Greetings, My Fellow Missourians
My first day back in Jefferson City on Wednesday, Jan. 9, began with the welcome tradition of attending the Concord Baptist Church Annual Legislative Breakfast and Prayer Service for all Missouri government leaders. This was my 7th year to attend this event sponsored by the Christian Life Commission of the Missouri Baptist Convention and Concord Baptist Church. The physical food is good, but the spiritual food is always great. The keynote speaker challenged all of us to step out of our comfort zone, reach out and help others.
Beginning at High Noon on Wednesday, the members of the historic 100th General Assembly gathered in the State Capitol for the opening of the 2019 legislative session. The Missouri House of Representatives welcomed 56 first-time members, who took the oath of office alongside 106 returning members. The House now has 115 Republicans and 47 Democrats with one seat currently vacant. In comparison, the Missouri Senate now has a split of 24 Republicans and 10 Democrats.
After House members were officially sworn into office, we elected Rep. Elijah Haahr to serve as the Speaker of the House for the 100th General Assembly. We also elected Rep. John Wiemann to serve as House Speaker Pro Tem. Both Haahr and Wiemann then addressed all House members to share their goals for the 2019 session. Speaker Haahr delivered an opening day address that outlined his policy priorities for the 2019 session, and talked about how the first General Assembly two centuries ago represented a state of 66,000 citizens, and the 100th General Assembly now represents a state of more than 6 million. He noted in his address that the state is at record low unemployment, the tourism industry is booming, and the state’s geographic location in the middle of the country gives it a natural advantage as it competes for commerce.
2019 marks two milestone events in Missouri’s history. The First General Assembly of the future State of Missouri convened at the Missouri Hotel in St. Louis on September 19, 1820—nearly a year before the state was officially admitted into the Union. The General Assembly organized, held the inauguration of the governor and lieutenant governor, and elected Missouri’s two United States senators. The first legislature also designated St. Charles as the temporary capital and appointed a commission to report on the site for the permanent capital. Just over 100 years later, on January 8, 1919, the 50th General Assembly convened in the current Capitol for the first full session of the legislature in the new building.
Early Thursday morning, my wife, Marla, and I attended the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast. The featured speaker for the service was Sheriff for the City of St. Louis, Vernon Betts. This afternoon I look forward to attending the 48th Annual Governor’s Conference on Agriculture. The conference will include a lot of panel discussion and strategic vision as well as Governor Parson’s workforce development and rural infrastructure plan and how it relates to agriculture including technology, transportation and broadband for the agriculture industry.
Cowboys at the Capitol:
I enjoyed attending the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association 51st Cattle Industry Convention and Trade Show in Columbia, Missouri, last weekend. The new schedule for the “Cowboys at the Capitol” program that keeps agriculture issues in front of representatives and senators is now available (see below), and members of Region 6, which includes all of District 125, will be at the Capitol on February 20, April 3, and April 24. Just like last year, I will be hosting coffee and donuts for cattlemen and cattlewomen as they gather at the Capitol each Wednesday during session.
23- MCA Executive Committee & CattleWomen’s Officers
6- Regions 1 and 2
13 Regions 3, 4 and 5
20- Region 6 and 7
27- Collegiate Cattlemen and MJCA
6- Region 2 and 3
12- County Leadership Conference & MCLC
27- Regions 1, 4 and 5
3- Regions 6 and 7
17- Regions 1, 2 and 3
24- Regions 4, 5, 6 and 7