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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: 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: 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: 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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Capitol Report: Missouri Needs a New Path

by State Sen. Brad Lager

Thomas Jefferson, one of our most famous founding fathers, once said, “My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.”

Last week, as Governor Jay Nixon delivered the 2014 State of the State Address to the Missouri General Assembly, that statement came to mind on several occasions. The good news is that state government revenues are growing, but the

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Capitol Report: Ensuring a Foundation for Better Government

by State Sen. Brad Lager

Although we are in the early weeks of the 2014 legislative session, the main issues for the Missouri Senate are starting to take shape. I am happy to report that one of the Senate’s top priorities will be ethics reform.

During my time in Jefferson City, I have witnessed many good people take the oath of office. I have also watched them change over time.

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Capitol Report: The 2014 Legislative Session Opens

by State Sen. Brad Lager

Last week, we convened the Second Regular Session of the 97th General Assembly. This will mark my final year in the State Senate and will bring to a close my 12 years of public service. But, before I go, I am going to try and fix some of the broken processes that continue to plaque our public policy process.

While we often talk about big

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