The Missouri General Assembly will convene next year on the first Wednesday after the first Monday in January following the General Election — a Constitutional way of saying January 7, 2009. Nearly three hundred men and women from throughout the state will settle in Jefferson City as senators and representatives to propose, discuss, and adopt (or not) a range of bills, some which will have a profound effect on the City of St. Louis.
Making laws is less like ordering a pizza and more like making a meatloaf from whatever happens to be in refrigerator. And passing almost anything important involves compromising on something else. Success more often comes from being pragmatic than being partisan.
Over past month, I have been working with my staff, with other elected officials, and with our lobbyists to identify strategies to pass some good laws for the issues at the top of the City’s legislative agenda.
These issues include:New authority for the mayor of St. Louis to charter schoolsGreater flexibility for local assessors to be accurate when home prices are fallingEmphasis on the urban core in Governor Jay Nixon’s jobs creation planRetention of the state tax credit programs that stimulate economic developmentMore tools for economic development in distressed areasGreater funding for programs that help prisoners who have completed their sentences to reenter society as productive citizensLocal control of the City’s police departmentState funding for a useful, safe, and reliable public transportation systemSupport for daily newspapersChange in election laws to allow early voting