(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.) -- Lawmakers spent much of Tuesday driving back to Jefferson City to get ready for the start of a new legislative session, set to begin tomorrow.
Taxes, abortion and jobs are sure to be headline issues as they tend to be almost every year. However, local lawmakers say they're sometimes surprised by other hot button issues that take a hold in debate.
"It's always exciting. You don't know which bills. The bills you're really prepared for and then out of left field," said St. Joseph Republican Sheila Solon, who represents District 9. "The public will probably never know all the bills that somehow we get squash that are terrible ideas that never see the light of day."
As many as 1,300 bills are expected to be filed. Some will never make it out of committee, others will go up for debate and a very few will make it to the finish line and be signed into law by Governor Mike Parson.
Solon will be chairing the Children and Families Committee this session and said she has several ideas to help families.
"I filed a bill that would improve our foster care system, will remove the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse and empower victims to come forward to protect other children," she said.
Solon will also be in her 8th year on the Veterans Committee. While she says it's always been a struggle coming up with funding for vets, this year will be different. Last year voters approved the usage of medical marijuana with some of the proceeds of purchases going toward veterans programs.
"How are we going to spend the money? What are we going to do with it? Are we going to build another Veterans home?" Solon wonders. "I think we need to do more for our soldiers returning home with PTSD."
Governor Parson has made state infrastructure improvements a priority. Rep. Dan Hegeman supports the governor in that mission and adds that he would also like to see to more work on the state levee system to prevent further flooding in 2020 and the future.
"We put in $6 million for flooding last year," said Hegeman, the Andrew County Republican. "$2 additional million went to a project in northeast Missouri. We'll be open to looking at what resources are needed again this year."
Parson is scheduled to give his yearly state-of-the-state address next Wednesday.