An exception to the rule, John Wiemann’s interest in politics started as very young age. As a child, he would watch the news with his father and he attended his first Lincoln Day’s as a teenager with his parents.
“I’ve been debating and talking about politics and public policy since I was a very young man,” said newly-elected Speaker Pro Tem. “This is in my blood.”
An insurance broker by trade, Wiemann credits his parents with sparking his interest in politics. Both of his parents were part of the Phelps County Central Republican Committee and heavily involved in service to their community. The same year that Wiemann married his wife, Yvette, his father actually ran to be a member of the General Assembly.
That influence played a huge part in Wiemann’s desire to serve his state and community, something he always knew he wanted to do.
“My ultimate desire is to serve my community and try to help those that are in need and to try and make our state better. That is ultimately why I wanted to serve,” said Wiemann.
He has been working towards those aims in the four years he has served in the Missouri House of Representatives, representing the people of O’Fallon, Missouri. Moving into his third term in the General Assembly, Wiemann will also serve as part of the leadership team within the Republican Caucus.
In the last legislative session, there are two bills he hangs his hat on: adding licensed chiropractors to Medicaid providers list and modifications to the state’s clean water law.
The chiropractic bill enables Medicaid recipients to see a chiropractor for back pain or issues along those lines. It also addresses the opioid problem, Wiemann notes, while saving the state money.
“It is a bill that is beneficial to people that are on Medicaid, as far as giving them another health care option to help address their medical conditions,” said Wiemann.
The toughest part of getting the measure passed was the fiscal note attached to the bill. The original fiscal note showed a significant cost to the state, but Wiemann said backers of the bill had calculated a cost savings to the state. So, they had to go about providing that the measure would save Mo HealthNet money.
Within an omnibus agricultural bill, was a provision dealing with nonpoint source water. The bill aimed at clarifying existing law and reducing the amount of latitude given to the Department of Natural Resource when determining what classifies as a nonpoint source pollutant.
Wiemann used the example of a rancher with cattle. Under the previous law, if there was manure on the ground when a big rain hit, that could be considered a nonpoint source pollutant.
“It was a way to bring clarity and remove the ambiguity of the existing law to make it more clear as to what was permitted and wasn’t permitted,” said Wiemann, who advocated for the passage of the law.
He plans to continue pushing for the passage of measure he believes will benefit Missourians.
In the 2019 general session, Wiemann expects to spend more time advocating for the passage of House bill in the Senate and working on getting more quality pieces of legislation across the finish line.
“It has been an honor to serve in the legislature these last four years,” said Wiemann. He noted he looks forward to using his leadership experience to help new members be productive and make Missouri a better state.
This piece is featured as part of the Missouri Times’ Best of the Legislature 2018 appearing in the January 2019 Missouri Times Magazine.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.