The Federal Government is considering additional downsizing at its military bases across the United States. One state lawmaker wants to create a paid position for someone to campaign for Missouri’s military bases in Washington D.C.
State Representative Charlie Davis has filed legislation that sets up an office for a military advocate to travel to the Pentagon to work with the Army on behalf of Missouri.
“We need to have somebody that is boots on the ground, that can give the elected officials, as well as everybody else, the information needed to fight for the bases that we have in Missouri,” said Davis.
Missouri’s top elected officials recently voiced their concerns against proposed cuts at the Fort Leonard Wood Army base in Waynesville. The Army is planning to cut up to 5,400 military and civilian jobs there by 2020. Davis said Waynesville has bonding issues in which three new schools were built to accommodate the military base and the cuts would have a serious economic impact on the community.
“You’re talking about 60-percent of the Waynesville school district children will be pulled up and leave,” said Davis. “That is going to decimate that school district, and if we could have been stepping up to the plate earlier, maybe make some changes earlier, maybe those numbers would not be so drastic.”
The position holder would be appointed by the Governor and subject to Senate confirmation. Davis proposes paying the individual around $80-thousand a year because the job would require a lot of travel and the high pay incentive would get qualified candidates to apply. Davis said it would be a non-partisan position.
“We want to make sure that this person that is appointed to this position is unbiased as far as political party goes,” said Davis. “We want to make that they are doing specifically the job of advocating for our military and our military bases.”
Davis will present the bill before a House committee Wednesday.