The Real Impact of State Politics: Why Jefferson City Matters More Than Washington, D.C.
According to the proverb, “All politics is local.” Despite this reality, national leaders like Trump and Biden frequently come up in conversation. However, Jefferson City, not Washington, D.C., should be the emphasis for Missourians. In this blog, we will examine the decisions made by local legislators and their effects on important problems like education, gun violence, healthcare, and more in order to understand why state politics in Missouri are more significant for its citizens.
Putting local issues first
Local candidates, like me, routinely discuss the urgent concerns facing the community while speaking with residents at their doorstep. The terrible condition of the roads in northwest Missouri and the adoption of four-day school weeks are two topics that frequently come up. Unfortunately, a lot of comments frequently turn the topic national figures like Joe Biden.
Although Biden might not be entirely aware with Maryville, the state representative has the authority to affect important issues like financing for education and the Missouri Department of Transportation. Surprisingly, despite the state’s underfunded schools and deteriorating roads, there is a $8 billion surplus.
Missouri’s political climate
For a significant amount of time—in fact, for a total of two decades—the Missouri GOP has retained control of the legislature. Republicans hold supermajorities in the state House and Senate as well as the governor’s office, therefore any effects on how the state runs must be credited to the ruling party.
The fact that there is not a single Democrat in statewide office in Missouri must be acknowledged. This reality casts doubt on the idea that Democrats are to blame for the state’s current predicament.
Republican dominance and regional limitations
When comparing Democratic-led policies with GOP-led ones, critics frequently point to cities where Democrats are in charge. It is important to emphasize that Republican state legislators have established laws that limit municipal autonomy, which makes Democratic mayors in blue communities less able to make decisions. This involvement includes disregarding regional minimum wage laws, denying the mayor of Kansas City control over the police force, and implementing gun laws that may not be in the best interests of locals.
Effects of GOP Policy
Despite having a long history of dominating state politics, the Missouri GOP has fallen short in dealing with pressing challenges. Our state’s education funding ranks 49th and 50th, respectively, showing a lack of support for the educational system. Additionally, Missouri only covers around 32% of a local school’s budget, leaving local communities to shoulder the burden of paying the remaining amount through local property taxes.
In addition, Missouri has the ninth-highest rate of gun fatalities, and when the permit-to-purchase statute was repealed, the rate of gun homicides rose alarmingly by 47%. Guns are still the number one killer of children and teenagers in Missouri, despite the fact that youngsters are allowed to openly carry them.
Because Medicaid was not expanded, 35% of rural hospitals are in danger of closing, depriving many locals of access to vital medical treatment.
The major driving factor behind the laws and judgments that have a direct impact on our lives is state politics. Fostering meaningful change requires paying attention to local authorities and keeping them responsible for their deeds. Missourians’ well-being depends on the decisions made in Jefferson City, thus it is crucial for the community to participate in thoughtful debates, back significant legislation, and push for responsible policies that put the needs of the populace first.