The close of the 2010 legislative session brings with it the end of my final term as your state senator. For eight years, I have been honored to serve the 32nd Senatorial District and I feel proud of the accomplishments that have been made. The Senate has been an enjoyable place to work, and I have truly appreciated this chance to continue my time as a public servant.
I was first elected to the Missouri Senate in 2002. This was a particularly important time for the state Legislature due to the advent of term limits. Voters approved an amendment to the state’s constitution in 1992 limiting the years a legislator may serve in the General Assembly. The amendment excluded from term-limit calculations any legislative service initiated before the amendment’s effective date. During my first two years in the Missouri Senate, I had the privilege of being able to serve with some of these experienced legislators. This experience of working with and learning from some of Missouri’s best lawmakers truly enriched me as a senator.
The pace and attitude of the Legislature today is certainly different than when I began my service, but the strength of the Missouri Senate continues to lie in the people who make it function. This includes my 33 current colleagues as well as the many senators who have worked with me throughout the past eight years. Of particular mention, I would like to thank Barbara Mustoe, who has been a part of my staff since I began in the Senate and remains a stabilizing force in my Capitol office. Jake Heisten, who began in my office in 2006, has done a great job in the district during the past year. There are also the many Senate departments and staff to highlight, including research, appropriations, communications, caucus staff, and so many more who have made serving in the Missouri Senate a joy.
Most of all, the people to thank for my years of service are you—the people of the 32nd District. You are the ones who have motivated and inspired my work. There were so many times during my Senate career when I have been proud of the many generous, dedicated, and accomplished constituents in our communities. The 32nd District is my childhood home, and I believe it includes some of the best citizens in this state. Thank you, my neighbors and fellow citizens, for giving me the opportunity to serve you.
As I pass the torch on to the next senator for the 32nd District in 2011, my office in Jefferson City remains open to take your phone calls and respond to your correspondence. During the interim, I will continue these weekly columns and will issue news releases as events and items of interest arise.