I would like to thank each and every one of the great people who go out when the rest of us either do not want to, or cannot, and get the roads in drivable shape. This past week, we saw a fairly big winter storm hit Missouri. While those of us who are fortunate enough to live in the great northwest part of our state were spared most of the storm’s wrath, those to our south were not as lucky. Farther down the state, folks also saw a lot more ice than they probably would prefer to see at any time. Through it all, the people who plow our roads — be they MoDOT, county or city public works employees — worked tirelessly to make sure our roads and bridges were safe to use as soon as the storm was done. For this, I thank them.
We have also been reminded of the cyclical nature of winter weather. We probably would all prefer to see mild winters each year, but we also know this is simply not possible in Missouri. Part of what I guess you could call the “good side” of an emergency is the reminder of being prepared. We may sometimes tune out those basic reminders we hear on the news, when we hear how it is a good idea to have blankets in the trunk of your car, fresh batteries in your flashlight and a full tank of gas before leaving in questionable weather. All of these things seem trite, until there is an overturned semi a few miles ahead of you, and you are stuck on the road for countless hours in zero-degree weather.
Last week’s weather also led to a shutdown of activity at the Capitol. While lawmakers are normally in Jefferson City from Monday afternoon through noon or so on Thursday, during the legislative session, the halls of the Capitol were quiet by mid-afternoon on Tuesday. As you can imagine, some of the 34 senators and 163 representatives have to travel quite a long distance to get to the Capitol. With dangerous winter weather on the horizon, the decision was made to cancel session, in both chambers, for the rest of the week so members could get home safely.
We are back in Jefferson City now and ready to continue our work, and we will keep hammering away through the middle of May. For me, this means more hours of listening to those who provide the services for our most vulnerable Missourians, as budget work continues in the Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee. I will keep you up to date on this activity as the 2022 legislative session continues.
As always, please feel free to call, email or write with your ideas or concerns. My Capitol office number is (573) 751-1415, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org and my mailing address is Room 332, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.