Sen. Elaine Gannon’s Capitol Report for Dec. 13, 2021

Senator Elaine Gannon’s Capitol Report for Dec. 13, 2021

One of my family’s favorite holiday traditions is attending the candlelight service at First Baptist Church of De Soto on Christmas Eve. When Dennis and I aren’t in route to visit our sons’ families in Texas or California during Christmas, we are one of the first to arrive for this special service. The sanctuary is decked out with beautiful lights, garland, Christmas trees and angels. The choir and music team lead us in classic Christmas songs, such as O Come, All Ye Faithful, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Joy to the World and more. Children and adults wear costumes to portray the wise men, Mary and Joseph and others as they act out scenes from the Nativity. The service provides all who attend with the opportunity to reminisce with old friends who are home for the holidays, and everyone seems to have a relaxed, jubilant demeanor as all the hustle and to-dos leading up to Christmas are finally done. No matter what is on my mind, the Christmas Eve candlelight service has a way of reminding me of the true meaning of Christmas, and I can’t think of a better way to symbolize the magic and fellowship of Christmas than passing the light of Christ from person to person as each congregant illuminates their small, paper wrapped candle from their neighbor’s flame. I hope your family is surrounded by the warmth and light of Jesus’ unconditional love as you celebrate your holiday traditions this Christmas.

Approximately two weeks after Christmas, on Jan. 5 at noon, the pounding of the gavel will signal the start the 2022 legislative session. I have already pre-filed several bills, including one that will prohibit municipalities from placing restrictions on dogs based solely on their breed. If enacted, Senate Bill 697 will also put a stop to dogs roaming free within the limits of a city boundary, whether it’s a Yorkie or a Pit Bull. I know for a fact that the bark doesn’t always match the bite when it comes to dogs. My English sheepdog, Julep, has a very intimidating frame and look, but she’s as loving and caring as the day is long. I’m putting the finishing touches on several more bills to file in the coming weeks.

If you haven’t been involved with the legislative process in the past, I encourage you to do so this year. Bookmark the Senate website to look up and follow a bill’s progress, view the hearing schedule or listen to audio of committee hearings and floor debates. On my Senate webpage, you can follow the progress of my sponsored proposals or request a courtesy resolution to honor a hero, milestone of anniversary. During 2021, I was honored to present resolutions to honor flight participants, a few Eagle Scouts, several community celebrations and high school state champions. Feel free to contact me or my staff, Heather and Janet, to schedule an appointment or ask for assistance with the legislative process. Remember, my door is always open.

As the end of 2021 approaches and I reflect back on this year, I am filled with gratitude. I had the honor of being sworn in as your state senator, witnessed the governor sign my first passed Senate bill into law, welcomed a new grandson into my fold, celebrated 45 years of marriage with my best friend, attended milestone civic events, met the legendary Cardinals shortstop, Ozzie Smith, and welcomed numerous visitors from our community to the Capitol. Bring on 2022!