Another session of the Missouri Legislature kicked off this week in Jefferson City, and I don’t think it’s a stretch to say this year’s is one of the most important we’ve ever had. I know I’m not alone in feeling angry and frustrated by what is going on in our country. There’s a serious lack of leadership coming out Washington, D.C., and the White House. From the disastrous cut and run from Afghanistan to failing miserably to stem or cap inflation, it’s obvious to me the president is in over his head and is leaving a trail of incompetence everywhere he goes. It’s not only that, it’s the threats to our freedom and liberty, too. It’s COVID tyranny. It’s the push from the left to get their progressive wish list in one bill in Congress. It’s the attempts to indoctrinate our kids with subversive and anti-American teaching in schools. It’s the threat to the integrity of elections. As Thomas Paine wrote, “these are the times that try men’s souls.”

The question then is “what are we going to do about it?” We can’t stick our heads in the ground and pretend these problems don’t exist. Each and every one of us has a responsibility to engage, politically, and make the world around us better; to push government at all levels to reflect the values we hold dear, like the sanctity of life and our Second Amendment rights. That’s what motivated me to run for the Senate. I didn’t like what I saw happening around me and those in my country, and I wanted to do something about it.

I feel the same way going into this new session. That’s why the first three bills I filed are dealing with what I feel are the biggest threats facing our state. The first bill I filed, Senate Bill 693, is aimed squarely at COVID vaccine mandates. It would put an end to the federal mandates, as well as completely ban vaccine passports in Missouri and protect children from being forced-vaccinated to attend school. The Administration in Washington, D.C., has weaponized the federal government against the people with these unconstitutional and unlawful mandates. Missourians should never have to choose between the jab or their job. This bill is a warning shot to those pushing these freedom-killing mandates that we are going to fight them with everything we have here in Missouri.

The second bill I filed, Senate Bill 694, would ban Critical Race Theory, and the 1619 Project from being taught in Missouri schools. Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a politically-motivated tool to indoctrinate our kids into defining every aspect of our society by race. CRT teaches kids to hate themselves, each other and their country. And if you don’t agree with the “woke” crowd, then they will try to “cancel” you. It’s wrong, it’s un-American, and there is no reason it should be taught in our schools. My bill doesn’t just ban CRT, but it goes further to affirm what should be taught to students about the country’s history — especially that founding documents, like the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the Federalist Papers as essential to an understanding of U.S. history. The bill also emphasizes that educators should teach with an aim to promote free speech and the importance of the American system of government.

The third bill, Senate Bill 695, is a comprehensive election reform bill to improve the security and integrity of elections and protect Missouri voters. The bill covers such issues as Voter ID, cleaning up the voter rolls of questionable or outdated records and getting rid of processes potentially ripe for voter fraud, like mail-in voting and electronic voting machines. There is no issue more pressing to our country than the integrity of our elections because, if we don’t have confidence and trust in our elections, then we don’t have a country. Free and fair elections is one of the reasons our country has endured and thrived for almost 250 years and we owe it to the voters, our state and our country to fight for election integrity. Missouri should have the strongest election laws in the country and that’s what my bill would do.

These bills and my voting record reflect two things – the values and morals of the people of the 31st District and my oath to uphold and defend the U.S. and Missouri Constitutions. That’s what I will always do as your senator.

If you have any ideas, questions and concern, please feel free to contact me at the State Capitol: (573) 751-2108, rick.brattin@senate.mo.gov or by writing to Sen. Rick Brattin, Missouri State Capitol, Room 331, Jefferson City, MO 65101.

God bless and thank you for the opportunity to work for you in the Missouri Senate.

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