State senators have started their legislative session with a pep talk from their leader, Charlie Shields of St. Joseph, who say this is the session for tight budgeting, full funding for elementary and secondary education and an overhaul of the state government ethics laws.
Shields reflected on the convictions of three members of the legislature since the Missouri General Assembly finished its regular session last May, telling colleagues, it is time to put an end to “even the appearance of play to pay politics.’ He wants a ban on contributions from lobbyists during session. He also advocates creating an independent investigator within the stat ethics commission.
Shields acknowledges those are just his ideas. He says there are other ideas in other proposed legislation. He encouraged fellow lawmakers to consider those proposals as well and to introduce additional idea.
Shields say the biggest problem of the session will be passage of a balanced budget in hard economic times without increasing taxes/
This will be the last legislative session for Shields and nine other senators. Term limits will keep them from ever running again.
Hear Sen. Charlie Shields’ speech to open the session:
12:00 mp3 1chastalk4