Perspective: Breakfast with champions

On Friday, Feb. 18, I had the great privilege of eating breakfast with local national champions at the Eldon FFA breakfast. I was proud to be in the presence of this great chapter and to recognize its hard work; in particular, its National Champion Parliamentary Procedure Team. Before leaving, I did request that they be on pro bono retainer to assist me in adhering to Senate parliamentary rules.

While in Eldon, I also had coffee with a large group of constituents at McDonalds. I want to thank the Eldon McDonalds for their hospitality, especially in setting a room aside for our use. In addition to the good company, I also received some excellent feed-back, some well-intentioned criticism, and some new ideas. My next coffee stop will be at the Pioneer Restaurant in Versailles on March 11, again from 7-8 a.m.

I have repeatedly said that the Capitol should be full of citizen legislators, not career politicians. Additional proof of my citizen-legislator status occurred this week when I was “gaveled down” for the first time in the Missouri Senate. This means that the presiding officer of the Senate observed me violating Senate protocol on the floor; in this instance, walking in between two senators engaged in debate.

Even as a citizen legislator, I do believe in respecting the traditions and rules of the Senate and will endeavor to keep subsequent gaveling to a minimum. The traditions and rules of the Senate are on display daily when we are in session, and I invite each of you to come and observe session first-hand to see how your Senate and senator operates within the framework of those traditions and protocols.

One Senate tradition that I do plan to buck soon (at least in one instance) is the deliberate stalling of hearings and floor debate on issues that share broad-based support amongst senators. While I believe it is important to discuss and work through issues, I know it is essential to continue to make progress by bringing the right people to the table, communicating clearly, and keeping the desired end-state in mind.

This is what I am doing with Senate Bill 50. I continue to meet, multiple times a day during the week, with individuals representing both sides of the issue. This persistence is paying off and I am confident that we are very close to refinements that will propel this bill through committee and to the floor for debate by the whole Senate. Please visit my website (www.senate.mo.gov/kehoe) for information about SB 50, as this information is intended to help citizens in the 6th District, and across the state, better understand the energy challenges Missouri will face in the near future and the necessity for SB 50.

Jobs are what I said I would focus on and SB 50 does just that by putting thousands of Missourians back to work. In addition to job growth via SB 50, this week I also presented Senate Bill 252 before the members of the Jobs, Economic Development and Local Government Committee. This measure encourages animal science research industries to invest additional money in research and development and will create and sustain agriculture-related jobs across the state.

I am in this office to serve the constituents of the 6th Senatorial District. Please contact us at (573) 751-2076 if my office or I can be of any assistance to you or if you have questions.

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