By Elaine Gannon, State Senator
With the pounding of the gavel on Jan. 5, my colleagues and I began the Second Regular Session of the 101st General Assembly. It’s always surreal to stand in our beautiful chamber and behold the gravity of what it means to represent our community in this hallowed place. This year’s opening day was especially extraordinary because my fellow sister senators and I unveiled an exciting collaborative project, a children’s book titled, “You Can, Too!” With the goal of increasing literacy in the Show-Me State, while bringing attention to the historical number of female senators, the book highlights the unique paths of the 36 women who have taken the oath of office as Missouri state senators since our state’s inception in 1821. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of the book, contact my office.
The women of the Missouri Senate gather with former women senators after debuting a new children’s book.
The book’s unveiling occurred during a reception with eight former women senators. During the reception, I had the unique opportunity to meet Mary Gant Newquist, the first female to serve in the Missouri Senate. Following the reception, each trailblazer was introduced and applauded on the Senate floor as special guests. To give that “36 women” number a frame of reference, 1,118 men have served as senators since our state’s inception. Now you can see how historically significant, amazing and important this project truly is. It’s also evident we have work to do to ensure the Missouri General Assembly is more reflective of our state’s population, including women and other minorities. However, we will celebrate this victory and accomplishment as a cornerstone of inspiration for girls and women in Missouri. I could not be more proud.
2022 Senate Committees
Because this is the Second Regular Session of the 101st General Assembly, my committee memberships will remain the same this year, as I vice-chair the Senate Seniors, Families, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee and serve on the Education, General Laws and Progress and Development committees. I will also serve alongside legislators on the joint committees on Education, Child Abuse and Neglect and Legislative Research.
The committee I chaired during the summer and fall, the Interim Committee on Greater St. Louis Regional Emerging Issues, has submitted a final report of its investigation, and although we aren’t recommending any specific legislative action, the committee members agreed more exploration is needed to address our region’s issues. Included in the overarching areas of concern are public safety, education, attracting businesses and sharing information between the metropolitan counties.
Resolve to Get Involved!
It’s not too late to add one more New Year’s resolution to your list, getting involved with the legislative process. Testify at a public hearing to share your stories and express your opinion to legislators. Bookmark the Senate website to find the schedule and list of bills each committee will hear. Listen to audio of committee hearings and Senate debates. Email me some information and resources if you are a subject expert or just plain passionate about a bill. Subscribe to my electronic capitol report to stay updated on legislation and the issues affecting our community. As always, contact my office for any additional information or assistance. I look forward to hearing from you in 2022!