The leader of the state senate worries that state government has no vision…which is why he is setting up 20-20 committees.
Senate President pro-Tem Charlie Shields of St. Joseph kicked off the legislative session observing that state government is a 23-billion dollar corporation that plans no more than one year ahead. He’s decided the cure for that situation is three 2020 Committees made up of first-term Senators who will spend the rest of the year laying the groundwork for a long-term plan.
He wants committees to focus on healthcare, education, and job creation, setting goals for what the state should be doing a decade from now, in 2020. "You’re not going to take 700,000 uninsured Missourians and put them into coverage in one year. But it may be reasonable that by the year 2020 you’ll have that number significantly reduced. But it’s going to take increments and steps to get that way," he says, using healthcare as an example.
Shields says the 2020 committees also have to figure out how the state will raise the money to reach those goals. He hopes Missouri can become a top ten state in educational achievement and hopes the committees want that too. But he says they’ll have to figure out what it will take to reach that goal.
He’ll be gone from the legislature after next year but he hopes future Senate leaders keep the committees going and refresh their membership with newer Senators who can work throughout their eight-year careers to extend the planning beyond 2020.