It is hard to believe I am starting my third year as your state senator and that a new session is here. Your eighth District office did a lot of preparation over the last few weeks to get ready. The biggest task was physically moving offices. We are now in Room 418 and would love to have you stop by when you come down.
The Legislature prefiled bills prior to session beginning. My legislation addresses such topics as photo ID for voting, tax reduction, several transportation-related bills, and some excellent legislation to make Missouri more military-friendly, including making it easier for servicemen and women to vote while deployed. More than 125 bills have been filed since the General Assembly convened on Jan. 9.
On Jan. 9, the 17 senators elected in November were sworn in to office and we got down to work by formally electing the highest leadership position in the Missouri Senate. I look forward to working with Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey and Majority Floor Leader Ron Richard, as well as the rest of the leadership team, over the next two years.
On Jan. 14, the State Capitol will be packed as we swear in the newly elected statewide officials. The day begins with a prayer breakfast, a parade, the swearing in ceremony, and then later, a formal presentation of all elected officials. The night ends with the governor’s Inaugural Ball. I hope to see some of you there.
I am pleased to be named the chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. One of my priorities this session, and a priority for leadership, is a review of tax policy. I look forward to working with the members of the committee to find a comprehensive tax policy solution the entire Senate can support. In addition to the chairmanship of Ways and Means, I have been appointed to the following committees: Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy & the Environment; Financial & Governmental Organizations & Elections; Jobs Economic Development & Local Government; and Seniors, Families & Pensions.
We are very pleased to have two interns this year. Kelsey Sullivan is a Communication Major at the University of Missouri and a graduate of Lee’s Summit West High School. Rick Skubinna is a close friend who wants to get some experience working in the Capitol. Both will help navigate the office through some pretty busy weeks ahead.
State Senator Will Kraus-R serves District 8 and is a resident of Lee’s Summit.