Blessings and Opportunities
The second week of the 2021 legislative session began with the governor’s inauguration ceremony on the south lawn of the State Capitol. It was a privilege to gather with my legislative colleagues, statewide officials, Supreme Court judges, members of our congressional delegation and hundreds of invited guests as we watched Missouri’s 57th governor take his oath of office. A Missouri Army National Guard band played patriotic songs and the governor’s son-in-law and granddaughter sang the National Anthem. There were scripture readings and an address by the head of the State Historical Society, who reflected on the contributions of Missourians as we begin this bicentennial year and mark 200 years of statehood. The governor’s remarks were optimistic and uplifting, and he put forth a vision of a brighter future for Missouri.
With the swearing-in ceremony concluded, the Senate hit the ground running with the announcement of committee assignments for the 101st General Assembly. I have been blessed with appointment to five Senate standing committees.
I was pleasantly surprised to have been named vice chair of the Committee on General Laws. It’s an honor for a freshman senator to be appointed to committee leadership, and I am humbled by the confidence placed in me. Serving on the General Laws Committee presents an opportunity to learn about a wide range of legislative topics, and I look forward to the challenge. I have also been asked to serve on the prestigious Senate Judiciary Committee. Some of the details of this committee’s work will be new to me, but I’m eager to dig in and learn.
Two other committee assignments align closely with areas I focused on while serving in the House of Representatives. As a member of the Senate Health and Pensions Committee I’ll be in a better position to advance legislative priorities dear to my heart, such as programs to curb substance abuse and addiction. I have also been named to the Committee on Seniors, Families, Veterans and Military Affairs. The scope of this committee’s work is as vast as the name implies, and I welcome the opportunity to address a wide variety of kitchen-table issues that impact so many Missourians. I’m also honored to participate in crafting legislation to support our servicemen and women.
Finally, I was chosen to serve as a member of the newly reorganized Committee on Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight. This committee reviews nearly all major legislation passing through the Senate. I have long considered myself a guardian of the taxpayers’ money, and I am committed to ensuring our state government delivers on its promises to our citizens. I’m looking forward to continuing this watchdog role in the Senate.
Again, I truly feel blessed by these committee assignments. I believe this work will help me gain a statewide perspective and help me be more effective as one of 34 members of Missouri’s Senate. I never want local concerns to get lost in the big picture, however. To that end, I have made a commitment to hold regular meetings with the members of the House of Representatives whose districts overlap the six counties I serve. Every two weeks, we’ll get together to discuss issues that impact southeast Missouri and coordinate our legislative efforts on behalf of our constituents. Each of us came to Jefferson City to be a voice for the people back home. We’ll do a better job achieving that goal if we all pull together.
I always appreciate hearing your comments, opinions and concerns. Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at (573) 751-2459. You may write me at Holly Rehder, Missouri Senate, State Capitol, Rm 433, Jefferson City, MO 65101, send an email to Holly.Rehder@senate.mo.gov or visit www.senate.mo.gov/Rehder.