Missouri’s least productive legislature tops itself

By DAVID A. COOK
President

“This year will go down as one of the least productive years in the [Missouri] legislature’s history, but considering the priorities of some of our elected officials, perhaps that’s a good thing.”  I wrote this as the introduction to my column last year as Missouri’s legislature adjourned for 2022.  Now, as the Missouri legislature sunsets on the 2023 session, the words from last year, ring just as true today as they did last then.

Much like I wrote about last year, Missouri continues to rank among the bottom in education as well as maintaining very last in starting pay for public school teachers.  School districts throughout Missouri are turning to four-day school weeks due to a shortage of funding and a shortage of teachers and staff.

HOSPITALS AND CLINICS CLOSING
Hospitals and clinics are closing all over Missouri, and especially in rural areas of the state due to a lack of funding.  Schools, roads, bridges and other infrastructure remain in disrepair.  All the while, Governor Parson and Missouri’s legislature has chosen to sit on millions of dollars of Federal funds that have be released to the state after the COVID pandemic.

ATTACKING LGBTQ CITIZENS INSTEAD OF HELPING FRONTLINE WORKERS
Instead of using federal funds that could have protected frontline workers or passing laws to or to assist Missouri’s struggling families deal with inflation rates unseen in over thirty years, Jefferson City decided to protect its own interests by attacking LGBTQ citizens, attacking St. Louis’s City government autonomy, and attacking public school systems.

Jefferson City’s gridlock and disfunction rises as the true hero of Missouri’s working families.

WE HAVE THE POWER
At a time when Missourians are struggling to put food on the table or maintain a roof over their heads, we need to take back Jefferson City.  Missouri’s Great Seal is emblazoned with the words ”salus populi supreme lex esto” or Let the good of the people be the supreme law.  Sadly, Jefferson City seems to have forgotten that.

We need not forget that we have the power.  Missouri’s legislature should be listening to us, the citizens.  Our power comes from our votes and it is important to elect those politicians that fight for our cause.  We need to elect those candidates that share our values and vow to fight for workers; ALL WORKERS.

As we enter into the second half of 2023, and 2024 is right around the corner, the political season will begin to pick up.  Now is the time to register to vote.  Now is the time to bring attention to the ineptness of Missouri’s legislature. Now is the time to push for change.

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