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Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014

It is time to tackle some tough issues

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

I guess sometimes I expect too much from the Missouri Legislature. Here's my thinking. Let's assume that some of the best and brightest are elected to our state legislature. In them we entrust our tax dollars, our protection and safety, much of our health issues, not to mention the education of our children and grandchildren. And we expect results.

Into that arena, the House Democrats this week outlined three proposals they hope to achieve in the current session of the legislature. They are calling on Republican Gov. Matt Blunt to cooperate in these three proposals.

Here's what the House Democrats want to achieve: New initiatives to curb methamphetamine abuse, an end to the license fee office patronage system and a limit on minor's access to violent video games. I agree with all three proposals. But for goodness sakes, these three ideas could be accomplished in a week!

What happened to the broken Medicaid program or our problems with the highway system or the antiquated Foundation Formula for education? Video games and license offices are pretty petty items, in my opinion, compared to the much more pressing issues facing Missouri today.

I don't fault the Democrats. Quite the contrary. I applaud them for outlining an agenda in the early goings of the session. But with a third of our state budget going to finance the health issues of the poor and with some school districts spending double what other districts spend on students, it seems to me that video games are unimportant.

I got a chuckle out of the license fee office idea. Funny how that proposal didn't surface during a Democratic administration. But politics is politics.

And why in the world are we discussing the issue of video games. The Democrats say we shouldn't sell video games rated "adults only" to minors. How can you disagree with that? And why are they being sold to minors in the first place if they are rated "adults only"?

I want the legislature to discuss and arrive at a fix for education, transportation and the health crisis on our state. These items take work, cooperation and sacrifice. And that's why we elected these men and women to travel to Jefferson City and fight for our interests.

This is my question. Is the topic of video games in the hands of minors the most pressing issue in our state today? I believe that's not the case. So why aren't we talking about cuts in Medicaid or a reduction in government spending or the imbalance in school funding?

Come on guys and girls. Let's tackle those unpopular yet important issues that will determine the future of our state. And believe me, the issue goes much deeper than who gets the license fee office or what level of punishment we give to meth users.

February is almost here. It's time to tackle what is really important.



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