My Fellow Missourians:
Once again, for about the 40th time, Marla, my wife, and I attended the 49th Annual Missouri Cattlemen’s Association State Convention held last weekend on Jan. 6-8. I have been an MCA member and attended nearly every annual meeting since 1975 as a beef producer representing Love Ranch. However, four years ago when I was elected as a State Representative, I now have the great opportunity to attend as a Legislator and a cattleman. My reputation and voting record at the Capitol while serving on the Agriculture Policy Committee shows that I am a friend of the farmer and livestock operations that produce meat, milk and eggs. It was a complete surprise when the MCA awarded me the Legislator of the Year Award this past weekend. I am very humbled and grateful to receive this award and will proudly display it in my office at the Capitol.
Inaugural Day on Monday, Jan. 9, will go down in history as a big day of celebration for Republicans. It started at the St. Peter’s Catholic Church, where our newly elected Governor Eric Greitens and state office holders, along with legislators, were given Godly advice and prayers that we might all work together to lead our great State of Missouri.
The midday inaugural activities were outdoors on the south steps of the Capitol. Our newly elected state office holders took their oath of office accompanied by a flyover by a B-2 Stealth Bomber and a 21-gun salute.
The evening of glitz and glitter was topped off with a ball in the rotunda. Each legislator was recognized and introduced walking down the Grand Staircase along with their family. It was such an honor to have my family join me in this special occasion, with the exception of my youngest son, John, who elected to stay home and take care of the ranch. I was very thankful and blessed to see and visit with so many constituents who made the drive to the Capitol to enjoy the festivities. I do believe a wonderful time was had by all.
Now that the party is over:
Tuesday, the lawmaking process began with committee hearings held on ethics and Right to Work. These are priorities of the majority caucus and Governor Greitens. Legislation on each of these topics is expected to become enacted into law quickly.
I have been appointed to serve on the Regular Standing House Committees on ‘Agriculture Policy,’ ‘Conservation and Natural Resources,’ and ‘Consent and House Procedures.’ A new committee structure has been put in place insuring efficiency and a thorough vetting process. With the announcement of the new committees, I have now requested hearings for all the legislation I have filed to date: Missouri Heritage Protection Act, Outdoor Advertising, Ambulance District Funds, Prevailing Wage, Organ Donor Program Fund, Cemetery Funds, Butterfield Overland Trail and the Marketplace Fairness Act.
New security measures at the Capitol:
The Joint Committee on Capitol Security was established last year to review and update security measures at the Capitol. New security policies that have been adopted require any visitors and guests must enter the Capitol through the south, main doors, also referred to as the Carriage Entrance. Everyone is guided through a metal detector upon entering. This new protocol was set in place for Inauguration Day, as well as the additional visibility of dozens of law enforcement officers from across the state to insure a safe day for the thousands of Missourians who attended.