Legislative Column for the Week of Jan. 19, 2015
The State of Our State

Wednesday night, the governor outlined his plan for the state and his ideas for the future. While his budget plan is ambitious, and his proposals are encouraging to the citizens, I am apprehensive that he will follow through with his promises.

We all realize that the two major political parties have their differences; conservatives generally support a low tax base and smaller government, while liberals tend to favor increased bureaucracy and taxes in order to fund various programs. Having a Republican majority in both houses of Legislature along with a Democratic governor in the state can make the wheels of government turn a bit more sluggishly, but it can bring a more balanced approach to what is best for its citizens.

With that taken under advisement, we in the Legislature realize that both parties must work harder and work together to create a budget plan that will benefit all Missourians.

We have a long road ahead of us; some topics such as Medicaid expansion and transportation funding are still fairly divisive, while others, like education and veterans’ care, are more agreeable.


But while the governor is encouraging fiscal discipline, he is still withholding money already appropriated to programs such as Parents as Teachers, the Sheltered Workshop program and the Cybercrimes Task Force. He consistently fails to support tax breaks for the middle class. On some issues, such as transportation funding, he originally supported a legislative plan to improve our roads and highways, but later changed his mind.

It is clear that there remains a great deal of work to do in order to find our common ground. If we all can get our priorities together, and keep level heads and open minds, this could be a banner year for Missouri’s people.


I always encourage my constituents to feel free to contact me throughout the year with comments, questions or suggestions by calling my office at (573) 751-5713. To find more information about the bills I sponsor, or visit www.senate.mo.gov/brown.

Thank you for reading this and for your participation in state government.