• October 2023 Lobbyist Report

    The month of September was a busy month as another veto session is in the books.  Members of the General Assembly gathered in Jefferson City on September 13 for the constitutionally mandated session. Veto session presents House and Senate members the opportunity to attempt overrides of any vetoes issued by the Governor on legislation from the legislative session that ended last May.

    As mentioned previously, Governor Mike Parson issued more than 200 line-item vetoes on budget items, which included many infrastructure, construction, and capital improvement projects around the state, with many located in St. Charles County. Parson had informed members of the General Assembly that the vetoes were necessary in order to maintain a balanced budget throughout the current fiscal year, even though the state is sitting on a record budget surplus. With current tax revenues remaining flat, Parson believes cautious spending is in order to prevent budget shortfalls down the road.

    House members wasted little time once the session began to successfully override 14 of Parson’s vetoes, promptly sending those overrides to the Senate for their consideration. However, when the Senate gaveled in, Appropriations Chairman Lincoln Hough informed his colleagues that he would not take action on any of the Governor’s vetoes, thus ending the 2023 veto session with no veto overrides.

    House Republicans met prior to the start of the veto session to elect their next Speaker of the House. Jonathan Patterson, who is the current Majority Floor leader, was chosen by his peers to lead the chamber beginning with the 2025 legislative session. Patterson, who is a physician from Jackson County, will continue in his role as floor leader during the 2024 session before taking over the role of Speaker in January 2025 as current Speaker Dean Plocher is term limited.

    Governor Mike Parson held a flurry of ceremonial bill signings in his Capitol office and throughout the state throughout the month of September, giving supporters and sponsors of various pieces of legislation the opportunity to speak about their bills alongside the Governor. All legislation passed during the 2023 session became law on August 28 – unless the legislation provided for a later effective date.

    The makeup of the Missouri Supreme Court has changed as Governor Parson recently appointed Kelly C. Broniec to a seat on the high court. Broniec had been serving as chief judge of the Eastern District of Missouri Court of Appeals. She replaces retiring justice George W. Draper III, who was appointed to the spot in 2011 by then-Governor Jay Nixon. Draper stepped down after he had reached the mandatory retirement age of 70. The appointment of Broniec is historic as it marks the first time the majority of judges on the court are female. Judge Patricia Breckenridge will also announce her retirement soon as she will reach retirement age in October. The Missouri Constitution requires judges to retire by age 70, or they automatically forfeit their pensions.

    Next on the Capitol calendar is the Senate Republican caucus in early November, where they will attempt to prioritize their legislative agenda for the next session. Prefiling of bills will begin on December 1. We will continue to keep you updated of any political happenings in Jefferson City and around the state.  Nikki Strong, Strong Consulting Group.


  • September 2023 Lobbyist Report

    As reported in our last newsletter, Governor Mike Parson issued over 200 line-item vetoes in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget, which will affect or eliminate numerous projects around the state. Many legislators have issued public criticism of the governor’s actions, citing the need for the projects, and pointing to a budget surplus of over $8 billion.

    However, Alex Tuttle, the governor’s budget director, paints a different picture in a letter sent recently to lawmakers. While the new fiscal year started off with a more than $8 billion fund balance, the governor’s office stresses that the fund balance does not equal a surplus. In fact, two-thirds of the available balance has already been committed to various programs and projects. Additionally, after huge gains of over 14% in revenue growth last year, tax collections are currently down and are projected to stall out at 0.7% in the future. Tuttle also points out that recent tax cuts passed by the General Assembly based on revenue surplus, could lead to a budget deficit down the road.

    While some legislators have made statements about wanting to override many of the budget vetoes during the upcoming veto session in September, it is highly unlikely any of the overrides will actually occur.

    Members of the House Republican Caucus recently gathered in Branson for their annual slate of summer meetings. The event is an opportunity for members to set their agenda for the next legislative session, interact with other legislators and lobbyists, and raise funds for the caucus as the event is sponsored by numerous business and special interest groups from around the state.

    Governor Mike Parson along with Senate Appropriations Chairman Lincoln Hough traveled the state recently to do ceremonial bill signings of HB4, which is the funding authority for the statewide expansion of Interstate 70. One of the stops was in Foristell, where the governor remarked that Missouri was the birthplace of I-70, and the $2.8 billion expansion project will ensure new opportunities for business along the I-70 corridor. Parson said construction will begin next summer and will take six or seven years to complete.

    Numerous elected officials from around the state attended the Governor’s Ham Breakfast recently at the State Fair in Sedalia. Thebreakfast is a traditional gathering of the Governor, elected officials, and leaders in the agriculture community. The sold-out event featured a full breakfast for $50 per plate, with money raised at the event supporting Missouri’s Youth in Agriculture. Governor Mike Parson told those in attendance that he was proud to host the 70th ham breakfast at the fair. Parson told the crowd of more than 1,200 that agriculture in Missouri remains strong in spite of the ongoing drought and high fuel costs.

    Legislators will return to the Capitol in mid-September for the annual veto session which is slated for September 13. As mentioned above, it seems unlikely that any veto overrides will occur. Also, on tap that week is a full slate of fundraisers in Jefferson City, as lawmakers take the opportunity to raise campaign money.

    We will continue to update you with the latest in political news from Jefferson City and around the state.


  • August 2023 Lobbyist Report

    There has been quite a bit of news since our last newsletter.  On June 30th, Governor Mike Parson has rendered his final decisions on all budget items.  Just before the 4th of July holiday, Governor Parson signed or vetoed all bills containing the policy items that were sent to him by the General Assembly during the past legislative session.

    Of the 41 policy related bills that made it to Parson’s desk, all were signed into law with the exception of SB189, which was a wide-ranging crime and public safety bill. Although the legislation contained priorities of many law enforcement groups, Parson took exception to a provision in the bill which could have allowed certain criminals convicted of sexual offenses to have their records expunged and, in some cases, have their name removed from the sex offender registry. Another section mentioned by the governor was a provision allowing payments from state coffers to persons that were wrongfully convicted. Parson opined that the state should not pay for prosecutorial errors made at the local level.

    On budget related legislation, the Governor took the axe to numerous projects earmarked in the FY24 spending plan sent to him by lawmakers. In total, Parson issued 201 vetoes, cutting $550 million in spending from the $51.8 billion state budget. In issuing the vetoes, Parson stated he was doing so to “ensure the financial stability of Missouri beyond my administration and the current General Assembly.” The Governor’s budget vetoes include $46 million for an allied health building at St. Louis Community College; $10 million for the Brickline Greenway Trail in St. Louis; $2 million for a gospel Music Hall of Fame, Art Museum and Research Center in St. Louis; $7 million for a 911 Dispatch Center in St. Charles County; $10 million for a  911 Dispatch Center in St. Louis; $3 million for a Community Center in Kirkwood; $6 million for improvements to the St. Louis Metropolitan Sewer District; $5 million for drinking water infrastructure in St. Charles; $5 million for removal of condemned property in St. Louis County; $6.6 million for improvements to Route 370 at Salt River Road; as well as numerous other programs and expenditures in the St. Louis region and around the state. Many lawmakers and local officials took exception to Parson’s vetoes, especially since the state currently has over $8 billion in surplus revenue.

    In other Capitol news, several personnel changes have taken place recently in the Governor’s office. Kelli Jones been named Deputy Chief of Staff, having previously served as Parson’s longtime Communications Director. Other moves include naming Stephanie Whitaker as the new Communications Director and Jonathan Shiflett as Press Secretary. Additionally, Parson has tapped Mike Leara of St. Louis to serve as the next State Supervisor for the Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control. Leara served as state representative from 2009-2017, and most recently was the chairman of the Missouri Gaming Commission.

    Next on the Capitol calendar is the constitutionally mandated veto session on Wednesday, September 13. Lawmakers will then have an opportunity to override any vetoes of legislation issued by the Governor.  We will keep you apprised of any political events or happenings in Jefferson City and around the state. Nikki Strong, Strong Consulting Group LLC

  • July 2023 Lobbyist Report

    The halls of the Capitol were quiet in June as legislators have returned to their home districts for the interim where they are busy with constituent meetings, drafting legislation for next session, and raising money for the next campaign cycle.

    In the meantime, members of the General Assembly are waiting for Governor Mike Parson to render decisions on legislation that made its way to his desk with the close of the last legislative session. As of the writing of this article, Gov. Parson has signed eight policy related bills and vetoed a line item in the supplemental budget. The vetoed language was contained in HB15 and amounted to a $25,000 expenditure earmarked for audit costs within MoDOT. In his veto letter, Parson stated funding for the audit was included in MoDOT’s 2024 regular budget, therefore the supplemental funding was not necessary.

    Policy related bills signed by the governor thus far include bills which halt gender affirming procedures in the state for minors, as well as legislation that prohibits transgender girls from participating on girls’ sports teams. Any school that allows transgender girls to participate on girls’ sports teams, would be ineligible from receiving any state aid or any other revenue from the state. Both bills were the subject of much controversy during the legislative session. Other bills signed by Parson include HB131 which allows for biweekly pay for state employees, SB167 which modifies certain requirements for medical certificates for CDL’s, and SB25 which allows state income tax deductions for federal grants to expand broadband access.

    Although Parson had not yet signed the FY24 budget as of the writing of this article, he had signaled his support of the massive $2.8 billion earmark to widen and improve Interstate 70 across the state, as well as funding for the initial stages of improvements to Interstate 44 and U.S. Route 63.

    The deadline for Gov. Parson to sign the budget related bills was June 30.   He has until July 14 to make a determination on policy related bills. Bills that are signed into law will become effective on August 28, unless the bill has an emergency clause or specific date of implementation.  Please note, Gov. Parson does not have to actually sign the policy bills.  If he takes no action (meaning no veto and no signature) the bill will be deemed signed and become effective on August 28.

    In other government news, Maggie Kost, who had led the Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED), recently resigned to become the Chief Business Attraction Officer for Greater St. Louis, Inc. Kost oversaw multiple business attraction and expansion projects during her tenure with the state, which generated over 13,000 new jobs. Governor Parson named Michele Hataway as Acting Director following Kost’s departure. Hataway has served in multiple management positions over the last seven years with DED.

    We will continue to keep you updated with political happenings in Jefferson City and around the state as they occur. Nikki Strong, Strong Consulting Group, LLC


  • June 2023 Lobbyist Report

    The 2023 legislative session came to a close at 6:00 pm on Friday, May 12, and will likely be remembered as being filled with missed opportunities. Many bills that were close to passing became casualties of dysfunction in the Senate during the final days of session. While House members spent the final hours of session passing numerous pieces of legislation, the Senate became a place of drawn-out theatrics that plagued the passage of many bills in the final hours. Each senator has substantial power to hold the floor for an extended period of time, but the final week saw this practice taken to the extreme as a handful of senators used this power to hold the entire body hostage in order to pass their own policy objectives.

    The result was another year where very few policy-related bills found their way to Governor Mike Parson’s desk. Of the over 2,000 bills that were filed this session, only 41 policy bills await the Governor’s signature.

    Several priority bills fell victim to the delay tactics, including initiative petition reform, which was a priority of the Speaker of the House, legislation to limit the ownership of Missouri farmland by foreign investors, and a provision to legalize sports betting in Missouri. We are certain each of these topics will be revisited next session.

    The Fiscal year 2024 budget is probably the highlight of the legislative session, as many big-ticket capital improvement projects found their way into the budget as a result of the massive cash surplus currently in the state coffers. At the top of this list is the $2.8 billion earmarked to widen and improve Interstate 70 across the state. Also included is $25 million for environmental impact studies for Interstate 44 and U.S. Route 63 to prepare for improvements to those roadways as well.

    Several provisions of interest to members did make their way to the finish line this year, including language to privatize Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance Company. The company was started by state statute in 1993 to address a crisis in the workers’ compensation market. According to supporters of the bill, that crisis no longer exists and paved the way for passage of the legislation.

    Also awaiting action by the Governor is HB417, which contains several provisions relating to employment skills, including an income tax credit for taxpayers who hire an apprentice or intern, and a provision to make grants available to employers for each employee who obtains upskill credentials.

    The Governor has until June 30 to determine if he will sign or veto budget related bills and must decide the fate of policy bills by July 14. Bills that are signed into law will become effective on August 28, unless the bill has an emergency clause or specific date of implementation.

    Thank you for the opportunity to represent you in Jefferson City, and please don’t hesitate to contact us should you have any questions regarding legislation or political happenings around the state.  Nikki Strong, Strong Consulting Group


  • May 2023 Lobbyist Report

    As of the writing of this newsletter, there are three weeks remaining in the legislative session and only one policy related bill has made it to Governor Mike Parson’s desk. Many priorities remain unfinished, but none as pressing as the Fiscal Year 2024 budget, which must be finalized by May 5. We assume that by the time you are reading this, legislators will have met their constitutional duty and presented a spending plan to the Governor.

    Of particular interest to ASA members is the Senate proposal to add $2.8 billion to MoDOT’s budget for improvements to Interstate 70 across the state. The Governor and the House have both proposed much smaller amounts to do targeted improvements to I-70 near St. Louis, Kansas City and Columbia. Differences between the House and Senate positions must still be negotiated, but regardless of which proposal is approved, it appears that major improvements are in the future for the highway.

    Another issue we have been watching is legislation dealing with a statewide mechanical contractor licensing system. The original proposal, which has been around for several years, would provide for a state license for mechanical contractors, instead of contractors needing to have a separate license for each jurisdiction where they provide services. That idea was defeated recently in the House Economic Development Committee. Shortly thereafter however, the Senate gave approval to a version of the bill which provides that a statewide mechanical contractor license shall not be required but will be accepted in lieu of a local license if a municipality requires a local license for mechanical work. Additionally, the provisions of the bill would not apply in Greene, Newton, and Jasper counties. The Senate version must still be approved by the House.

    House and Senate members are also expected to tackle a very controversial issue before session ends, which is initiative petition reform. At question is the process by which voters can have new laws or changes to the constitution placed on a statewide ballot. Currently, any proposed change must be accompanied by the signatures of at least 8% of the votes cast in the last gubernatorial election in order to qualify for placement on the ballot. Then, a simple majority is needed to pass the initiative into law. Republicans seek to make the process more stringent by requiring more signatures for an issue to be placed on the ballot and increasing the threshold for passage from a simple majority to 60% of the votes cast. They say the process has become too politicized, where wealthy donors can pay for signature gatherers to place items beneficial to them on a statewide ballot and bypass the legislative process. Others disagree, saying the initiative process guarantees that ordinary citizens have access to make changes in statute or modify the state constitution.   The current process has been in place for some 115 years.

    The constitutionally mandated end of session is fast approaching and is set for 6:00 pm on Friday, May 12. The Governor then has until July 14 to sign or veto any legislation sent to him by the General Assembly.

    We will continue to update you on any happenings in Jefferson City or around the state that impacts ASA or our members. Nikki Strong, Strong Consulting Group LLC


  • April 2023 Lobbyist Report

    We are now in the final half of the 2023 legislative session.  The second half of the legislative session began when legislators returned to Jefferson City on March 20th from their spring break that began on March 10.  Lawmakers will spend long hours the final weeks of session as they complete their work on legislative priorities, as well as the FY2024 budget. The budget must be finalized and sent to Governor Mike Parson on or before May 5 and the 2023 Legislative Session will end on May 12.

    The House has decided and passed their version of the FY24 budget.   During the process, they made several changes to the budget proposed by Parson. One of the changes deals directly with funding the Governor had earmarked for widening and improving Interstate 70. As of the writing of this newsletter, House Budget chairman Cody Smith has cut the entire $859 million proposal earmarked for the I-70 project. He did state however, that he wanted to revisit the issue when the Budget Committee discusses other large capital improvement projects. It is likely that much of the money will be restored, but some may be targeted for other highway projects, in particular the I-44 corridor through Springfield. The FY24 budget now moves across the building to the Senate, where members of the upper chamber will also have an opportunity to make adjustments to the budget. Other supplemental budget bills will soon move out of the House to the Senate as well.  The $51.6 billion state budget will see numerous changes as it moves through the legislative process.

    The House Transportation Accountability Committee met recently to hear testimony on HB1366, sponsored by Representative Don Mayhew (R-Pulaski County). The bill attempts to align fuel tax refunds based on the tax year, instead of the current practice of issuing them based on the fiscal year. The measure would allow a taxpayer to apply for a standard refund in the amount of $30 for the 2023 tax year, $45 for the 2024 tax year, and $60 for the 2025 tax year. Opponents of the bill pointed out that under the bill, a driver may be able to claim more in refunds than they pay in fees, having an adverse effect on the state road fund. The measure could also impact the revenue stream that municipalities utilize to maintain local roads and bridges. It is doubtful that the legislation will advance, but definitely bears watching.

    Governor Parson recently announced that he has named Evan Rodriguez to serve as his General Counsel. Rodriguez previously served as Deputy General Counsel to the Governor and also held a position as a legislative analyst for the Missouri House of Representatives. He takes the place of Parson’s previous General Counsel, Andrew Bailey, who was named as the new Attorney General for Missouri.

    The House Special Committee on Election Contests recently ruled on a request for a recount in House District 105 in St. Charles County. The request came from Democratic nominee Cindy Berne, who lost her bid to oust incumbent Adam Schwadron by 99 votes in the November general election. State law allows for a recount if the margin in an election contest is less than 1%. Statute also allows for the committee to turn down the request if the person contesting the election hasn’t shown there were any irregularities in the results. On a party line vote, Berne’s request was denied, as Republican members of the committee stated they could find no irregularities in the election process. The decision is final, as the Missouri Constitution dictates that the House makes the judgement on election contests involving its members and there is no right to an appeal.

    We will continue to provide updates as they occur regarding political happenings in Jefferson City through our weekly legislative updates. Nikki Strong, Strong Consulting Group LLC


  • March 2023 Lobbyist Report

    We are two months into the legislative session and so far, legislation appears to be moving seamlessly through the legislative process. To date, most Capitol observers are surprised at how well the Senate is functioning compared to the last several years of Republican infighting. Although there have been a few tense moments, Senate members have been able to negotiate through disagreements and keep the legislative process moving forward.

    Several bills of interest to our members have garnered attention recently in Jefferson City. One of those is HJR37, a proposal by Representative Don Mayhew (R-Pulaski County), which would change the way MoDOT receives funding. Currently, money for the State Road Fund is automatically appropriated without legislative action. This is similar to the state’s other independent agency, The Department of Conservation, and their use of the Conservation Fund. Mayhew’s legislation would require that funding must be approved through the legislative process, a move he says would give the people a voice in how the State Road Fund is spent. Opponents say this change would be detrimental because transportation funding requires a long-term timeline that the yearly legislative appropriation process does not provide. It also runs the risk of politicizing transportation projects. The measure has passed through the House Transportation Accountability Committee and awaits further action. If approved by the General Assembly, the measure would then need to be approved by voters before taking effect.

    The Senate General Laws Committee has recently approved a measure to establish the Office of Mechanical Contractors within the Division of Professional Registration. SB80 would allow mechanical contractors to apply for an optional statewide license, rather than having licenses issued by multiple cities and municipalities. This marks the fifth year that legislators have attempted to pass similar legislation. There are two similar bills in the House, but those have not seen any movement through the legislative process thus far.

    Representative Mike Henderson (R-Bonne Terre) has filed HB470 which states that contractors are responsible for the unpaid wages of employees of subcontractors at any tier, and for any debt owed to a third party by a subcontractor. The bill also authorizes the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations to institute action against a contractor for any unpaid wages. The measure has been scheduled for a hearing in the House General Laws Committee.

    Finally, Governor Mike Parson announced last month that the Department of Economic Development has awarded $30 million to various companies around the state through the American Rescue Plan (ARPA) Workforce Training Grant Program. The program assists with training Missourians to prepare for the workforce in order to combat the shortage of qualified workers in the state. The program was started in August of 2022, and has funded numerous programs including training for construction, utilities, welding, trucking, plumbing, and CDL endorsements.

    We will continue to provide updates on legislative and political happenings in Jefferson City and around the state. Nikki Strong, Strong Consulting Group.

  • February 2023 Lobbyist Report

    Lawmakers gathered in Jefferson City on Wednesday, January 4 at noon to begin the 2023 legislative session.  The day was ceremonial in nature, with newly elected members taking the oath of office, followed by an evening of receptions and ending with the Legislative Ball. Opening day speeches were given by the new leadership in both the House and Senate. Representative Dean Plocher was elected by his peers to be the Speaker of the House for the next two years. Joining Plocher in leadership will be Representative Jon Patterson, who was selected as Majority Floor Leader. In the upper chamber, Senator Caleb Rowden assumes the top spot as President Pro-Tem, and Senator Cindy O’Laughlin serve as Majority Floor Leader.

    Little legislative activity occurred during the first several weeks of session, as committee assignments were made, and bills were referred to committee for consideration. Several bills have been filed to repeal any future increases in the fuel tax, but to date there has not been any discussion on moving any of the bills forward. Other legislation impacting ASA has not yet moved forward.

    On January 18, Governor Mike Parson delivered his State of the State address to a joint session of the General Assembly. Parson stressed workforce development and infrastructure, which has been his signature items since taking office. The Governor laid out several priorities as he put forth his legislative agenda and budget proposal to lawmakers. Included in his package was $859 million to make improvements to Interstate 70 across the state. The multi-year project would include widening and safety upgrades, focusing primarily on the St. Louis, Columbia, and Kansas City areas. Parson also proposed $35 million for safety upgrades to railroad crossings across the state, and $272 million for higher education building projects. Other proposals include an additional $78 million to subsidize childcare, in order to make it easier for parents of young children to enter the workforce. Also in Parson’s budget request is an 8.7% pay increase for all state employees. The total cost of the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2024 is $57.3 billion.

    Additional political highlights in January included the inauguration of two statewide officials. On January 9, Scott Fitzpatrick was sworn-in as the new State Auditor. He takes the place of Nicole Galloway as she decided to not seek reelection. Fitzpatrick had been serving as State Treasurer. In his remarks during his swearing in ceremony, Fitzpatrick vowed to look at the spending of federal COVID dollars and promised an increase in the auditing of Missouri’s schools. The inauguration of Fitzpatrick left a vacancy in the office of State Treasurer, which was filled as Governor Mike Parson appointed Vivek Malek to fill out the remainder of Fitzpatrick’s term. Malek was sworn-in on January 16 during a ceremony in the House chamber. Malek immigrated to the United States in 2001 from India and attended Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau. He owned a law firm in St. Louis before becoming Treasurer, specializing in immigration law. Parson has now made more appointments than any Governor in history, having appointed two treasurers, two attorneys general, and a lieutenant governor.

    The pace of legislative activity will continue to increase as the session moves forward, and we will continue to provide you weekly email updates on the political activity that impacts ASA and the construction industry.  Nikki Strong, Strong Consulting Group

  • January 2023 Lobbyist Report

    December 1 marked the day when members of the General assembly could prefile legislation for the upcoming legislative session. There was a flurry of activity as many lawmakers were eager to have their priorities at the top of the prefiled list. As of the writing of this report, 861 bills and resolutions had been filed, with many more to come. Priorities for the session will include regulation of video lottery terminals, sports betting, public safety and violent crime, extending Medicaid coverage for new mothers, initiative petition reform, and several transportation related issues, among others.

    One of the prefiled bills making headlines is Senator Bill Eigel’s SB317, which would use existing state revenues to rebuild Interstate 70. Eigel’s proposal would use any general revenue funds in excess of $4 billion and would also dedicate an annual 2% earmark from ongoing revenue to widen the road to four lanes in each direction across the state. Missouri is currently sitting on a budget surplus in excess of $6 billion. MoDOT does not have a current estimate on the cost of Eigel’s proposal, but the agency did produce documents earlier in the year showing a cost of $2.75 billion to widen the road to three lanes. It remains to be seen if Eigel’s legislation will gain traction.

    The “Freshman Tour” has wrapped up in the General Assembly, as newly elected lawmakers recently participated in a two-week crash course in legislative procedures, as well as visiting points of interest across the state. The tour gives members an opportunity to see what the state has to offer in districts other than their own. They were able to visit an array of industries, agricultural interests, and public universities and institutions. It also allows lawmakers to form relationships with other decision makers who serve the state as the next legislative session approaches.

    Governor Mike Parson announced the appointments of the two statewide offices that will be vacated in January, the offices of Attorney General and Treasurer.  Current Attorney General Eric Schmitt will replace Roy Blunt in the U.S. Senate.  Current Treasurer, Scott Fitzpatrick was elected as Missouri’s next auditor during the November General Election.  Since both the Attorney General and Treasurer seats are not up for election until 2024, Governor Parson was able to make appointments to these two seats.  The Governor appointed Andrew Bailey to serve as the state’s next Attorney General. Mr. Bailey is a former prosecutor and Army veteran, having deployed twice to Iraq after the 9/11 attacks. He has served in the Governor’s office since 2019 and is currently Parson’s General Counsel. Just before Christmas, Gov. Parson announced that he is appointing Vivek Malek as the next State Treasurer. Mr. Malek, 45, of Wildwood, is a practicing attorney and business owner. He owns and operates the Law Offices of Vivek Malek.  Both Bailey and Malek will be sworn in at the inaugural the first part of January.

    The 2023 legislative session is slated to begin at noon on January 4th. The day will be mostly ceremonial, as newly elected Senators and Representatives will take their oath of office, followed by the Legislative Ball in the evening. Other dates of interest for the session include March 9 – 20 for the Legislative spring Break, with May 12 as the last day of session. We will continue keep you updated on all political news form Jefferson City and around the state as it occurs through our weekly legislative updates. Nikki Strong, Strong Consulting Group