A Labor of Love
The 2021 legislative session has come to a close and the General Assembly has adjourned. It’s been an amazing four-and-half months. We’ve had a great year and accomplished a lot.
I couldn’t be more pleased that we finally approved a statewide prescription drug monitoring program. I’ve been working on passing a PDMP for nine years, but a lot of other people were working on it before me. It was certainly a bipartisan effort. We had the support of the entire medical community, but most importantly we were encouraged and continually strengthened in this fight by many parents who lost their children to opioid addiction. Their tenacity for change, so other parents never feel their kind of pain, has kept me focused, even after so many defeats. I don’t give up. Sending Senate Bill 63 to the governor’s desk was a huge win for all the people who have worked on this important policy for the last decade.
This program will allow medical professionals to see their patients’ narcotic history. It’s that simple. Anytime a doctor can get more information about a patient, they can make better decisions for that patient, and with that comes better outcomes. That’s certainly the case with addiction. This is another tool in the tool box. It’s certainly not a silver bullet, however it is the cornerstone.
On a personal level, it’s been a labor of love, and I’m just thankful that God has allowed me to be a voice for all these families, and speak up in the Missouri Legislature and talk about substance abuse and the stigma of addiction. It’s been an incredible experience to be able to be a mouthpiece for something that’s so important. I know that’s what God wants me doing.
I was also honored to be able to work on a pair of foster care bills that made it to the governor’s desk early this year. I was the Senate handler for House Bill 430, which expands tax credits for adoption, and was so proud to be on hand as the governor signed the bill into law. This was another bipartisan policy package that’s meant to help Missouri families and those with everyday struggles. I know first-hand that these children see a lot of things that take some years to overcome, so it’s incredibly important to me that we have faster avenues to get these children placed in permanent homes with loving families.
Finally, I am so excited we got House Bill 85, the Second Amendment Protection Act across the finish line. This has been incredibly important to me. I’m firmly committed to the Second Amendment and being able to defend ourselves. I’m not going to allow that to be taken away from me. I’m not going to allow that to be taken away from my neighbors either. Missourians have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms. That’s not something that gets changed depending on who’s in the White House.
As Missourians, we have put this bill forward and said, “You’re not going to come into our state and take away our rights.” I’m incredibly pleased this passed, and I’m hopeful the governor will sign it.
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.