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FALL 2017

2017 BEST OF THE LEGISLATURE

SEN. CALEB ROWDEN, RYAN SILVEY, JASON HOLSMAN, JAMILAH NASHEED ARE JOINED BY REPS. CRYSTAL QUADE, JAY BARNES, HOLLY REHDER AND COLLEAGUES IN DEFINING THE 2017 LEGISLATIVE SESSION ALSO: OPINION FROM NAACP’S JOHN GASKIN, METRO TIX, BOB PRIDDY, AND MORE, MOVERS AND SHAKERS: REPS. FRANKS, VESCOVO, AND SMITH

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MRTA hosted over 1,000 attendees at MRTA Legislative Day 2016!

WHO IS MRTA? Missouri Retired Teachers Association and Public School Personnel (MRTA) consists of over 26,000 members who together make the largest education retiree organization in Missouri. THERE IS STRENGTH IN NUMBERS! MRTA is the only retired educator associaition whose #1 priority is to promote and protect pensions, programs, and benefits of all retired public school personnel.

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MRTA, a 501(c)(4) not-for-profit corporation, is a grassroots advocacy association. MRTA is independent and nonpartisan.


MAGAZINE MAGAZINE 01.01.2017

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CONTENTS

LETTERS FROM THE PUBLISHER, EDITOR

PLACES 6 Das Stein Haus mixes local entertainment with authentic food LETTERS 7 Missouri must act on ticket scalping OPINION 8 Fall Favorites in Missouri Wine Country 10 Right-to-work referendum a threat to the economy 12 ‘People over self’ must influence Chappelle- Nadal’s choice 13 School choice is emerging as litmus test for GOP primaries 14 Dear Mr. Danforth 16 Colorful characters have always defined the Capitol PUBLISHER Scott Faughn EDITOR Rachael Herndon Dunn S TA F F Benjamin Peters, Michael Layer C O N T R I B U T O R S Jim Downey, Timothy Griffin, Tim Grenke, Kristian Starner, Sen. Wayne Wallingford, Rosemary Frank, James Harris, John Gaskin, Kalena Bruce, Scott Faughn, Bob Priddy COVER PHOTOGRAPHER Aubrey Rowden FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHER Hannah Beers OFFICIAL PHOTOS COURTESY OF TIM BOMMEL, HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHER DIRECT ADVERTISING INQUIRIES TO RACHAEL DUNN AT RACHAEL@THEMISSOURITIMES.COM

NEWS 18 Trump visits FEATURE

20

Best of the Legislature

MOVERS AND SHAKERS 46 Rep. Cody Smith 49 Rep. Rob Vescovo 50 Rep. Bruce Franks

PUT PRISONERS TO WORK, NOT TO DEATH!

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LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER

We are pleased to present the 2017 Best of the Legislature. Our readers will remember that this isn’t the first time The Missouri Times have held legislative awards, but it’s a practice we suspended for a couple years. As the magazine has caught on in popularity it was the right fit to bring them back. The Missouri Times legislative awards are for the real legislators. They may not be the bomb throwers on the floor or the ones with the most salacious Twitter accounts, but we tried to identify those who were the serious policy makers who were able to influence public policy in real ways. First of all, you will notice that there are no members of leadership listed. We cover those in legislative leadership on a daily basis and our in-

tent was to honor those who carry the legislation. Also, there is no one on this list that could be successful without those in leadership playing a key role. We attempted to find those legislators who know and understand the art of compromise. So much of our politics has been polluted by those who operate as though those who disagree with them are the enemies who should be conquered, not peers and equals who should be persuaded. Our hope was to identify some legislators who are part of the solution, not part of the background noise, or even more, part of the problem. To give you an insight as to how the list was compiled, we reached out to all of our Missouri Times subscribers, but really keyed in on a group of about a dozen association leaders, lobbyists, interest group leaders, political consultants, and legislative staff to find out who are those who not only moved legislation past the goal posts, but did so with statesmanship and added dignity and integrity to the process. We included Democrats in Sen. Nasheed and Sen. Holsman, who both had a tremendous impact on the legislative session from the minority, as well as Rep. Crystal Quade, who as part of a tremendous group of House Democrats, was at the center of several issues both legislatively and messaging. In the Senate, we chose Sens. Munzlinger and Emery who worked closely with leadership to move complex issues of public policy. Sens. Rowden and Schatz had different approaches to

influencing the Senate, while Sens. Silvey and Romine showed everyone in state government that the most important quality a senator can have is a backbone. Across the rotunda, Rep. Haefner is setting herself apart from others as a fiscal hawk who isn’t afraid to speak her mind and represent her constituents to anyone in either party. Speaking of fiscal issues, the list would be a farce without Rep. Fitzpatrick, who led the state’s budget process, showing perhaps the most independence of anyone in the House and, in the end, showing the statesmanship to allow a policy to move forward he disagreed with. Rep. Corlew was successful in REAL ID and tort issues, while Rep. Matthews was able to finally pass the Uber legislation. Rep. Fitzwater came into his own as a legislator working on issues that affect real people’s lives but don’t generate huge headlines. Rep. Rehder has been in the headlines recently, but the fact is that she was a leading voice in passing major labor legislation and had a tremendous session and deserved to be on this list of legislators we are honoring, other headlines not withstanding. Rep. Joe Don McGaugh inherited former Rep. Caleb Jones’ role of amending bills, and thus had more impact on legislation than perhaps anyone, and Rep. Jay Barnes is simply the hardest working legislator in the Capitol. You could make valid arguments for another two dozen more and you might be right, but we hope you enjoy this edition featuring the 17 legislators that we feel had an outstanding legislative session.

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

The people on this list can easily be credited as defining 2017, a rough legislative year to most. With less than 85 bills passed, we thought outside the box to compile this list beyond bill signatures.

islators rose to the top for their pure tenacity on their issues, like Sen. Emery with SB 190. Boiling, broiling, and baking later, the list as you read is what we came up with. High heat is a consistent trend among these legislators, whether they’re taking it or giving it. They work tireless days and I’m sure they are thankful most cell phone This list started as a vast nomination form with plans now have unlimited calls and texts. over 50 categories, sent out to some of our most I’m personally thrilled to inloyal readers for feedback. Despite me creating clude staff recognition, one from each several dozen too many categories, clear choices emerged, like Sen. Rowden and Rep. Barnes, over chamber. Both Pat Thomas and Kenny Ross were and over. On other categories, some of the people blow out winners during the nomination phase. Comments included observations of how they are on this list, like Sen. Nasheed, Rep. Fitzwater, both knowledgeable, helpful, and honest. and Rep. Quade, landed there because of their If anything, this edition will serve as a guide of notable recognition from peers and readers. The what to do to succeed in politics. categories were boiled down, reflecting overall I challenge any lover of Missouri politics to session accomplishments. Meanwhile, other legput together a list of less than 20 of the “Best of

the Legislature” and not also enjoy some comfort food, coffee, and ibuprofen at the same time. I presume readers of the Missouri Times enjoy politics and constantly observe their peers to learn new ways they can improve their own craft, whether it be legislating, lobbying, or campaigning. The trends within are ones I’ll be taking to heart as, I too, internalize the lessons of these legislators’ success. I don’t have any lovely and amusing history lessons, though Bob Priddy does on page 18, like I did in the last edition, but I do offer thanks, as a Missourian, that I walk into a building where the cream quickly rises to the top and I’m honored to do my part to recognize their accomplishments.

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PLACES

Das Stein Haus mixes local entertainment with authentic food Das Stein Haus, tucked back off of Jefferson Street behind Conoco (1436 Southridge Dr.), is “that” restaurant you walk in and are almost guaranteed to see the owner.

The owner of this popular local eat is an incredibly friendly German immigrant named Helmut Steiner (pictured) who loves to cook as much as he loves to host. Steiner has put together an eclectic spot with an authentic German comfort food menu to match. Opening in 1981, Steiner just this year announced a new lounge called “The Dungeon,” just another in the variety of environments visitors can visit, ranging from patio and deck seating, private dining, and bar seating (with the occasional karaoke spectacle accompaniment). Steiner himself cooks up the food, most entrees come with a side of his signature potatoes and cabbage. The pace is relaxed, but most people around Jefferson City will tell you if you’re wanting great escargot, Das Stein Haus is the place to go. The snails themselves are huge and the biscuit on top of them is surprisingly buttery and flaky, despite that being the expectation. Many nights, weiner schnitzel is on special and is definitely worth a try. The menu offers a variety of other foods ranging from veal stuffed cabbage rolls (great) and seafood crepes (amazing). The restaurant is the

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perfect place to go when you’re feeling like some comfort food and the day’s special will never let you down, though it may raise your blood pressure. The restaurant, set in what was clearly once a ranch house, is open for dinner only. The converted rooms allow for a great spot for uninterrupted private dining for parties of any size and Steiner coordinates live music on Sunday nights from the 60s, 70s, and 80s for those who are more social. If you do go for the karaoke (Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays), expect some elderly regulars who live and breathe classic country and, honestly, do the ballads heartbreaking justice. The walls themselves tell stories that only Steiner himself can add to, sporting shelves upon shelves of wine, prints and paintings of Germany, and even some newspaper clippings in mismatched, yet charming, frames. Steiner is an inviting character with a thick German accent that makes the visit complete. He has traveled and lived around Europe and the United States, serving as a chef in Swiss hotels and gaining a love for

jazz after his stint in New Orleans. “I’ve been in the restaurant business all my life,” Steiner said. “I’ve lived in Switzerland and worked in first class hotels all over Switzerland, Paris and England. It was great. People are nice everywhere you go and if you’re nice, it works out, it’s life, you know. You work hard, you play hard.” That exact principle is clearly how he runs his restaurant, with him seen bopping around with his apron on greeting special guests and meeting news ones until the kitchen closes, then joining patrons at the bar and greeting regulars. Desserts, including bananas foster, are prepared table side, getting any guest an on-demand Helmut experience. The lounge opens at 4:00 p.m., with the kitchen opening at 5:00 p.m., so it’s a great out of the way, yet on the way, spot for an after-session glass of wine, and now, Helmut’s sangria (yes, please). With the Truman Hotel being knocked down, Steiner is sure to keep improving Das Stein Haus and continue to become more and more people’s favorite as new development comes to the area.


LETTERS

Missouri must act on ticket scalping Earlier this year, out-of-state ticket scalpers introduced legislation that would make it easier to take advantage of Missourians by banning a cutting-edge technology used across the country to protect consumers. Additionally, the measure would put Missouri businesses at a disadvantage when competing for events and concerts with neighboring states who do not place overly burdensome regulations on event ticketing. This bill was opposed by the Kansas City Royals, Kansas City Chiefs, St. Louis Cardinals, and every major entertainment venue in Missouri. As the General Sales Manager of MetroTix, and on behalf of our many venue clients in Missouri including the Fabulous Fox Theatre, I am writing to voice my opposition to HB 255 and any future legislation that favors out-of-state ticket scalpers over Missouri’s consumers and entertainers. Over the past 35 years, MetroTix has partnered with The Fabulous Fox Theatre to provide tickets to more than 20 million guests for 7,100 performances. On behalf of our clients, MetroTix provides fair and transparent ticketing, issuing over 2 million tickets to Missourians each year. Combined, MetroTix and the Fabulous Fox Theatre employ nearly 600 full and part-time employees in Missouri - all of whom are dedicated to providing a great experience to Missouri’s sports fans, theatre and concert goers. Unfortunately, over the past few years, we have been forced to dedicate an in-

creasing amount of resources to combating out-of-state scalpers who defraud Missouri’s consumers by peddling fake tickets on fake websites or using “bots” to scoop up mass quantities of tickets and then reselling them significantly above face value. Digital ticketing is a proven method to ensure consumers have access to affordable tickets. It is common to hear of big named shows such as Garth Brooks, Bruce Springsteen or “Wicked” being sold out the instant the tickets go on sale, only for those same tickets to be found for sale on a handful of secondary market websites at a significantly higher price. This is the result of the modern-day scalper. The modern-day scalper uses bots to buy up as many tickets as possible the moment they go on sale in order to turn around and sell them for a significantly higher price while not providing any additional value to the consumer. This process defrauds Missouri’s consumers, venues, sports teams, and artists. With digital ticketing, we are able to block these robots, which means actual consumers have a better chance of obtaining an affordable ticket. Today, I call on all of Missouri’s General Assembly to take a stand against these out-of-state ticket scalpers by voting against any legislation that makes it easier to defraud and mislead Missouri’s consumers.

Mark Rhoads and The Rhoads Company, LLC congratulate all winners of the legislator awards. We look forward to working with you again next year and thank you for the personal sacrifices that you make to serve your districts and the citizens of Missouri.

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Best of the Legislature!

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OPINION

Fall Favorites in Missouri Wine Country ROSEMARY FRANK MISSOURI GRAPE & WINE BOARD Fall (or autumn, if you prefer) is a beautiful time of the year in Missouri. The changing leaves paint a bright canopy of colors in the sky. Rich hues of yellow, orange and red blanket the tree lined roads. Besides breathtaking views, there are many reasons why now is the perfect time to explore Missouri Wine Country. Fall festivals. There are 134 wineries in the Show Me state. Many of these wineries host special events in the fall, while other wineries attend community festivals; all events offer visitors a great time. Wine trails. There are 12 wine trails to discover in Missouri and they all have something unique to offer visitors. Several wine trails have events planned for this fall such as the Harvest Celebration on the Route du Vin in Ste. Genevieve, Holiday Fare on the Hermann Wine Trail, Sip & Soup on the Missouri River Wine Trail and Taste of the Holidays on the Missouri River Hills Wine Trail.

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Hit the road, rail or trail. Savor the splendid fall colors by hiking or biking the Katy Trail or discover a new winery favorite by vehicle or train. Amtrak travels

from Kansas City to St. Louis daily with many exciting stops along the way. Just make sure you grab a window seat. Fall drives. If you plan on taking a road trip, you’ll need to decide which wineries you’re going to visit. Pull out a map and check out these great drives in Missouri. Highway 94 southwest of St. Louis is laden with many award-winning wineries. • Augusta Winery • Balducci Vineyards • Blumenhof Vineyards & Winery Chandler Hills Vineyard • Montelle Winery • Mount Pleasant Estates • Noboleis Vineyards • Sugar Creek Winery • Yellow Farmhouse Winery Highway 100 between Hermann and New Haven is home to several unique wineries. • Adam Puchta Winery • Bias Winery & Gruhlke’s Microbrewery • Hermannhof Winery • Kuenzel Valley Winery • OakGlenn Winery • Röbller Vineyard and Winery • Stone Hill Winery Along Highway 24 north of Interstate 70 and just east of Kansas City, you’ll find a number of quaint, welcoming wineries.


• • • • •

Baltimore Bend Vineyard Fahrmeier Family Vineyards Mallinson Vineyard and Hall Terre Beau Winery Top Hat Winery

Route 66, the mother road, leads you on a journey sprinkled with history and dotted with wineries. Southeast • Belmont Vineyards • Heinrichhaus Vineyard and Winery • Meramec Vineyards • St. James Winery • Three Squirrels Winery Southwest

• • •

OOVVDA Winery Tyler Ridge Vineyard Winery White Rose Winery

Taste a seasonal wine. Several wineries in the Show Me state make limited run, small batch seasonal wines that range from Pumpkin Pie to Cranberry to Gingerbread. They are most often only available at the wineries and for a limited time. Turn your quest for a fun seasonal variety into a treasure hunt. You may discover a new favorite! Try mulled wine (AKA Gluhwein). Mulled wine is a

traditional German beverage, consisting of spiced wine and fruit. The result is unique and delicious. This warm beverage is a must as the weather cools down. Listen to live music at a winery. Before the chill in the air gets too cold, enjoy live entertainment at a winery. Many wineries feature bands on the weekends. Whatever your preferred style of music, you’re likely to find a band that you’ll enjoy. Fireside. Sip your favorite Missouri wine by the fire. Fall is bonfire season and there is

nothing better than enjoying a bonfire with a glass of vino at a winery. Become an MVP. Visit participating wineries, collect tickets then redeem them for rewards in the Missouri Winery Visitors Program. There are many ways for you to experience the beauty of fall in Missouri Wine Country. Visit missouriwine.org for events and an interactive map of all the wineries in Missouri. Get started on your Missouri Wines adventure today!

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OPINION

Right-to-work referendum a threat to the economy James Harris J. Harris Company Over the past several months, union bosses spent millions to put a right-towork referendum on the ballot, successfully submitting the necessary number of signatures to prevent the law from going into effect for just over a year, until voters cast their ballots in the November 2018 election. I am sure that many readers saw paid petitioners at locations around the state, and if you asked them what right-to-work is about, the petitioner likely replied with one of a variety of dramatic, apocalyptic statements that do not reflect reality. Right-to-work is, at its core, a very simple principle. The right-to-work law passed by the Missouri General Assembly ensures that no worker can be forced to join or pay a union (or be prevented from joining or paying a union) as a job requirement.   That’s it.  There are no loopholes or confusing legalese found in the bill passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Greitens this year.  The

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legislation is so simple that it took only two pages. People who like their union can stay with their union, just as they do now.  Workers who are not yet members of a union but want to join can do so, just as under current law.   The main difference is that under right-to-work, workers who do not think their union is treating them right can leave without having their job taken away from them.  This accountability is what scares union bosses, and it is why they put so much money into the petition effort. Unfortunately, delaying the implementation of right-to-work could be a substantial problem for our economy, as it has created unnecessary uncertainty that could make major employers think twice about bringing new jobs to Missouri.  Missourians must take into account that the majority of states now have rightto-work laws, and as long as we do not, our state remains at a significant disadvantage for job growth.  Time and again, site selection consultants have testified to legislative committees in our state that the lack of a

right-to-work law immediately eliminates Missouri from competition for 50% or more of their clients. Businesses looking to expand in this region could just as easily go to one of the seven right-to-work states we share a border with—states where the right-to-work effort is not currently being held hostage by union-boss-led interference. Right-to-work attracts jobs for union and non-union workers alike.  After adopting right-to-work, Indiana’s union membership grew by 50,000 workers between 2013 and 2014, while Missouri lost 5,000 union members over the same time period.  Why?  Because Indiana grew much faster than Missouri, with nearly four times as many jobs created during that one year.    Our state can experience massive job growth under right-to-work just as our neighbors have enjoyed.  For this reason, it is essential to vote this common sense policy into law in November of next year.

James Harris has advocated in support of right-to-work on behalf of the Adam Smith Foundation.


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OPINION

‘People over self’ must influence Chappelle-Nadal’s choice John Gaskin @johngaskinstl For years the Missouri State Senate has been revered and respected as the upper chamber of the Missouri State Legislature. The Senate often times has been referred to as the chamber where compromise, statesmanship, and respect are the rules that guide the day. The Senate is very much so the more deliberative body. Most uniquely, unlike the House, Senators are not divided physically by party lines, that sit amongst each other. For African Americans in Missouri, the Senate has been a marquee breeding ground for strong leadership representing some of the most economically depressed areas of Kansas City and St. Louis. Leaders like Senators J.B “Jet” Banks, Paula J. Carter, Phillip B. Curls, Mary Groves Bland, William “Lacy” Clay, Maida J. Coleman, Rita Heard Days, Yvonne Wilson, and John Bass played pivotal roles and lead with great tact, statesmanship during what were very difficult and challenging times in our states history. The Missouri State Senate has a history of strong reputable African American leadership in the State Senate. Several weeks ago Missouri State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal authored a post on her public social media page expressing that “she hoped” President Donald J. Trump would be assassinated. What many do not know is Sen. Chappelle-Nadal has known me since I was 10 years old. I remember the Senator from her time in both the State House and on the University City School Board of Education. She has established herself as an outspoken leader on environmental justice issues, education, economic inclusion, social justice and civil rights. Although I have never agreed with the Senator’s communication strategy, I

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respect her commitment to her constituents. The Senator’s comments have received national news coverage. Elected officials in both parties have called for her to resign. During veto session, the Senator could be ultimately expelled from the Senate and lose her nearly 16 years of retirement savings through the state from her time in the legislature. Sen. Chappelle-Nadal has now made it impossible to effectively represent the people of the 14th Senatorial District. Although she has since apologized for her statements, it is time for her to now heed the calls of both her colleagues and other leaders and resign. Former Governor Bob Holden said it best, “politics is about people over self.” Sen. Chappelle-Nadal’s comments were both preposterous, selfish and inappropriate and leaders should call for her resignation and lead with the moral compass of what I call PGA: Policy, Governance, and Accountability. We need leadership on both sides of the aisle that will remain committed to effective and ethical leadership. We elect our leaders to use an exceptional level of clear judgment during everything but ordinary times. Although Sen. Chappelle-Nadal’s comments regarding President Trump are troubling, this is not her first incident making fowl disrespectful comments publicly toward leaders. If Sen. Chappelle-Nadal refuses to resign, her colleagues should accept the mantle of leadership to make it clear that actions of any Senator have consequences. I call upon our civic leaders from across our state to hold leadership accountable at every level; regardless of race, sex, or political affiliation. Our Nation is divided, our state has deep and pressing issues that impact people of color disproportionately; we need leaders that will ensure that Courage does not skip this generation and will lead with a steady beat.


OPINION

School choice is emerging as litmus test for GOP primaries Kristian Starner Clout Public Affairs In the past, Republican candidates distinguished themselves in primaries by the veracity with which they promised to defend the 2nd Amendment and protect the unborn. Today, the differences among conservative candidates as it relates to these two issues are hard to identify. As such, there is only one major policy difference left to help primary voters identify who the small government conservative: school choice. Primary candidates who believe government knows best will vow to prevent parents from choosing a school that’s best for their children while those that believe in the free market will, like President Trump and Governor Greitens, work to ensure parents have choices about where their children attend school. School choice takes shape in many forms, including charter school expansion, education savings accounts, and virtual/online learning models, to name a few. However, the central theme of school choice has one common denominator - that every student should re-

ceive a world class education, regardless of their socioeconomic status, where they live or their ability to pay. One primary in which school choice will be a central theme is the 18th Senate District in Northeast Missouri. School choice seems to have led two pro-school choice candidates to throw their hats in the ring after the original front runner voted against legislation that would have improved accountability for charter schools and allowed them to open in districts with at least one failing school. It is interesting to note that the legislation was sponsored by Rep. Rebecca Roeber, a former public school teacher who saw firsthand the challenges our students experience in many of our educational institutions. This is just one example of strong candidates jumping in a primary because the other candidate(s) seem to trust the government to make choices for kids rather than parents. It’s my strongly held belief that in 2018, there will be dozens of candidates who will effectively use school choice as a pivotal issue to prove their conservative ideology.

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OPINION

Dear Mr. Danforth,

your self-righteous turkey call politics are their own brand of divisive Scott Faughn Publisher, The Missouri Times Well, it’s been about 24 months, and that means the Cardinals are due for a new closer and, of course, John Danforth is due for a sanctimonious diatribe on the Republican Party. It’s been about that long since Danforth teamed up with Tony Messenger at the Post-Dispatch to launch an unfair, vicious, and holier-than-thou personal slander of John Hancock. Right on schedule, this week, he partnered with another conservative bastion, The Washington Post, to attack the man who received more votes for President of the United States than anyone in the history of Missouri, President Donald J. Trump. Every Republican knows there are two tried and true ways for Republicans to gain the love and adoration of the mainstream media: 1) save children from a burning orphanage or 2) be a Republican who attacks other Republicans. I suppose Mr. Danforth wasn’t keen on fire school so here we go again. The op-ed was very eloquently written; you could almost hear the arrogance dripping from the Yale-isms. He followed up the attack with a predictable media tour of liberal outlets to lap up his praise, capped off by a love fest on MSNBC. He started off his piece, “Many have said that President Trump isn’t a Repub-

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lican. They are correct.” You know he is far more of “a Republican” than most, he is a business owner. He is an employer, a job creator, a place in our society that we should honor and praise. If anyone has a claim on being “a Republican,” it’s the employer, it’s the business owner who must everyday fight off the tentacles gub’ment while giving people jobs. They are heroes and should be uplifted for their society-changing work, not looked down on by beneficiaries of trust funds. Maybe Mr. Danforth should try, instead of writing pious letters, to open up a business and employ someone. He might find that he will become more Republican every quarter. (For the W-2 Republicans reading this, business owners pay taxes on a quarterly basis, tons, and tons of taxes… you can’t even imagine how awful the gub’ment is until you own a business). You see, Mr. Danforth inherited his position in life. Now he, of course, will take credit for the triple listed in the box score, but unlike most Missouri Trump supporters who built their businesses and have a chip on their shoulder about how the gub’ment is their worst enemy. Don’t let the Yale-isms fool you, he was born on third base, he didn’t hit the triple. On down he wrote, “Trump is always eager to tell people that they don’t belong here, whether it’s Mexicans, Muslims…” Granted Mr. Danforth is a big time Yale-educated United Nations bigwig and

I’m just a simple, white trash West Butler County hillbilly, but didn’t Mr. Danforth vote for some of the very immigration laws while in the U.S. Senate that he is now attacking President Trump for enforcing? Reasonable people can debate whether the laws should be changed, but until then, you wonder if Mr. Danforth still believes in the rule of law or if he only believes in the rule of law until some East Coast Ivy Leaguer rules that a certain law is politically incorrect. In a stunning lack of self-awareness, Mr. Danfoth wrote, “Trump is not the first to promote self above party.” You wonder how his computer didn’t melt down from the sheer magnitude of the tonnage of hypocrisy in that line. Mr. Danforth also wrote, “Our party has been corrupted by this hateful man, and it is now in peril.” Good Lord, Donald Trump led a ticket, with John Hancock leading the state party, that had the best year in the history of the Missouri Republican Party. “Peril.” When Mr. Danforth led the state party, I suppose the Missouri Republicans were in utopia. I would suggest Mr. Danforth ask the folks in the Jefferson County Republican Party if they would rather live in their peril of electoral success, or the utopia of failure during the 70’s and 80’s when Mr. Danforth led the party.


Hypocrisy is a trait common of the “upper class” however, this is impressive for even Mr. Danforth that he doesn’t even seem to put any stock in his own advice. Last fall, Congresswoman Ann Wagner un-endorsed Trump for his comments on groping women while his protege Mr. Hawley maintained his endorsement. However, come spring, Mr. Danforth was busy writing pretentious and haughty letters telling the regular folks to not support Congresswoman Wagner and instructing them to sit still and wait for Mr. Hawley to get his ladder out of the garage. Mr. Danforth told an eager audience at the Post-Dispatch about the President of the United States’ visit to Springfield: “I would not be there.” Well, I wasn’t aware the President invited Mr. Danforth and looking at U.S. Sen. Blunt, the entire republican congressional delegation, and all the statewide elected officials besides his protege, Mr. Danforth wasn’t missed. Maybe more concerning for Mr. Danforth could be if his protege wasn’t missed. I would predict that if Mr. Danforth and President Trump had a proxy fight in Missourah it would be the 1992 Attorney General Republican primary all over again. Finally, Mr. Danforth got to his real point in the Post-Dispatch: “I’m not singling out particular people. I’m making a broader point than that,” Danforth said. “I think it’s very important to make it clear to the public that Donald Trump is not like us.” Mr. Danforth made himself crystal clear, maybe even Crystal City clear. Don’t let Mr. Danforth’s holier-than-thou tone fool you, this is not the first time he has called out Republicans by name; a quote from the 70s reads: “Dorman Steelman is a cancer on the body politic of the Republican Party.” But we’ll get back to that later. I believe the urban liberals call it dog whistle politics. Well, outside 270 we’ll call it “turkey call politics.” What Mr. Danforth is really saying here is that the “educated” and “refined” Repub-

licans are different than us hicks. He is saying that Trump was never the president of the “educated” republicans, and isn’t their fault, and we should follow Mr. Danforth’s lead because after all they know better than us “uneducated” and “unrefined” hicks who happen admire our President. Some of us may not have went to Yale, but we understand what you’re getting at, Mr. Danforth. You see, Mr. Danforth is mad because his side lost. For years, the Missouri refined and cultured Republicans fought against the conservative wing of the state party led by Dorman Steelman of Dent County in rural Missourah.

It took an extra couple decades, but the Dorman Steelman-led conservative wing of the Missourah Republican Party soundly defeated the John Danforth-led moderate wing of the Missouri Republican Party. The proof is when politicians like Eric Greitens were deciding on positions to appeal to the electorate, he chose Dorman Steelman’s policies over those of Mr. Danforth, and won. Hell, salt in the eye, when he was deciding how he should dress to appeal to Missourians, he chose Scott Faughn’s wardrobe over that of John Danforth. Trump is of the same Dorman Steelman wing of the party, John Danforth’s wing of the party is on the outside looking in. While Dorman Steelman’s wing of the party would be respectful when moderates such as George H.W. Bush won, don’t expect the same from the Danforth wing when candidates like Trump win. Mr. Danforth lost bigly, and he ain’t happy bout it. Now it ain’t Christian to criticize some-

one without offering solutions. That’s why I propose that Mr. Danforth come spend a week with me down in West Butler County. He can sleep on the pull out in the front room and get to know some of these regular people he wants to boss around. But pardon me here; I need to give Mr. Danforth a few pieces of advice before he heads down Highway 67. First, if you hear the word ‘Vienna,’ don’t go into a story about your vacation to Austria last summer, we are likely talking about the sausages, ’cause it’s around lunch time. We have to come up with a lie about what you were doing in 2004 and 2005. We can say you were in the pen, joined a biker gang, or were a roadie for Skynyrd, but we cannot under any circumstances tell anyone you worked at the United Nations – that will get both of us beat up at the Stringtown Grocery. It would probably help you instruct people in rural Missourah if you get out and do some of the actual work to elect the Republicans you want mean to instruct. It’ll be time to put up some signs for Todd Richardson before long, and I don’t know if your kind of folk up at Harvard know much about him, but let me tell you they love him in Howell County. More importantly, you’re gonna be amazed at the new technology in road signs cause they didn’t have t-posts back in the 80’s, and whee doggies you prolly ain’t never used a zip tie – they’re a game changer, you’re gonna love ’em. Lastly, if someone mentions Madrid, don’t go talking about some gub’ment U.S. Senate fact-finding trip mumbo jumbo. They’re prolly talkin’ about the coon hunters club over at New Madrid by the river. Well I hope Mr. Danforth takes me up on the offer. What he may learn is that while President Trump’s plain speaking may be divisive in his parts of Missouri or inside the newsroom at CNN, Mr. Danforth’s turkey call politics of self-righteous lectures are their own brand of divisive in many parts of Missourah.

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Staples, Gratz Brown, Britton, Wilkinson, Boggs, McNair, Park, Marmaduke

OPINION

Colorful characters have always defined the Capitol Bob Priddy Author of The Art of the Missouri Capitol: History in Canvas, Bronze, and Stone

“This is the greatest place in the world to try to make a living,” Sen. Danny Staples of Eminence said on the Senate floor in the closing days of his last session. “Sometimes the food is free. Sometimes the beverages are free.” But he learned the good times ended as soon as he could not help somebody. “I had to come up here two weeks ago on constituent services business and I went over to the DeVille Hotel,” he said. “There was eighteen lobbyists sitting there eating and drinking. And I’m term limited out. They know I can’t ever vote again. And I set over in the corner all by myself like an orphan boy at a picnic, bought my own Bud Lite and bought my own steak dinner.” Danny Staples, who claimed in one of his speeches to be descended from Lady Godiva, opposed laws banning cockfighting by arguing, “You city folks have football, base-

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ball, and hockey; all we’ve got in the hills is roosters. Gamecocks were put on this earth to fight, just like Mike Tyson was.” When the legislature was trying to find a way to restrict smoking in the Capitol, it was Staples who suggested a compromise: ban smoking everywhere except where popular and powerful lobbyist John Britton was standing. Britton became the Capitol’s unofficial one-man smoking area. The historical record doesn’t show Missouri government ever had a story-teller like Danny Staples before he arrived but it sure hasn’t had anyone since. And some oldtime Capitol observers think a government that takes itself far too seriously today could use a good old Ozark story-teller like Danny Staples. Staples wasn’t the first colorful character in Missouri government. Our first governor was a spy for a foreign country. James Wilkinson, so disreputable that he was kicked out of the Continental Army twice during the Revolutionary War, became our governor when Upper Louisiana came

under the American flag. He was working with Spain to separate the area west of Virginia and the Allegheny Mountains and turn it into Spanish Territory. Later he was an ally of Aaron Burr in the conspiracy to create an independent country in what was then the west. When Alexander McNair, our first state governor, gave his first speech to the legislature, the chamber was missing several members who later asked McNair to repeat his remarks. He refused. Then he vetoed a travel expense bill for lawmakers who quickly made him the first governor to get a veto overridden. Frederick Bates, our second state governor, almost created an international incident when the Revolutionary War hero, Lafayette, visited Missouri. St. Louisans hoping the legislature would provide some funding for a reception were stunned when Bates told them the state would not provide one penny and, furthermore, if Lafayette were brought to his farm, he— Bates—would arrange not to be there. The St. Louis committee got some donations and gave

Lafayette a great welcome. The whole experience wound up costing them thirty-seven dollars. Lilburn Boggs is remembered for trying to start a war with Iowa (the Honey War) over the location of our northern state border and issuing an extermination order against the Mormons. Executive Order 44 declared, “The Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State if necessary for the public peace…” That order stayed on the books until Governor Christopher Bond rescinded it 138 years later, in 1976. On inauguration day, 1857, Governor Trusten Polk, when finally sworn in to succeed Sterling Price, told a joint legislative session, “It will be a never-failing source of gratification to me, if I shall be able to contribute in any degree, towards inspiring a more sacred reverence for the Constitution.” Inaugurations in those days were held inside the Capitol. But when the time came for the oath, there was no Bible to be found. The audience


waited patiently while a top-tobottom search of the Capitol took place. No Bible. Finally, someone dashed in with a Bible from the State Penitentiary several blocks away. Only eight days later the legislature picked him to succeed Henry S. Geyer, who had announced he would not seek a second term. Polk resigned after just fifty-three days in office, the shortest term of any Missouri governor. Polk, who had once hoped to inspire a “more sacred reverence for the Constitution,” was expelled from the U. S. Senate in 1862 for disloyalty. By then Sterling Price was leading the Confederacy in Missouri Polk’s resignation created a situation that might have bewildered many Missourians in those days of limited, slow, communication. Lieutenant Governor Hancock Lee Jackson’s main job as governor was to call for a special election to replace Polk. Robert M. Stewart was sworn in, the fourth man to serve as Missouri Governor in ten months. Friction between Governor Greitens and legislators who didn’t much like his special legislative sessions recalls the story of John Sappington Marmaduke, a former Confederate General who once killed another Confederate officer in an Arkansas duel, and was the governor when railroads in Missouri were hit with a strike for the first time. He sponsored a bill regulating railroads but the legislature, which was then heavily influenced by railroad lobbyists that often provided free passes to lawmakers, defeated it. Marmaduke recalled the General Assembly for a special session to try again. When railroad interests threatened to block any action on the bill, Sappington said that was fine with him---except he would call the legislature into special session as many times as it took to get the regulations

adopted. He got his regulations. Until October 12, 1932, Guy B. Park was happy being a circuit judge in Platte County, a position he had held for a decade. But on that October 12, Francis Wilson, the Democratic candidate for Governor, died. Wilson’s family told Kansas City political boss Tom Pendergast that Park should become the replacement. Park, despite being almost completely unknown twenty-seven days earlier, polled more than sixty percent of the vote, the highest percentage since B. Gratz Brown got sixty-two percent in 1870. The Pendergast influence was so big in the election and in the subsequent Park administration that the Executive Mansion was sarcastically referred to as “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Danny Staples might have been unmatched in his ability to tie up the Senate for hours on end with his long, windy, folksy stories, but he did have a couple of rivals for many years, one being Richard Webster of Carthage. Webster, however, kept his stories shorter---such as the time the Senate was debating a bill to control “Saturday night specials,” the cheap handguns used in street holdups and other crimes. Webster, not particularly supportive of the legislation, offered a substitute to ban hammers, referring to them as “Sunday morning specials.” Too many people, he argued, were suffering grievous injuries by staying at home instead of going to church on Sundays and doing home repair or hobby work with dangerous tools. Hammers, for example. Webster argued that hospital emergency rooms were being overrun on Sundays by people seeking treatment for serious thumb and finger injuries caused by the misuse of Sunday morning specials. He eventually withdrew his substitute, but he had made his point.

V I C EROY G OV ER N M EN T R ELAT I O N S

Cheers to all legislators recognized and congratulations on your awards!

S P R I N G F I E L D - J E F F E RS O N C I T Y - S T . L O U I S

www.lobbymo.com

WELCOMES DEREK HEIN

GREG PORTER, MICHAEL STEELMAN, BECKY LOHMANN, DANNY PFEIFER, ALEX EATON, DEREK HEIN

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NEWS

TRUMP VISIT

Trump outlines goals for major tax reform, Missouri Republicans approve BENJAMIN PETERS THE MISSOURI TIMES

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President Donald J. Trump greets Missouri’s delegation on tarmac outside of Air Force One. PHOTO/TWITTER-MIKE PARSON

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – President Donald Trump on Wednesday, August 30 kicked off his tour to pitch his plan to bring heavy changes to America’s federal tax code, and while he discussed some of what he hopes to accomplish while making his first stop in Missouri, he didn’t spend much time going into the details of the plan. In a short speech given at a local ventilation and furnace company located in Springfield, Mo., the Republican president who secured a 19-point win in the ShowMe State just months before promised a mixture of corporate tax cuts and individual tax reductions that he said would boost the middles class. It’s projected to be one of the biggest tax overhauls in the nation’s history, and the U.S. hasn’t seen a major overhaul of the federal tax code since 1986. His plan centers around four main goals: • Simplify the tax code • Eliminate special interest loopholes • Provide tax relief for middle-class families • Cut the corporate tax rate “My administration has embraced a new economic model. It’s called, very simply, the American model,” Trump told those in attendance on Wednesday, saying the reforms would encourage companies to grow and hire in America, create more jobs, and raise wages. Trump’s plan is one that he has promised for months now, including the slashing of the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent. The President said that other countries with lower corporate tax rates are more attractive to American companies, and are “taking us, frankly, to the cleaners.”


The president said the nation’s high business tax rates as the top reason companies based in the U.S. choose to do business abroad, saying they leave money and assets overseas because of “bureaucratic and difficult” tax regulations. Trump shared his hope that a tax overhaul will “bring back trillions of dollars in wealth that’s parked overseas,” while also creating a pro-growth job market and boost a “pro-American” economy. James P. Pinkerton is the co-chair of the RATE Coalition (Reducing America’s Taxes Equitably), a bipartisan group that aims to reduce the corporate income tax rate by broadening the tax base. He says that the President’s plan would serve to level the playing field with other countries that enforce a corporate tax rate that can sometimes be nearly half of the current U.S. corporate tax rate. “As the President said, if you add in the

audience that the tax reform would allow citizens to take home as much of their money as possible and then spend it as they see fit. The President’s plan was applauded by many Missouri Republicans, including State Treasurer Eric Schmitt, the man behind some of the Show-Me State’s largest tax cuts in recent history. “Having worked to pass two of the largest tax cuts in Missouri history, I know the importance of enacting tax reform that spurs economic growth and expands opportunity,” Schmitt said in a statement. “President Trump’s proposal to reduce the tax burden on businesses, simplify our overgrown tax code and provide relief for working families is a step in the right direction toward revitalizing Main Street and increasing take-home pay for hardworking taxpayers.” Though not in attendance at the event,

a proposal is fully laid out. And with what some might call drastic changes, there’s always room to exercise caution. “Is there a reason to be cautious? Well, you always have to consider other variables, including the deficit or social equities and so on,” Pinkerton said. “So I think that the lesson of the Coolidge tax cuts, the Kennedy tax cuts or the Reagan tax cuts is that about the most important thing you can do for the economy is getting the tax code right. And if you get that right, the deficit and everything will take care of itself.” GOP congressional leaders and the White House have yet to reach an agreement on the details of the tax plan and proposals are expected to go through congressional committees before the plan takes its final shape, but that hasn’t stopped the President from calling on them to pass the reform he’s looking for.

Congressmen Jason Smith, Todd Graves, Vicky Hartzler, Blaine Leutkemeyer, and Ann Wagner; Lt. Gov. Mike Parson, Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe PHOTO/TWITTER-MIKE KEHOE

average of state tax rates, then you get to a number somewhere in the 40s,” Pinkerton said. “So, the rest of the world is, on the average, at 23 and we’re sitting at around 40 or 41. That’s counter-productive to the American economy and it’s bad for jobs. And one of the things that economists have demonstrated is that the cost of the corporate income tax is born in large measure by the workers. The workers are always the losers.” It also calls for a redistribution of the tax brackets, consolidating the seven current brackets into three. The income tax brackets would be set at 10%, 25% and 35%, the latter for the wealthiest Americans, down from the current 39.6% rate. “Americans know better how to spend their money,” Trump said, telling the

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley wrote an editorial that was published by Fox News just hours before the President’s arrival, in which he called for sweeping reforms of the tax code, not unlike those being pushed by President Trump. The Institution on Taxation and Economic Policy says that, based on Trump’s publicly stated tax principles, Missourians making more than $1 million per year would receive a tax cut equal to 7.9 percent of their income. The largest group of Missourians, those making less than $45,000 per year, would get a tax break equal to 1 percent of their income. But to enact those policy changes, the President will need the help of the U.S. Congress, which could mean some of those lofty ideas may have to be tempered before

“Today, I’m calling on all members of congress to support pro-American tax reform,” Trump said. “They have to do it, it’s time.” He even targeted Missouri’s U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill in his speech. “She must do this for you, and if she doesn’t do it for you, you have to vote her out of office,” Trump declared. Still, Trump’s administration is enthusiastic about the plan, which they seem to think can be acted on rather quickly. “One thing you learn is that nothing happens in Washington as quickly as you would want it to, but we believe that the opportunity is in front of us to get this done before the end of the year,” Pinkerton said.

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2017

BEST OF THE LEGISLATURE On this list, find 17 legislators, outside of leadership, Missouri Times readers deemed as the leaders who defined the 2017 legislative sessions, not only for bills passed but for progress made and stands taken.

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REP. HOLLY REHDER SCOTT FAUGHN THE MISSOURI TIMES

No list of accolades for the 99th General Assembly would be complete without including a legislative leader that has carried the most water on the biggest issue that moved, right-towork. Rep. Holly Rehder has worked on the issue since her election to the Missouri House in 2012 from Scott County in the bootheel. The issue has been on the top of House Republicans agenda since the time of Speaker Tim Jones. While the real movement on the issue was the election of a Republican governor in Eric Greitens. However, the movement on the issue in the House was the first precursor to passage. In addition to being the House handler of the right-to-work bill, Rehder chaired the House Economic Development Committee which was particularly active this session. While most everyone in the labor movement was steadfastly against the passage of right-to-work, she did earn some compliments from almost all sides for her handling of the committee and staying late into the night to provide everyone wishing to speak on the bill the same amount of time to address the committee. While it ended up being a Senate bill that passed, in many

ways the House led on the issue and that is in large part due to Rehder. While she had a successful session, the special sessions the Governor called were kind to her as well. In the first special session, legislation was passed aiming to bring a steel mill to the bootheel to replace the shuttered Noranda factory bringing hundreds of quality jobs that pay at the top of the scale for the area. While there has been no announcement yet, the passage of the bill means hope for many of her constituents and possibly a home run for the Governor and the entire bootheel region. Lastly, she has been the primary proponent of a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program in the House for the past several sessions. She had led the charge, however, until this year. Most of the movement on the issue was on the city and county level where many took matters into their own hands and began passing their own PDMPs. It was during the second special session when Greitens signed an executive order implementing a portion of her work, the first movement at the state level on the issue. Rep. Holly Rehder saw many of her legislative priorities come to fruition in 2017 thus making her an obvious choice for our legislative honors.

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MICHAEL LAYER THE MISSOURI TIMES

In the last issue of the Missouri Times Magazine, we called Sen. Ryan Silvey ‘a lion of the Senate’ because he spoke with strength, fought with courage, and votes with integrity. However, after speaking with him in August, it is clear he is not of the Senate; he does not emerge from a group of likeminded individuals. He is the wisecracking pragmatist who leads the ideological fight against partisan fundamentalism in the Senate. “I’m interested in making good policy and I tolerate the politics to do it,” he said. Silvey showed 2017 was a good year to produce policy. He was able pass his REAL ID bill through substitute HB 151, he was able to pass HCB 3 - which allowed 8,000 low income seniors to have access to care - only to be vetoed by the Governor, and he was able to fully fund the K-12 education foundation formula. Funding the K-12 education foundation formula was an important win for him. When he was in the House in 2005, he voted for the current funding formula, but due to the economic crash of 2008 and unexpectedly low tax revenues, the state never allocated the full amount the formula determined. Silvey, Democrats, and other moderate Republicans were adamant that 2017 was going to be the year Missouri was going to give schools the money they asked, even though members of the Republican leadership were hesitant. However, the biggest victory for him was a symbolic one. “That was really interesting fight. Not very often do you see a coalition come together on the floor, a bipartisan

coalition that’s stronger than leadership and the chairman. For me, being one of the most tenured members left - there’s only a handful of us that are still here that were a part of the 2005 formula to begin with… For me, it was personal. It was a personal commitment. I thought that was the way education funding should be done and I voted for it,” he said. Silvey’s commitment to his pragmatic integrity, or his ideologically split constituents from Senate District 17, depending how you look at it, prevents him from nicely conforming to the will of Republican leadership. Senate District 17 contains the Claycomo Ford Assembly which

for lawmakers to vote on partisan principle and not practical policy. The Senate is designed for individual lawmakers to slowly deliberate about individual grievances so that they can find the best solution. In a move that Silvey says “was about protecting the Senate,” Senators on both sides defeated the rule change that would have made it harder to impose their individual beliefs. “When I think about 2017, I think of a number of my colleagues that really stepped up and took a more active role in protecting the Senate than we had previously. I think I would put myself in that group,” he said.

employ union workers who would be affected by right-to-work laws. While it was clear that Republicans were going to vote for right-to-work and they desperately wanted Silvey to as well, he would not submit. He considered his district, his conscience, and his personal beliefs and voted against the bill. That isn’t to say he’s come away scot-free. After his vote against right-to-work, he was expected to be promoted from vice-chair to chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, but was snubbed. At another time during the 2017 session, Republican leadership attempted to consolidate power in order to have more control of the Senate through a proposed rule change. If the amendment passed, the voice of individual senators would be weakened. The Missouri Senate, mirrored on the United States Senate, is designed to be a body of individuals, where each voice is equal. Because of a Republican supermajority, there’s a tendency

While certain members of the Missouri Republican leadership resent him for his character, he appears to be unbothered. When the Governor signed Silvey’s REAL ID compliance bill, HB 151, at Whiteman Air Force Base, he was not invited to the ceremony. He was asked about his relationship to the Governor and he said, “I don’t really have much of one, to be honest. And it’s not for lack of trying. He doesn’t really talk to me - I assume it’s because I won’t do everything he says. But, you know, I can’t verify that, because he won’t talk to me. He won’t tell me. From the way I’ve watched him treat other people, I can only assume that you’re either with him or against him. And he sees me as someone who’s against him.” But for Silvey, he would rather stick out for being a lion of the Senate than being a part of the herd.

SEN. RYAN SILVEY

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REP. SCOTT FITZPATRICK MICHAEL LAYER THE MISSOURI TIMES

In the 1990s, the chair of the House Budget Committee was a man named Chris Kelly. Kelly would spend three years as chair before he would serve in the Missouri legislature until 1994 - when he would take a 14 year hiatus. He decided to come back to the House in 2009, where he would go back to the House Budget Committee. During his second time back on the Budget, he would meet Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick in 2013. There, Fitzpatrick would learn the customs, issues, and pressure the Budget Committee brings. Before Kelly left the legislature, he taught Fitzpatrick everything he would need to know to be Missouri’s next Budget Chair. “You’re getting [pressure from everyone,] from every direction. Everyone wants a piece of the pie. Your job is just deciding what’s best for the state,” Fitzpatrick recounted, “You know, being the Budget Chairman is like being pecked to death by ducks.” Fitzpatrick’s 2017 was largely defined by the challenges brought about by a new governor. While he was happy to see a Republican in the

Governor’s Mansion, it would not ease any of the problems left by his Democratic predecessor. The biggest problem in his first year as Budget Chair was unexpectedly low tax revenues. “When Governor Greitens came in… I said all along… There won’t be more pressing of an issue than making restrictions to the budget for that current fiscal year,” Fitzpatrick said. And the problem only worsened. Greitens, was constitutionally bound to make about $450 million worth of withholds in the last fiscal year. However, in order to fund Missouri’s mandatory payments for Medicaid growth and to account for low tax revenue, the state had to make approximately $500 million more in cuts to the budget. When Fitzpatrick spoke to the Missouri Times in 2015, he spoke about how much pressure Missourians put on him saying, “If you tried to fully fund everything that has a formula, it would literally be impossible. We don’t have the money. People look at those as promises that can’t be met and feel betrayed,” he said before he became Budget Chair. Since the formula was adopted by the Missouri Legislature as the standard to fund education, the state of Missouri has never been able to allocate the appropriate amount of funds that

the formula determined that K-12 education needed. K-12 education in Missouri has never been given the funds that the state says it needs, even before low tax revenues. In his first session as Budget Chair, Fitzpatrick decided that K-12 education was not going to feel betrayed. Fitzpatrick raised Greitens’ initial allocation for schools by $45 million so the foundation formula would be met for the first time in its inception. “[The biggest thing] that we able to accomplish was fully funding the school foundation formula. That was the first time we’ve done that, ever. That was my number one priority before the session started and that’s what we set out to accomplish and ended up getting done… It couldn’t have happened without the Senate’s agreement,” he said. While Senate Republican leadership was hesitant to allocate the funds, a coalition Republicans defected and voted with the handful of Democrats in the Senate so that the budget would pass. “I was happy we were able to get it done as a team, as a [bipartisan] Grand Assembly, as opposed to just me [or my party] … We got it done and I think that was a good accomplishment,” he reflected.

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BENJAMIN PETERS THE MISSOURI TIMES Serving in his final term in office, Sen. Brian Munzlinger’s career in the Missouri Senate was a bright one. With 15 years under the belt as a Missouri legislator, Munzlinger has proven to a an effective communicator, a strong lawmaker, and a champion of conservative values in the ShowMe State. His influence can be felt in many ways in the Missouri Legislature, even though his favored way to operate is behind the scenes. His ability to negotiate in a calm and effective manner is exactly why he’s so well-respected by both his colleagues and the lobbyists in the Capitol. There’s a level of trust and respect, with lobbyists and legislators alike wanting to bounce ideas off the Williamstown lawmaker. And in 2017, a year marred by turmoil and tension in the Missouri Senate, the Republican senator used those same skills in order to pass two bills that would eventually be signed by Gov. Eric Greitens: SB 503 and SB 8. “That’s one thing you learn when you’ve been in the legislature awhile - you file bills, good ones, that you think you can get through,” he said. “This year was a little different because of the way the Senate really operated. We had so many days that there were backlogs caused by obstructionists. Out of the very few bills that got through, I had two, and that’s pretty good for this year. Both bills relate to emergency personnel, with SB 503 changing statutes involving emergency services, changing how first responders

can respond in emergency situations, and allowing emergency personnel to respond to people with certain medical conditions they previously they were unable to. SB 8 addressed the issue of emergency vehicles and when their lights are allowed to be used. But Munzlinger has consistently been known as one of the strongest voices for agricultural issues, while taking a hardline stance on issues involving conservation. In terms of his prowess as an agriculture legislator, nothing says it better than a recent interview with Sen. Ron Richard, who said Munzlinger may be the best agricultural chairman the state has ever seen. In 2017, Munzlinger attempted valiantly to finally address the issue of captive cervids in Missouri, seeking to transfer the oversight of deer and elk farms to the Department of Agriculture instead of the Department of Conservation. The bill did get a hearing, but failed to reach the Senate floor despite Munzlinger’s efforts. In terms of conservation, Munzlinger has continued trying to push for some change within the Department. “I would still like to see the commission expanded. There’s only four members right now, and a lot of things have changed. And

as diverse as Missouri is, I’d like to see people from all parts of the state represented in that regard. Right now, it feels like taxation without representation.” He says he’d like to see a commissioner from each conservation district in the state, of which there are currently eight. But another success of Munzlinger’s office has to be their intern program. It seems the interns who work in that office have always managed to move on to extremely successful positions, whether it be with a company in Mis-

SEN. BRIAN MUNZLINGER souri, a Missouri department or statewide office, or even Washington, D.C. Thanks to their time in there, interns are exposed to a lot of opportunities to network and build their skills. Munzlinger and his team are already looking forward, knowing that the next legislative session lies just months away. “We’ve already got a list together of different things,” Munzlinger said. “As soon as session ends, and it’s the same way every year, we’ll look at what got more traction and try to see if we can bring it up again next year.”

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With the coming year marking the end of the senior class’ tenure in the Senate, the duty of upholding the decorum and tradition of Missouri’s upper chamber will fall to the underclassmen. This past session served as the first for several new senators in Missouri, and one of those members is already being hailed as the next Republican superstar in the Senate. That person is Sen. Caleb Rowden. An an experienced legislator in the Missouri House, it seemed that Rowden needed little time to adjust to the new chamber, looking solid during debate and holding his own against upperclassmen. Many credit the new senator on his ability to grasp the issues without requiring much aid from the staff, and his willingness to join in on tough issues. But when asked about

how he remained so calm and poised, Rowden tells a different story. “For me, the hardest thing was just getting accustomed to being in the Senate. It’s just a different place,” Rowden said. “I was in the House, and was able to be successful there, but the way you go about finding your way from start to finish here is very different. Trying to find my footing and build relationships was a challenge at times, but it’s a worthy effort.” He attributes his success to his team, saying that their work and knowledge always ensured that the Senator was prepared. For them, it was always about looking ahead and working out every possible outcome in advance. Thanks to that effort, they were rarely caught off guard. More importantly, Rowden showed a strong grasp of both procedure and issues of policy, successfully passing two major tort reform bills through the chamber. Tort reform was a major focus for Republicans in the session, and being able to deliver on some of those promises was a big deal not just for Rowden, but the party as a whole. “That was a big deal. Obviously, the table was set well with Governor Greitens being in office, and there was kind of a backlog of things that we’ve wanted to get done for a long time, but had been unable to because of Governor Nixon,” Rowden said. “I was proud of those, they were both heavy lifts that required work from all sides, with Sens. Sifton and Schaaf. It was a lot of long days and nights, and to get them across the finish line in my first year. “I like to say that it’s kind of the

SEN. CALEB ROWDEN

un-sexy way to grow an economy, but there are so many things that we needed to do for a long time, especially in the regulatory and litigation environment spaces, and it will take years for us to see the benefits, but I certainly think we will see them.” But it also seems that the freshman Senator could already be in the process of being groomed for a leadership role in the coming years. Throughout the session, the casual observer could have seen several instances in which Rowden presided over the chamber, standing at the dais and ruling as the president. “I think I was getting hazed, actually,” Rowden said with a laugh. But when asked if he has any aspirations of one day being in leadership, Rowden says all he wants to ensure that he is a part of getting things done. “The last thing I would want is to come here and float by,” Rowden said. “Being on the dais is actually a lot of fun and it actually is great to get your feet wet and watch how things operate in the Senate. It’s a neat place to be to learn quickly, and I want to do anything I can to make sure the Senate is working and pushing forward on what we were sent here by Missourians to do. If that role is in leadership, great. If not, that’s great, too.” In the end, Rowden says his one goal is to make a difference in any way that he can. But for now, he wants to continue building relationships and learning whatever lesson he can in hopes of being what his constituents need in Jefferson City.

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MICHAEL LAYER THE MISSOURI TIMES

The same city that produced the 1857 Dred Scott case, the 1913 “Legal Segregation of Negroes in St. Louis,” and nearly 6 decades of redlining housing practices, establishing the Delmar Divide, also gave birth to Sen. Jamilah Nasheed. Nasheed's 2017 legislative session was defined by passing education bills in order to dismantle the institutional racism and under-education that affects Missourians. Working on the Senate Appropriations Committee, she was able to secure a $2.5 million land grant funding for Lincoln University, one of only two Historically Black College and Universities in the state of Missouri. 2017 was the first time in 20 years Lincoln University received federal funding of that amount. She was able to find $750,000 for Teach for America and an additional $100,000 for College Bound St. Louis, a college program for students who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. She also sponsored legislation that would allow for ineffective teachers to be removed from the St. Louis public school system, in order to prevent future students from learning from under performing teachers. She was also a part of the Senate Budget com-

help the state. “We have too many children graduating not knowing how to read and write on a third grade level. We also have children not equipped in the areas of Math, Science, and Technology,” she said. According to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overwhelming majority of projected jobs in emerging fields are in the information sector - most of those jobs require a college degree. For her, an apathy to invest in education leads to a vicious cycle that leads to crime, drug addiction, and an overly harsh criminal justice system. “At the end of the day, we’re either going to educate them or incarcerate them. There’s no in-between,” she declared. In July, Gov. Eric Greitens traveled to St. Louis to announce his plans to increase the numbers of police officers to address crime in “the most dangerous city in the United States of America.” St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson supported his efforts to increase the numbers of police occupying St. Louis and referred to the city as having “a crime crisis.” The plans involve increasing the numbers of police in the city simply “in anticipation of pursuits.” St. Louis residents protested Greitens, saying, among other things, that his crime strategy was misguided, and Nasheed agrees, “Education is the solution to crime. When people are

SEN. JAMILAH NASHEED mittee that funded the K-12 education formula. Historically, Missouri has never adequately funded education and unexpectedly low tax revenues seemed to prevent that from happening. After careful maneuvering in the House, the bill came to the Senate. Senate Democrats and some Republicans followed Nasheed, who voted to fully fund education for the first time. For Nasheed, education is the best way to

educated, they’re not out there wreaking havoc. Approximately 65% of those who are incarcerated don’t have high school diplomas. Education is one element that can reduce crime, but we’re not putting enough money into education… we are not putting resources towards education in a way that we need to in order to change the dynamics,” she critiqued.

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Rep. Joe Don McGaugh is a humble man who likes to keep his head down and work. The Governor signed bills he handled, including SB 31, a collateral source tort reform bill; SB 88, which created a malpractice statue of limitation

Greitens - feel the bill brings Missouri onto the standards that are used “in 38 other states and the federal government.” Daniel Mehan, President and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, believes that the previous standard was “a major reason why Missouri has been labeled a ‘judicial hellhole’ … [SB 43 allows Missouri to take] a big step toward

REP. JOE DON McGAUGH for veterinarians; and SB 43. He is also the chair of the Judiciary Committee which is responsible for considering bills and matters relating to the Missouri Courts. McGaugh says the issues he works on are important, but do not get a lot of news coverage. Jokingly, he calls himself a “work horse not a show pony.” In May, one of the most impactful pieces of tort reform that came from the legislature was SB 31, which he handled in the House. In his bill, he was able to amend the collateral source rule so defendants could only present the actual cost of the medical care the plaintiff had to pay, rather than the whole value of those costs. When he spoke to the Times in May he called his bill “common sense” and in August he said, “I’m a lawyer, I want to see the courts treat the people fairly. I want to see the scales in our court system balanced out and I think that’s what we’ve done with the tort reform system… I’ve been pretty happy with what we’ve accomplished.” One of the ways he’s been able to combine both his legal background and his trustworthiness is through his SB 88. With the help of Sen. Dan Brown, he was able to establish a two year statute of limitation for claims of malpractice or negligence claims against veterinarians. For him this was important because it gives the veterinarians the same statute of limitations as any other medical professional. To McGaugh, fairness is one of the most important values and this bill is an embodiment of that value. “That was kind of an easy win, that we treat all medical professionals in the state the same across the board,” he said. However, the legislation that got the most media coverage is SB 43, which he handled in the House.The bill - which led to the NAACP issuing a travel advisory - meant that a person could only sue for discriminatory practices if their race, gender, age, or ability was a “motivating factor.” While the NAACP, ACLU, and the Missouri Commission on Humans Rights bemoan the bill, calling it a reversal of decades of civil rights progress, others are worried about its scaled back protections for whistle blowers. Proponents of the bill, including Gov. Eric

restoring fairness in our court system.” For McGaugh, whether or not it was fair for all Missourians, it was important to pass the bill to make Missouri better appeal to businesses. “Tort reform is a major issue that companies look for when they’re looking to come to a state like Missouri… It’s pretty easy to sign the front of the paycheck for people, but when you take that risk, you want to make sure the courts aren’t loaded against you.”

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“I spent a lot of this session working to improve the business climate for job creators,” Rep. Kirk Mathews said, and there’s no doubt about that. Mathews has always been the kind of legislator who likes to dig into a bill, but this year, one bill in particular took the majority of his time and effort. And it was perhaps one of the hardest pieces of legislation to pass through the General Assembly in 2017. HB 130, better known as the “Uber bill,” consumed almost all of the time for Mathews, who spent the first half of the session working with dozens upon dozens of groups and individuals in order to find the common ground needed to secure a win on the issue of transportation networking companies, or TNCs, and allow them to operate in the Show-Me State. For a bill that saw contention at every turn for the last two years from city officials in Kansas City, the St. Louis Metropolitan Taxicab Commission, cab companies, and legislators, the bill had a lot of ground to make up. From the very beginning, the bill had opponents ready to challenge it, and it was up to Mathews to thread the needle where others had been unsuccessful. But the decision to put the bill squarely on Mathews’ shoulders and trust in his abilities and instincts proved to be the right move, as he guided HB 130 through the House with an astounding 144-7 margin. It would prove a difficult task in the Senate, however, where it stalled after Sen. Paul Wieland raised concerns about insurance provisions, but after a compromise between Wieland and the Senate handler, Sen. Bob Onder, the bill passed with another impressive 30-1 vote in the upper chamber. One might think that meant Mathews could take a moment and breathe, but that would

be wrong. Interestingly enough, that bill ran into another hurdle, requiring Mathews to stay involved as airports and TNCs worked out negotiations in St. Louis in an effort to meet together on a deal that could benefit both. “It’s probably impossible to answer how

REP. KIRK MATHEWS much time we put in on the TNC bill. With a bill as large, as complicated, and as contested as that bill, you don’t feel relaxed or comfortable that it is a done deal until it is fully signed by the Governor,” he said. “There were many, many days and nights in which we would work late into the night because a new stakeholder would arise and express concerns. And we had to work through whatever issues they had. It was a really heavy lift, but it was a team effort. When it was finally signed by the Governor, it was very, very gratifying.” The victory for Mathews was a major one, but Mathews also managed to bat in another run with Sen. Dave Schatz on SB 240, a bill he had also been working on in past sessions. That particular piece of legislation changed the law so that electrical contractors would not be required to get a new license for each different municipality, instead allowing them to just get one. But the one item he will be remembered for in 2017 is certain to be his work on the TNC bill, which his colleagues and partners applaud him for. In short, his work and leadership on that legislation helped Missouri answer the question: How will Missouri handle innovative companies looking to come to Missouri, who have never been regulated before? The simple answer, now, will be to look to the TNC bill as a new precedent.

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Mention the name Rep. Jay Barnes, in the halls of the Capitol building and one would expect to hear the highest praises from nearly everywhere, except from inside his own minimalist office in 306A. Barnes is a fiercely humble man, but has the reputation of being the legal mind and legislative wiz in the Missouri House of Representatives. In his own words, he is “a guy who shows up every single day, does my homework, and stands to fight on behalf of my constituents.” Barnes plays a unique, often unrewarding position in the House. He is the gardener who tends to his flower bed. When he considers a bill, he examines it thoroughly, weeds out the unsightly aspects of the legislation, spruces it up with substantive policy, and plants it neatly back for its emphatic approval. “I take the same general approach which is the same for every bill, which is to read the bill

Specifically, when Sen. Andrew Koenig first proposed SB 5, Barnes played an invaluable role transforming “general ideas ” into “sensible, detailed legislation.” One of the problems with Koenig’s abstract proposal was that it lacked practical applications, like a complication plan - later added by Barnes - or protections through a legal precedent, which required amendmentsalso from Barnes. After a long process that involved deliberations in the Senate for nine hours, Barnes’ amendments advanced the bill through the House. “Facts matter and I do my best to bring detailed analysis to debate on the House floor in a way that people can understand. That is not an Ivory Tower out there. We are not just here for [mere] theories. The things that we do impact the lives of Missourians. We’re not talking about abstract concepts,” he said. Barnes was able to amend the steel mill bill so the factories in other industries could negotiate for lower utility costs. He believed that because of this possibility, companies that could manu-

line for line, word for word, and think of ‘what does this mean in plain English?’… [Then,] you look to see ‘well, what are the loopholes?’ How can this be used to any particular person’s advantage or disadvantage that goes beyond the sponsor’s intent of a bill? His best examples were in the special legislative session, where SB 5, which imposed new statewide regulations on abortion, and the steel mill bill, which sought to create an attractive environment for industry looking to move into the old Noranda facility.

facture their products anywhere, would not be turned away because of high production costs. “I feel like I was elected to do a job and while I’m here, I’m going to give the best effort I possibly can… If I’m in, I’m all in. I try to squeeze every efficiency I can out of every moment to make sure that I’m doing the best job I can… There are no shortcuts,” he said. Barnes’ efforts in 2017 have solidified his reputation as one of the hardest working legislators in the Capitol, succeeding to improve all legislation he touches.

MICHAEL LAYER THE MISSOURI TIMES

REP. JAY BARNES

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The Democratic members of the freshman class this past year knew they had to hit the ground running in their first session, but perhaps no freshman has been as clearly effective and able as Springfield’s Rep. Crystal Quade. In her first ever legislative session, the Democrat from an isolated blue district in a red region proved to be a deft legislator and an even better

seeking to restore $35 million in funding for inhome care to roughly 8,000 low-income seniors, veterans and people living with disabilities. “HCB 3 was probably the most controversial bill this session and definitely the thing that I spent the most time on,” Quade said. And serving on the House Budget Committee and the Health and Human Services appropriations committee, Quade was involved in that conversation from the very beginning. “It’s all about numbers. I know that with

Senate correct it on the floor the next day, it was probably the most exciting moment for her. “I was very emotionally invested in that bill. We all knew that once they handed it back to us, it was all over unless they fixed it,” she said. “And knowing I was a part of that, it was really neat to experience.” In the end, Quade and the House Budget Chair, Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, became the focal point of the issue. The House had refused to touch the bill after receiving the Senate’s revamped version, but in the final minutes of the legislative session, Fitzpatrick told Quade that it would be given one final shot. And Quade was the one who would present it before all of her colleagues. “I was the only one allowed to speak on the bill, and that was definitely what felt like a big win, but that changed with the Governor’s veto,” she said. But being in the superminority in the House requires a thick skin, as Democrats took a number of losses on the chin during this past session. But Quade says that it’s just part of the fight, and she looks forward to the next round. “While we didn’t win some of those votes, we took a stand, and it was something that Democrats had not done in a long time. And that gives us life for the future.”

REP. CRYSTAL QUADE budget mind, and at the same time, she proved to be a continuous thorn in Republicans’ side. But, more importantly, she earned the respect of her counterparts across the aisle, thanks to her passion, skill, and tenacity, while also bringing back a spark for the Democrats in the House. While Quade filed little in terms of legislation on her own, she made a point to dive right in and learn everything she could on any issue that came before her. She knew from the start that she wanted to be on the House Budget Committee, and the late nights spent studying each page with her fellow budget committee members paid off as they collaborated with their Republican counterparts to draft a budget that both sides could accept. But perhaps her biggest accomplishment of the session was her work on HCB 3, a bill

things like HCB 3, no one is wanting to hurt seniors or folks living with disabilities. It’s about the numbers, and I get that, “ Quade said. “But when we can tie a story to it, put a face to it and share the realities, it’s important to remember that it’s not about a lack of compassion, but that we have to handle this from both sides.” In truth, HCB 3 was the true measure of what it takes to be a good politician: it required the legislators to make the hard decisions, balancing both the rational and the emotional. It was a matter of both the mind and the heart. But one of her most proud moments this session was when she and her fellow House Democrats discovered an issue with HCB 3 in the Senate’s draft. They worked with senators to fix it, and Quade said when they watched the

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MICHAEL LAYER THE MISSOURI TIMES The 2017 legislative session proved Rep. Kevin Corlew would not allow Missouri to fall behind the progress of other states. In the past year, bills he sponsored, which included HB 151, which concerned Missouri’s compliance to federal REAL ID laws, and HB 153, which saw Missouri adopt the Daubert standard for witness testimony, were both signed by Gov. Eric Greitens. In addition to small-scale legislation concerned with Kansas City airports and the local police department, Corlew refused to shy away from both complex and common sense issues in 2017. One of his biggest legislative accomplishments this session was HB 151, which was able to pass before the January 2018 deadline. “The REAL ID legislation was a significant success because we were one of four states that were not compliant or moving towards compliance with the federal standards. Because of this legislation, which the Governor signed, it will ensure that Missourians are not burdened with getting a passport or obtain a different identification to get onto a military base or fly a domestic flight,” Corlew reflected.

Corlew sponsored HB 153 because he did not want to “allow junk science in the courtroom that will have a significant impact on both civil and criminal verdicts,” but also because of Missouri courts’ low perceived fairness. “We always wanted to change to a more reliable standard that is used throughout the nation, [but] there was a significant push back to keep the status-quo… We had to show people why this is a better standard than what we had previously and bring about a more fair justice system in Missouri,” Corlew said. In this past legislative session, while he was focused on passing statewide legislation, he did not forget about his constituents in the 14th House District, near Kansas City. Corlew sponsored HB 752, which passed unanimously, and allowed the Kansas City Police Department to appoint a lieutenant colonel to be responsible for homeland security matters. In addition, he mentioned he was able to add a modification which helped the Northland Tourism Commission and a change at KCI airport that allowed passengers to carry drinks in boarding gates and areas. “I’ve touched on some of these issues that are big in Missouri and I’m certainly willing and capable to engage on those issues and will continue to do so. At the same time, I’ve had a number of

REP. KEVIN CORLEW Another part of his 2017 legislative success was passing HB 153 and adopting the Daubert standard for expert witnesses. The bill updates the standard that Missouri courts judge expert witness from presenting an idea among the scientific community that is “generally accepted” to requiring witnesses giving scientific information with careful methodology.

successes on smaller pieces of legislation… I’m going to continue to work on these issues that are really important to Missouri, but also make sure that I’m working on matters that are important to people at home - the people that sent me here - and to make sure that I’m a representative of their interests as well,” he said.

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If you were to ask Sen. Jason Holsman what the one thing needed to be an effective legislator is, he’ll reply that it’s all about the relationships. “Success, regardless of your party affiliation, is based on your ability to build relationships,” the Kansas City senator said. “I’ve worked incredibly hard at getting to know my colleagues on both sides of the aisle. I think the most important thing is just caring about who they are, taking the time to seek them out, hear about where they came from, to learn about their district, ask about their family, and genuinely put the time that is necessary into understanding where they’re coming from.” The senator from Kansas City is also known for his passion and fire on the floor of the upper chamber, channeling it all into his words. And while he may be on the mi-

the votes aren’t on your side,” Holsman said. “So you have to go out there and convince the majority members that your position has merit enough to influence that legislation to the center or enough to have the respect to stop that legislation from advancing.” This session, Holsman found himself on a different kind of line, one that he and several senators toed in a quest to fight for the decorum and order that’s so often referred to in revered tones as the “Old Senate.” In this mission, a group of senators continuously fought for the integrity of their chamber, whether it be to shut down a bill that would have increased the power of the Majority Floor Leader or fighting back in the ongoing struggle between the Senate and the Executive Office. As a critic of Greitens, Holsman took that role very seriously, helping to form a coalition of senators seeking an investi-

SEN. JASON HOLSMAN nority side of most issues, it by no means is a signal that he is OK with losing. But Holsman’s legislative session was defined more by the stands that he took against legislation more so than the passage of his own bills. The senator successfully led the chamber to put together a piece that would provide funding for a new arts facility at UMKC, which also passed the House. It was a piece of legislation that could have been a benefit to his district, but Holsman instead witnessed the bill fall prey to Gov. Eric Greitens’ veto. “I was very proud of the bipartisan effort to get the conservatory passed for UMKC,” he said. “And it was disappointing that the Governor vetoed that.” In the final days of the second extraordinary session, Holsman rose once again to question the need for the legislation regarding abortion and urge the bill to go to conference, even going so far as to insinuate that the pro-life groups were running the Senate instead of the members of the chamber. “It’s a challenge to be in the minority, because you always start in a place where

gation into the Governor and his alleged dark money works. He also decried the Governor’s changing of the call to a special session as collusion between the House and executive branch to force the legislation to fit his desires. But to read between the lines of the words of the passionate and fiery legislator, Holsman’s words always circle back to one wish: open communication and trust among the Senate. “Our primary currency in the Senate is communication, and you have to keep communicating, even when it’s hard,” he said. “You don’t have to compromise your principles to find common ground. It doesn’t matter how controversial something is, if we try to walk in each others’ shoes, we’re going to get a lot closer to reaching the same destination.”

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Rep. Marsha Haefner has been representing the 95th District since 2011. In her time, she passed key legislation regarding social services and child care. She’s served on many vital committees, like the Budget, Ethics, Health and Mental Health Policy, Joint Commission on Tax Policy, Joint Commission on Child Abuse and Neglect, and Joint Commission on Legislative Research. In December of 2016, she filed a bill to amend the definition of hate crimes to include offenses against police officers. Her bill would establish law enforcement as a protected class so crimes against police officers could constitute them being hate crimes. She believed the bill was appropriate because she noticed attacks on Missouri police officers. “I really believe that, and other states are starting to follow suit, what’s going on with our uniformed first responders is wrong, as far as how they’re being targeted just for doing their job,” Haefner told the Times in 2016. “I thought there should be enhanced penalties for anyone who commits a crime against them.” She mentioned there was opposition during the bill’s hearing because there were representatives who felt that additional protections were not merited. Haefner was decisive that police officers needed to be better protected under the law. “People didn’t think their occupation qualified someone to be a victim of a hate crime. They say ‘it’s more what you are, who you are’ as opposed to what you do. When we look at the hate crime standard for prosecuting hate crimes, the bar was pretty high,” she said. Her bill came after she noticed an increase of police deaths on the news. Haefner is protective of police officers and feels her legislation does that. She told the Missouri Times in 2016 she had met an officer who

REP. MARSHA HAEFNER was killed near her district. In a conversation this August, believes that her legislation sends a clear message: “You don’t come to Missouri and commit a crime against a law enforcement officer and get away with it!” In her final term as a Missouri representative, it was clear to Haefner when she filed HB 57, whose lives’ she had in mind and whether or not they mattered to her.

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BENJAMIN PETERS THE MISSOURI TIMES

Perspective is everything when it comes to the controversial SB 43, a piece of legislation sponsored by Republican Sen. Gary Romine, one he has worked on since first arriving in Jefferson City. It may be one of the most talked about bills from this past session, and it’s definitely the one that has received the most national attention, particularly for its role in the NAACP’s travel advisory issued against Missouri. SB 43 was designed as a labor reform bill to address the issue of employment discrimination, seeking to reduce what Romine described as frivolous lawsuits. The new law, which took effect on Aug. 28, requires workers who claim discrimination in wrongful-termination suits to prove that bias was the reason they were fired. But some civil rights organizations have rallied against the legislation, calling it some of the worst legislation since the Jim Crow laws and arguing that the law will make discrimination lawsuits almost impossible to win in court. The Senate, however, passed SB 43 with a vote of 23-9, while the House did it with a 98-30 vote. Governor Eric Greitens also signed it into law, despite the cries from several civil rights groups “I think that over the years of staying consistent in my position and really not getting caught up in party rhetoric and just focusing on legislation from a business perspective, I think

everyone. “How does this really affect businesses, and what is the true outcome?” he asked. And it’s a litmus test he tries to apply to every bill, even utility bills. When Sen. Ed Emery’s SB 190 came forward in a committee hearing, Romine was prepared to ask the hard questions and seek answers in a matter that goes beyond the understanding of most legislators. “It’s all about need. If there’s a need, and the businesses accept the fact that there is some need for infrastructure replacement that can’t be done within the realm of the current PSC process, then yes, we need to consider it. But right now, that need hasn’t been proven, and utility companies are making record profits and their stock values are at an all-time high.” In the end, SB 190 failed to pass, despite a valiant effort from the bill sponsor, marking a victory for Romine and the opposition. But perhaps one of the biggest successes was the fully funded education foundation formula. The House put enough money into the budget to do just that, but Senate leadership took it out. Romine and a group of Sens. rose to the occasion, leading a charge against the wishes of leadership and rallying enough votes to sign off on an amendment to put that money back. And it was Romine who put that amendment forward. “It was a team effort,” Romine said. “It just seemed like the opportunity was there, and we did get some resistance from leadership, but

SEN. GARY ROMINE all of that led to an opportunity,” Romine said. “Even at 3 o'clock in the morning, when we were finalizing negotiations on the bill, it put me in a position in which my colleagues respected what I was trying to do and enabled us to reach a compromise and get the bill voted out of the Senate.” Romine says that his approach with SB 43 and other bills, to simplify it, is solely looking at the legislation from a business perspective and trying to see how it makes sense for

we’ve talked about fully funding it, so we decided to just do it. “As the Senate education chairman, I felt that was right up there with the employment discrimination in terms of actually getting something done.”

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BENJAMIN PETERS THE MISSOURI TIMES

Rep. Travis Fitzwater has only been serving in the House for a little more than three years, but he’s quickly made a splash in that amount of time, garnering the praise of several members of the legislature. In fact, some in leadership have hinted that he may be the most impressive sophomore in the House. Fitzwater’s success comes from a few different things: his drive, his poise, and his ideas. As a legislator, the Holts Summit representative is able to combine his passions and use that to help drive legislation or pull it back, whether it be on the House floor or working behind the scenes. In 2017, Fitzwater’s major success was in passing the adult high schools bill, a major accomplishment in a session that proved to be trying in terms of education issues, especially funding. Under the bill, sponsored by the Republican Fitzwater, four adult high schools would be established in St. Louis City, Poplar Bluff, Springfield and Columbia areas. The legislation would require a successful bidder to invest at least $2 million in facility infrastructure. But more importantly, Fitzwater points out that it is more than

one of the nuclear power plants. As the House worked on the budget this past session, Fitzwater was one of the voices encouraging members to put $500,000 to invest in a new online curriculum that will help expose Missouri students to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers. Fitzwater says his hope is to give middle schoolers that opportunity early on in an effort to help them “find a path to their passions earlier in their lives.” The final number that was agreed upon was $100,000. “We really want them to see the opportunities that are available to them at a younger age,” he said. The Holts Summit representative has carried that legislation for the past few years, and he says that kind of innovation and ideas can help build a stronger future for the state. But what is it that makes him such an effective legislator? Fitzwater’s answer is simply three points: 1. Don’t take things personally. 2. Don’t be married to any piece of legislation. 3. Relationships are the most important part of what we do. “I don’t need to get the credit, my desire is simply to help as much as I can to get results,” he said.

REP. TRAVIS FITZWATER an education bill. It’s a economic development tool, used to create a stronger and more educated workforce. It’s a social tool, with Fitzwater saying it will help Missourians build skills and earn a diploma in order to provide better for their families. “I think that because it handled so many things in a positive manner, it just had a lot of support, and made it a lot easier, because explaining the impact it could have on our communities and how it could be such a positive thing, like it has been in Indiana, that really made it an easier hill to climb. The real issue was just trying to get it to the Senate in a year where they were kind of functioning in a different way than was typical,” he said. But another factor that has played a role in Fitzwater’s rise is his growing reputation as the go-to guy on technology in the Missouri House. Fitzwater could be found on the front lines of the debate over Uber and Lyft, urging the passage of the legislation. He’s also interested in being at the table for any talk regarding nuclear power, especially since his district is home to

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In theory, 2017 should have been a positive year for Sen. Dave Schatz, R- Sullivan. In the previous year alone, he sponsored 25 bills. Six of them passed the Senate - including SB 66, which amended Missouri’s worker’s compensation laws. Five of those bills were signed by the Governor. Yet when Schatz reflected on his 2017, rather than being proud of his accomplishments, he was more disappointed by missed opportunities. “I think I’ve had a pretty successful legislative session… [but] we were on the cusp of getting a couple more across the finish line… We literally could have got eight pieces of legislation done had things worked out or had another hour’s worth of work… We also had some stuff that didn’t get across the finish line [and we were] disappointed,” he reflected. The reason why Schatz refers to his 2017 session only as “pretty good,” is because of the pressure he puts on himself. While he mentions the importance of his constituents, above all he is driven by his own intrinsic motivation. His determination comes from the weight he places in his promises. “I believe that your word is the most important thing you have. If I give you my word that I’m going to do something, I’m going to follow through with that and I expect the same thing in return,” he stated.

ans, SB 240, which created a license for electrical contractors, and SB 66. Since the 2014 Missouri Supreme Court case, Templemire v W&M Welding, Schatz noticed an increase in the number of worker’s compensation discrimination lawsuits filed against their employers, which he felt was because it was too easy for injured workers to claim they were being discriminated against. He felt that a better compromise would be to update the standard to a “motivating” factor. SB 66 also established a maximum medical improvement (MMI) to create a recovery timeline so that companies will not have to pay for treatments for patients who are healthy or will not get better. “That was a big deal; it was important to make that change to make sure employers weren’t finding themselves in these nuisance lawsuits because of the discharge of an employee that claimed to have some ‘contributing’ factor regarding the workers’ compensation clause,” he said. It was important for Schatz to pass all the legislation he could in 2017 because, with each victory, he felt like he is keeping his promises to his constituents and to himself. So while he acknowledges his successes in passing legislation, the missed opportunities weigh on him the most. One of the biggest personal disappointments was his unfulfilled expectations from creating the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP).

Before Schatz joined the legislature in 2011, he was a utility contractor. While in the Senate, he feels a commitment to his blue collar past and is compelled to represent those values both in conduct and in legislation. Currently, he is the Chair of the Senate Interim Committee on labor reform, which is in charge of coming to a solution about how and if the Grand Assembly should repeal the Prevailing Wage law. In 2017, he passed several bills like SB 66, which designated some bridges to honor famous Missouri-

“I get satisfaction from getting something accomplished, but in 2017, obviously I had some issues that I would like to come to fruition. I worked really hard and passionately on PDMP… and we were unable to get that done. That was something I put a lot of effort into. When I didn’t get that accomplished, I was a little disappointed,” he said. However, what gives him hope is that next year, should he be re-elected, “we’ll have another opportunity.”

MICHAEL LAYER THE MISSOURI TIMES

SEN. DAVE SCHATZ

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BENJAMIN PETERS THE MISSOURI TIMES

Sen. Ed Emery makes the list of top legislators simply because of his successes this past legislative session, though not all of those items crossed the finish line. Instead, Emery’s work demonstrated the mastery of working with other senators to accomplish goals that may seem unattainable. The first major success for the Republican legislator from Lamar was a key tort reform bill which limits the evidence a jury can receive in special damages claims cases. The bill, sponsored by Emery and handled by Rep. Joe Don McGaugh takes into account what the insurance company would pay out, instead of any additional damages beyond what the settlement is. But the one thing that will certainly be the mark of how Emery’s 2017 legislative session fared is by the utility bill he sponsored, SB 190. The bill never passed out of Missouri’s upper chamber, stalled by opposition. “That was a real disappointment that we didn’t move SB 190 forward,” Emery said. “We had three shots at that and were unsuccessful, even though we had a large majority of the Senate really wanting to see that issue come to a vote.” But the bill didn’t die because of a lack of effort. Emery seemingly did everything humanly possible to get a vote on the bill, going so far as to talk to the entire Senate one by one, asking who wanted to get this issue to a vote. The response was overwhelming. “I think I had about 27 people that had committed to us that they wanted to see a vote

on that and either signed something to the floor leader saying they wanted to do that, or verbally said they wanted to see it get to a vote,” he said. “They weren’t necessarily expressing support, but they wanted an opportunity to vote on it.” But the bill never got to a final vote, as it was placed on the informal calendar three times. “So that was a big disappointment. It appears that wasn’t the right answer,” Emery said. Regardless of that outcome, it must be taken with a grain of salt. The issue of utilities returned once again in the first special session of the summer, and thanks to Emery’s push to discuss the issue during session, it helped prepare and

SEN. ED EMERY frame the debate for what came next. In short, the senators were more readily prepared simply because he forced the conversation. “I think there’s always success in the discussion. That’s a very complicated issue, and most of the people in the Senate and the House really don’t want to take the time to become experts in utilities,” he said. “And so it’s something that, with the more discussion you have on the floor, the more comfortable each legislator feels when they cast their vote, that they know what they are voting for or against.” “The hardest thing about this past session is when you get things like an utility bill to a place where people can understand it and then running into barriers that you can’t move or cannot understand how it can be moved. Those are really frustrating. So you can’t discount the value of those discussions, but until we actually implement something, there’s no real measure of success.”

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BENJAMIN PETERS THE MISSOURI TIMES

If you’ve ever spent any significant time in the Missouri State Capitol, chances are that you have met Pat Thomas. Known to many as part of Sen. Brian Munzlinger’s staff, Thomas has built

House races, one of them being the campaign of a candidate named Munzlinger. She describes the now-Sen. Munzlinger as somewhat reluctant about running in a typically blue district. After her poking and prodding, she said he finally gave in and decided to run. Since then, she worked on his campaign and the two became good friends. Years later, after attending a “Moms for Munzlinger” event, she made the decision to join his team. “I remember walking up that long hallway on the first day, thinking ‘what have I done?” Thomas said with a laugh. “But it was an easy transition. It was probably hardest on my family. My husband still hasn’t figured out the work hours, even after 30 years.” Fast forward to 2017 and the past legislative session, and the duo of Thomas and Munzlinger work as a sort of powerhouse, ready to take on any issue with passion and deft skill. Each brings something to the table to compliment their partner, whether it be Thomas’ tenacity or Munzlinger’s calm and analytical presence. Each has

PAT THOMAS OFFICE OF SEN. BRIAN MUNZLINGER a reputation over her years in the political realm that many could only dream of. A political powerhouse in the legislature, Thomas’ journey into Missouri’s political realm began after she left her job managing a Hardee’s and went back to school to earn a degree in agriculture. She went to work in her hometown of Mexico, Mo. as a Director of Adult Basic Education. While there, she and her husband got involved in local Republican politics. She took a leap of faith and began working as a campaign consultant, where she helped with about a dozen

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their own approach on how to operate, or what needs to be done, and sometimes, it can lead to a clash. But Thomas says that even in those moments, there’s always respect and compromise, which is the exact qualities that have enabled both to be so effective. “One of the things that I learned by example is that the more people we can put together at the table, the more ideas that can exchange hands. And in that way, you can fetter out a lot of good ideas and a lot of bad ideas by listening and bringing up topics,” she said. “We can figure things out before it ever even gets to the floor.” She says that their approach has always simply been that everybody votes, and everybody matters. She hopes that everyone always feels like they’ve had an opportunity for an open door and the chance to be heard by their office. In that time, she’s seen successes in various forms, and while she counts her blessings for her time in the office, she’s also seen heartbreaking days. But even that, she says, comes with its own blessings in disguise. “I wouldn’t trade any of it. The relationships in the building are really what get you through, and it’s not just the partisan staff, but the non-partisan staff, too,” she said. “I can’t imagine what it would be like without some of these gentlemen and ladies.”

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MICHAEL LAYER THE MISSOURI TIMES

After a successful legislative session, which included tort reform, right-to-work, regulatory reform, and fully funding the K-12 education foundation formula, as well as a possible campaign for state auditor in the future, everyone wants to know what goes through the mind of Speaker of the House Todd Richardson. If there was someone who could possibly know, it might be Richardson’s legislative director, Kenny Ross (or maybe the Speaker’s wife, Amber). As the Speaker’s legislative director, Ross is responsible for making sure Richardson does all of the small administrative details. The profoundly humble Ross has been working in the Speaker’s office since for over a decade. He started in 2006 and has been working with Missouri Speakers of the House ever since. He first started working with Richardson in 2015.“It’s not really hard; I just keep it all straight and organized,” he said. The ‘it’ of course, refers to the Speaker’s schedule and policy agenda, but it might as well stand in for the entire Missouri Legislature. He manages the processes of every House and Senate bill so that Richardson is in the best position to reach his policy goals. He schedules meetings, informs the Speaker, and helps Richardson plan for the future. If a bill is not going to pass, Ross is going to know why and what needs to be done. Right-to-work has been a goal of the Missouri Republican majority legislature for years, but Richardson was able to get it passed within his first full term as Speaker. While Ross gives Richardson all the credit for everything

that passed this year, it was because they both worked hard.“I work for a really good guy, in Todd; he’s really talented. I do my best to support him and help him be successful. I think, to be successful - in this business - as a staff person, there’s no real big secret: You just have to work hard,” Ross said. One of the toughest aspects as the Speaker’s legislative director is managing expectations. Ross has seen the folly of only giving the good news, but in order to be a successful legislative director, it is important to be honest. Some-

KENNY ROSS OFFICE OF SPEAKER TODD RICHARDSON times people in his position would rather avoid the conversation by going through lobbyists, he would rather tell the Speaker directly. Specifically because of Ross’ caution, Richardson was able to schedule meetings with key legislators to settle the votes to pass right-to-work. For Ross, Richardson is “kind of the whole package. He gets the policy, gets the politics. He understands how to be an open door - a guy members can easily come to. He’s got a skill set that I haven’t necessarily seen with all the other people in the Capitol. Todd’s really good about bringing people together and being patient to try to get to a compromise or a solution,” Ross reflected. One of the most rewarding aspects about working for Richardson is that he would not be as successful as he was in the House, without the hardwork of his staff. When Ross spoke to the Missouri Times at the end of August he said, “Staff aren’t really stories.” Well, they are this time.

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MOVERS AND SHAKERS

REP. CODY SMITH What inspired you to run for office? I have a wife, a three-year-old, and a new business – I am about as heavily invested in Missouri as a person can be. I've always been involved in public service and, when I was asked to consider running for office by a few friends, my wife and I ultimately decided that this was the right time to serve in this capacity. What have you learned since joining the legislature? A lot. If I could describe my experience in the legislature thus far in one word, it would be "educational." I have learned so much about the issues facing our state and continue to do so on a daily basis. I have discovered that with difficult issues come difficult decisions. Most importantly, I have learned that if you want to accomplish something in Jefferson City, you'll need a little help from your friends. What is your legislative strategy? I'd say my strategy or style has been more defensive than offensive; I believe that it’s just as important to kill bad bills as it is to pass good ones. I'm the slow, deliberate type. There's never any shortage of legislation to consider so I haven't felt compelled toTimes add a lot to an already high Missouri The

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volume of bills. I think it's important that we approach the prospect of changing laws that affect people's lives with a sense of reticence and reverence. What is your day job and what does it lend to your legislative job? I'm co-owner of a company that provides ultraviolet decontamination services to healthcare facilities. I've also been a licensed Realtor for about 10 years. Conducting myself with professionalism is of the highest importance to me whether it's in business or as a Legislator. My experience in the private sector has helped me develop the skills to do that. What have you learned from your first year on budget? I've learned that serving on Budget is lot of work but also a tremendous opportunity to make an impact on fiscal policy. It also provides opportunities to exercise accountability and look for efficiencies in government programs, which I enjoy. I’ve learned a lot about it and still have a lot more to learn but I really enjoy the process. What do you hope the legislature accomplishes in 2018? I hope we continue to do things that clear

the runway to conduct business in Missouri. tort reform, labor reform, and fewer regulations. Our state's economy remains the top priority in my mind. Budgetarily, I think we'll continue to have trouble paying for our growing social services programs. I hope we can prioritize those recipients who are most in need in an effective way. What words of wisdom do you aspire to? My predecessor once told me, "there's nothing new in Jefferson City,” and I think there's a lot of truth to that. In a term-limited environment, we can easily lose the historical context of the issues of the day. In truth, most all of these issues have come and gone over the course of time. We should think twice before we make changes because these laws exist for a reason. What is something your colleagues do not know about you? My musical tastes range from Dwight Yoakam all the way to Mozart. What is a policy you’re interested in and why (that your colleagues may not know)? I'm interested in criminal justice reform. It seems to me that we have too many criminal laws, too many people incarcerated, and aren't doing a great job at reducing


recidivism. I think it's time we rethink whether many of these penalties are proportional to the crimes and how best to reintroduce offenders back into society. Also, we must continue to monitor the fiscal impact our prison system has on our state budget. What legislative legacy do you hope to leave behind? I want to be remembered as someone that was intellectually consistent, honest, and trustworthy. Someone that served with professionalism and worked with a variety of people to accomplish common goals on behalf of the citizens of Missouri.

QUICK FIRE What book are you currently reading? The Vanishing American Adult by Ben Sasse - It should probably be required reading for all American parents. Last state park visited? Battle of Carthage State Park. It’s the site of the Battle of Carthage, one of the first battles of the Civil War. Favorite fast food? A local Carthage place called Taco Town. Coincidentally, it was also the first place I ever worked when I was 15. Coffee or tea? Coffee and it's not close. Least tolerable children’s show to overhear? Don’t tell David Gregory, but I didn’t care for Frozen.

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MOVERS AND SHAKERS What inspired you to run for office? I really just wanted to help people and make sure that the people I represent have someone fighting for them and listening to them. What have you learned since joining the legislature? The legislature is filled with varied positions on issues, temperaments, and convictions, but somehow, we can all come together when needed to work as a team on behalf of the people of Missouri. What is your legislative strategy? I choose to work on issues that my constituents and I care about so that it is easier to remain passionate about my causes. I

What words of wisdom do you aspire to? "The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly." -Jim Rohn How are you related to a late president? Without getting into a lot of detail, I am related to John Adams and John Quincy Adams on my mother's side of the family. What is a policy you’re interested in and why that your colleagues may not know about? I am interested in reforming Missouri's foster care system.

REP. ROB VESCOVO usually choose what I feel are good government issues that affect my constituents and the state's taxpayers.

A lot of my colleagues do not know that I am adopted and resided in a foster home for the first 15 months of my life.

What are you most proud of accomplishing as a lawmaker? So far, reducing the abuse of paid administrative leave, forcing the State of Missouri to use competitive bidding on general obligation bonds, and banning project labor agreements so all taxpayers have the opportunity to bid on publicly-funded projects.

What legislative legacy do you hope to leave behind? I would really like to be a part of significant tax reform for the people of my district and the state.

What do you hope the legislature accomplishes in 2018? I hope that we work on capping property taxes for Missouri's senior citizens and that we pass prevailing wage reform.

Last state park visited? Finger Lakes State Park. I stopped to eat a peaceful lunch.

QUICK FIRE

What book are you currently reading? Charlotte's Web with 1st Grader

Favorite fast food? Chick-Fil-A Coffee or tea? Diet Coke Least tolerable children’s show to overhear? Caillou

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MOVERS AND SHAKERS

REP. BRUCE FRANKS What inspired you to run for office? Nobody taught my community about local politics or state politics, the idea of my community finally have proper representation is what inspired me to run! What have you learned since joining the legislature? There is disenfranchisement and poverty in all parts of Missouri and not exclusive to our urban areas. What is your legislative strategy? • Work together and past party differences • Respectfully disagree • Always be straight forward and genuine. What is your day job and how does it lend to your legislative job? Superhero, and, yes, it does. Because everyday I fight to make it better for not just the 78th District and the city of St. Louis, but all of Missouri What are you most proud of accomplishing as a lawmaker? Getting $4 million into the budget for sum-

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mer jobs with bipartisan support. What do you hope the legislature accomplishes in 2018? Legislation addressing criminal justice reform and Mass Incarceration, Child Support Reform, more effective programming aimed at jobs and trades! What is something your legislative colleagues may not know about you? I wanted to be a police officer when I was younger What is a policy you’re interested in and why (that your colleagues may not know about)? Rural economic development What legislative legacy do you hope to leave behind? Bipartisan fixes for a broken system that truly affected every Missourian

QUICK FIRE

What book are you currently reading? The Last Campaign Last state park visited? None Favorite fast food? White Castle Coffee or tea? Coffee Least tolerable children’s show to overhear? My Little Pony


WE BUILD MISSOURI.

ST. LOUIS-KANSAS CITY

CARPENTERS

REGIONAL COUNCIL

STLKCCRC

GROWING MISSOURI’S ECONOMY WITH SMARTER ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE The electric grid is the backbone of our economy. Now is the time to update Missouri’s century-old regulations that are holding us back. Working together, we can spur economic development in Missouri as we build a smarter, stronger grid that will benefit our customers.

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We are dedicated to promoting more efficient air travel. The status quo in aviation is simply unacceptable. Every day thousands of flights are delayed, millions of gallons of fuel wasted and billions of dollars lost because the government has systematically failed to update the nation’s air traffic control system. We cannot continue to run the air traffic control system the same way it has been since the 1950s and expect different results. Tell Your Member of Congress to Support the 21st Century AIRR Act.

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Missouri Times Magazine - Fall 2017  

"The Best of the Legislature" and more!

Missouri Times Magazine - Fall 2017  

"The Best of the Legislature" and more!

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