It was a significant week in the Missouri House of Representatives. We worked through the House budget, which will now be sent to the Missouri Senate. The budget process has many parts and is one of the biggest undertakings while we are in session in Jefferson City.

I am proud to serve on a sub-committee for agriculture appropriations. Through the sub-committee, we get to look at various departments’ budgets, including the Missouri Department of Agriculture, Department of Conservation, Department of Economic Development, Department of Insurance, and the Department of Natural Resources.

All of these departments have a direct impact on much of our district. A deep dive into spending, areas of spending which will make our district better, and opportunities that can be applied for and utilized across the district are some of my favorite things to work on when considering the budget.

Just a few highlights from the House version that I believe are very important include:

• $727.5 million investment for rebuilding I-44, including six lanes at Springfield, Joplin, and Rolla

• $100 million for rural and low volume roads

• $53 million for I-29 and I-35 improvements

• Over $16 million in port infrastructure projects

• $120.6 million increase to fully fund the K-12 education foundation formula

• $14 million increase to fully fund school transportation

• 2% increase for colleges and universities

• 3.2% pay raise for state employees

• $1.5 billion toward expanding broadband access

• $8 million for the National Guard and Operation Lone Star to defend the southern border

• $7.5 million for an aircraft maintenance facility at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base

• $2 million for grants to pregnancy resource centers

As always, if you find yourself in central Missouri, please stop by the Missouri Capitol. Office 114 is always open, or reach out to with policy concerns. It’s an honor to serve the people of Bates, Vernon, and Cedar County. Below are some more legislation and highlights of the week.

Missouri House of Representatives Hosts Director General of Taiwan, Bill Huang

The House was honored to receive a visit from Director General Bill S.C. Huang, underscoring the enduring partnership between Missouri and Taiwan, rooted in our shared commitment to democracy, freedom, and prosperity. Director General Huang emphasized the importance of strengthening ties between Taiwan and the United States, particularly at the state level, during his address to the Missouri House of Representatives. He expressed gratitude for Missouri’s steadfast support and dedication to democratic principles and human rights, acknowledging the state’s efforts in fostering robust relations with Taiwan to address global challenges collaboratively. Highlighting the growing economic and trade relations between Taiwan and the United States, Director General Huang noted the significant increase in bilateral trade, reaching $160 billion in 2022. He highlighted the importance of initiatives like the Taiwan-US Economic Prosperity Partnership and the Taiwan-US Technology Trade and Investment Framework in promoting this growth, despite challenges such as the pandemic. Director General Huang also acknowledged the enduring sisterly relationship between Taiwan and Missouri since 1980, as well as Taiwan’s evolution into a global economic powerhouse, particularly in high-tech manufacturing. Additionally, he commemorated the 45th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, promoting continued exchanges between the people of the United States and Taiwan. Regarding the delicate relationship between Taiwan and China, Director General Huang emphasized Taiwan’s commitment to peaceful coexistence and democracy. He referenced Mark Twain to illustrate Taiwan’s resilience in the face of challenges, highlighting the determination of a smaller entity against adversity. Missouri House Speaker Dean Plocher reaffirmed Missouri’s steadfast support for Taiwan amid growing hostility from China. He pledged unwavering commitment to championing freedom and democracy alongside Taiwan. Following his address, Director General Huang honored State Representative Herman Morse for his exceptional contributions to fostering relations between Taiwan and the United States, presenting him with a prestigious Friend of Foreign Service medal and certificate. This visit further solidifies the strong bond between Missouri and Taiwan, and I am confident that our continued partnership will yield mutual benefits for both regions.

HJR 86: The House made a decisive move towards enhancing democracy with changes on how initiatives for constitutional amendments are handled in the Show-Me State. This resolution aims to revamp the state’s constitutional amendment process, emphasizing a commitment to equitable representation and citizen involvement. Currently, to place an amendment proposed by initiative petition on the ballot, initiative petitions require signatures from eight percent of legal voters in 2/3 of the state’s congressional districts. HJR 86 would change this requirement, mandating signatures from eight percent of legal voters in all of the state’s congressional districts. Additionally, it introduces changes to signature requirements, provisions for public input, eligibility criteria, and measures to safeguard against foreign influence. This approach strikes a balance between the need for constitutional flexibility and the importance of preserving its integrity. Moreover, HJR 86 aligns with the federal constitutional process and safeguards rural communities from potential domination by urban areas. By passing this resolution, we are reinforcing the pillars of our democracy and ensuring that every voice is heard.


State Representative

Please contact me at:

201 West Capitol Avenue, Room 114B

Jefferson City, MO 65101-6806

Phone: 573-751-4065