DAVID ROSMAN: Legislators, let's get something done during 2013 session

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CST; updated 6:57 p.m. CST, Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Now that the Republicans have a “super majority” in each state chamber, I urge you, all members of our state legislature, not to get too cocky during the 2013 session.

Please stay away from those non-issues that seem to have taken up so much of your time over the years.  Program funding and real issues should take up your time, not those imaginary problems that have wasted your time in years past.

Please stay away from the fear-mongering that have used up too much of your energy and time, keeping you from doing your job. Do not support the fanatics on either side.

Please do not leave your reasoning and critical thinking skills at home, locked away in your 2014 political war chest.

Forget voter identification laws. On Nov. 5, conservative strategist Steve Schmidt told NBC’s Chuck Todd that voter ID legislation is a “solution to a problem, (in-person) voting fraud, that does not even exist.”

How un-rampant is in-person voter fraud? News21 has reported that an analysis of its “election fraud database turned up 10 cases of voter impersonation (U.S. wide). With 146 million registered voters in the United States during that time, those 10 cases represent one out of about every 15 million prospective voters.” Or about eight possible cases in 2012.

Forget about the “part-time” aspect as a legislator. Work a full five-day week conducting legislation. The 2013 session will be conducted over 142 calendar days. Giving you weekends and holidays off, and Mondays and Fridays as travel days, which, if my calculations are close, leaves less than 55 full days to do the state’s business.

No wonder everything seems to happen in the last two weeks of session when you are forced to stay well past midnight and work weekends to complete your job. Just like the procrastinating teenager putting off his homework until the morning it is due.

Forget your political leanings and look toward the issues as humanists and realists. How do you plan to keep the doors open for businesses old and new to make Missouri home? Corporations first look for a well-educated and healthy workforce.

We must find a better way to fund our K-12 and post-secondary institutions. We are failing Missouri’s 532 school districts and their almost 1 million students by not providing them with up-to-date facilities or textbooks. You would refuse to work in some of the buildings where our students are housed. School vouchers are not the answer; adequate funding, acceptable facilities and better tools are the answers.

“Entitlement programs” (how I hate that term) are natural targets for budgetary cuts, but eliminating them will put many more citizens at risk for poor health, poor education and poor jobs. By itself, this equates to fewer businesses wanting to come to Missouri.

Forget about spending before receiving. Know the approximated revenues and prioritize programs before you start promising funding and distributing our tax dollars. Just a thought, but isn’t that what we do with our business or personal budgets, knowing our income before budgeting? Making promises to spend and then not funding the expenditure is tantamount to lying to our citizens. Sure we can balance the budget each year but that does not solve financial expectations unmet.

Forget the special interest extremists and stay out of our personal lives. The conservative and religious-right movements claim to be pro-personal freedoms, yet it appears that they also wish to limit those freedoms based their biblical values, which are 2100 years behind the times and our knowledge. Our state and federal governments are secular and need to remain so. Religion and government hold their own thrones in their own kingdoms.

Stop kowtowing to special interest groups who would rather we drown in tea or blindly obey. Get a backbone, stand up and think for yourself. Think what your future actions will mean for all Missourians before you agree with the loud-mouthed fanatics. Do not oil that squeaky wheel. Replace it.

Forget about blaming the Democrats or the governor. You are now super majority in both houses of our legislature and will be responsible for what will happen after Jan. 9.

Let us prove Benjamin Franklin wrong. Use your passion to govern and govern wisely.

David Rosman is an editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in communications, ethics, business and politics. Questions? Contact Opinion editor Elizabeth Conner.

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Jimmy Bearfield November 14, 2012 | 11:30 a.m.

"We must find a better way to fund our K-12 and post-secondary institutions."

On the K-12 side, the fairest, most effective way to do this is to require parents to pay the difference between the schools portion of their property taxes and what their district spends to educate their child(ren). This would create an enormous, stable revenue stream to supplement what everyone else already pays toward schools.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams November 14, 2012 | 6:58 p.m.

"Forget about blaming the Democrats or the governor. "

Where the hell were YOU the last 4 years re: our president.

Do you understand how those words, when applied to the state republicans but not federal democrats, negatively affects all that you have many of your readers? How can we trust your mind when you write stuff like that?

(Report Comment)

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