Press release I just received from Rep. Doug Ervin.We look forward to battling the Federal Government with you.

Capitol Comment
Representative Doug Ervin
January 7, 2010

Session Begins

“The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government.”
–       Thomas Jefferson
letter to the Republican citizens of Washington County, Maryland
March 31, 1809

This week the Second Regular Session of the 95th General Assembly was convened.  This will be my last year to serve in the Missouri House of Representatives due to term limits and I look forward to representing the interests of our communities and our state in the coming months.

It is also with great regret that I inform you that the U.S. Congress has also convened this week to work tirelessly on their behalf, and their elections, as well.

Missouri’s state budget will command the most attention from lawmakers and special interest groups this session.  This is the second budget year in a row where general revenue collections are less than the previous year.  At present, revenue collections are down considerably from last year with year to date collections off by 10.5%.

The Governor, House, and Senate budget leaders have agreed upon the revised consensus revenue estimate for the remainder of this fiscal year which ends on June 30, 2010 predicting that revenues will be 6.4% less than expected at $6.97 billion in general revenue.  The fiscal year 2010 budget was passed based upon an overly optimistic revenue estimate of $7.76 billion.

They have also agreed upon the consensus revenue estimate for the next budget year which begins on July 1, 2010 suggesting a growth in state general revenue collections of 3.5% resulting in $7.223 billion of general revenue.  This will be a difficult number to beat if unemployment remains high.

Speaking of unemployment, this year begins with a staggering 9.5% unemployment rate in Missouri and 10% unemployment nationwide.  The shadow of the federal government continues to darken over the states and the federal overreach into the lives of Americans is frighteningly Orwellian.

A recent Wall Street Journal opinion piece suggested, “… a civilization becomes incompetent not only when it fails to learn the lessons of the past, but also when it becomes crippled by them.”  The world over is strewn with the debris of failed socialist governments, despots, and the wretched human condition of those struggling for hope and liberty at the hands of those promoting “the greater good”.

Yet, in Washington, Congress continues to fritter away opportunity after opportunity to provide real leadership for America, to unleash the American mind and the entrepreneur by promoting Liberty.  Instead, our elected Congress and executive branch ignore the virtue of our matchless Constitution, they ignore the inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness endowed to us by our Creator as recognized by our Founders in the Declaration of Independence, and they buy each other off with our tax dollars to ingratiate themselves, buy votes for unpopular legislation, and then turn around and lecture us about who is watching out for our best interests.

This is the year where states will play defense.  We will dust off the forgotten notion of federalism and we will remind Congress and the President that the U.S. Constitution begins with “We the People”.

The Republican majority in the Missouri House recognizes that the bedrock of the economy, the bedrock of every community, is you and your family.

It is time for government to quit trying pick winners and losers, to stop trying to tell us what is good for us, to stop trying to be God.  Instead, government should recognize that, as Frederic Bastiat observed in 1850:

“God has given to men all that is necessary for them to accomplish their destinies…  And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun:  May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgement of faith in God and His works.”

Where our federal government has failed to act, the Missouri House will remain committed to seeking solutions to the problems faced by Missourians from all walks of life.

As always, I appreciate hearing your comments, opinions and concerns.  LaTonya Percival, my Legislative Assistant, and I are always available to answer questions and address your concerns.  I can be reached in Jefferson City at (573)751-2238 or you can write me at doug.ervin@house.mo.gov or regular mail at 201 West Capitol Avenue, Room 412A, Jefferson City, MO 65101.

###

For a Better Missouri,

Doug Ervin
State Representative
District 35, Missouri

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