Perspective: Prayers for tornado and flood victims

After a great Easter with family at the farm celebrating the strength of God and His Son, we also received a first-hand glimpse of His power in the weather.

I began the week very thankful that the 6th Senatorial District was spared torrential rain and the resulting flooding as weather fronts moved through over the weekend. However, many fellow Missourians in southern and southeastern Missouri were not so lucky, and my thoughts and prayers go out to them that waters will soon recede and life will return to normal.

Additionally, my prayers go out to residents of the St. Louis area, as well as Alabama, Mississippi, and across the southeastern United States who are even now enduring suffering in the aftermath of tornados.

On Wednesday, a congressional redistricting compromise map was approved by both the House and the Senate and sent to the governor. This map is not perfect, but it is substantially better for Central Missouri than previous options. I voted for this map only after speaking to Congressman Luetkemeyer and taking a critical look at the map and assessing whether or not Central Missouri can still maintain representation in Congress. I believe that this new map will enable a congressman from Central Missouri into the future.

Also, on Wednesday, the Senate gave initial approval to a large economic development bill. This bill is part of the solution to Missouri’s ongoing economic crisis, as it will save taxpayers more than $1.5 billion over the next 15 years. Central Missouri’s economy is reliant on people working, in particular, people working in good-paying jobs with benefits. Offering incentives to businesses, in a financially responsible way, to expand or relocate to Missouri is a step in competing against neighboring states such as Kansas and Oklahoma and making those new jobs real and available. Remember, it’s always going to be “all about jobs” for me.

While I believe that my early site permit legislation holds the greatest promise for job creation and injecting revenue into Missouri’s economy, its provisions were not included in this bill. Thousands of jobs and billions of dollars is not just good for Missouri’s economy, it is great for the economy and greatly needed.

On Thursday, House Bill 462, the measure to which the early site permit language was added, was approved by committee and now heads to the full Senate for debate. I have asked Senate leadership to not allow this bill to be killed via a point of order, as happened to SB 48. I will continue to have discussions with senators and representatives, as well as with proponents and opponents, up until the time this session adjourns on May 13, with the desire to pass legislation that will facilitate the largest construction project in the state’s history. All the fight I have in me will be exhausted to promote this most important step for future energy.

Speaking of energy, I am also keeping a very close eye on the very important rate hearings that are going on right now in Jefferson City. In these hearings the Public Service Commission will consider potential electrical rate actions. I, along with other elected officials, want to make sure that our constituents do not subsidize the already low rates of large industrial users any more than we already do.

I was pleased to end the week by attending a reception for Jefferson City teachers who will be retiring at the end of this year.

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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