defense of our country and our freedoms. Things have never been perfect, but I’m proud to be an American and work to serve our state. I hope each of one of you have a happy and safe Fourth of July.

As always, it is an honor to serve the 6th Senatorial District. If my office can be service to you, please feel free to contact us at (573) 751-2076. For information about my committee assignments or sponsored legislation, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at