Lawmakers head to Jefferson City for 2018 Legislative Session

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- "Our goal has always been, and always should be, to make our great state even greater," said Missouri Speaker of the House Todd Richardson in his opening day address.

Richardson addressed the State House of Representatives for his final opening day of the Missouri Legislative Session.

Of those goals he spoke of, he called on legislators to work together, and once again called for ethics reform, something that has made it through the house multiple times, but stalls in the Senate. Legislators on both sides of the aisle agreed on that.

"The biggest bills for us is ethics, our ethics bills," said Democratic Rep. Michael Butler of St. Louis.

"We must do whatever we must in order to bolster the confidence that citizens have in their lawmaking bodies," Republican Rep. Mike Stephens of Bolivar said.

"I hope that democrat and republican bills are heard, because there's nobody in this building is better than the democrats when it comes to ethics," Butler added.

Aside from ethics reform, legislators also said they're interested in discussing everything from infrastructure, to anti-discrimination, to tax reform.

"In the Springfield area, we heard a lot about the section of I-49 that's not complete between Joplin and north west Arkansas and the gap that that causes," said Rep. Greg Razer, Democrat from Kansas City, on infrastructure. "We hear it on I-70. We hear it with ports along the Mississippi River."

"Discrimination is an area we need to be sure that in our law, we do not discriminate," Stephens said.

"Everyone finds tax reform appealing if the expenditures are there and the budget is there to provide the services that are necessary," said Rep. Pat Conway, Democrat from Buchanan County.

It doesn't matter what the topic, Speaker Richardson says there is a lot of work to be done.

"While we may see different paths to prosperity, may we remember that none of us work against the others, but through our debate and discussion, we are working together to provide solutions for the people of Missouri we are called to represent."

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