I believe the goal of any healthcare system would be to find a cost-effective system that allows for the most access to affordable care. Healthcare should not be a privilege, but a right of all Missourians. Expanding Medicaid is an essential step in achieving this goal, but Republicans in Jefferson City continue to vote against Medicaid expansion. As of July 1, 60,000 seniors on Medicare lost access to the state-provided prescription drug plan in order for the state to "save money," but at what cost? For too long, legislators in Jefferson City have sabotaged the health care system at the expense of our most vulnerable citizens: the children, the elderly and the disabled.
The Missouri Democratic Party has launched Healthy Missouri, which is designed to build a healthcare system with more options and lower costs for Missourians. I fully support this initiative that will help veterans, women, minorities and lower income families. For more information, please visit the Missouri Democrats website.
A quality education is the driving force behind any vibrant economy. I will fight for Missouri children to make sure our public schools are fully funded and teachers are supported. I will ensure that every school district provides students with the necessary skills and vocational training needed for students to pursue higher wages and better jobs. I will work tirelessly in Jefferson City to ensure all Missouri students have an equal opportunity to receive a quality education.
Right to Work (RTW) is wrong for Missouri and Missouri workers. Unions and labor organizations are the standard bearer for higher wages and workplace safety protections. A 2012 study by the Economic Policy Institute has shown that "right to work" states still have lower wages, higher poverty rates and a bigger gender pay gap than non-RTW states. The reality is, federal law already makes it illegal to force someone to join a union. If a person chooses to not join a union, they are still afforded the same protections and union representation as paying members. RTW legislation is simply a way to keep working Americans from forming a union and keep them from using the power of collective bargaining for better wages, hours, working conditions and benefits. RTW is only good for big business, but bad for hard-working Missourians.
As a lawyer, I fight every day for individual's rights in court. The far right wing agenda being pushed through Jefferson City is taking away our rights to address wrongs committed against us in state court. "Tort reform" legislation would limit the rights of hard-working Missourians. I will fight for the rights of Missourians to get their day in court. I will fight to level the playing field with big business, and their billionaire donors, by standing up for the rights of hard-working Missourians.
As a recent newspaper article read, "engineers and motorists say Missouri roads and bridges are in bad shape, but lawmakers do not seem to be in a hurry to make repairs." There has not been a raise in the gasoline tax since 1996 (Ashcroft Gas Tax). Republicans in Jefferson City want to privatize the highway system and make Interstate 70 a toll road. Toll roads foster corruption, political patronage, and discourage needed improvements on the rest of the highway system. We can do better.
As a small business owner in St. Charles County, I know the sacrifices and difficult decisions small business owners have to make on a daily basis. In Jefferson City, I will fight for small business owners and promote an environment where businesses can grow and be successful. I also believe that increasing the minimum wage will help small business. More money in the hands of consumers will increase demand, and in the end, profits.