If we were having coffee on this January 14, I would tell you about my first couple weeks of session. It has been an exciting couple of weeks!
I got sworn in as Representative on January 4. My family came up for the swearing in, and they were excited to see the Capitol. What an exciting day!
There was something else exciting that happened on January 4: I filed my first bill! This bill, HB 396, will make sure that victims of sexual assault will have their expenses paid by the Crime Victims Compensation Fund. I have asked that it be assigned to the committee for crime and public safety.
Last weekend I went to the Forward Together in Action meeting. It was great to have a group of like-minded people who want to both oppose Trump and to make Missouri a better place. They are gearing up for next weekend’s Women’s March, and also working on recruiting and training people to run for office and on rural outreach, among other topics.
On Monday, Governor Eric Greitens was sworn in. There was quite a bit of celebration in the Capitol, and a ball in the evening. I enjoyed visiting with constituents and volunteers who came, and it was fun to see everyone in their ball gowns!
I have been assigned to three committees: Rules — administrative; Fiscal Review, and the Special Committee on Technology and Innovation. The Rules and Fiscal Review committees generally don’t hear testimony; instead, they review bills that have passed through the regular committees. The Rules committee reviews a bill for floor debate, and the Fiscal Review committee reviews the cost of different bills.
We started debating on the Floor this week. On Thursday we debated the House rules and a lobbyist gift ban. You can listen to the two-hour audio. (If you do, skip the first 15 minutes of introductions and formalities.) The Democrats offered amendments to the House rules, including a smoking ban in members’ offices and a delay between when a committee hears testimony and when they can vote on the bill, as well as bills to improve Ethics in the House. All these amendments were rejected by the majority party. The lobbyist gift ban went through and will have one more vote before it goes to the Senate.
One of the highlights of my week was to get a group of Representatives who are parents of young children together. We had Republicans and Democrats meet together, and we hope to continue to have bipartisan meetings through this session.
I see you have finished your coffee. I would love to hear your ideas for changes that need to happen. Stay safe and warm in this icy weather!