We are at a point in the evolution of our country and community that we will not survive in a world that is for you or me. Whether we talk about the environment, healthcare, education, or jobs, we need a world that works for you and me. For democracy to work, our communities must be successful. For communities to work we need people to talk to each other, instead of yelling at each other. We need leaders to bring people together so all voices can be heard and valued. We need policies that invest and empower people in Missouri to make our state the best it can be. I am committed, and have shown through my actions, that Missouri needs to invest in our communities, to ensure that they have what they need for you and me to be successful.
For more than a decade, Missouri Republicans have blocked Medicaid Expansion. Even after the passage of Medicaid Expansion in August 2020, the Republican-controlled legislature has attempted to sabotage expansion at every turn. We need elected officials who have committed to protect the will of the voters and ensure a swift and efficient roll-out Medicaid expansion program.
When I knock on doors and talk to voters in my neighborhood, access to affordable and quality health care - medical, dental, and behavioral health - is consistently a top concern. If elected, I will continue the work to hold colleagues accountable to the will of the voters and expand Medicaid coverage for our friends and neighbors.
Our children have lost the most during the pandemic. Especially in education; so many of our children have fallen behind in their school work and have missed critical social interactions with their classmates. Our teachers have been amazing - transitioning to and from virtual learning, welcoming students back to class under challenging circumstances, and now with the Missouri Legislature attempting to micro manage their classrooms.
Every Missouri child should have access to free, quality, public education. For too long we have quarreled about where tax dollars should go for education. As a state we are 49th in the nation for education funding. It is clear that our state needs to do more to educate and support our children. We must prioritize and strengthen our public schools and fund our commitment to our kids. We must support our teachers and school administrations so they know we have their back as the work to have each child be successful.
For too many years Missouri has been last in the nation for economic growth. We are too busy hoping trickle down economy works, even though it never has. Over the last decade Missouri has cut taxes for corporations in the hope it will create jobs in the state, yet our gains hardly make up for our losses. Geographically, Missouri sits in the middle of this nation – our interstate highways and rivers that should place us at the center of commerce - yet we languish with empty store fronts and factories.
It is time to invest in Missourians and create opportunities for success. Governor Parson requesting $15/hr. minimal wage for our front line workers is a good start. We can build on this first good step.
The pandemic has demonstrated the inequity of access to broadband, both in urban and rural Missouri. Expanding broadband to all our communities would be great first step.
The effects of climate change are highlighted on our nightly news every day. Floods and droughts, temperature highs and lows - in the same week – tornadoes and fires across our state and nation, are happening at an unprecedented pace. The current legislature has fought to prevent clean energy from being transported across our state. Missouri needs leadership to invest in reducing the effects from climate change for the future of our children.
I believe in the saying “show me your budget, and I’ll show you your values.” Our state’s budget serves as a moral contract with our citizens. Every year, it is up to the state government to allocate the tax dollars you pay to maintain and improve our quality of living.
But while our schools are underfunded, our healthcare costs are on the rise while our taxes increase, and we’re borrowing money to pay for our crumbling roads and bridges, corporations in Missouri are receiving tax cuts and incentive packages.
We simply should not be handing out money to corporations hoping that prosperity will trickle down. As your state rep, I will be a careful steward of your tax dollars in Jefferson City.
I believe you and your family are the economic drivers of our state. Our budget should reflect that by investing in the things that will improve you and your family’s life, rather than lining the pockets of big businesses.
We have to work together to reduce the gun violence in our schools, on our streets and in our homes. Closing the gun show and domestic violence loopholes would be a good start.