On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies are pleased to welcome Sen. Dan Hegeman to the program for the first time.
The Cosby Republican represents most of northwest Missouri in the Missouri Senate. The 12th Senatorial District has the largest geographic area of any House or Senate seat.
Hegeman is one of the few lawmakers who served before term limits went into effect. He also was in office before Republicans took over control of the Missouri Legislature. After leaving office in 2003, Hegeman became U.S. Congressman Sam Graves’ associate district manager. He also served as the president of Andrew County’s Farm Bureau.
Since rejoining the legislature after 2015, Hegeman has handled some major pieces of legislation. He was the Senate sponsor of a measure barring cities from raising their minimum wages. And he’s handled legislation this year that would pare down tax credits, an idea that’s often run into opposition in the Missouri General Assembly.
When he first sought the 12th District Senate seat in 2014, Hegeman didn’t have a Republican or Democratic opponent. He plans to run for a second term later this year.
Here’s what Hegeman had to say during the show:
- Hegeman’s district is largely agricultural. And he says that “our ag economy is in somewhat of a downturn and the market is very difficult for farmers out there.” Towns in his district, he said, are either dealing with issues that come from growth or problems that emanate from decline.
- He’s hopeful that lawmakers will come to the table to alter the state low-income housing tax credit, which is currently not being issued. “I hope that we can find some room for discussion and negotiation and compromise to find the place where we can move forward on this program,” he said.
- Hegeman said he’s heard a lot of feedback about cuts that were made last year to in-home care services. “I really do have some nursing homes that I’m convinced are struggling right now,” he said. “They provide a service to these folks. Many of these folks that they have in their homes are on the Medicaid roles, something to the level of 70 percent in many of my facilities.”
- He said he would consider it a win “if we could just not cut higher education” during this legislative session. For the second year in a row, Gov. Eric Greitens’ budget suggested big cuts to colleges and universities. Northwest Missouri State University is in Hegeman’s district.
Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum
Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter: @jmannies
Music: “Black Cow” by Steely Dan