The Missouri Times is speaking to new lawmakers this session. Get to know more of the “Freshmen to Watch” here.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Rep. Tim Taylor brought the fire to the Capitol and has already passed his first bill through the House.
HB 369, which would prevent landowners from being held liable for any loss caused by a prescribed burn unless proven to be negligent, was referred to a Senate committee earlier this month.
“It’s very much an honor to have something get that far. As a freshman that is not the norm,” Taylor told The Missouri Times. “I’ve learned that it takes a lot of help from a lot of people and a good network to be able to get things where they need to go.”
Prior to serving in the statehouse, Taylor worked as a firefighter for the Columbia Fire Department for 22 years. Taylor, who has also done remodeling work, served four years, three months, and two days in the Air Force. He said it seems his life has been filled with serving people in different aspects.
“Of course, the military is a big one, but that’s kind of serving more than just local people, but everybody,” Taylor said. “The fire service has been instrumental in me being able to interact with people from all walks of life.”
Taylor moved to Boonville when he was 4 years old and has lived in HD 48 for 51 years. His district, which he described as “small-town America,” includes parts of Chariton, Cooper, Howard, Pettis, Randolph, and Saline counties.
Taylor’s curiosity in politics sparked from his father taking him on motorcycle rides to the Capitol.
“I did that my whole life — we’d just take a little Saturday drive and come down here and wander the halls,” Taylor said. “So I always had that thought about how [things] actually worked here.”
But it wasn’t until he left the fire department that Taylor was able to get more involved in the political process.
“The fire department kept me from being able to pursue this because of conflict of interest so once I retired in 2019 that opened the door,” Taylor said.
When Taylor first mentioned running for office to his wife of 28 years, Dawn, she suggested he wait until their son left for college, and he initially agreed. However, redistricting changed Taylor’s mind.
“It was just like, okay, maybe this is the time to do it — now or never,” he said.
Taylor doesn’t want to be known as someone who passed a lot of legislation, but rather as someone who stopped legislation that would be detrimental to his community. Taylor also wants to be known as a person who listens well and is willing to give people time to voice all of their concerns.
Taylor serves on the Public Safety, Transportation, and Veterans committees, as well as the Conservation and Natural Resources Committee.
In his free time, Taylor, an avid bowhunter, teaches archery to children. He also runs a small cow-calf operation. He has been a certified scuba diver since 1988 but doesn’t just do the “fun dives.” Taylor does light commercial diving to recover missing objects in rivers.
Elise Eaker studies journalism at Lincoln University. Prior to Lincoln, Elise graduated from Fulton High School. She is a native of Fulton.