The Speaker of the House gave his Opening Day Address in the Chamber at noon on Wednesday and outlined his priorities in the House for this Session. The common thread of his commentary was simple; "We must never forget we sit in the people's chamber and our sacred duty as their elected officials is the maintenance of the integrity and sanctity of the Missouri House of Representatives. We are here to make our state a better place for Missourians to work and live."
You have elected me as your State Representative, and I am passionately committed to doing your work and serving you as I travel to Jefferson City each week. With every vote, I pledge to put your best interest first – and not my own. This is your Session, paid for by your tax dollars and we are committed to doing your work.
We have a very busy four months ahead of us here in Jefferson City. Our economy needs a complete revitalization, we must balance a budget despite severe fiscal constraints and we can't overspend and run a deficit like we have seen in Washington D.C. I look forward to talking to you each week through my Capitol Reports and giving you an inside look into what House Republicans are doing to make our state a great place to live, work and raise a family.
House Republicans Protecting Your Tax DollarsThe responsible management of your tax dollars is our highest priority. We have seen Washington D.C. spend like there's no tomorrow – but that's not how we do things in the Missouri House of Representatives.
You can be absolutely confident that we WILL NOT RAISE YOUR TAXES. Families all across the state are tightening their budget and cutting costs, and we must follow their lead. We will not burden our citizens with higher taxes because we will not spend frivolously. We will carefully place each tax dollar. Just like you, we will spend within our means and leave our children and grandchildren with a bright future – not debt. As the Speaker said in his opening day remarks, "Fiscal discipline and prudence will become the bywords for this year's session." As constituents, you demand nothing less and as you elected officials we will give you nothing less.
Revitalizing Missouri BusinessLast session, the House of Representatives crafted and passed a comprehensive jobs bill which was eventually passed by the Senate and signed into law by the Governor. This year, our effort to grow Missouri's business climate continues to be a top priority. The economic downturn has left no household or business in Missouri untouched, and the unemployment rate has dropped to a staggering 9.5%. We must work towards a complete revitalization of Missouri's economy by protecting our tools already in place that have been successful at bringing jobs and businesses into our state as well as working to help small businesses. I look forward to joining my colleagues in the House to boost Missouri's economy and get our citizens back to work.
Ensuring the Trust of the People in Their Elected OfficialsThis week, the Speaker of the House announced his creation of a committee charged with reforming the ethical standards by which all elected officials must abide. The Special Standing Committee on Government Accountability and Ethics Reform will receive all ethics reform legislation filed this session with the goal of creating one, bipartisan piece of legislation that will help restore the public's trust in government. With the ethics reform legislation we work on this year, our goal is to remove even the appearance of impropriety in the legislative process.
As elected officials, we must never forget that we sit in the people's chamber and our sacred duty is to honor the trust Missourians have placed in us by serving with the highest level of integrity. Regardless of party affiliation, we all can agree the sanctity of the legislative process must be preserved so that this and future legislatures can honorably serve the will of the people. This is truly a bipartisan issue as members from both sides of the aisle want to ensure our system of government has the level of transparency and accountability that the people of Missouri deserve.