by Dist. 58 Rep. David Wood

I have received multiple requests to co-sponsor the “Second Amendment Protection Act” which was filed by Rep. Jared Taylor. I haven’t voted against a second amendment bill in the seven years I have been in office and, unless something is added to this bill that would make it objectionable, I will also vote for this one.
I will not co-sponsor any bill that is filed no matter what the subject. When I started seven years ago, Representatives would go around with their legislation and explain what the bill was about and ask for your co-sponsorship. If you agreed with what they were trying to do then you physically signed a piece of paper that was turned into the clerk’s office and you could not remove that commitment. This forced us to be very careful about what we signed and to understand the bill before making a commitment. Since the process has been computerized, Representatives get to click a box on a screen to co-sponsor and at any point we can unclick that box and remove our commitment. I may be a little old fashioned, but I believe the new system weakened the commitment and I refuse to participate.
I had the pleasure of three students from Morgan County R-II following me around all day last Wednesday. Lisel Baumgartner, Kassy Garber, and Josie Lehman skipped school for a day to learn about my job. I think they were a little bored watching the floor debate but really enjoyed the number of people coming to my office to ask for money. They really enjoyed it when I said “no” to a lobbyist and the reaction wasn’t very pleasant. Brian Lehman was kind enough to bring the girls to Jefferson City but Craig Baumgartner spent most of the day with us. They were able to meet several elected officials including Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe. They wanted a picture with him so he must have been cooler than me. They also got to participate in an attempt to break the world record for having a painting done by the largest number of artists. We each painted a small square.
This was a very productive week as several bills were debated and voted on in the House of Representatives. I will have my bill that reinstates the Alzheimer’s Task Force coming to the floor this week. We haven’t looked at our state plan for Alzheimer’s policies for more than 10 years and this would create a group to look at what might need to be changed. The population with a dementia-related illness grows every year and we need to make sure any advancements in care or treatment are updated. Sadly, we still haven’t had anyone cured of the disease, but we have to keep working toward that goal.
There is some legislation moving that would remove the personal property tax from being collected and without a way to replace the revenue to our counties, I can’t support this idea. The state doesn’t receive any of the real or personal property tax so this wouldn’t have any real effect on the state budget. This would have a large effect on your county government, schools, ambulance districts, county libraries, county roads, sheltered workshops, county health centers, sheriff’s departments, fire departments, and I am sure others that receive these revenues. If you take away funding then there are two choices. First you could increase a different type of tax to replace the revenue. Second, you could cut the services that are provided. I don’t like paying taxes any more than anyone else, but I don’t want to lose any of these critical services for our community.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please let me know at 573-751-2077 or email david.wood@house.mo.gov.