Missouri Constitution, Article III, Section 20. The general assembly shall meet on the first Wednesday after the first Monday in January following each general election.
Wednesday, January 7, 2015 the members of the 98th General Assembly will gather at noon and take their oath of office. Some will take those oaths seriously and try to limit government!
As is usually the case, many bills have already been filed and many more are to come. Special interest groups (rent seekers) seeking more hard earned tax dollars will be roaming the halls of the state capitol. Many patriots will also be roaming the hall keeping a watchful eye on those proceedings and ensuring that legislators hear from the taxpayers and not just the rent seekers.
United for Missouri will be there as well. Our members, well over 76,000 statewide, stand for limited government at all levels. We will be in the halls of the capitol making sure those voices are heard and assisting the aforementioned patriots in anyway we can to be as effective as possible.
As the session unfolds, we will be providing details of what is happening and offering opportunities for you to get engaged by contacting your elected officials. We average over 30,000 emails a year to legislators from our members. Those emails play a role in helping shape the outcome of various issues.
Every session we begin with some priorities that UFM will be pursuing. We will also be assisting other groups with some of their priorities as well. By working together, we make a much stronger team and have a better chance of positively affecting outcomes. Here are the priorities UFM will be pursuing this year.
- Stop Medicaid expansion.
- The expansion of Medicaid is a proven failure in improving health care outcomes but does do a good job in redistributing wealth. This often takes the form of taxing middle class families via higher insurance premiums and unaffordable deductibles.
- Adding more people to a broken system is a sure fire guarantee of failure. The legislature should first concentrate on reforming and fixing the current taxpayer provided health care system before even considering expanding it.
- Taxpayer funded lobbying.
- Missourians are paying taxes to the federal, state and local governments and then having some of those taxes used to lobby against them.
- State law prohibits political subdivisions from actively supporting candidates or ballot issues. The ballot issue prohibition is often times abused and the language needs to be greatly tightened.
- The legislature should rein in the abuse of taxpayer funds allowing political subdivisions to use taxpayer provided funds and resources to lobby or campaign against issues. Educating legislators is one thing. Lobbying them is another and should be prohibited.
- State energy plan.
- The state is developing and energy plan which in and of itself is not a bad thing. Where it can go bad is if it supports expanding green energy mandates, implementation of state building codes and unnecessary, job killing EPA mandates.
- UFM is actively involved and participating in the development of the state energy plan through various work groups. We are ensuring that the real-world impacts of government mandates are taken into consideration.
- MoDOT Funding.
- Missouri needs a solution to our transportation funding that does not include tax increases for Missourians. The failure of Amendment 7 in November sent that message loud and clear.
- Governor Nixon and MoDOT have proposed a shotgun toll approach that would raise more money by increasing the cost to Missourians for traveling.
- There is a way to improve Missouri roads, expand I-70 and reduce the impact to Missouri taxpayers.
- UFM is assisting another group who has an alternate proposal that is well thought out and will work for Missouri.
Often times other issues will arise that may replace or lower our original priorities such as the DOR issue a couple of years ago. We will always be active in making sure Missourians are kept informed and educated on those pressing issues.