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22 December 2011

Denison: Christmas Wishes, 2012 Legislation Session Blueprint

“From home to home, and heart to heart, from one place to another, the warmth and joy of Christmas brings us closer to each other.” –Emily Matthews

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday Season

We’ve reached that time of the year yet again when we come together with family and friends to celebrate Christmas and to reflect on the many blessings we have been given. It’s a time to delight in the wonderment of our children and grandchildren as they open their presents, and it’s a time to slow down from our normally hectic pace and enjoy the company of those who mean the most to us. No, Christmas is not all about the presents we give and receive, but it is about taking the time to express our love and appreciation for the many individuals who enrich our lives on a daily basis. It’s also a time to give thanks for the many men and women in our Armed Forces who are serving our nation far away from the comforts of home during the holiday season. Because of their sacrifices, we continue to celebrate the holidays in the greatest nation on this planet.

We are truly blessed and, even during these tough economic times, we continue to have so many reasons to celebrate and so much for which to be thankful. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy holiday season.

House Prepares Blueprint for 2012 Legislative Session

As we’re now just days away from the beginning of the 2012 legislative session, the legislative agenda for the coming year has begun to take shape. While we will place a primary emphasis on creating a fiscally responsible, balanced state budget this session, we also will see a number of important issues addressed in the coming months. One thing you can be certain of yet again this year is that the Missouri House will not allow any kind of tax increase. Yes, revenues have declined and caused us to tighten our belts in recent years, but we will never subscribe to the theory that raising taxes is an acceptable way to balance the budget. Instead, we have all pledged to keep your hard-earned dollars where they belong – in your pocket – and to balance the budget by making fiscally responsible, common sense choices. We’ve held true to that pledge during my time in the legislature and we will continue that this year.

The blueprint we will follow this year also will focus on improving our business environment so that Missouri is an even more attractive location for businesses looking to relocate or expand. We want employers around the country and even around the world to know that we are open for business and ready to fill the jobs they create with capable, hard-working Missourians. We also have specific goals in mind such as the creation of the Missouri Entrepreneur Virtual Resource Network to help enterprising Missourians create and grow a business from scratch.

This session will also bring with it a great deal of discussion on ways to improve our system of education. We will look at a fix to our public school foundation formula. The goal is to have funding distributed to every public school in the state in a way that is fair and equitable. To help young people make the transition from high school to college we also hope to expand the investment options available through our MOST college savings program that has been a huge success since its creation. We want to make Missouri’s system of education one of the finest in the nation and this session will give us the opportunity to take some steps in a positive direction.

These are just a few of the things we will talk about in 2012. The list is certain to grow in the coming days and weeks. As always, I will do my best to keep you updated as the session progresses.

I look forward to hearing from you, and if you will be in Jefferson City, please stop by my office. The legislative session begins January 4, 2012. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my office. Best wishes.

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