State Senator Cindy O’Laughlin discussed the some of the highlights of the bills passed or not passed of the closed legislative session for 2020. She touched on the failed hyperloop, which she described as completely unnecessary, especially given the state’s financial shortfalls due to the coronavirus shut down.
When a member of the audience stated that her choice of using “China Virus’ was not only racist and inflammatory, but it demeans a group of people. O’Laughlin explained that she is not racist and has never been, but the choice accurately described where the virus originated. “I firmly believe that it’s not what group you represent or what you look like – but rather it is about who you are, what your beliefs are,” said O’Laughlin.
Seeing that our students receive the best education they can is one of the Senator’s driving forces. She was appointed to chair the Joint Committee on Education, which for a new senator is quite an accomplishment.
On the student side of the education equation, O’Laughlin is very vocal about building self-reliant students, guiding students to be strong and resilient, and providing vocational training. On the teacher side she supports less paperwork to provide more hands on teaching, supporting and listening to teachers – they are on the front line of education.
Also, the residents of the school districts know the schools, the students, and school boards should be more open to listening and even incorporating some of their input.
O’Laughlin explained that in some school districts the board members and the county commissioners meet once a quarter to discuss ways for both to work together for the betterment of their county.
When questioned about the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) guidelines for reopening after COVID-19, she stated, “They were absurd and unworkable. One size fits all guidelines does not help anyone.”
The audience not only asked questions, but commented on her statements, which O’Laughlin enjoyed with much give and take on the various subjects. She stated that these face to face discussions is how she learns what her constituents think and feel about what is happening in our state and their community. “That is why I travel my district so extensively, I can’t sit in Jeff City, like many do, and think I know what you want and need.”
2019-2020 Committee Assignments
Joint Committee on Education, Missouri State Legislature
Joint Committee on Transportation Oversight, Missouri State Legislature
Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources Committee, Missouri State Senate
Education Committee, Missouri State Senate
Government Reform Committee, Missouri State Senate, Vice-Chairman
Seniors, Families and Children Committee, Missouri State Senate, Vice-Chairman
Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety Committee, Missouri State Senate