Sen. Dave Schatz’s Legislative Column for Jan. 20, 2022

Strong Today, Stronger Tomorrow

It has been a busy week in Jefferson City as legislative committees began meeting in earnest to consider numerous bills and proposals. With several hundred bills already introduced in the Missouri Senate, my colleagues and I certainly have our work cut out for us as we discuss and debate these measures.

This past week also included a joint session of the General Assembly as members of the House of Representatives and Senate came together to receive the governor’s annual State of the State address. During his speech, the governor not only laid out his agenda for the upcoming year, but also highlighted our state’s successes despite the pandemic. Throughout the past year, we have seen numerous businesses make key investments in our state. From massive companies like Amazon to local small businesses, these investments have translated into jobs for countless Missourians. According to the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development, our state’s unemployment rate — 3.5% —  is below the national average and has gone back to pre-pandemic levels. Through a pro-business climate and a talented and skilled workforce, Missouri’s economy is strong and is sending a loud and clear message throughout the country that we are open for business.

While COVID-19 continues to have a daily impact on our lives, it has not stopped our state from moving forward. While other states took a one-size-fits-all approach to the coronavirus, we used common sense to guide us through the pandemic. We focused on lives and livelihoods, and never saw statewide mandates that forced businesses, schools and churches to close. As I listened to the governor’s address, I was thankful to hear him say that he doesn’t support these types of mandates and will continue to stand against them in the future. Whether it is sending their children to school, getting the vaccine, wearing a mask or other personal decisions, Missourians — not politicians in Jefferson City or Washington, D.C. — should have the right to choose what is best for them.

As I sat in the House chamber and watched the governor provide his vision for Missouri, one line from his speech stood out among the others, “Government should invest, not waste; government should lead, not dictate; government should support, not mandate; and we must all remember that.” I agree with the governor and urge my colleagues to do the same. After all, the strength of our state doesn’t come from our government or those in Jefferson City, but the people who call our great state home.

It is an honor to serve our community in the Missouri Senate. If you have any other questions or concerns about your state government, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (573) 751-3678 or by email at — we are honored to serve you.