The recent Russian invasion of Ukraine is the loudest headline on television, radio, newspapers and social media throughout the world. It may be easy to think this conflict is something happening on “the other side of the world” with no real implications for us. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
As the conflict has escalated, several state officials have taken action to look at what involvement Missouri may have either with Ukraine or Russia. This includes the state treasurer taking a look at what money our state may have invested in Russian-held stocks, bonds and other investments. On the surface, this may sound bad, but it is fairly common for seemingly harmless investment areas to have ties to numerous countries throughout the world. I applaud our state treasurer for his actions. This is a similar move to what happened in the months following the attacks on America on Sept. 11, 2001, when the treasurer’s office ordered a similar investigation into where Missouri’s money was invested.
By the same token, several state lawmakers have introduced bills and resolutions condemning Russian aggression and supporting Ukraine. Again, these may be smaller moves, but still necessary to show a united front in times of turmoil and to demonstrate the states still hold power, just as the founders meant when putting this country together not that many years ago.
As chair of the Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee, I will also keep an eye on where our money goes. This is job No. 1 for me. The money our state invests is done so to keep our AAA rating intact, so we only have to pay the lowest interest rates on the money we borrow. These investments also keep our state retirements afloat, which includes our hardworking teachers. So, yes, the war that involves the country that neighbors Alaska to the west is important, not only to the world, but to the Show-Me State as well.
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.