Our state legislature’s continued refusal to adequately invest in our infrastructure needs makes renewing the Boone County road and bridge tax essential for the growth and vitality of our communities.
I fully support the Proposition 1 ballot measure to extend this half-cent sales tax for another 10 years. Maintaining our bridges and roadways isn’t a partisan issue — there isn’t a Republican or a Democratic way to pave a gravel road or repair a crumbling bridge.
But our General Assembly is failing to address mid-Missouri’s growing infrastructure needs. Instead, they’ve slashed state revenue by cutting taxes for corporations and the state’s richest citizens.
As State Representative for the 50th District, I will fight to reverse these budget-draining tax cuts and invest in infrastructure projects that keep mid-Missouri communities strong and vibrant.
Democratic special election nominee Michela Skelton announced today her first quarterly fundraising totals since entering the race for Missouri’s vacant 50th District House seat in mid-January. Her campaign raised just under $35,000 in 11 weeks, with 92 percent of the total coming from individual donors.
Skelton raised $34,974 from 544 donations with an average contribution of $64. Skelton significantly outperformed her Republican opponent, who had a sizable head start after forming a political committee in March 2016. Her opponent raised just over $15,000 in the first quarter after starting the year with nearly $9,000 in campaign receipts.
With Governor Greitens’ signature on SB 19 (Senate Bill 19), the so-called “Right to Work” bill, the war on Missouri workers hastens. The bill strips workers of the right to freely enter into collective bargaining contracts with their employers for better healthcare, better wages, and better opportunities. Families of the 50th District need more opportunities, not less.
For years, Caleb Jones and his allies have accepted corporate campaign donations to peddle the myth that “Right to Work” legislation would drive job growth. The facts tell a different story: Missouri had higher job growth than all “Right to Work” neighbor states in the last 12 months, adding more jobs than Kentucky, Nebraska, Iowa, and Arkansas combined while Kansas and Oklahoma lost nearly 20,000 total jobs. Even the owner of the shuttered warehouse in Springfield where Governor Greitens chose to sign the bill admitted to the Springfield News-Leader that his business went under because of offshore competition, not because of a failure to pass “Right to Work” legislation. Missouri workers need to be asking their elected representatives why they listen to corporations instead of the facts.
Rep. Rick Brattin’s proposed bill to abolish tenure for new hires at public universities is the latest attack on higher education in Missouri and another example of job-killing political overreach.
Eliminating tenure would cripple the ability of colleges and universities to hire and retain top-tier talent, which only hurts our students and their ability to compete in a global economy. Short-sighted legislation like this will only chase away much-needed investment and economic growth in the 50th District and throughout Missouri communities.
Employers and employees want and deserve access to high-quality education. Missouri would be the only state in the country to outlaw a long-accepted practice that helps ensure our future workers and leaders obtain the best education possible.
Rather than investing in Missouri’s future, this state’s Republican leadership is thrusting a budget shortfall caused by declining corporate tax revenues onto students and teachers across the educational spectrum, from debt-challenged college students to local K-12 school districts.
Along with $82 million in cuts to higher education, Gov. Greitens is slashing nearly $9 million from K-12 transportation funding. Our state will now cover less than 20 percent of transportation costs for local school districts, in what amounts to a hidden tax that will hit rural families hardest.