Legislators weigh in on hits and misses from the session

Posted by Emily Denniston on Jul 09, 2015

Members packed the Chamber to hear state Senator Mike Parson and Representative Kevin Austin share their take on what—at least from a Chamber perspective—was one of the strongest legislative sessions in many years. 

“This has been a very successful year for southwest Missouri,” Parson said. “It is up to everyone in the room to continue to work together and make sure the legislators we elect continue to be strong advocates for this region.” 

Parson and Austin each highlighted major successes they helped get across the finish line including bonding legislation that allocated $19 million for Missouri State University and $3 million for Ozarks Technical Community College.  Money from the bonding bill will also be used for improvements at the state capitol building and the state’s mental health facilities, something which Parson explained hasn’t been done in more than a decade.

“There is a responsibility of the state to take care of our facility needs,” Parson said. “When you do a bonding bill – that is for the next generation.  We are building opportunities for our kids and our grandkids.”

Representative Austin discussed the data center bill which passed this session after nearly seven years, during which both legislators played a key leadership role. Austin also shared his hope that some of the things that were close to the finish line when session adjourned in May, will be addressed early in the 2016 session. 

In addition to the items reference in the discussion, there were numerous other successes that our legislative delegation was instrumental in accomplishing, click on the link below to learn more.

Related Content: See how other Chamber priorities fared this session. 

Both legislators addressed the critical need to address the transportation funding shortfall for the state, and the challenge with getting something done. 

“The public has to be educated and aware of what the need is, and something must be done.  We won’t see the dangerous roads until it is way too late,” Parson said.

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When we craft our 2016 legislative agenda, the first step is to get feedback from you—our members.  If there is a particular policy issue affecting your business, we would love to hear from you.

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