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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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Capitol Report: Judicial Accountability

by State Sen. Brad Lager

At the cornerstone of our democracy lays the fundamental responsibility of our three branches of government. The legislative branch crafts public policy, the executive branch implements that policy, and the judicial branch ensures the constitutionality of those laws. Unfortunately, throughout the last decade, there has been an unsettling trend as the decisions handed down by our state courts are rewriting Missouri’s public policy.

While our

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Capitol Report: Reducing Burdensome Regulations

by Congressman Sam Graves

The House is pursuing measures designed to reform our federal regulatory system.  As part of “Stop Government Abuse Week,” we cast a number of votes this week to do just that.

Of note, we passed H.R. 2804, the ALERRT Act.  This legislation represents an important effort to bring common sense and transparency to an out-of-control regulatory process that is stifling growth, especially among small businesses.  I

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Capitol Report: The Importance of a Fair Judicial Branch

by State Sen. Brad Lager
In order for our democracy to be strong, we must foster a system in which everyone has an equal and fair opportunity in the court of law. When a citizen goes before a judge, they expect to have a fair opportunity to plead their case. They expect that judge to make a ruling based on the merits of the law and not personal relationships, friendships

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Capitol Report: Reforming Missouri’s Legal Climate

by State Sen. Brad Lager

When a company decides to relocate to a new state, that business will research a variety of factors before making its decision. While an educated workforce, a reliable transportation infrastructure, and robust technology availability are important, the three aspects that most determine a state’s business climate are taxation, regulation, and litigation.

As public servants, we have a responsibility to create a business climate that will

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Capitol Report: Restoring Balance to Missouri’s Legal Climate

by State Sen. Brad Lager

Elected officials often talk about creating jobs and growing the economy. Normally, their rhetoric revolves around using the state treasury to “incentivize” a business to do what they want. Those of us in the private sector understand that a real pro-business environment involves limited regulation, low taxation and fair litigation.

Businesses want to locate and grow in states that have a pro-business climate. In the

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Capitol Report: New Blood Brings New Opportunities

by State Sen. Brad Lager

In the early 1990s, Missouri’s voters approved a ballot measure that established term limits for members of Missouri’s General Assembly. Prior to this initiative, only Missouri’s Governor and Treasurer had limitations on the length of time they could serve. Therefore, it came as no surprise that there were many members in the legislature that had served for multiple decades.

These limitations were seen as a

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