JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — His first session as majority floor leader in the Missouri House, Rep. Rob Vescovo has shown no hesitation in his new position taking a firm, no-nonsense approach.  

He has attempted to keep an open mind and an open door, allowing fellow Representatives and citizens of the Show-Me State express their priorities and their opinions on the issues facing Missouri, which Vescovo can then forward those related proposals to the floor for consideration in an efficient and timely manner.

“I try to be sensitive to the goals and priorities of our members and of our state as a whole. I believe voters sent us here to work hard and to consider, for passage or failure, as many proposals as we can,” he said. “Therefore, I tend to attempt to advance as many bills as I can, once members are prepared to present them to the body.”

“Rob has shown a determination to bring all the bills to the floor and the fact that he takes them in the order received, shows a respect for all members,” said Rep. Kathie Conway. “He is very approachable and has been willing to work with me whenever I have asked for his assistance. I think he will only grow in the position and be better every year.”

The approach Vescovo took to the first half of session carried over to the second half, expect at a faster pace with a heavier workload as more committees finish their work and the end of session deadline approaches.

“I think he has done a great job,” said Rep. Kevin Austin. “He has run a very efficient ship where both sides of the aisle know what to expect. And he has helped the House stay focused, passing a large number of bills without sacrificing quality. This goes without saying his aid off the floor and not in the public eye.”

The Representatives in the House are very focused on improving the state with better job opportunities, the fiscal responsibility owed to taxpayers, and a state government that is well-run and responsive to citizens, according to Vescovo.

So far this session the House has passed 207 bills, with eight passing the Senate, and the governor signing two.

“My goal is to ensure that fair and meaningful debate and deliberations take place on as many pieces of legislation as possible. Sometimes that means allowing lengthy and extended debate on complicated bills. But it also means moving forward with a vote so that other worthwhile legislation can come to the floor to be considered as well,” Vescovo said on deciding when to move Previous Question. “The voters of Missouri send us here to consider a wide spectrum of proposals, so I try to make sure as many voices as possible get to be heard…not just on one bill, but on many bills.”

Going into to the 2018 session, he had a decent handle on what it would be like to be floor leader but the amount of preparation and attention to detail that is required to make House floor activity run smoothly never ceases to impress him.

“It takes members and staff working together and putting in many long hours, often behind the scenes, to create an efficient, productive legislative body,” Vescovo said. “And our voters deserve no less.”

“Since his election to majority floor leader, Rob Vescovo has displayed qualities that has not only impressed me, but has convinced me the caucus chose a person that can be counted on in the future as a loyal leader in the Republican Party.  He has earned the respect of our caucus and constituents,” said Rep. Chuck Basye.

The long hours do require additional time spent away from his family, which, according to Vescovo, is the toughest part of the position.

“He’s been an absolute professional. He works so hard and is always honest. Most impressive of all, he hasn’t held it against me for supporting his opponent in the floor leader race. He embraced me as a colleague and has treated with the same respect he’s treated everyone else. Rob Vescovo is a true and genuine professional,” said Rep. David Gregory.

On the other hand, knowing that the work they are doing here is paving the way for a brighter future for all Missouri families, and especially young people is the best part.

The opportunity to advance an agenda for Missouri that would attract more good-paying jobs and opportunities for working families in the state — where his passion lies — is what drew Vescovo to the position.

“The deliberative body that is the Missouri House is no less than key underpinning of our system of government,” he said. “Allowing diverse voices of our state to be heard, and forwarding many proposals to be debated and considered is a duty I take very seriously.  And at the end of the day, or at the end of a session, that means making sure that our work has made Missouri a better place than it was when we started.”

Alisha Shurr is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University. Contact Alisha at alisha@themissouritimes.com.