JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Associated Industries of Missouri Board of Directors visited multiple legislators in the Capitol Wednesday as part of an informal legislative day.
Ray McCarty, the president of the organization, said the board usually holds meetings twice a year – one in April and one in November – and they decided to take the opportunity to head over to the Capitol, which is not necessarily done each year. The group of business leaders and representatives had a chance to meet personally with legislators on both sides of the building, including House Speaker Todd Richardson and Senate Majority Leader Mike Kehoe.
“The main purpose was to make sure our business leaders who are members of our board and don’t get to the Capitol very often were able to… talk with the key policymakers and thank them for all of the pro-business legislation they’ve put forward this year and that what they’re doing is very important,” McCarty said.
Regulation reform, particularly labor reform and tort reform, has been a key priority of the majority caucus and bills have been signed by Gov. Eric Greitens making Missouri a right-to-work state and adopting new standards for expert witness testimony in court cases. Both of those, and others, have been key priorities for AIM and other business-representing organizations, like the Missouri Chamber of Commerce.
However, McCarty said he also believed the opportunity was beneficial for lawmakers as well.
“They often see all of us who lobby for these companies, but they don’t see the actual companies standing there,” McCarty said. “I think these kinds of trips really help put a face on our arguments when we’re talking to the legislators about pro-business legislation.”
The slight change of pace for the organization was ultimately beneficial, and McCarty said he would likely look to make the legislative day a more solidly annual experience.
“All of those who don’t regularly engage in the Capitol really enjoyed it,” he said.
Featured image (from left to right): Steven Burger (Burgers’ Smokehouse), Ray McCarty (AIM President), Bill Imhauser (Pittsburgh Corning), Gregg Givens (DST Systems), RJ Lindstrom (Zephyr Manufacturing), Haley Castelvecchi (AIM Communications Director), Jerry Jost (Jost Chemical and Chairman of AIM Board), Ruth Binger (Danna McKitrick), Rod Reid (Shepherd Hills Factory Outlets) , Melissa Bowman (SSM Health), Rob Carney (Caterpillar), Patrick Daly (Sierra Bullets), John Frederick (The Boeing Co.), Madeline Romious (AT&T)