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Senate leaders address prominent issues for upcoming session: Economic development issues top list

Wednesday was a day for speeches and press conferences by leaders of the Missouri House and Senate as the General Assembly opened its 2016 session.

Here’s a press release from the Senate’s Republican caucus, headed up by Senate leader Sen. Ron Richard (R-Joplin) and Floor Leader Sen. Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City). Associated Industries of Missouri is encouraged by Senators Kehoe and Richard’s stances that addressing the state’s anti-business legal environment and transportation funding will be two important issues during this legislative session. We whole-heartedly agree that attention needs to be focused on those areas in order to move the state’s economy forward.

JEFFERSON CITY— Fostering a stronger, more resilient economy and addressing the state’s antibusiness legal environment will be top issues for this year’s legislative session Senate Leader Ron Richard (R-Joplin) and Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City) announced today. The Senate leaders said they want to pass legislation that will create jobs across all industries and build stronger communities in the state.

Sen. Richard said his main priorities this first session as President Pro Tempore are the priorities of the Senate as a whole. He said he is looking forward to working efficiently and effectively these last three years in the Senate and doing something no one else has done.

“As Senate leader, my first step is going to make sure all pre-filed bills are referred to committee by next Thursday,” said Richard. “We are going to be giving more emphases on senators’ district priorities and make sure caucus issues are on the floor early for open and fair debate.”

Sen. Richard said he is going to continue the discussion on funding transportation which will continue to be a pressing statewide issue.

“The question about our transportation system is, how will we continue to fund it? We have an asset that needs to be supported and improved. Our communities deserve to have safe, secure, and reliable roads. We have a couple of plans pre-filed. Together we have a discussion, and we will work on a plan that works and is right for Missouri,” said Richard.

Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City) said ethics also continues to be a topic of discussion around the Capitol.

“As Chairman of the Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions, and Ethics committee, I am committed to making progress on ethics reform, but it might take us passing a couple of smaller bills rather than one large all-inclusive bill,” said Kehoe. “We have such a remarkable sense of tradition in this building, and I have every intention of keeping that tradition alive.”

Both Sens. Richard and Kehoe said they expect constructive coordination with the House this session.

“I have an excellent relationship with the Speaker. We are here to conduct business, and I expect us to work well together. I will do my best to keep the integrity of this body intact, and I will also keep an open mind to make sure any policy we pass has the good will of the state of Missouri in mind,” said Richard. “No one understands the traditions in the House and Senate better or is more compassionate and serious about them than me.”

The Second Regular Session of the 98th General Assembly will run through May 13.  To learn more, visit www.senate.mo.gov.

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