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Capitol Report: Tax Day 2014

by State Sen. Brad Lager

April 15th marks the day when the overwhelming majority of taxpaying Americans are required to have their taxes paid. This year, tax freedom day (the day when the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay its total tax bill) comes three days later than 2013 and will be April 21st. So, every penny earned in this great nation since January 1 through

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No Bull: EPA Aggression Threatens Livestock Producers

by Congressman Sam Graves

Editor’s Note: This article was written on April 10 for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association weekly newsletter. On Saturday, a guest column was published for the St. Joseph News-Press by the Administrator for EPA Region 7, who repeats the egregious claim that the EPA is merely trying to be helpful to farmers.

In North Missouri, many people are farmers, ranchers, and livestock producers. Here, people rely

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Capitol Report: The Need for a New Tax Code

by State Sen. Brad Lager

The strength of a state’s economy hinges on whether or not businesses want to come to that state, create jobs there and grow there. Therefore, a state’s business climate directly impacts the future opportunities its citizens will or will not have. This means that elected officials who truly care about long term economic growth must take the steps necessary to create a business climate that

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Capitol Report: Invest in Future by Supporting Teachers

by Congressman Sam Graves

Growing up as a student who passed through Tarkio schools, of course I didn’t realize it at the time, but educating the young is a passion that called many to go the extra mile for me and my future.

Many different factors play a role in securing a quality education for all of Missouri’s students. To this end, one of the most important contributors is our

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Capitol Report: Funding Higher Education

by State Sen. Brad Lager

Missouri’s post-secondary education system plays a critical role in our state’s economy. The degrees, courses, and programs offered throughout Missouri’s universities, colleges and technical schools enhance our workforce, bolster economic development, and allow us to compete in an ever-changing world. Therefore, as we look to the future, it is imperative that we have a top tier post-secondary education system in Missouri that is affordable and

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Capitol Report: Common Sense Spending in Our Schools

by State Sen. Brad Lager

There is no single act that guarantees a quality education; and while I do not believe that greater funding automatically translates into a better education, I do believe there is a basic cost associated with securing quality teachers, keeping the buses running, and operating a quality school.  In a world of limited resources, we must look for every opportunity to spend our educational dollars wisely.

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Capitol Report: Mid-Session Review

by State Sen. Brad Lager

This coming week, the Missouri General Assembly will be on spring break thereby signifying the midpoint of the 2014 legislative session.  We began this session on a mission to strengthen our state’s financial foundation, improve our business climate for job creation, and address many of the issues hindering our children’s education.

To create a dynamic and robust marketplace, we must create a climate in which

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Capitol Report: The Importance of Early Childhood Education

by State Sen. Brad Lager

Every year, numerous bills are filed aimed at improving the educational opportunities for Missouri’s school children. This year is no different, however due to the significant issues surrounding unaccredited school districts; the transfer law has been at the forefront of debate in the Missouri Senate. While this issue is currently the greatest in the urban areas of Missouri, this debate has started a broader conversation

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Capitol Report: The President’s Irresponsible Budget

by Congressman Sam Graves

A budget is a fiscal blueprint of the future. It is an outline of one’s priorities that tells you what an individual or group considers important, and also what they view as unimportant.

President Obama’s budget proposal for next year – which was delivered late once again, for the fifth time in six years – demonstrates that his priorities remain both higher taxes – to the

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