We have completed the first half of the 2021 legislative session. Much like last year, this has been a different session than most. Fortunately, it has also been a bit tamer than what we saw in 2020. For everything we have accomplished during the first half of session, we still have a lot of things still to do, including the budget for the next fiscal year.
Some of the measures I am sponsoring this year have been met with success. Senate Bill 2, which would make changes to the Missouri Works program, was among the first pieces of legislation to pass through the Missouri Senate this year and awaits action in the Missouri House of Representatives. Senate Bill 86 is another proposal that is making its way through the process this year. This measure awaits a committee hearing in the Missouri House of Representatives, and would reinforce existing statute to ensure public funds are not used to influence elections.
After a week away from Jefferson City for the annual mid-session recess, lawmakers are back at the Capitol this week to begin the final eight weeks of session. As I mentioned earlier, the biggest challenge ahead of us is the state’s operating budget for Fiscal Year 2022. By law, we are obligated to have the budget passed and sent to the governor no later than 6 p.m. on Friday, May 7 this year. As chair of the Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee, this is not only a goal for the Legislature, but a personal goal for me as well. Rest assured, we will work to craft a balanced budget that keeps the needs of Missouri’s most vulnerable populations in mind. At the same time, we will also ensure your money is spent in the most efficient and effect ways possible.
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 email@example.com and my mailing address is Room 332, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.