The Missouri Times is speaking to new lawmakers this session. Get to know more of the “Freshmen to Watch” here.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Rep. Cyndi Buchheit-Courtway is a devout Christian and hopes to bring the embodiment of Jesus to the statehouse.
“Everything I do in my life I do thinking, ‘What would God think of this?’” Buchheit-Courtway told The Missouri Times. “I don’t care if anyone remembers my name, but I want them to remember me as that girl who loves God and Jesus and lets them shine through.”
Buchheit-Courtway has been involved in politics for many years through grassroots campaign work and “helping good people get elected.” Whenever she is not at the Capitol, Buchheit-Courtway can be found working at Mercy Hospital Jefferson in the medical records department or at Enterprise Bank. Working in the medical records office has allowed Buchheit-Courtway to connect with patients and develop her love for helping others, which eventually drove her to the legislature.
“I just thought helping on that scale was great, but helping on this scale is huge because it’s helping so many more people,” Buchheit-Courtway said. “I dealt with maybe 40 or 50 people a day sometimes coming into the hospital, but I have like 37,000 people in my district that I can help every day.”
Buchheit-Courtway, a Republican, represents HD 115 which includes parts of Jefferson, Ste. Genevieve, and St. Francois counties. Buchheit-Courtway resides in Festus with her husband, David, and has lived in her district for 14 years.
Buchheit-Courtway said her constituents’ priorities are the Second Amendment Preservation Act (SAPA) and infrastructure.
Buchheit-Courtway has filed HB 1141 modifying A+ Scholarship Program requirements to protect high school students who have struggled to meet demands due to COVID-19. In order to meet current A+ Scholarship Program requirements, a student must have an overall attendance rate of 95 percent, perform 50 hours of tutoring and/or mentoring, obtain a score of proficient or advanced on the Algebra I end-of-course exam (EOC) or ACT math subscore, and maintain a 2.5 grade point average.
“I feel like we shouldn’t hold them hostage from getting their A+ [Scholarship] just because they couldn’t be in a classroom setting,” Buchheit-Courtway said. “This bill is saying that we would not look at those semesters that made their grades slide down under the 2.5 GPA. … As long as those kids have their three years of math requirement for high school, then they wouldn’t have to have that ACT or that EOC credit.”
Buchheit-Courtway is passionate about mental health and is the vice chairman of the Health and Mental Health Policy Committee.
“I want us to find solutions and ways to help people who need help. I do have one very special family member who has struggled with mental health. I thank God that she’s still here with us. That’s a huge passion of mine,” Buchheit-Courtway said.
Buchheit-Courtway also serves on the Rural Community Development Committee and the Transportation Committee as well as the Joint Committee on Government Accountability.
In her few months serving, Buchheit-Courtway’s biggest lesson has been to never promise anything to anyone.
“You may have a bill that has multiple amendments put on it, and you may have promised someone, ‘I’m going to vote this way for this at all times,’ and you may have promised someone else, ‘I’m going to vote against this all the time.’ But the problem would be that those two might somehow end up on a bill together.”
In her free time, Buchheit-Courtway enjoys reading, helping with campaigns, and spending time with her family. Buchheit-Courtway has five children and 15 grandchildren with another on the way.
Elise Eaker studies journalism at Lincoln University. Prior to Lincoln, Elise graduated from Fulton High School. She is a native of Fulton.