New Year, New Beginning

Thursday, January 11, 2024

For Immediate Release: 

January 11, 2024


Capitol Building, Room 425

Jefferson City, MO 65101



New Year, New Beginning 

On Jan. 3, I returned to the State Capitol for the beginning of the 2024 legislative session, which will continue through May. My colleagues and I have a lot to do in the next several months, including passing the state operating budget for the next fiscal year, which is the only constitutional requirement of the Legislature. It’s great to be back in Jefferson City, reconnecting with my colleagues and working to move our state forward. Lawmakers have been pre-filing legislation since early December. To date, more than 600 bills and resolutions covering a wide-range of issues facing our state have been filed in the Senate. So far, I have filed 21 bills for consideration during this upcoming term and will briefly discuss my top three priorities below. 

2024 Legislative Priorities

My filed bills, some of which carried over from legislation that didn’t cross the finish line in 2023, address several important issues including the minimum wage, unlawful possession of firearms, parole eligibility, abuse and neglect reporting, and cybercrimes. You can view all of my sponsored bills on the Senate website at

Drivers who flee when police attempt to stop them create a dangerous situation for all involved. Among my priorities for 2024 is Senate Bill 820, which was second-read and referred to the Senate Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety Committee on Jan. 9. This act would increase the penalty for fleeing from police by creating the offense of aggravated fleeing a stop or detention of a motor vehicle if the person knows a law enforcement officer is attempting to detain their vehicle and flees at a high speed, causing or creating a substantial risk of serious physical injury or death to another person.  

Many insurance plans limit contraceptive prescriptions to one or three months, and it’s often difficult for women to get to the pharmacy that often, due to work schedules, transportation issues and other barriers. Another bill I’ve put forward this year is Senate Bill 821, which was second-read and referred to the Senate Insurance and Banking Committee on Jan. 9. This proposal requires health benefit plans issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2025, that provide coverage for self-administered hormonal contraceptives, to cover a one-year supply of birth control. I believe this would prevent gaps in birth control use and decrease unplanned pregnancies. 

The last bill I will mention at this time is Senate Bill 822, which was second-read and referred to the Senate Economic Development and Tax Policy Committee on Jan. 9. Increasing housing values and property taxes price many seniors out of their homes, and high costs can make accessible housing out-of-reach for many Missourians with disabilities. The Senior Citizen Property Tax Relief Credit provides assistance, but needs to be adjusted for inflation. This act would strengthen the credit by expanding income eligibility and increasing the credit amount, helping many older people stay in their homes. 

I look forward to advancing these proposals and getting to work on the hundreds of other measures the Legislature will consider this session. As always, I will provide updates and keep you informed periodically as the session unfolds.  

January 2024 Observances

January is a month dedicated to raising awareness on two very serious world issues. It’s National Human Trafficking Prevention Montha great time to educate yourself, your friends and family on the reality of human trafficking. January 2024 also marks the 20th annual National Stalking Awareness Month. By learning more about stalking behaviors, you’ll be more likely to notice them before they escalate and can take steps to protect yourself and others. I have filed Senate Bill 1070, the “Stop Cyberstalking and Harassment Task Force,” to help come up with solutions on this complex issue.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 15, is a federal holiday honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a tireless advocate for racial equality, working classes and the oppressed around the world. 

STL County Seeking Election Judges

You can play a big part in the upcoming April 2nd St. Louis County General Municipal Election by becoming a St. Louis County Election Judge. The St. Louis County Election Board needs to staff more than 200 polling places throughout the county, and you can help. Election judges are responsible for essential tasks, such as setting up and operating voting equipment, checking in voters and securing ballots for collection. High school students are also needed to assist official election judges at the polls. Students shadow experienced judges through an innovative student election judge program and will learn how the electoral process works and the importance of public service. For more information, contact Jim McHugh of the St. Louis County Election Board at 314-615-1858 or email  

It’s a new year, a time for new beginnings and the perfect opportunity to make New Year’s resolutions. This year, why not resolve to get more involved with the legislative process? You can testify at a public hearing to share your stories and express your opinions to legislators. Visit the Senate website at to review legislation being considered this year or listen to audio of committee hearings and Senate debates. If you feel strongly about any of the bills before the Senate and would like to express your views, please email me at If you’re able to visit our beautiful Capitol, stop by the District 24 office in room 425 and say hello. As always, if there is anything I or my staff, Hannah Dolan and Emily O’ Laughlin, can assist you with, please call us at 573-751-9762. We are here to serve you and look forward to hearing more from you in 2024.