Looking Back on 2021
It may seem hard to believe but another year has come to a close. For some, I’m sure that’s a blessing, and I know many of us are looking forward to the fresh start promised with the coming of a new year. And while 2021 wasn’t the year we all hoped for, it’s still important to acknowledge the successes we’ve shared during a difficult year. I know I for one am proud of many of the bills passed by the General Assembly in 2021. These were good, commonsense measures designed to keep our state moving forward.
For instance, we passed Senate Bill 36, establishing the Capitol Complex Tax Credit program. I sponsored this legislation, and its goal is to support restoration and preservation efforts for historic buildings located throughout downtown Jefferson City, including the State Capitol and the Governor’s Mansion. We also passed House Bill 476, which I handled in the Senate. This bill allows military occupational specialties to qualify under our state’s license reciprocity laws, helping our returning military professionals have easier access to employment opportunities back home. Additionally, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 53, which enhances protections for Head State buses throughout the state.
On the agriculture front, we also passed House Bill 574, clarifying who can conduct inspections of agricultural facilities. I believe this legislation will help ensure inspections are conducted by qualified professionals and promote security on Missouri farms. Meanwhile, House Bill 369 includes the Prescribed Burning Act, which I sponsored in the Senate. I hope this act will promote the safe, responsible use of controlled burns by licensed prescribed burn professionals throughout the state.
Lawmakers are looking to carry on the good work of 2021 into the next legislative session, which begins on Jan. 5. We’ll be working on congressional redistricting, which happens once a decade following the completion of the U.S. Census. We’re also sure to discuss the governor’s proposed pay raise for our hardworking state workers. And of course, as chair of the Senate’s Ag Committee, I’ll be doing everything I can to keep our state’s No. 1 industry strong for generations to come.
2022 promises to be another busy year in the Capitol, but I’m looking forward to helping move our state forward with commonsense policies. As always, it is an honor to serve the 6th Senatorial District. If my office can be service to you, please feel free to contact us at (573) 751-2076. For information about my committee assignments or sponsored legislation, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at senate.mo.gov/Bernskoetter.