Senator Mike Cunningham

Cunningham column week 17

With the start of a new year comes the start of a new legislative session. Being the first regular session of the 100th General Assembly, this session is sure to be historic for plenty of reasons. I am personally looking forward to returning to our state’s beautiful Capitol and continue working to make Missouri a better place to live, work and raise a family.

The first week of the new session is one of the busiest times of the year for the Missouri General Assembly. Session will officially begin on Jan. 9 at noon. That day, recently-elected senators will take the oath of office and be sworn in as Missouri senators. As I serve my last two years in the Missouri Senate, I not only look forward to seeing the returning friendly faces, but the new ones as well. It truly is a beautiful sight to see a peaceful transfer of power as new members are sworn in to serve this great state and uphold the values and beliefs we cherish. I believe we are truly blessed to live in a country that allows this to happen.

After new senators are sworn in, the real work begins. In the early days of the legislative session, pre-filed bills will be introduced on the Senate floor and then later assigned to related committees. These committees will be one of the first stops for bills in the legislative process. Bills will be heard in committee and ultimately vetted by members to ensure sound policies are making their way through the Missouri Senate. If approved by the committee, a bill will then head to the Senate floor for further debate and discussion. With over 200 bills pre-filed in the Senate this year alone, I am sure there will be plenty of work to be done in the first few days of the legislative session.

Rounding out the first legislative day’s events is the Legislative Ball. This time-honored tradition allows for members of the General Assembly to meet new and old colleagues, as well as their families and guests from across the state. In particular, the Grand March allows for members of the Legislature to be introduced and welcomed before guests and visitors. As part of tradition, the Legislative Ball officially begins with the speaker of the House and the Senate president pro tem and their significant others dancing to the Missouri Waltz, the state’s official song. While the music and the dancing may bring us together, it is truly the shared goal of creating a better state that unites us.

Again, I am excited to return to the State Capitol and continue to work for the citizens of the 33rd Senatorial District. I will do my best to keep you informed about the happenings of the Missouri General Assembly as session goes on.

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.