The St. Louis Regional Chamber hosted the Missouri Public Affairs Network meeting on Friday, June 9th where Sen. Caleb Rowden (R – District 19) and Rep. Shamed Dogan (R – District 98) discussed the highs and lows of the most recent session.
Rep. Dogan says legislators passed about half the number of bills compared to their usual volume; however, the bills that were passed have a big impact. Among the bills he discussed were SB 43, which modified definitions of unlawful discrimination; HB 130, which allows transportation network companies to operate under one set of regulations across the state; and legislation putting Missouri in compliance with the federal Real ID law.
Dogan also talked about bills that did not quite make it to the finish line, specifically his hair braiding bill and addressing the larger issues of occupational licensing. He also mentioned how nothing has been done to build community-police confidence, stop racial profiling, or reduce violent crime in the wake of Ferguson since the passing of SB 5.
Despite these setbacks, Dogan says “When in session, you don’t have to always go for the big home run - it’s the small 'wins' that really matter.”
Sen. Rowden continued the discussion by listing some personal wins, specifically tort and labor reforms. His views on economic growth, his support of education, and his role in creating a positive environment for Missouri’s small business as the chairman of the Missouri House Economic Development committee were discussed.
Looking forward, Rowden says Missouri's budget issues involving road maintenance need work. The state budget isn’t getting enough revenue to maintain roads and bridges, which could hinder travel through the state for new businesses. He says the state needs to focus on the 10 year solution rather than quick fixes and mentioned voters may see either tolls on I-70 or higher gas taxes on the ballot in the future.
|Rep. Shamed Dogan (left) and Sen. Caleb Rowden (right) recap the legislative session to the Missouri Public Affairs Network on Friday, June 9th at the St. Louis Regional Chamber. |