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Capitol Report: Quality teachers produce quality results

by State Sen. Brad Lager

Over the final six weeks of the 2012 legislative session, we will be focusing a majority of our time on public policy that will help facilitate the greatest number of economic opportunities for the greatest number of Missourians. Although there are a number of important public policy changes necessary to help improve our state’s long-term economic outlook, few are more important than ensuring that we

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Capitol Report: Preparing students for a lifetime of learning

by State Sen. Brad Lager

A quality education is the foundation to increasing the quality of life of Missouri’s citizens, and a strong educational system is imperative for creating a dynamic and vibrant economy. Elected officials on both sides of the isle agree that in order to attract and retain great job opportunities for the greatest number of Missourians, we must have high-performing educational institutions that are successful in producing

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Capitol Report: Prioritizing our expenditures

by State Sen. Brad Lager

Crafting the state budget is the most important thing we do each session. Over the last several decades, there have been hundreds of programs created that now take vital resources away from our schools, roads, public safety, and our most vulnerable citizens. This year, we are facing an approximate $400 million shortfall which is forcing us to look at every program and make a decision

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Capitol Report: 2012 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 2012 legislative session. We began this session on a mission to rebuild our state’s financial foundation, improve our business climate for job creation, protect our children’s education, and fund the recovery efforts in the wake of devastating natural disasters.

Reviving our struggling economy has been the top

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Capitol Report: Bringing accountability to our classrooms

by State Sen. Brad Lager

There is no single act that guarantees a quality education; however as a society that desires growth and prosperity, we have not only the desire but also the responsibility to prepare Missouri’s children for the future.

Employers want and need a reliable workforce that has the skills necessary to get the job done. From manufacturing to technology to the bio-sciences, our workforce must have the

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Capitol Report: Working to regulate the regulations

by State Sen. Brad Lager

Missouri’s economy has struggled as our state has led the nation in job losses. The only way to successfully overcome this situation is by creating a sustainable path of economic growth through private sector job creation. However, one of the greatest obstacles to private sector economic growth has become the ever increasing number of rules, regulations, and mandates being forced upon Missouri’s businesses.

As a

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Capitol Report: Balancing our branches of government

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 emerge as decisions handed down by our state courts have began rewriting Missouri’s public policy.

While

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Capitol Report: Transforming government

by State Sen. Brad Lager

Several years ago, a comprehensive study was conducted to analyze how the duration of a legislative session impacts the legislation that was passed.

As one might expect, the longer a state legislature was in session, the more laws that were passed and the greater the probability of higher taxes. Basically, the additional time at the Capitol meant legislators were spending less time in the real

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Capitol Report: Northwest Missouri invades Jefferson City

by State Sen. Brad Lager

One of my favorite weeks each legislative session is the week in which more than 300 community leaders from our region of the state travel to Jefferson City for Great Northwest Days at the Capitol.

They are not lobbyists or well-funded special interest groups seeking to obtain preferential treatment, but instead, a well-organized group of business owners, educators, farmers, local elected officials, and others who

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