The Capitol Report | 11/19/15

Business Creation & Syrian Refugees
Missouri received good news recently as newly released national data showed that the state led the nation in new business creation in 2013. The U.S. Census Bureau released data that shows Missouri saw 1,293 new businesses created that year, which represents an increase of more than 16 percent from 2012. In contrast, 39 states saw a decrease in new business creation during that same period of time, and the states that did see increases were greatly outpaced by Missouri. In fact, Missouri’s growth outpaced the other ten states combined. Missouri is a fantastic state with a wealth of resources; therefore, I am confident we can continue to build on this great success.

In other news, Syrian refugees have capitalized headlines recently. As the world reacted with heartbreak to the tragic attacks in Paris, the focus in the United States quickly turned to the president’s plan to allow an influx of Syrian refugees. Almost immediately the governors from more than half the states around the country expressed their concerns and opted not to participate in the federal government’s resettlement efforts.

In Missouri, however, Governor Nixon did not opt to have Missouri join the long list of states in opposition to the plan. I, along with several of my fellow colleagues, submitted letters to the governor calling on him to take swift action to reject the president’s plan until all refugees can be thoroughly vetted.

In my letter, I informed Gov. Nixon that, “Prudence dictates that caution must be foremost on our minds. Rushing into an endeavor such as this immensely increases the opportunity for bad actors to gain a foothold they would not otherwise get. The federal government’s inability to guarantee the vetting process is reason enough to deny them entry to Missouri. Our embassy in Damascus has been closed for almost four years. Our intelligence organizations have failed to fulfill their primary mission in the region. We have no idea who these refugees are or if their intentions are noble.”

I also asked Gov. Nixon, “Are you willing to bet the lives of your family, friends, and neighbors on an attempt to clean up a mess for which the federal government is responsible? I’m not, and neither are the residents of the 120th District.”

The outcry also culminated in a letter, which I co-signed, from House Speaker Todd Richardson, urging Gov. Nixon you to take swift action to ensure the safety and well-being of all Missouri citizens.

Finally, as your family celebrates the Thanksgiving holiday, I hope you can take a moment to appreciate how truly blessed we are to live in the greatest nation in the world. On this Thanksgiving, I hope you will not only give thanks for your own blessings, but also keep in your thoughts and prayers all those who are far less fortunate. Whether they are families living in fear in countries torn apart by war and terrorism, or American citizens right here at home who have fallen on hard times, we have men, women, and children all around us who need our help and support. Thanksgiving should be a time to remind us that we can and should do more to make a positive impact on the world around us.

You may read more about what is happening at your Capitol below.

As always, I will work diligently and tirelessly for you as your State Representative.

-Jason

 

Business Creation
Missouri received good news recently as newly released national data showed that the state led the nation in new business creation in 2013. The U.S. Census Bureau released data that shows Missouri saw 1,293 new businesses created that year, which represents an increase of more than 16 percent from 2012. In contrast, 39 states saw a decrease in new business creation during that same period of time, and the states that did see increases were greatly outpaced by Missouri. In fact, Missouri’s growth outpaced the other ten states combined. Missouri is a fantastic state with a wealth of resources; therefore, I am confident we can continue to build on this great success.

Syrian Refugees
As the world reacted with heartbreak to the tragic attacks in Paris, the focus in the United States quickly turned to the president’s plan to allow an influx of Syrian refugees. Almost immediately the governors from more than half the states around the country expressed their concerns and opted not to participate in the federal government’s resettlement efforts.

In Missouri, however, Governor Nixon did not opt to have Missouri join the long list of states in opposition to the plan. His decision immediately drew criticism from the majority of the state’s elected officials. I, along with several of my fellow colleagues, submitted letters to the governor calling on him to take swift action to reject the president’s plan until all refugees can be thoroughly vetted.

In my letter, I informed Gov. Nixon that, “Prudence dictates that caution must be foremost on our minds. Rushing into an endeavor such as this immensely increases the opportunity for bad actors to gain a foothold they would not otherwise get. The federal government’s inability to guarantee the vetting process is reason enough to deny them entry to Missouri. Our embassy in Damascus has been closed for almost four years. Our intelligence organizations have failed to fulfill their primary mission in the region. We have no idea who these refugees are or if their intentions are noble.”

I also asked Gov. Nixon, “Are you willing to bet the lives of your family, friends, and neighbors on an attempt to clean up a mess for which the federal government is responsible? I’m not, and neither are the residents of the 120th District.”

The outcry also culminated in a letter, which I co-signed, from House Speaker Todd Richardson, who wrote, “In the wake of the tragic terrorist attacks that took place in Paris and with the continued threat of similar attacks here in the United States, I urge you to take swift action to ensure the safety and well-being of all Missouri citizens. During these difficult times, the state needs you to serve as a strong leader in working with the federal government to ensure a thorough screening process is in place before any refugees are allowed to relocate to this country, and specifically to our state.”

Richardson also emphasized the fact that, “Throughout its history, America has provided refuge to the tired, the poor and the huddled masses yearning to breathe free, and it is imperative that our doors remain open to those who come to our nation with good intent, while at the same time turning away those who would do us harm.”

In addition to the strong criticism of the governor’s lack of a stance on the issue, several members also proposed calling the legislature into a special session to pass legislation to clarify the state’s position. However, the legislature calling itself into special session is a rare and difficult process as it requires approval from three-quarters of the membership of both the House and Senate.

Giving Thanks for All We Have
As your family celebrates the Thanksgiving holiday, I hope you can take a moment to appreciate how truly blessed we are to live in the greatest nation in the world. It’s a land built on the principles of freedom, democracy, opportunity, and equality. It’s a country where we can achieve our dreams and raise our families while having peace of mind that we will remain safe and secure. And, it’s a nation that stands as a shining beacon of hope in a world that is too often plagued by chaos and violence.

That was never more apparent than a few days ago when the cowardly actions of terrorists took the lives of at least 129 people, and sent ripples of fear throughout the world. As a nation, we were reminded that we have much to be thankful for as our own security efforts have thwarted numerous terrorist attempts in the wake of 9/11. At the same time our hearts went out to all those who were so tragically impacted by these despicable acts of cowardice, and our country immediately offered its assistance to all those in need.

On this Thanksgiving, I hope you will not only give thanks for your own blessings, but also keep in your thoughts and prayers all those who are far less fortunate. Whether they are families living in fear in countries torn apart by war and terrorism, or American citizens right here at home who have fallen on hard times, we have men, women, and children all around us who need our help and support. Thanksgiving should be a time to remind us that we can and should do more to make a positive impact on the world around us.

District Visits
12241066_1177916732222712_4411544338937671591_oI had the privilege to attend multiple ceremonies honoring our veterans last week. I started in St. James at the high school and then the Crawford County Courthouse in Steelville. The Sergeant of the Year from Ft. Leonard Wood gave a great speech at the Cuba High School. I finished the day in Rolla, where the US Naval Academy Gospel Choir had an outstanding performance. Thank you to all who worked to make the events a success. And, of course, a big thank you to my fellow veterans out there, without whom we wouldn’t be able to be who we want to be and do what we want to do.

12189482_1176887975658921_2561013340657252887_oI also recently presented a resolution to Tacony Manufacturing in St. James recognizing their Made in Missouri Leadership Award from the Missouri Association of Manufacturers. Congratulations on a job well done!

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