LTE: Elections have consequences

Missouri’s 100th General Assembly will convene Jan. 9, 2019 at 12:00 p.m. Members will be sworn in and special guests will be introduced. Aside from being a significant historical marker for our state, one of the more unique things about the upcoming session is the makeup of the leadership.  Our Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, and Treasurer are all new, having been appointed to complete vacated offices rather than being elected by a vote of the people. Also, our returning State Auditor who was elected is the only Democrat among the statewide office holders. Our Senate and House leaders will also be new being elected to their positions by their peers.

It’s difficult to predict what this session will produce. In prior sessions, it seems the will of voters has gone largely unheeded, which led to a number of successful petition efforts by grassroots organizations. Recent events and interviews indicate this will continue, specifically pertaining to the measures of Amendment One dealing with government ethics and transparency, and the voters’ rejection of Right to Work legislation. I also expect to see some legislation attempting to curb the petition process. Other controversial issues on the table will be changes to court proceedings and criminal justice reform. I am hopeful we will be able to find some common ground regarding our infrastructure – particularly when it comes to funding for our roads and bridges. I also have a glimmer of hope for expanding medicaid, although that will probably be a harder push.

Newly elected legislators and senators began filing their proposed legislative bills on Dec. 1, 2018. So far, 427 bills have been filed in the House covering a wide range of topics dealing with election procedures, pension plans, criminal justice reform, insurance regulations, harassment, animal abuse, and more. For those of you who keep track, the list of filed legislation for the House can be found by going to the House webpage, www.house.mo.gov, and clicking on the “legislation” tab.  Senate legislation can be found at www.senate.mo.gov.

Believe it or not, I am very much looking forward to returning. I am so grateful for the overwhelming support I received at the polls in November. We doubled our voter turnout from two years ago, and I would be remiss if I didn’t express my gratitude and pride for the people who live in this district. When I ran for State Representative, I campaigned on public health and safety, quality schools, neighborhood preservation and ethical government. I will continue to stand up for these in my committee work and when debating and voting during session. It is truly an honor to serve!

For more information, please come to my next Town Hall meeting on January 3, at the Blendwell Community Cafe, 10725 US 24 Hwy, Independence, MO, 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Bring your questions and concerns, and experience the newest coffeehouse in District 19.

I have the honor to be your State Representative,

Ingrid Burnett

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