By SEN. GINA WALSH
Jefferson City – I want to thank the Governor for sharing his policies and goals with the Legislature as we work together to pass a balanced budget and make our state a fairer and more equitable place for all.
About a year ago, things were a lot different around here. We had a different governor leading the state, one who chose to put personal ambition and partisan politics before all else.
Now, with a new governor, it is our hope that those old problems are behind us. But simply being better than Eric Greitens is too low of a bar to set for any of our leaders, too low for the kind of change we need. Missouri deserves better.
Being done with a bad politician isn’t enough if his bad policies remain, policies that denied too many Missourians basic health care, policies that attack working families and undermine their constitutional right to organize, and policies that turn out tax code upside down so that the middle class gets squeezed while special interests laugh all the way to the bank.
‘THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN’
I call on my colleagues in both chambers to abandon these terrible policies and listen to the people. Because the people have spoken.
They went to the ballot box and defeated so-called ‘right-to-work.’
They passed comprehensive ethics reform to root out corruption and stop gerrymandering.
They passed a slow and reasonable increase to the minimum wage to lift up the working poor and grow our economy.
And they passed medical cannabis to provide options for those struggling with disease and injury.
These issues are settled and any attempt to weaken or repeal the will of the voters must not pass.
Instead, I urge my colleagues to return the Senate’s attention to our shared priorities, like fully funding the school foundation formula, increasing our school transportation dollars, strengthening our workforce through higher education and job training, and making sure our mental health safety net is there for anyone in crisis.
There are many months of hard work ahead of us, but I know we are up to the challenge, because it is an honor to serve in the Missouri State Senate, an honor shared by 34 unique individuals sent to the Capitol by the people of our state. People are counting on us now to do the right thing, move our state forward and get to work.
(Missouri State Senator Gina Walsh, D-Bellefontaine Neighbors, is president of the Missouri State Building & Construction Trades Council and a retired member of Heat & Frost Insulators Local 1.)