On Wednesday, Jan. 8, state lawmakers will gather in Jefferson City for the official start of the Second Regular Session of the 100th General Assembly. As with every other year of our citizen Legislature, this session will run through the middle of May. In these four and a half months, your elected officials will discuss and debate new bills and resolutions. Though lawmakers might disagree on particular policies, all of us arrive in the Capitol with the aim of making our state a better place to live, work and raise a family. As always, I look forward to the new session and the opportunity to tackle the challenges facing our state.
I invite everyone to engage in this process. The two chambers of the Missouri General Assembly, the House of Representatives and the Senate, have public galleries from which citizens can observe the making and debating of new state laws. Additionally, each chamber holds committee hearings that are open to the public. These panels represent subsets of legislators tasked with examining bills on a certain topic. For example, I serve as chairman of the Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee. This group helps create the state’s operating budget for each fiscal year.
The House and Senate websites, house.mo.gov and senate.mo.gov, are excellent resources for keeping track of legislation and other events happening in the Missouri General Assembly. From these sites, you can also listen to live audio of floor action in both chambers. You can also check the schedules of any committees you might be interested in. Many state representatives and senators post their press releases and legislative columns to these sites. All in all, it is a great way to stay informed on some of our state’s most important issues.
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 email@example.com and my mailing address is Room 332, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.
Dan Hegeman is the 12th District State Senator.