Legislative impressions

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

By Mary Kasten

It is my wish to let everyone know in the 158th District of my experience so far in this legislative session. As many are aware, I have a unique perspective on the state legislature, as I was there from 1982 to 2000 and am now back again for what will be my final term. Things are much different now than they were then. For one, I am now a member of the majority, which gives my voice more of an impact on issues that are vital.

If someone were to get their impression of the legislature simply from the headlines across our state, they would come away with a misconception of the men and women I serve with. In fact, there is a tremendous amount of courtesy, counsel and camaraderie among colleagues when it comes to solving complex issues that affect Missourians.

Another noticeable difference is in the amount of prayer that takes place in the Capitol. I helped start the first prayer group the statehouse many years ago, and I returned to the Capitol to find that prayer group still going strong. This is a bipartisan group that gets together once a week on Thursday mornings. We pray for each other's families, and someone does a devotion each and every week.

One thing that hasn't changed is the enjoyment I receive by helping my people of the 158th District with their problems. I also enjoy communicating with you about what is happening in Jefferson City and look forward to doing so in the future. I will do this to the utmost of my ability. I consider it a privilege until your new state representative is sworn in next January.

Mary Kasten of Cape Girardeau represents the 158th District in the Missouri House of Representatives.

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