We in Missouri know that Washington is not to be trusted, what with its wild spending, its socialistic takeover of the American health care system and now its plan to ruin dinners out by putting calorie counts on the menu.
And don’t get the harebrained idea that your local government knows what it’s doing, especially if you live in Kansas City or St. Louis. Those metropolises are too dysfunctional, too corrupt, too “urban,” to be trusted to run their own police departments. Along with other cities, they’ve made bad decisions by installing red light cameras. Local governments even have to be told which businesses to regulate.
Even Missouri voters are not to be taken seriously. They’re well-meaning but easily misled.
Only the all-knowing, all-powerful Missouri General Assembly can be counted on to do the right thing.
Thank heavens for legislative sessions. Besides warming a cold planet with five months’ worth of hot air, they provide a chance for lawmakers to undo the damage caused by the meddlesome federal government, hapless local governments and clueless voters.
Right now in Jefferson City:
A handful of GOP senators are blocking acceptance of $285 million from the federal government for extended jobless benefits and public school funding.
“Refusing the federal government’s Chinese money,” is how one of the holdouts, Sen. Brian Nieves of Washington, explains it. And those claims that the money, if refused by Missouri, won’t be used to pay down the federal debt but will simply benefit other states? Disregard them. Missouri lawmakers will not allow logic to interfere with their know-it-all-ness.
A bill to transfer control of the St. Louis Police Department from the state to the city is held up in the state Senate.
After upheaval and scandals involving the state-appointed police board, St. Louis’ political and civic leadership and most of its citizens think it’s time for the city to take over. Missouri lawmakers, however, know better. One senator, Jim Lembke of Lemay, characterized St. Louis as “dysfunctional.” Another senator, Rob Schaaf, said he strongly suspected corruption among the St. Louis Board of Aldermen. And hailing from St. Joseph, all the way across the state from St. Louis, how could he be wrong?
In what may be a Missouri record, the legislature is poised this year to overturn — count ‘em — four voter-passed initiatives.
By a vote of 20-14, the Senate on Thursday voted for a bill invalidating many of the provisions and protections of Proposition B, the initiative cracking down on abuses by puppy breeders that Missouri voters approved in November. Supporters bemoaned the complexity of the initiative and said they were pretty sure people didn’t realize what they were voting on.
The House has already approved a bill repealing a 2006 voter-passed initiative allowing the state’s minimum wage to rise if the cost of living increases; action in the Senate is expected soon.
Another voter-approved law in the legislature’s sights is the Missouri Clean Energy Initiative, which in 2009 passed in every county in the state except Osage. It calls for 15 percent of the state’s energy to be produced from renewable sources by 2021.
A move is also under way to undo a 1976 voter-approved law that prevents electric utilities from charging customers for a new plant before the plant begins producing energy.
We shouldn’t get the idea that Missouri lawmakers spend all their time dismantling laws voters wanted passed — or thought they did, anyway. Our elected representatives are perfectly capable of coming up with ideas of their own.
Why, Sen. Jane Cunningham made national news for her innovative proposal to roll back most of the state’s child labor law protections. Age limits and restrictions on the number of hours that children can work are completely “over the top” Cunningham declared.
The national consensus has it that child labor protections are necessary and good. But what does everybody else know? Only the Missouri legislature is always right.