Getting to know their way around the state capitol and the bill-passing process is how many freshmen lawmakers spend their first term in office. Our two Freshmen of the Year Award Winners proved to be quick learners, not only learning the system, but stepping up to successfully pass important pro-jobs legislation in their first terms.
Sen. Gary Romine
Sen. Gary Romine, a Republican from Farmington, showed the finesse of a long-time lawmaker in his handling of Senate Bill 844, legislation to extend the well-used shared work program. The measure was intended to keep Missouri in compliance with new federal requirements for the shared-work program. Without passage of the bill, the program, which is used by 335 employers and more than 21,000 people, would have ended. It allows businesses to split working hours among a group of employees as an alternative to laying some of them off. In exchange, the employees’ incomes are supplemented with reduced amounts of unemployment benefits. During the legislative process, Romine effectively removed unnecessary cost drivers that had been proposed by the administration, while preserving the core program.
As an entrepreneur who started a rental company that has grown to multiple locations across Missouri, Sen. Romine understands the challenges employers face. His support for pro-jobs legislation is reflected in his 100 percent vote rating with the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Sen. Romine will be a legislator to watch in the coming years. Watch him receive his award.
Rep. Rocky Miller
As a freshman representative, Rep. Rocky Miller, a Republican from Tuscumbia, has quickly made a name for himself as an effective statesman. Rep. Miller led the passage of House Bill 1075, legislation to protect employers’ property and assets from outdated unclaimed property. Some states have used outdated unclaimed property laws to seize business assets in an effort to pad state revenues. That won’t happen in Missouri, thanks to the work of Rep. Miller. His bill has helped move Missouri from one of the worst rankings among unclaimed property laws to among the best. States will use Missouri laws as a model for reform in the future.
Miller owns his own business and carries a 94 percent vote rating with the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In his short time in the state legislature, Miller has proven he is a strong vote for Missouri employers. Watch him receive his award.