Adjustment of legislation, opening of the Bicentennial Bridge
The holidays are a great time of year and I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. My life, like yours, is rather hectic, but there are so many great and inspiring events at Christmas. I won’t give you any advice about Christmas, but I’m sure you’ve been told time and time again with more spiritual people than me the importance of Christmas.
In addition to all the events that accompany Christmas, the Capitol is very busy. I have eight bills that have been tabled. The various people and organizations they touch have been in contact with me themselves or through their lobbyists to make sure these bills work as intended.
House Bill 557 is a bill I introduced and passed last year relating to unlicensed residential care facilities that provided housing and child care 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Although we have been able to adopt reforms in this area, this is often only the beginning of the battle, as we are now working with the relevant state agencies to ensure the adoption of regulations affecting the intention of the government. law. I also meet with the various organizations affected by the bill to ensure that there are no unforeseen consequences.
Everyone, I’m sure, has heard of the bridge to Adrian Island. It is now complete and anyone can travel to the island. There is still work to be done on the island, but it has been opened to the public. The project was a vision that spanned over 20 years, but it started with individuals with a vision and much of our community endorsing it. I know there was opposition from some regarding the construction of the bridge, but before you decide if it was good or bad for the community, take the time to enjoy it and then form your opinion. . Keep in mind that the majority of this project was made possible by people who donated their time, talent and treasure for what they believed was for the good of the community.
Salary increases for the state are now a priority issue for the legislature. Our role as gatekeepers of government is no different from that of CEO of a company. The reality of the current market is that wages are going up, and by the time we train people every year to replace departing employees, it will be cheaper to raise wages. We must value our workers, treat them with respect and take the necessary steps to encourage them to stay.
Crown corporations raise wages not out of generosity, but because they recognize it is the most efficient and best way to run their businesses. Each of us involved in business has had to train new workers and understand the value of retention. Imagine having a business with the turnover we have in the state. That is why, along with Senator Mike Bernskoetter and Representative Dave Griffith, I sent the following letter to our fellow Representatives:
“To my esteemed colleagues in the Missouri House of Representatives,
“I am writing to you today to urge your support for the proposed salary increases for government employees. As you all know, our government employees are among the most underpaid in the country. The study conducted by CBIZ Human Capital Services last year found that the salary earned by approximately 38,000 state employees is much lower than what is considered competitive in the market. The average annual salary of our employees state, adjusted for the national level, is $ 39,682.
“It’s the lowest in the country.
“It’s time we did what is necessary… it is time we did the right thing. We spend hours discussing how to improve so many facets of our condition, from roads, taxes, economic industry, health care or public sector services.Every day that we spend in a committee hearing, or in the House … we are surrounded by government employees. Brilliant, dedicated, hardworking and gifted people who seek to help us in any way we can so that we can better help this They are here many nights longer than us, working long and tireless to help us do our jobs.
“And there are so many more across our state who are working to keep us safe, to maintain our roads, to continue to advance innovations or to help the people of this state. how we could better the economics of the state, and we’ve worked hard on several initiatives to attract business, to “show them Missouri is open for business.”
“But how long do our government workers have to continue serving as the caboose of this train? How long do we need to read the headlines confirming that our condition is rated ‘worst’ of all? We take pride in our state and all it has to offer, and the fact that we continually have the lowest paid government employees in the country is not a designation any true son or daughter of the lord has to offer. ‘State Show-Me should be proud of.
“Plus, we’ve seen the effects: Our state departments are not only struggling to hire people for vacancies, but we’re also losing people. Bright and talented workers are leaving our agencies for private sector jobs, and our agencies have literally become training grounds. A prime example is the MoDOT – every year our transportation department hires and trains people on how to maintain and build our roads, but eventually a good number of those hires will find that they can earn more money. money working for the county doing the same job. Our departments have become training grounds, and it really should be otherwise.
“We can keep limping and giving incremental increases here and there, but the point is that as the cost of living continues to rise, our workers’ wages have remained stagnant. And that is forcing our workers, our people, to make effort decisions. We can invest millions of dollars and offer massive tax credits to keep a GM plant in Missouri, but why can’t we really invest in ourselves? We should put this money in our own people, knowing that an investment in them is an investment in the future of our state.
“We are the Show-Me State. Let’s show our people that we care. Let’s show them that their work matters and that we want them to achieve their dreams like any other American.”
As always, your contribution is essential to my ability to represent you effectively. Please call 573-751-0665 and email [email protected] with your questions, thoughts and concerns.
State Representative Rudy Veit, City of R-Jefferson, represents the 59th District and shares his take on issues related to the state twice a month.