Go to almost any New Year’s Eve party and two characters are sure to show up. One is an old man, sporting a long beard and wearing a robe. The other is a newborn babe, dressed in a diaper and a sash emblazoned with the number of the year to come.
New Year’s is a time to look back on the past and welcome the future with hope and optimism. Father Time is the year we leave behind. Baby New Year is the one that lies ahead.
One can only imagine the conversation these two will have while waiting for party-goers to sing “Auld Lang Syne.” We don’t have a New Year’s Eve celebration at the Missouri State Capitol, but if we did, what would these two party guests have to say?
If he’s honest, the Capitol’s Father Time would say 2018 was an “interesting” year. There was rancor and disagreement but, taken as a whole, 2018 was pretty good. During the past year, lawmakers saw 61 bills become law. We hope that some of these new laws will make the lives of Missourians a bit better in 2019.
Looking back at the legislation I sponsored or helped pass in 2018, I’m satisfied that many of these bills will ease some of the burdens placed on our citizens. One bill cleared the way for more high-speed Internet access in rural areas. Another made it easier for local schools to borrow money from banks in their own communities. Local sheriffs may see a pay raise due to legislation that gave county commissions more authority to set wages. Other bills brought positive changes – some subtle, others significant – to farmers, nurses, children in foster care and a host of other everyday Missourians.
What can New Year Baby 2019 expect in the State Capitol?
Truthfully, it’s anyone’s guess. The legislative session begins with a fresh slate on Jan. 9. It’s all new, and anything is possible.
If we do our jobs well, we’ll spend our days working to grow Missouri’s economy, create jobs and bring economic stability to all our citizens. We all want the best education for our children, affordable health care, a clean environment and safety in our neighborhoods. We want to showcase and encourage the best our state has to offer while addressing issues that keep us from achieving our potential.
If legislators resolve to focus on these things in 2019, we’ll have another good year.
I hope the same for you and your family. My wish is that you will enjoy the blessings of health, happiness and prosperity in the coming year. As Father Time passes his hourglass to Baby New Year 2019, we greet the coming days with confidence and optimism. Let us look back with forgiveness and mercy, knowing that we will move forward to even better days ahead.
As always, I appreciate it when groups from around Missouri and from our community back home come to visit me at the Capitol. If you would like to arrange a time to come and visit me in Jefferson City, or if you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact my Capitol office at (573) 751-1882.