Missouri Senate
97th General Assembly
Join Our Mailing List!

Bob Dixon

Serving the People of the
30th Senatorial District

Contact Me

Via website at

Constituent LinE:


Senator Bob Dixon
Missouri Senate
State Capitol, Room 332
201 W. Capitol Avenue
Jefferson City, MO 65101



Schedule A Meeting:

Securing Access to Justice

Four weeks into session, the Senate has made steady progress, already sending five bills to the House. As committees complete their work, more and more bills have been added to the calendar for Senate floor debate. The bills debated last week on the floor included Senate Bill 21, which I sponsored to address a growing issue affecting our area and the entire state.

Securing Access to Justice


For years, I've worked with my colleagues in the House to secure additional judges for Greene County. Our state constitution guarantees that "the courts of justice shall be open to every person, . . . and that right and justice shall be administered without sale, denial or delay." Justice delayed is justice denied. Time and time again, studies have shown that Greene County has fewer judges than it should to match its growing workload. Constituents share concerns with me about their ability to even get into court and have routine matters of life and work dealt with quickly. Like the benevolent tax credits, past efforts to secure additional judges have run into legislative roadblocks. I want to ensure that no one is Greene County is denied justice, so I filed SB 21 (as well as Senate Bills 22, 44 and 45) to address an unrelenting problem before it grows out of control.

Administering justice to all Missourians is a core function of state government, which it should perform as efficiently as possible. A strong legal system is the foundation for a free society and a vital factor in economic growth. A sound civil justice system can impact important business decisions, such as where to locate or do business, as much as any incentive program. If we want to promote the growth of existing businesses or attract new ones to Missouri, we need to keep this tool sharp as well.


Right now, the General Assembly is responsible for where judicial resources are located across the state. However, decades of inaction have led to an imbalance — especially with judges. With SB 21 and SB 22, I've tried to accomplish two things: (1) take regional politics out of the equation and (2) apply some sound business management principles to the judicial branch. If the judiciary has greater flexibility in moving its resources to where they are needed most, it can manage them more effectively. These bills would delegate to the Missouri Supreme Court the ability to transfer judicial positions under certain circumstances and redraw judicial circuit boundaries on a regular basis. When a judge retires, a judicial position could be moved from one circuit to another, underserved circuit. Redistricting of legislative districts happens every decade, nationwide, to account for population shifts. At the same time, the General Assembly hasn't redrawn our judicial circuits statewide since 1959. 


In tight fiscal times, this process would allow us to make the best use of existing judicial resources, which may be scarce. However, flexibility would be accompanied by accountability. Only the General Assembly — and not the Supreme Court — would be able to create new judicial positions or new circuits. This greater flexibility could allow the courts to meet the demands placed on the judiciary and still stay responsive to the needs of Missouri citizens.  

Inattention from the General Assembly shouldn't keep citizens in Greene County or anywhere else from having their day in court. I want to keep the scales of justice balanced and make sure Missouri courts can operate effectively in the twenty-first century.

In the Missouri Senate

The Senate has given final approval to three measures this last week, all of which now move to the House for its consideration. Senate Bill 7removes the current two-year waiting period before the State Board of Education can intervene in a school district after the district's accreditation has been removed. Senate Bill 47 would add adoptive parents to the list of qualified legal guardians for a child who receives subsidies. Senate Bill 33 would give individuals with mental disabilities the right to be accompanied by a guide, hearing or service dog without paying an extra charge to access certain areas, provided the individual is liable for any damages done to the premises or facilities by the service dog. Debate will continue on Senate Bill 1, which would change Missouri's law relating to the Second Injury Fund.

For a more complete overview of what happened in the Missouri Senate during the fourth full week of session, read the most recent Capitol Briefing from Senate Communications.  

Share Your Thoughts

If you read about a particular bill in a Dialogue or learn about a bill that interests or concerns you, please feel free to call (573-751-2583) or e-mail me (bob.dixon@senate.mo.gov). My door is always open, and I'm ready to listen.