On the legislative front, things are in slight turmoil. We are having to cancel and delay sessions because legislators have COVID-19, which means we are not able to accomplish what we are intending to accomplish in these sessions. There are those who believe the best legislation is no legislation. But having been there and seen some of the needs for legislation, that isn't always true.
COVID continues to worsen, and I am not certain what, if anything, is going to happen for the rest of the special session or next year. This should be a stark reminder to us as legislators, and for all of us, that putting off today what we can do tomorrow is not a good idea. It only creates havoc in our lives because we never know what can happen in between and then we are in a panic situation where we cannot accomplish what needs to be accomplished timely.
Hopefully next session we won't wait until the last two weeks of session to try to pass bills that need to be passed, and then try to jam everything into a single bill to try to get these laws passed, which is called an omnibus bill, or as I casually refer to them, Christmas tree bills, since they have a little of everything on them.
I know I am sometimes critical of the Legislature, but I am a part of it and want to see change. I also want to keep a working relationship with all legislators, but I also have an obligation to be critical of those things I believe are decreasing the efficiency of our government and the Legislature.
On the optimistic side, I hope the Legislature can move swiftly and address and pass legislation. I spent time with various people around the state talking about the problems we have right now in Missouri. In addition to other bills I have discussed in this column, I have met with legislators and other concerned individuals around the state regarding problems with unlicensed child residential facilities and the neglect and abuse that occurs therein. We are drafting legislation that will address this. Further, I am involved in addressing the issue of county prosecutors interpreting the laws differently so a crime in Cole County committed by someone 17 years of age will be considered an adult and a felon while the same person committing the same act in another county may be treated as a juvenile and awarded juvenile protection. It doesn't take a lawyer, judge or highly skilled professional to know if one is a juvenile in one county, he is a juvenile in another county. If he is an adult in one county, he is an adult in another county. These are types of things that need to be addressed to prevent unnecessary litigation, lawsuits against the state for wrongful imprisonment and the harm it could cause to the community.
In addition, I am working with various entities going over the bills that were drafted last year that were good for our state and my constituents and trying to figure out the quickest ways get these bills passed. These bills may not have passed last session, but I believed they were good for our community, so I will not just abandon them.
Callaway, Cole and Boone counties celebrated milestones this week and had a joint monument built reflecting 200 years of being counties. It's always interesting to listen to Bob Priddy as to historically what went on and the relationship between how life was then and how it is now. But more importantly, we had a group of people from every county step up to work together to have this monument built as a reminder of our history and for future generations to look back upon. This was all built with volunteer labor and donations. I have to commend Central Bank for stepping up and being a major contributor to having the monument built. It is great to live in a community with so many unselfish people donating their time, talent and treasure for the good of all.
Thanksgiving is upon us again. What a great time of the year. There are family traditions, family gatherings and a time for all of us to take a moment to be grateful for all we have been given.
The world can look a little grim now. COVID is interrupting many of our family gatherings, businesses, causing the loss of family members and our friends, education and what we can accomplish at the Legislature. Thanksgiving is a reminder that whenever we feel grim because of the outcome of things around us, life can look much brighter if we merely take the time to sit down and reflect on all of the things to be grateful for and have gratitude.
In practicing gratitude, it is hard to be angry, it is hard to be depressed — at least for the moments we are thinking of things to be grateful for.
I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. For all the family traditions that are having to be changed this year, be positive, and a year from now we hopefully will be able to continue those family traditions and have the opportunity to build upon that tradition to pass onto the next generation.
State Rep. Rudy Veit, R-Jefferson City, represents Missouri's 59th District, and shares his perspective on statehouse issues twice a month.