The 2018 legislative session signals my final session as a member of the Missouri General Assembly. When I was first elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 2002, I was part of a group of lawmakers who brought common-sense, conservative principals back to Missouri. As I reflect on my time in the State Capitol, I am proud of the legislation my fellow lawmakers and I have passed. I firmly believe our efforts positively impacted the lives of all Missourians. From day one in the State Capitol, my goal has been job creation. I firmly believe a good job empowers all Missourians to reach their full potential.

As the 2018 legislative session begins, job creation will once again be my main focus. I believe we can create more meaningful job opportunities through labor reform, tort reform and regulatory reform. In order to attract and keep quality, good-paying jobs, we must continue to work to make Missouri an attractive destination for businesses and job creators.

Through reforming Missouri’s labor laws, we can fundamentally change the way Missouri conducts business. Throughout the state, I have heard from countless Missourians on the importance of eliminating Missouri’s prevailing wage laws. These laws unnecessarily drive up the minimum wage rates of all public works construction projects and are often in excess of state and federal minimum wages. By eliminating Missouri’s prevailing wage laws, Missouri taxpayers can feel confident they are getting the most out of every tax dollar spent on public construction projects.

Reforming our state’s civil judicial system plays a vital role in attracting job creators to Missouri. Tort reform is critical to improving our state’s economic climate. Too often, Missouri businesses are treated unfairly in the courtroom and as a result, those experiences have forced businesses and job creators out of the state. We must do everything we can to create a better business climate; businesses should be spending their profits hiring new employees and improving their companies instead of wasting their resources fighting frivolous lawsuits.

Finally, I believe improving our state’s regulatory climate is critical to creating a better business climate. We must continue to work to make government smaller and more efficient. Through eliminating burdensome regulations, I believe our state will become more attractive in the eyes of job creators.

We certainly have a lot to do, but I am confident that by the end of this session, we will have passed legislation that is going to fundamentally change the way Missouri does business. As always, it continues to be a privilege serving the residents of the 32nd Senate District. I will continue to keep you updated on legislative news as session progresses.