House Communications - News
1/9 - Speaker Jetton Opens 2008 Session
Jefferson City – On the opening day of his final session as Missouri’s Speaker of the House, Speaker Rod Jetton (R-Marble Hill) reflected on past successes and unveiled legislative priorities for the 2008 session.
“Looking back since I first entered the House, we have made a real difference for Missouri families,” Speaker Jetton said. “Just a few years ago, we faced a billion dollar budget shortfall. Now, we’re operating under a budget surplus, while continuing to make Missouri a better state.”
Among other things, Speaker Jetton noted that Missouri has added 92,900 jobs since 2005 through policies including tort reform, worker compensation reform and business incentives. In addition, the state’s 2007 education budget was the largest in Missouri’s history, and $45 million in scholarships have helped more than 37,000 students realize the dream of attending college. He also cited improvements in Missouri’s transportation infrastructure, which led to 161 fewer deaths in 2006 compared to 2005.
For the 2008 session, Speaker Jetton called on legislators to build on these accomplishments by
-Increasing pay for teachers;
-Passing the Teacher Protection Act, which would allow teachers and school districts to follow school policy without fear of a frivolous lawsuit;
-Reforming Missouri’s property tax system, and especially ease the burden for seniors;
-Passing legislation to crack down on illegal immigration in Missouri
Speaker Jetton also introduced several new leaders in the House, including Speaker Pro Tem Bryan Pratt (R-Blue Springs), Majority Floor Leader Steven Tilley (R-Perryville), Minority Floor Leader Paul LeVota (D-Independence) and Assistant Minority Floor Leader, J. C. Kuessner (D- Eminence).
Speaker Jetton commended the House on its past bipartisan efforts and says he hopes this session, members will continue to work together.
“This is my last year – and an election year – but I have no doubt we will continue to pass legislation that makes Missouri a better place to live, work and raise our children,” Speaker Jetton said.
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