This article originally appeared in the Fall 2019 edition of The Missouri Times Magazine.
Rep. Jack Bondon takes the job he was elected to do very seriously, knowing there are real consequences to the decisions lawmakers make, and as a legislator, he shouldn’t forget the gravity of that.
“While we are sitting in the chamber, there are Missourians working — in offices, on farms, in schools — around the state contributing to the state and affected by our actions,” Bondon said. “The world does not begin and end in that [Capitol] building. It does not begin or end in the House chambers, or the Senate chambers, or on the second floor.”
It’s with that mindset he has learned to ask a lot of questions, do his research, look at the bigger picture, and trust the experts.
In his five years in the House, Bondon has pushed for legislation that, in his words, streamlines, reforms, and updates the state’s regulatory environment; promotes policies to support low-cost energy; and returns local control to the people.
“If you look through my legislative stuff, most of what you will find is stuff that streamlines government or removes some unnecessary government barrier,” Bondon said, noting not all of his proposals make headline news. “Not every issue facing the state is of wide interest, but that doesn’t mean they are not real issues.”
He has championed updating Medicaid per diem reimbursement rates if facilities invest in improvements, changing linked deposit limits, requiring wholesalers comes into physical possession of alcohol, and more.
“Some people become teachers, some people become firefighters, some people become police officers. The way I think I can help and serve people is by being their eyes and ears [in Jefferson City], by being their voice, to speak for them, to stand up for them,” Bondon said.
“It’s a call to service. I genuinely love what I do. It is not always easy, but I believe I have done a good job of helping shape policy [and] passing laws that have streamlined government and created opportunities for investment in our state.”
The biggest issues facing the Show-Me State are modernizing the workforce, preparing today’s youth for the jobs of the future, infrastructure, and a lack of focus on rural parts of the state, he said.
Alisha Shurr was a reporter for The Missouri Times and The 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.