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Opinion: Missouri’s Bright Future Requires an Investment in Rural

   

When I first decided to run for office, I did so with the hopes of being a strong voice in support of our rural values and communities. Like so many of you, I grew sick and tired of seeing millions and millions of dollars in taxpayer money going to bring new businesses and opportunities to St. Louis and Kansas City with little more than an afterthought being paid to our smaller, rural communities.

I filed the “Missouri Rural Workforce Development Act” because I believe it is time for rural Missouri to get its fair shake. Too often our tax dollars make their way to Jefferson City, but they never make it back. Instead, money is spent bringing new stadiums, airports, and employment opportunities to the metropolitan areas while many in rural Missouri are left with little opportunity for employment or lengthy commutes that are a drain on our families.

The Missouri Rural Workforce Development Act will incentivize businesses to bring jobs right here to rural Missouri, not the big cities. In doing so we have the opportunity to create countless new jobs in rural Missouri with family-supporting wages. Recently, the Agriculture Policy Committee allowed me to present my bill and hear testimony from those interested in the legislation. I was proud to have the Missouri Farm Bureau and the Missouri Chamber of Commerce testify in favor of my Missouri Rural Workforce Development Act. Like us, they understand that an investment in rural Missouri is an investment in the future of our great state.

Agriculture is Missouri’s number one industry and a product of rural Missouri. Our rural communities are the backbone of this state and it’s economy. We can no longer allow bureaucrats in Jefferson City to continue to prioritize the development of St. Louis and Kansas City at the expense of rural Missouri. Instead, we must do everything we can to ensure our rural communities grow and thrive and our rural workforce has access to quality jobs with family-supporting wages. By doing this, we will ensure a bright future for Missouri.