Missouri 31 Senatorial District
The 97th General Assembly of the Missouri Senate began on Wednesday, Jan. 9. I was honored to be sworn in to serve the 31st Senatorial District for the next four years, and was pleased to have a number of constituents and friends travel to Jefferson City to witness the ceremony and offer words of congratulations and encouragement.
The following day (Thursday, Jan. 10), committee assignments were announced. I will serve as vice chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence. I will also serve on three other committees: Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy, and the Environment; Education; and Ways and Means.
When I look around the Missouri Senate chamber, two quotations are prominent: "Nothing is politically right that is morally wrong," and "Free and fair discussion will ever be found the firmest friend to truth." My sense during the campaigns of 2012 was that there is great frustration over the perceived impotence of both these declarations within the halls of government. Government is neither moral nor immoral; it is power. The precepts and personalities of government, however, will be either moral or immoral, and it is free and fair discussion that exposes them for what they are and offers to the people some measure of protection from bad government.
Our great nation was "... conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." The exceptionalism of America and of any state is a product of two principles -- individual liberty and economic freedom. Nevertheless, liberty does not defend itself, and it must be the primary theme of every election; if it is not, that election is just negotiating the terms of liberty's surrender. It is our job as elected officials to fulfill our oath to the Missouri Constitution with our votes and our voices.
Thank you for allowing me to serve in such a vital role in shaping the future of our state. In 2013, please pray for elected officials and for the legislative session. There are other ways to stay involved in Missouri's prosperity and success, but none exceeds that of your fervent prayers. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, "I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth -- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?"
I will continue to write weekly reports on the scope and sequence of the 2013 legislative session. If you would like to receive those reports via e-mail, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and simply enter "Capitol Report" as the title. We will be happy to add you to our e-mail distribution list.