Legislative session was productive

Each legislative session of the Missouri General Assembly features a flurry of activity. Lawmakers expend some energy spinning their wheels on measures that never quite make it to the finish line, but the recently ended session resulted in several important pieces of legislation winning approval.

Southeast Missouri's state Sen. Holly Rehder had long championed a prescription drug-monitoring program, and the measure has been approved and is awaiting Gov. Mike Parson's signature. The program will track prescriptions in the state in an effort to lessen the opioid crisis ravaging communities across our nation. Missouri lagged behind other states in using this tool to combat substance abuse.

Motorists will pay a few more pennies at the pump going forward, and the proceeds from an increased gas tax will help rehabilitate roads and bridges throughout the state. No one wants to pay more in taxes, but this type of tax directly ties the levy to the use of the infrastructure. It makes sense the people using the roads should pay to maintain and improve them. For those who want to avoid the tax altogether, motorists can file for a refund of the tax if they keep their receipts.

"Empowerment Scholarship Accounts" will help students attend the school of their choice. Choice -- competition -- in education makes everyone better.

On balance, the legislative session was productive and will advance the interests of the state, its residents and its economy. Thanks and job well done to all those involved.