Crafting responsible budget priorities amid lean revenue collections, creating jobs and enacting meaningful ethics reform will top the agenda for House Democrats during the 2010 legislative session.
“Even after a decade of mostly tough budgets, we are facing one of the most difficult budget years in memory,” said House Minority Leader Paul LeVota, D-Independence. “It is vital that we set responsible budget priorities that ensure the continued delivery of essential state services such as education and health care.”
Job creation is a necessary component of long-term budget stability, and House Democrats will push proposals to help Missouri businesses expand.
“Helping existing Missouri companies to grow and put more Missourians to work is a key to economic recovery,” said Assistant House Minority Leader J.C. Kuessner, D-Eminence. “Although efforts to attract new businesses to the state are important, it only makes sense to give priority to businesses that are already contributing to Missouri’s economy.”
As they have for the last several years, House Democrats are again proposing strong reforms to improve the ethics and accountability in state government. This session House Republican leaders have embraced some proposals Democrats have long championed such as banning lobbyist gifts to lawmakers, prohibiting lawmakers from also serving as paid political consultants and closing the revolving door between lawmaking and lobbying.
An essential part of any meaningful ethics reform, however, must include restoring campaign contribution limits. Missouri voters first imposed limits with the passage of a 1994 ballot measure, but the Republican-controlled General Assembly repealed the caps in 2008.
“When Missourians see single contributions of $100,000 or more, they are naturally going to wonder what favors the donor is going to expect the recipient to do in return,” LeVota said. “Re-establishing reasonable contribution limits and providing transparency by prohibiting campaign money laundering will help end the perception of a state government for sale.”
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
LeVota: Budget, job creation, ethics, will highlight 2010 legislative session
IN a news release issued earlier today, House Minority Leader Paul LeVota, D-Independence, gave an overview of the 2010 legislative session: