Republicans in the state senate are meeting this week to set their priorities for the 2013 legislative session. They have some BIG issues.

“We need big solutions,” says incoming Senate leader Tom Dempsey of St. Peters, “and BIG is an acronym for the policies that we are going to dedicate ourselves to over the next two years.” 

BIG as in “BUILD infrastructure, INVEST in education, and GROW the economy.”

Dempsey says Missouri faces challenges and many families are facing uncertainty.  He says the state should want to lead in employment, personal income growth, and in gross domestic product. He says his Republican caucus will be working on what should come first.

AUDIO: Dempsey :13

The phrase “functional senate” is something of a buzzword for incoming senate leaders who have watched a senate that deadlocked on several major issues in the last two years, usually because of disagreements among Republican members. 

Some members already are talking about tax cuts  and tax credit reform, among other issues. Dempsey thinks the Republican jobs program can draw support from Democrats.

Democrat leaders also are talking about willing bipartisanship. We’re almost two months away from the start of the session.