Legislative Column for Sept. 16, 2015

JEFFERSON CITY - The results of our legislative survey are in and I am incredibly happy with the response. More than 3,000 residents of the 26th responded to our survey, far more than we expected to receive. Our office and senate staff were busy inputting results for weeks. To everyone who took our survey, thank you for taking the time to let me know your preferences. These legislative surveys offer me a real-time glimpse at the public’s opinion and help me better represent our district in the Missouri Senate.

Some answers were what I was expecting: we all highly value primary and higher education, transportation, economic development, and health care as budget priorities. Some answers gave me insight into what taxpayers would prefer for transportation funding solutions. For instance, the responses to these transportation questions show that we all want transportation funding solutions for our highways:

How should Missouri generate revenue to fund highway improvement projects? Select one.


In a standalone question, support for a modest two-cent increase on the gas tax was fairly strong:

Some of the strongest support came for keeping higher education affordable, passing Voter ID in Missouri, and raising Missouri’s cigarette tax, currently the lowest in the nation. All of these issues had over 70 percent support and that tells me that all three of these policy areas are top issues for our community:

While these conclusive results show many priorities of the district, other questions show that consensus is still emerging or has yet to emerge on many issues. Regarding how constituents feel about my job performance, many respondents answered “Unsure.” I intend to work hard to show our community that I will represent our interests in the state capitol and get real results in these areas.

Many of the areas that you feel strongly about were already my top priorities. Finding real funding solutions for our states roads and bridges, protecting affordable education, and ensuring the integrity of our elections are all top priorities for me. With this information in hand, I will better be able to push for legislation that fits the values of our district and community.

To see the full results of the survey, please visit:  www.senate.mo.gov/15info/members/D26/2015SurveyResults.pdf

Our Capitol Report next week will focus on veto session.

Thank you for reading this weekly column. Please contact my office at (573) 751-3678 if you have any questions.