Summer is a wonderful, but busy time. Over the last couple of weeks, I have been very busy with all of the various activities that make summer great, from county fairs in Miller and Cole counties to watching my grandkids’ sporting events across the state. Summer picnics, grandkids’ practices and games, and work are a great way to enjoy the summer; however, it is time to start looking at the various bills that will be filed in January so I am informed on what bills I need to support and which ones I need to oppose.
It is also time to start thinking about what bills I want to introduce and to begin talking to the right people to make sure those bills are successful. I do not want to introduce bills that have no chance of success just to be able to claim that I filed a bill. This is a waste of time and resources that could be used to improve the lives of Missourians rather than simply wasted to create a talking point.
There are costs involved in filing bills just for the sake of filing them. Every bill introduced requires the time of legislators, which is already limited. If we are going to call ourselves conservatives, we need to practice conservative principles in all of our affairs. There are several bills I will introduce this year that will positively affect the lives of many, even if they do not revolutionize the whole system.
The Supreme Court has changed the Missouri State Criminal Rules related to pre-trial release. While we do want to keep criminals in prison, not every person accused with a crime has actually committed one, and it goes against the Constitution and the founding principles of our nation to imprison someone before they are tried and found guilty or innocent without at least a reasonable opportunity to be released. Additionally, these rules go a long way in trying to reduce the amount of money we have to spend on our jails, which allows us to use that money for other things such as better pay for state workers and education. We know there will be bills introduced to modify these rules. If they are going to be changed, we need to make sure any changes are consistent with the theories and principles of the Constitution and the guidance of the Supreme Court.
Next week, Rep. Dave Griffith and I will be going to the Herculaneum Port Authority in Herculaneum, Missouri. Gov. Mike Parson will be there along with various representatives for the port authority to explain the importance of the port authority and how it works. Since I am wanting to introduce a bill that will make a port in Jefferson City possible, this trip is a great opportunity to learn about how the port authority works so I can make the right arguments to ensure the bills’ passage. While it is a long way to drive, I have drove a whole lot farther for a whole lot less.
While I have worked hard this summer, work is not all that I have done. I have had the pleasure of going boat riding, attending ball games and swimming with my grandkids. I’ve also had the joy of meeting my newest grandchild, Maverick Lee Sneller, born July 30, 2019. He has had some challenges, but by the grace of God and everyone’s prayers, he is making a successful recovery and will bring joy to many.
Being in the Legislature, I drive to many places. As I drive, I have time to reflect on past experiences and lessons I’ve learned. Recently, I was thinking back to a Sunday at church where the pastor spoke on the importance of thinking before you speak. The next Sunday, I went back to that church and the same pastor spoke of keeping holy the Sabbath, not working on Sundays, and using that time to relax and pray. After church, I politely informed him that I could do one or the other, but could not do both. If I had to think before every time I had to speak, I would never get anything done, and I’d have to work on Sundays just to keep up. Looking back, I recognize the importance of both, however, sometimes it can be challenging to do both.
State Rep. Rudy Veit, R-Jefferson City, represents the 59th District, and shares his perspective on statehouse issues twice a month.