For the past year and a half, our country has endured a pandemic. Unfortunately, when it looks like the worst is behind us, something stops the momentum. For instance, the delta variant of the coronavirus took us from the good-news scenario of daily numbers of people testing positive to a level that rivaled the worst days of the virus last year.

Over the course of this pandemic, we have seen many cities and states issue mask mandates, curfews and other hindrances to regular life. This has led to weeks of working remotely from home, people having to turn their kitchen or a bedroom into a classroom for their children’s mobile learning, and has also caused some business owners to either close temporarily or permanently. At the same time, the Missouri Legislature has crafted ways to keep tabs on city and county governments, in the hopes we can not only “follow the science,” but also ensure we do not cause unnecessary stress on our economy and way of life.

Throughout the course of the past six months, we have seen more people get vaccinated. Despite these increased numbers, we have heard additional calls for vaccine mandates. Everyone is different. Each person has his or her own set of reasons to either get the vaccine or hold off on it. In my opinion, government mandating a “one size fits all” policy is probably not the best route to take. I believe this should be up to the individual, and not a requirement issued by government officials.

We have also seen in the news some of the details about a multi-trillion dollar spending plan in Washington, D.C., that includes giving the Internal Revenue Service new powers over people’s bank accounts. Those in favor of this plan say it is to ensure people with part-time jobs, like driving for Uber or food-delivery businesses, are paying their fair share in taxes.

My colleagues and I in the Missouri General Assembly will be keeping a close eye on these types of ideas from the federal government and working to make sure your rights are not infringed upon. The Founders came up with a plan that puts states in charge, and this is something I take seriously as your state senator.

As always, please feel free to call, email or write with your ideas or concerns. My Capitol office number is (573) 751-1415, my email is dan.hegeman@senate.mo.gov and my mailing address is Room 332, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.

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