Thank you for visiting!
This website is here for your information. Please come back often for updates and news on the 160th District.
If I can be of any help, please contact me through the Contact section.
May God bless you - Representative Bill Reiboldt
Looking for ways to help in following the flooding in Newton County?
Please click here for more information on Heart to Heart's volunteer efforts.
The month of March has literally flown by, and a quick look at the calendar indicates there are only 7 weeks remaining in the 2017 legislative session. Typically, we think of Spring Break as marking the halfway point for second semesters. This same idea applies to the state’s legislature, and this past week was Spring Break for Missouri’s General Assembly. Though I did not head anywhere to frolic on a beach (and I strongly suspect most of my other legislator companions did not), my Spring Break did allow me the opportunity to participate in Neosho’s Business and Industry Review event, to take part in Eggs and Issues (a forum updating area residents and business leaders about the legislative session), and to be in the 160th District’s 4th grade classrooms. It is always an enjoyable time for me when I have the privilege of discussing state government with 4th graders. Being able to spend more time in the district has also given me the opportunity to visit with many of my constituents concerning state issues. As session resumes, passing the FY18 state budget is now top priority.
February has proven to be a very busy time at the state capitol, as Missouri’s new governor, Eric Greitens continues to organize his administration by making additional appointments to his cabinet. Recent appointments by Governor Greitens included new directors for both the Department of Insurance and the Department of Financial Institutions and Professional Registrations. The Department of Revenue and Missouri’s Health and Senior Services also have new appointees. In addition, the Governor appointed three new members to the University of Missouri Board of Curators. All appointees are subject to confirmation by the Missouri Senate.
The General Assembly passed legislation and sent it to the Governor to make Missouri a Right to Work state, and on Monday, February 6, Governor Greitens signed this bill into law. While Right to Work is not the “silver bullet” to completely address our state’s struggling economy, it will help to attract new companies and industry who seek to locate in a Right to Work state. Today there is fierce competition amongst states to attract industry in order to help create jobs and economic opportunities within their borders. Right to Work now puts Missouri in a better bargaining position.
January 2017 was a busy month at our state capital in Jefferson City. The members of Missouri’s 99th General Assembly convened on January 4 to officially open the Legislative Session. The new Session opened with a more optimistic tone regarding its working relationship with our newly elector Governor, Eric Greitens. House Speaker Todd Richardson told House members on opening day: “For the first time in Missouri’s history, our great state is governed by a super majority of Republicans and a Republican in the Governor’s mansion.” He added, “With this greater power comes even greater responsibility, a responsibility to make the legislative process deliberative.” This means we must respect the voices and viewpoints of every Missourian through a process of thoughtfully weighing the options on each issue.
Speaker Richardson emphasized the need to embrace new ideas that will help our state’s economy to keep pace with a rapidly changing world. Among the House’s top priorities will be reforming state government, including regulatory reform, labor reform, tort reform, education reform, and ethics reform, while defending and protecting Missouri’s core values, those values that are most important to all Missourians.
This week I want to continue my thoughts about the electoral college, something that is unique to the United States of America. Following the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin was asked by a woman,”What form of government have you given us?” He replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”
What our founding fathers gave us was a Representative Constitutional Republic, which, over the years, has proven its greatness. Many writers and commentators have referred to our founding fathers, using the word “genius,” and referring to our constitution as “great.” Truly, we owe all our founders the honor and the respect they deserve for giving us the form of government that we enjoy today. It has endured the test of time and given us a nation of stability, one governed by laws, and one that has enjoyed a peaceful transition of power when electing new presidents.
The electoral college has again come under attack following the results of the 2016 presidential election. The liberal left is advocating the scrapping of the electoral college process, and their desire is to have the president elected by a national popular vote under the guidelines of the federal government and not by the individual states. Another group—the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact—has also gotten behind this idea and is pushing it. They are seeking a constitutional amendment designed to replace the electoral college with a national popular vote, and they are currently visiting individual states in an attempt to get their amendment ratified. So far, the group has the support of ten states—all blue ones. However, in Missouri, very little interest or support has been shown for the movement.
President-elect Trump joins John Quincy Adams, Rutherford B. Hays, Benjamin Harrison, and George W. Bush as the only individuals who won the presidency without winning the popular vote. In the election of 2012, President Obama won 61% of the electoral votes but only 51% of the popular vote. Because of the closeness of the count in the recent election, it is uncertain at this time as to whether Donald Trump did indeed lose the popular vote as reported. Regardless, the numbers do reflect a very deep and wide geographical division within America today, mainly between the nation’s heavily populated urban areas and the more sparsely populated rural areas. It also reflects the pronounced differences in American’s lifestyles. In my opinion, the doing away of the electoral college is an extremely dangerous idea, as the college protects the liberty of all American voters, urban and rural. Replacing it with the national popular vote could prove to be seriously problematic.
Pre-filing of legislation for the 2017 Session began last week on December 1 for the Legislative Session that will convene on January 4, less than one month away. It will be very interesting to see how the General Assembly will work with the new Republican governor and his administration. One huge difference will be the shared political priorities being compatible with the majority of the General Assembly and the Governor’s Administration, and how we want Missouri to look as a state as we move forward.
Recently, House Speaker Todd Richardson took some time to outline part of what he sees for the 2017 legislative agenda. Speaker Richardson has had the opportunity to meet several times with Governor-Elect Greitens to discuss the common ground that can be found between the executive and legislative branches of state government. Some of their talks have centered around a future vision for what lies in store for our state. That vision is for a Missouri that respects and protects individual freedoms, for a Missouri that has a stronger, more vibrant dynamic economy than what we have today, and for a Missouri that seeks more good quality jobs for all its citizens. It also seeks a Missouri that has a strong education system for every student, no matter where they were born or where they live in the state.