Senator Scott Sifton Speaks to MOPAN, Discusses Issues Facing Our Region

by Andrew Handel | Sep 14, 2016

The St. Louis Regional Chamber held a Missouri Public Affairs Network meeting on September 9th. Attendees heard from Missouri State Senator Scott Sifton (D-1st) on a variety of issues including transportation funding, education, and the past legislative session.

Senator Sifton stated that he believes some good work has been done during his time in legislature, but that “we haven’t done everything that we need to do” including Medicaid expansion, transportation funding, and education issues.

The Senator highlighted the importance of improving our transportation and infrastructure system as state funding has decreased over the years. The Senator said that “our home grown industries need to have every competitive advantage they can” and a well built and maintained infrastructure is very important to that. He highlighted the defeat of SJR 39 as an example of maintaining these competitive advantages, noting that we are in a global competition for talent and need to keep our home-grown workers here. The Senator also praised the passage of SB 5, which reforms the municipal court system and limits the amount of money that municipalities can collect from traffic violations. 

The biggest issue facing the Senators’ school districts is the Missouri school transfer law. He believes that this law was not intended to be implemented, and that any district that loses its accreditation status will be in danger of bankruptcy. He said that “we need to do what we can to lift unaccredited school districts to where they need to be” and noted that two bills on this issue were sent to the Governor, but both were vetoed. Senator Sifton also briefly discussed the challenges facing education funding in the state. 

The biggest issue facing the Senators’ school districts is the Missouri school transfer law. He believes that this law was not intended to be implemented, and that any district that loses its accreditation status will be in danger of bankruptcy. He said that “we need to do what we can to lift unaccredited school districts to where they need to be” and noted that two bills on this issue were sent to the Governor, but both were vetoed. Senator Sifton also briefly discussed the challenges facing education funding in the state. 

Senator Sifton speaking to MOPAN attendees
 Senator Sifton speaking to Missouri Public Affairs Network members