Term-Limited Lawmakers Reflect on Time in the MO House Featuring Rep. David Day
Rep. Day's final article.
Eight years have gone by fast, much faster than I could have ever dreamed it could. As I sit here typing on my laptop, writing my last article as your State Representative, I must admit it is difficult to decide what to write about. So many things have happened during my time in the Capitol.
Over the last eight years, I have been fortunate enough to have many pieces of legislation passed; things that I hope make Missouri a little better place. Legislation that dealt with issues like tax relief for some businesses in our state, almost 6 million dollars in funding for our Career Center, final funding for our Veteran’s Cemetery, several 2nd Amendment bills, pro-life legislation, and, of course, numerous pieces of legislation that hopefully will help our veterans are all things I am proud to have accomplished. In total, there are over 25 signed bills hanging on my wall. It’s important to remember that nobody passes legislation by themselves and I was always fortunate to have support for all of my legislation from both sides of the aisle.
Constituent work, something that is seldom talked about or campaigned on, is a huge part of the job. Helping someone get the child support they deserve or a family trying to get veteran’s benefits for a family member is all part of the job that people don’t hear much about. Sometimes it’s helping a business deal with state laws and regulations, and sometimes it’s helping a kid who bought their first pickup and the title was messed up. Sadly, we couldn’t help everyone, but we always gave it our best effort. Hopefully, we were able to make a little difference in a few people’s lives.
Life in the Capitol is something that is hard to explain and I believe those that have served before me would agree. It is a culture unlike any other, not necessarily good or bad, just very different. The people you serve with become your family for about five months out of the year and, like any family, there are some interesting folks there. We have the practical jokers, the folks that take themselves too seriously, the ones that don’t know when to stop talking, and others who talk so seldom that, when they do, everyone listens. What I can tell you about that family is that they are some wonderful public servants; people that truly do care about our state and its citizens. By the way, those people are found on both sides of the aisle.
However, what I think I really want to focus on with this last article are some people that I owe a great deal of thanks to. First on that list are my wife, Leasa, and daughter, Savanna. The only people that know what their lives have been like are the family members of other state elected officials. There are many challenges that come with being the family member of a state legislator and they have handled the experience with a great deal of understanding, grace, patience, and support. All I can say is “thank you” to them. Without them, it would never have been possible.
My Time has Come and Gone
(Thank you for the honor)
I also want to say thank you to my Legislative Assistant, Angie Thessen. It is incredibly rare that a State Rep has the same LA for their entire career in the legislature. Actually, I am the only one leaving this year that has. Angie has been with me from day one and has been such an important part of all that we have done in my office. She has worked hard for the 148th, handled thousands of constituent calls and issues, kept me on time and made sure I was where I needed to be and, in general, just put up with me. I’m led to believe that isn’t always easy. Thank you, Angie. You will always be very special to me and many of the people in the 148th that you have helped.
Lastly, I want to say thank you to all of the wonderful people that make up the 148th District. During my first campaign, and for the last eight years, I have met some of the most wonderful, caring, and dedicated people in the world. We have not always agreed on every issue, but in almost all cases, even when we do disagree, it is with understanding and respect. I couldn’t ask for more than that. Thank you to each of you for allowing me the honor of representing you in our state’s capitol.
In closing, you will not be hearing much from me for quite a while, at least on state government issues. Being a State Representative is a difficult job. Right now, the newly elected members of the House are receiving more information than you can imagine. As I always say, absorbing the information a freshman legislator receives is like trying to drink from a fire hydrant: too much, too fast. Like every State Legislator, they have to make the job their own. They must decide the best way to navigate the numerous landmines that are out there waiting for them, and make the best decisions they can for their district. The last thing any newly elected official needs is the person that just left office second-guessing what they do; it just makes a difficult job much more difficult. Few things bother me more than an elected official that just can’t let go; my time has come and gone. It is their job now and I wish them all the success in the world, I have no doubt they will do an amazing job for the districts they represent.
Thank you, citizens of the 148th. I have tried to serve you well and, in return, you have truly blessed me. God Bless each of you, the Great State of Missouri, and the United States of America.