Lessons learned

By State Rep. Bruce Sassmann, Missouri’s 61st District
Posted 3/15/23

Last Wednesday we were debating the Open Enrollment education bill. My first vote was in opposition to HB253. It appeared members were lining up to speak for and against the bill. I left my desk for …

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Lessons learned


Last Wednesday we were debating the Open Enrollment education bill. My first vote was in opposition to HB253. It appeared members were lining up to speak for and against the bill. I left my desk for a second and got distracted by one of my constituents advocating for Right to Life. When called back to the chamber, I rushed in to vote, and literally at the last second, pushed the wrong button.

My vote did not change the outcome of the legislation but the error weighed heavy on my heart. The voting record does not reflect my intent. Even though HB253 passed the House, some believe it will not pass the Senate. If it does and comes back to the House with amendments, I will have one more chance to correct my mistake.

From now on I will stay glued to my seat. It was a painful lesson learned.

Speaker of the House Dean Plocher has fulfilled his promise to promote legislative proposals that would positively impact Missourians from all walks for life in all parts of the state. In the first half of our session we have sent over 30 House Bills to the Senate. Most bills are just good common sense bills that make Missouri a better place to live and work. We are always challenged to keep our legislation current, in an atmosphere of advancing science and technology trends.

One example is HB461 which establishes the Broadband Development Council to explore ways to expand access to broadband services; the potential for increased use of broadband for education, career readiness, workforce preparation, and alternative career training; ways to encourage state and municipal agencies to expand service to better serve the public through the use of streaming, voice over Internet protocol, teleconferencing, and wireless networking. There are millions of priority dollars being distributed in grant funds throughout the state.

Other legislation included growing the economy, workforce development, the encouragement of entrepreneurship, improving the opportunity for better healthcare, public safety, protecting the constitution, tax relief, and ensuring ballot transparency. An example is HB490 which reflects changes to industrial development corporations. HB454 modifies the offense of enticement of a child. HB585 makes modifications to credit card laws. HB677 adds responsibility to the Office of Child Advocate. HB827 modifies calculations for virtual students. HB402 modifies the definition of rural emergency hospitals. HB202 improves the Industrial Hemp Regulatory Program. HB70 adds certain school personnel to act as school protection officers. HB133 creates and Entertainment Industry Jobs Act. HJR37 is a constitution consideration regarding the appropriation of the State Road Fund. HB903 and others protect Missouri farmlands from foreign ownership. HB415 simplifies the collection of Vehicle Sales Tax. HB713 attempts to provide property tax relief on vehicles. HB575 and others expands physical therapy and access to life saving exams. My favorite, HB268 establishes the Regulatory Sandbox Act. To view all bills or legislation go to house.mo.gov and click on Legislation. You can search by bill number and/or keywords.

The bills sent to the Senate are single issue bills unencumbered by the plethora of amendments we are likely to see at the end of session. Spring break began upon adjournment on Thursday, March 9. We will reconvene on Monday, March 20th. The last day of session is the second Friday of May.

On your next visit to the Capitol, you will likely find me glued to my seat in the chamber. Thanks to all who reach out by phone, 573-751-6668 or by email bruce.sassmann@house.mo.gov. Your comments are always welcome.