Representative Jill Schupp (D) came to Warrensburg late this afternoon to accompany Courtney Cole (D), the Democratic Party candidate in the 121st Legislative District, going door to door. We had an opportunity to speak with Representative Schupp about the past legislative session, the needs for the future in the General Assembly, and Courtney Cole before they embarked to knock on doors and talk to voters.
Representative Jill Schupp (D) and Courtney Cole (D) going door to door in Warrensburg on behalf of Courtney’s campaign for the 121st Legislative District seat.
Show Me Progress: When you dealt with the, just this legislative session this, this past year, uh, what have been some of the, uh, frustrating things, positive things that you encountered?
Representative Jill Schupp (D): Well, some of the frustrating things include the fact that we as a legislature spent a lot of time on, uh, resolutions. Things that really at the end of the day don’t have an impact, they have no legislative teeth, they, in essence, have no meaning. So the party in charge, the majority party, took us through an agenda that at the end of the day doesn’t do much to help the people in the State of Missouri.
SMP: Did that, did that get in the way of business, the important business that needed to be done?
Representative Schupp: Well, absolutely it did. It takes up time on the floor, it takes up people’s energy, and it kept us away from things that are really critical, particularly now, like job creation and economic development. And I don’t think the legislature did a great job on those things this year…
In the midst of the activities involved in sending out walk teams volunteers at headquarters place signs in the windows.
Representative Jill Schupp (D) at the Johnson County Democratic Committee headquarters.
…SMP: Well, we had heard that they spent very little time on, on the job creation legislation that was, was put forward.
Representative Schupp: That’s exactly right. You know, there are only so many legislative hours available between January and May. And when you spend time on things that don’t matter or things like a, um, what I would call a scam ethics bill, what you’re doing is taking valuable resources, valuable time away from the people of this state and from what they deserve in terms of what the legislature needs to accomplish on their behalf.
SMP: And ultimately the Governor had to call a special session to deal with some of that and that ended up costing the state money.
Representative Schupp: It does cost the state more money and it’s unfortunate that we needed to do that. And, you know, it’s, it all gets back to setting the agenda, what the agenda is and what the hope the outcome will be, particularly in these difficult economic times. We need to be focused on jobs, on education, on making sure that our limited resources are used well. You need people like, like Courtney Cole who’s gonna come in and say, I’m a teacher, I know how to get to the heart of the issues, I know how to look at these things, I know how to condense them, I know how to look creatively in terms of what we as a state need to do to move us forward. And she’s gonna bring forward some real legislation as opposed to some of the sham and scam things that have gone on in the past. And I believe, seeing Courtney and knowing Courtney, she’s gonna use our time well, help us use our time well in the legislative session.
SMP: So, in general terms, what does the General Assembly need to address in the coming session?
Representative Schupp: Well, the General Assembly, you know, one of the difficulties that we have now in the state and across the country is our budget situation. We need to make sure that we are tightening our belts, finding dollars wherever we can, to insure that the people of Missouri are taken care of, but that the budget remains intact and balanced and we will do whatever we need to do that. Again, we need creative voices and new ideas. So, so top job is make sure that, that we stay within our, within the means that we have. And second of all, and next in line, and tying into that is job creation. There is no question that there are way too many people in our state out of work. We need to support and help find jobs. And whether those are jobs that tie into environmental issues, to health care issues, to, um, training, and, you know, we go back again to Courtney who works in the education environment. Both she and her husband, she’s a high school teacher, he’s a college professor. Um, educators are helping craft our future by making sure that our kids graduate with good education, they’re smart, the come up with new ideas, they’re entrepreneurs. Courtney also has a background in small business. And what we know from all the research is that small business is the way to build an economy again and the way to get people back to work, one small business at a time. So, in the state to, to live within our means we’re gonna be able to do that through job creation and through education. And I think Courtney is a great person to come forward and help us figure out ways to solve the issues that we, that we face.
SMP: Great. Well, thank you very much for your time.
Representative Schupp: Thank you so much…
Getting the walk teams ready to go door to door…