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Perspective: Senate doing well with progress on variety of fronts

Perspective: Senate doing well with progress on variety of fronts

February 5th, 2018 by State Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City in Opinion

At the end of the first month of the legislative session, I am pleased with the Senate's progress on a variety of fronts. As a result of the hard work of Senate committees, the Senate calendar contains legislation relating to: tax reform, infrastructure investment, tort reform, labor reform, workforce training and development, tax-credit reform, healthcare, higher education and numerous other topics important to Missouri as a whole as well as individual districts. Debate has already begun on some of these topics, and in the coming weeks it will expand to include the others as well.

In addition to legislation placed on the calendar, the Senate has also given advice and consent to dozens of Missourians to serve on various boards and commissions throughout the state. Many of these appointees are from the 6th Senate District and it was my distinct pleasure to present them before the committee and to vote for their confirmation on the floor. I look forward to their work in a variety of capacities and I thank them for their willingness to serve.

On Thursday, the Senate completed work on HB1246, relating to sex-trafficking, sending it to the governor for signature. The fact that humans, often children, are trafficked as commodities for sex is unconscionable to most Missourians. However, most Missourians are unaware our state is very much a hub for these despicable actions. Fear and disgust are reasonable responses to this fact, but so too is action to prevent sex-trafficking through proactive steps to combat this evil in places it is most likely to occur.

On Monday, the administration gave a presentation to many senators on their proposed tax reform plan. I firmly believe individuals and businesses can spend their own money far better than the state, but I also understand there are basic and essential services Missourians expect their state government to provide. I was pleased with some aspects of the governor's tax plan and concerned with others. Tax-cuts, in the form of previously passed legislation, are taking place now, and I am very cautious at undoing those cuts in an effort to turn right around and re-do them in a slightly different manner. Tax reform plans filed in the House and the Senate are already well into the legislative process, and I anticipate some components of the governor's proposal may be incorporated into those on-going discussions. Regardless of the form, I will endeavor to ensure responsible tax reform does not come at the expense the state's responsibility and commitment to education or other essential services like roads and bridges.

State Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, represents the 6th Senate District. He shares his perspective each Monday during the session and occasionally during the interim.