Post sponsored by

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Source: US State of Missouri

On Wednesday, Jan. 15, the governor laid out his legislative priorities for the coming year. A lot of what he would like to see done would be of great benefit to northwest Missouri, and I applaud him for having the foresight into the needs of rural Missouri.

Most people are familiar with the annual State of the State Address that is given before a joint session of the Missouri General Assembly. This is the governor’s opportunity to present his legislative priorities to lawmakers and the citizens of our state. Much like last year, he talked a lot about the need to improve Missouri’s infrastructure, which means more than just fixing potholes and looking at big-picture needs for Interstate 70. It also means improving broadband Internet throughout our state, which is crucial for the 12th Senatorial District.

Expanding rural broadband throughout our state is one of my top priorities, and it is an issue I have worked on throughout my career in the Missouri Senate. Unfortunately, the biggest hang-up on this is paying for it. As chairman of the Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee, I know this challenge all too well. We have to find better ways to make these improvements, without bankrupting our state, and this is exactly what the governor wants. I am very excited to take on this challenge as we move through the first month of the 2020 legislative session.

Speaking of the Appropriations Committee, we have already begun working on the state budget for Fiscal Year 2021. It is imperative for us to craft a balanced budget, and always keep in mind those services that are vital to everyone in this state. This is what we will be doing between now and May 8, and I am happy to be a part of it.

As always, please feel free to call, email or write with your ideas or concerns. My Capitol office number is (573) 751-1415, my email is and my mailing address is Room 332, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.