Sen. Karla Eslinger’s Legislative Column for June 17, 2022

The Signature of Approval

The Legislature has been out of session for more than a month, but the work of representing the 33rd Senatorial District continues. Much of my activity during the intersession period involves meeting with local officials and civic and community groups, but I also spend a lot of time talking directly to residents of the district and hearing your concerns.

Senator Eslinger recently had the pleasure of meeting with members from the Texas and Wright County Missouri Retired Teachers’ Association.

In the weeks following the Legislature’s adjournment, lawmakers keep a close eye on the governor’s office since he has just 45 days to veto bills. Absent a veto declaration, the bills we pass all become law, regardless of whether he signs them or not. It’s always good to see the governor put his pen to our work, though, as that’s a clear sign he supports the decisions we made in the legislative chambers. I was pleased to see the governor recently sign a few of the measures I either sponsored or carried in the Senate. I was also happy to see him endorse a major piece of property rights legislation that was closely watched by residents of my district.

One of the most significant bills passed by the Legislature this year was House Bill 2005. This legislation makes it harder for utility companies to take private property through the eminent domain process. The bill we passed this year will ensure landowners are adequately compensated if a for-profit utility tries to seize land in Missouri for some future project. The bill requires farm owners to be paid 150% of market value and also provides for local involvement in negotiations. I was proud to vote in favor of this bill when it came before the Senate. The fact the governor chose to sign the bill during the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association Annual Steak Fry Dinner sends a clear message that our state stands firmly in support of farmers and their private property rights.

Senator Eslinger visits with participants in the Ozark Mountains Heritage Trails Stagecoach Journey.

I was especially proud to see the governor sign House Bill 2149 into law recently. I carried this bill in the Senate and was responsible for guiding it to passage in the upper chamber. Chock full of reforms to Missouri’s professional licensure laws, this bill contains numerous provisions to cut down on bureaucracy and help our workforce get to work. Among the bill’s many parts were several measures I sponsored as separate legislation. I originally filed the provisions relating to audiology and speech-language pathology as Senate Bill 978, while my Senate Bill 993 introduced the language that will expand dental services to underserved populations. The final bill also includes exemptions from licensing for professionals who are already certified in other states that I filed as Senate Bill 1153. It was gratifying to see these various ideas for removing barriers in professional licensure and helping to provide health care throughout the state make it all the way through the legislative process and become law.

Time is running short for the governor to sign bills passed in 2022, so I’m sure there will be many more announcements in the coming weeks. I look forward to seeing what, if any, changes he makes to the budget. Until then, I am honored to see the governor put his pen to commonsense legislation I supported and I trust these reforms will help everyday Missourians. I’ll continue to work hard for you to ensure your Ozark values are represented and heard in Jefferson City.

It is my honor to serve the residents of Douglas, Howell, Oregon, Ozark, Ripley, Texas, Webster and Wright counties in the Missouri Senate, and it’s always a pleasure to hear from friends and family back home. If I can help you in any way, please call my Capitol Office at 573-751-1882, or my District Office at 417-596-9011.  You can also visit my webpage at, on Facebook: @SenatorKarlaEslinger, or follow me on Twitter: @seneslingermo.