A handful of local folks turned out to a casual get-together with three members of Americans for Prosperity — Missouri at Perkins Restaurant on Tuesday.
The conservative group made three stops in Northwest Missouri to bring attention to their political talking points.
Patrick Werner, state director for the Missouri chapter of the AFP, said their goal in setting up meetings in Chillicothe, St. Joseph and Maryville was first and foremost to get citizens to reach out to their legislators and the governor and ask them to push a number of bills.
“Missouri needs to move forward and we should be thinking about some bold ideas,” he said. Some of those issues are being tackled in other states, such as education reform, tax reform, right to work, Medicaid and income tax issues.
“The whole purpose of this is to say contact your state representative, state senator and say ‘Hey look, we want to move Missouri forward,’” he said.
Mr. Werner said due to the super majorities in the House and Senate, economic issues have the best chance of overcoming the governor’s veto.
“We’ve been successful in stopping Medicaid expansion,” Mr. Werner said. “That’s not going anywhere.”
House Joint Resolution 17, which proposes a constitutional amendment to prohibit state spending, was on the calendar for House debate Tuesday. Mr. Werner said he was told it would definitely be taken up today. The resolution would cap government spending, an issue that is near to the heart of conservative groups like the AFP.
“As an organization that believes in smaller government and lower taxes,” Mr. Werner said, “we believe that HJR17 is a big deal, a big idea. To say to Missourians, ‘Hey look, we think our budget’s big enough.’”
Duane Lester, a blogger for The Missouri Torch, attended the meeting Tuesday. He considers himself more of a Libertarian than conservative, but said for the most part, his political thinking shares many similarities to the AFP’s line of thought.
Mr. Lester said he believes Missouri has a fairly free market already, and he would like to see the government’s involvement limited.
“I think when the government gets involved in the day-to-day business of business,” he said, “they tend to make it more expensive and less efficient.”
The Missouri chapter of the AFP has toured most of the state and met with folks in Maryville on Tuesday afternoon. A final leg of the tour will hit communities in southwest Missouri next week.
The legislative session ends May 17.