Below is a Capitol Comment I received from Representative Doug Ervin back in January. Representative Ervin addresses the Missouri State Sovereignty Rally that took place last month in Jefferson City.

Capitol Comment
Representative Doug Ervin
January 16, 2010

House and Senate Priorities

“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”

–       Thomas Jefferson

The second week of the session has concluded and business in the Missouri House is taking shape.  As bills begin to be referred to committees and committees begin public hearings, the legislative agenda takes shape.

The most notable event of the week occurred on Wednesday when visitors from across the state crowded into the Capitol Rotunda to hold the first ever Missouri State Sovereignty Rally.  The purpose of this year’s rally was prompted by the massive opposition by Americans to the federal health care proposals and encroachment of the federal government into our private lives.

Those in attendance are concerned that the federal health care proposals would create an unfair tax on individuals who do not purchase health insurance and penalize businesses that do not offer it to their employees.  They oppose the massive expansion of welfare at the expense of the states and lack of fiscal restraint.  Their opposition is well founded after Democrat negotiators in Washington caved and exempted union health care plans from their proposed 40% tax creating yet another special class of Americans at the expense of the rest of us.

The week was also the scene of a joint press conference by House and Senate leaders outlining a joint set of priorities for this session.  First, and foremost, fiscal responsibility and passing a balanced budget will be front and center.  Missouri’s revenue collections continue to lag projections and difficult choices will be in store.  The fiscal priorities include:

”       Urging Governor Nixon to issue prompt income tax refunds;
”       Require legislative oversight for the spending of federal stimulus dollars;
”       Reduce fraud and abuse in the Medicaid system
”       That the state of Missouri will live within its means; and
”       Pledge that there will be absolutely no tax increases on Missourians.

In addition to passing a sound, fiscally responsible state budget so that Missouri continues to be solvent and viable for future generations, these priorities also include protecting our constitutional rights and Liberty; continuing to secure the health, safety, and welfare of all Missourians; and continuing to uphold traditional, common sense Missouri values.   Specifically, the House and Senate recognize these issues as necessary to reach these goals:

”       Ensure greater transparency and strengthen ethics in government;
”       Oppose a bloated and expanded government, support smaller government;
”       Oppose the federal government takeover of our health care system;
”       Call upon Congress to oppose job destroying cap-and-trade legislation;
”       Make certain that statutes pertaining to clean water are implemented to ensure public safety of our citizens; and
”       Require credit agencies to withhold reporting negative information if it is caused by identity theft.

As our state continues to face budget uncertainty and Missouri’s unemployment recently inched up to 9.6%, Missouri must be wary of any proposal, state or federal, that would potentially cost Missouri financially or at the expense of our collective identify as Missourians.

These proposals are intended to allow people keep more of their own money, to allow them to make decisions for themselves and their families, to give individuals more liberty in their consumption, savings, and debt retirement.  At some point, we, as Americans, will decide whether Thomas Jefferson’s maxim will prevail – will we allow Liberty to yield and government to gain ground?

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 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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