Senator Matt Bartle

Vividly colored leaves, chilly nights and football season are all cues that we are in the middle of fall and that winter will soon be here – probably sooner than we would like. Thanksgiving and Christmas are creeping up on us, and stores are already in full-fledged holiday mode. The changing of the seasons reminds me of how quickly the summer passed and how another legislative session will begin in Jefferson City in just a couple of months.

Unlike Congress, which meets nearly year-round, the Missouri General Assembly is truly a citizen legislature. We convene in early January and adjourn in mid-May. We’re generally in session from Monday through Thursday although some weeks we may have session on Friday or even on the weekends if there is an urgent need to work on legislation. 

In preparation for the upcoming legislative session, Senate rules allow bills to be prefiled on Dec. 1. It is customary that each member of the Senate, beginning with the most senior member, picks his or her top three priority bills, which are then each assigned a number.

This year I will be prefiling several bills, including a repeal of the ethanol mandate passed in 2006 that requires all gasoline used in Missouri to contain 10 percent ethanol. I also plan to prefile legislation to establish a savings account for state funds to help prepare for the potential of economic downturns. I’ll have a chance to talk about more of my prefiled bills in this column over the next few weeks.

If you have an idea for new legislation or a bill to change the current law, please contact me or my staff. Many good ideas proposed in Jefferson City are citizen initiated, making your role in the legislative process very important.

Helping and learning

On a related note, when the General Assembly is in session, legislative interns are key in helping my office with its day-to-day operations. We rely heavily on our interns for important tasks such as constituent services, research, staffing the Senate Judiciary Committee and more. They truly are a part of my staff here in Jefferson City.

If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about the legislative process through an internship with the Missouri Senate, please contact my office by e-mailing, calling (888) 711-9278 or mailing your resumé to Room 319, State Capitol, Jefferson City, MO 65101. Our legislative interns walk away from their time in the Senate with invaluable experience and knowledge that will help them no matter which career path they eventually choose to pursue.