Settling Into the Missouri Senate
The first few weeks of the First Regular Session of the 101st General Assembly have been both busy and exciting, and I have enjoyed settling into my role as your state senator. Since this is my first time serving in the Missouri Legislature, these past few weeks have been a learning process for me, such as navigating the policies and procedures we must follow while we are on the Senate floor during session. At times, it has been overwhelming, but ultimately, I am excited to serve as your voice in the Missouri Senate.
Even though I am new to this role, I understand the importance of getting to know my fellow legislators and establishing relationships with them. I recently met with the representatives from districts that overlap with the 25th Senatorial District to discuss the challenges our constituents face and the best way to address them. I believe that by working together we can truly make a difference for our constituents back home.
A couple of weeks ago, we were given our Senate committee assignments for the next two years. I was named a member of the Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment; Gubernatorial Appointments; and Local Government and Elections Committees. Additionally, I am humbled that I was chosen to vice-chair the Senate Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources Committee, as well as the Senate Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety Committee. As a freshman senator, it is an honor to be named vice-chair of even one committee, but to be chosen to serve in this capacity on two committees is an incredible opportunity. I look forward to the hard work required of these committees, and I am grateful my caucus leaders have entrusted me with these important leadership roles.
On Wednesday, Jan. 27, the governor delivered his annual State of the State address. While the pandemic caused a last second change of plans, my colleagues and I adjusted and were delighted to host the governor in the Senate chamber. During his speech, the governor laid out his legislative priorities for the upcoming year, and I am proud to say that many of my priorities line up with his. In order to move our state forward, we must do everything we can to bring more jobs to Missouri, ensure our children have excellent educational opportunities and improve our state’s infrastructure.
In his speech, the governor mentioned the Medicaid expansion measure passed by the voters in August, stating it would cost hundreds of millions of dollars to implement. I agree with the governor that we must uphold the will of the voters, but we have a unique opportunity here to change the lives of approximately 275,000 Missourians. However, we must make frugal, smart decisions to ensure this cost does not negatively affect any of the other important programs that rely on funds from our state’s budget.
Recently, I spoke with the governor concerning the vaccine rollout in our state and the ways I can help. Unfortunately, it is a slow process right now with each state eager to receive more doses. I know it is frustrating, but the governor and the Department of Health and Senior Services are working hard to vaccinate Missourians as quickly as they can, and I will keep in contact with the governor to stay updated on the situation.
In district news, I also recently met with the Missouri Department of Transportation to discuss the I-57 expansion in our district. This expansion is incredibly important for the people of Butler, Mississippi, New Madrid and Stoddard counties. It will add four new lanes to this highway, which will allow more traffic back and forth between Missouri and Arkansas, opening up our state for more opportunities in the trucking industry, as well as allowing more people to pass through our state.
I want to sincerely thank you for your support and faith in me to serve as your voice in our state government. I am eager to continue attending committee hearings, begin discussing legislation on the Senate floor and continue learning how I can best serve you.
Senator Jason Bean proudly serves the citizens of Butler, Carter, Dunklin, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Shannon and Stoddard counties in the Missouri Senate.
Please visit Sen. Bean’s official Missouri Senate website at senate.mo.gov/Bean for more legislative and constituent resources.