Senator Denny Hoskins Capitol Report
The election is over and the people have spoken. Although the outcome of the presidential election is still in doubt as I write this, there is no question about the results in Missouri. Voters here overwhelmingly turned out for the president, and a wide majority expressed continued support for the five statewide officeholders facing reelection. Meanwhile, Missourians narrowly rejected the opportunity to impose term limits on four statewide offices. Voters also restored traditional methods of determining legislative districts, opting for a return to bipartisan citizen commissions and reversing a plan to turn redistricting duties over to a bureaucrat.
Turn-out at the polls was strong, and local election officials did a great job keeping the lines moving. Despite a record number of absentee ballots, county clerks and the secretary of state rose to the challenge, and results were posted online before most Missourians had their morning coffee.
On a personal level, I want to express my appreciation to the residents of the 21st Senatorial District for the confidence you have shown me. I am humbled by your support and vow to work to continue earning your trust in the years to come. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to serve you in the Missouri Senate. I cannot thank you enough.
A Day for Veterans
On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, world leaders came together to sign the armistice agreement to end World War I, then optimistically called the “war to end all wars.” Once known as Armistice Day, Nov. 11 came to be known as Veterans Day, an occasion to recognize every man and woman who ever served honorably in our nation’s Armed Forces.
As a veteran of the Missouri National Guard, this day of remembrance means a lot to me. I encourage all Missourians to reach out to veterans on this day and thank them for their service to our nation. More than 440,000 Missourians have worn the various uniforms of our nation’s military, and we owe each of them a debt of gratitude for their dedication and sacrifice. Nearly 15,000 of those veterans live within the eight counties of the 21st Missouri Senatorial District.
The percentage of Americans with prior military service has fallen steadily since the end of the Vietnam War. Today, veterans account for just 7 percent of the population – about 1 in 15 Americans. Although military experience is increasingly the exception, the military continues to play a vital role in Missouri. A recent report conducted for the office of the Missouri Military Advocate found spending on the military and Defense Department programs contributes about $30 billion to the state economy every year. In 2018, the year studied, about 9% of Missouri’s economy was tied to military and defense spending. You can read the full report online at www.military.ded.mo.gov/economic-impact-reports.
Those of us in west-central Missouri will find the portion of the report relating to Whiteman Air Force Base particularly interesting. A joint-service base with units representing the U.S. Air Force, the Missouri Air and Army National Guard and the Air Force Reserve, Whiteman directly contributes to more than 7,400 jobs in our region, and accounts for nearly $445 million in payroll spending, the report said. The total annual economic impact of the facility is in excess of $780 million. Furthermore, the Knob Noster School District receives more than $5 million each year through federal programs in lieu of property taxes on the land the base occupies. An additional $2 million comes into the state during years the facility hosts the Wings Over Whiteman airshow.
Like many of you, I feel a sense of immense national pride every time I see a B-2 bomber or A-10 Warthog fly overhead on a training mission. These awesome aircraft remind us of America’s military might, but also the bravery and dedication of its warriors. As I watch these awesome aircraft in flight, I’m reminded that every intrepid pilot in the cockpit relies on countless unsung servicemen and women on the ground who contribute to the success of the mission. On Veterans Day, we honor all of America’s soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. Every veteran is a hero, and I hope everyone will join me in recognizing their service.
As always, I appreciate hearing your comments, opinions and concerns. Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at (573) 751-4302. You may also email me firstname.lastname@example.org.