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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Jason Smith’s Capitol Report for Jan. 11

  • This week in the Missouri House, I was honored to accept the nomination of my colleagues to become the next Speaker Pro Tem. It is the duty of the Speaker Pro Tem to preside over the chamber when the Speaker is absent, and also to make parliamentary rulings. The Speaker Pro Tem is also an ex-officio member of all of the committees of the House.
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  • This week in the Missouri House, I was honored to accept the nomination of my colleagues to become the next Speaker Pro Tem.  It is the duty of the Speaker Pro Tem to preside over the chamber when the Speaker is absent, and also to make parliamentary rulings. The Speaker Pro Tem is also an ex-officio member of all of the committees of the House.
    Along with this nomination came the opportunity to give a speech (you can watch the speech online here)[1] – and I didn’t want to waste my chance to point out some of the problems with what is coming down from Washington DC. Below, I’ve included some excerpts, and also some thoughts on our upcoming session:
    “Our federal government is out of touch with reality and threatening to re-define the basic relationship our founders envisioned between a people and its government.”
    I chose to send this message on Opening Day of the 2013 legislative session because I am passionate about defending the rights of people and the sovereignty of our state. For too long our state government has sat idly by while the federal government imposes its will on our daily lives.
    We’ve seen examples with Obamacare and the proposed Medicaid expansion. The federal government has greatly overreached its authority. With their arrogant actions they have trampled on the rights of the people and challenged the sovereignty of the states.
    As I said in my speech, “With every action taken by these out of touch Washington D.C. bureaucrats, we are sent one very clear message that they have forgotten it is we, the states and the people, who created the federal government…not the other way around.”
    It’s my sincere belief that states like ours are the true laboratories of democracy. The will of the people is the guiding force that drives every decision we make.
    When it comes to a shining example of a government that embraces fiscally responsible spending; a commitment to reducing the size of bureaucracy and increasing the attention paid to the needs of the people; and a vision for the future that holds promise and hope rather than mountains of debt, it is the states we must look to for inspiration.
    For example, in our own state of Missouri, we have stayed true to core conservative ideologies, embracing outside-the-box thinking to create innovative solutions to problems that the federal government is unable or unwilling to solve.
    I hope we can add to our list of accomplishments this year by passing a constitutional amendment that I am sponsoring to protect the traditional right of Missourians to hunt, fish and farm. This fundamental right has been under siege by out-of-state radicals who want nothing more than to take away the time honored traditions that conflict with their metropolitan lifestyles.
    Page 2 of 2 - We can’t look to Washington, D.C. for help on this issue, but we can stand together to forever allow future generations to have the kind of Missouri, and the kind of America, that our forefathers envisioned.
    I asked my colleagues also to join me in rejecting efforts by the White House to gut the welfare-to-work program that has helped so many Missourians get back on their feet and back to work. The current program was put in place in 1996 to make the system one that offers a hand up rather than a handout.
    With the stroke of a pen, Barack Obama has tried to undo something that has worked for more than 15 years. This year in Missouri we will send the message loud and clear that we reject Obama’s plan to encourage dependency on government handouts, and instead support a program that puts our neediest citizens on a path to gainful employment and self-sufficiency.
    We will have some tough battles this session. Our governor is likely to oppose many of our common sense, conservative reforms. However, with such a conservative-leaning legislature, we have a powerful bargaining chip when dealing with the executive branch on these important issues. It’s my sincere belief that we, as a people and a state, will again lead the way this year in dealing with the issues that matter most to families and businesses.
    As always, feel free to contact my office at (573) 751-1688 with any of your questions or concerns.
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