District 3 state representative Nate Walker discusses his plans for the coming legislative session.
Q. What is the most important issue facing district 3 today?
Q. What are your plans for improving the quality of life in district 3?
A. The quality of life in Kirksville and northern Missouri is pretty good, but we can always make sure we can keep it that way and do things to improve. Recently we had a very tragic situation where it appears that allegedly someone was murdered. This was a very terrible crime, and maybe mental health issues are related to that. So if there are people in the community that need mental health services, we want to make sure we have a community that is good that way.
We already have a very caring community. We have lots of churches, lots of organizations that spend a lot of time in community service so that is a very positive thing for our community.
Q. What is your vision for district 3 and how do you plan to actualize it?
A. We want to make sure that everyone who wants to work can get a job. We do everything we can to get jobs into Kirksville and into northern Missouri. Truman students are also affected by this, and we want to make sure that Truman stays a top-notch university with the good professors and good administration that we have already. Truman has received recent national and international recognition because it is a great school, and I want to be part of that process by helping, for example, with state funding.
Dr. Paino has been talking [about] the funding process that is being considered in the legislature right now by a joint committee to be looking at a higher education funding formula and we want to make sure that that formula is implemented and doesn’t do anything to impede or drastically hurt Truman State University or any of the universities in the state. We want to do everything possible to make all the colleges and universities in the state strong and also meeting the purpose that they are established for.
Q. You were appointed to several committees Jan. 10. What are those committees and what policies and bills can be expected in the future?
I felt very good about those committee appointments because first of all, higher education is a big priority in the third district. And Truman State University, A.T. Still, Moberly Area Community College, which has a campus here, and then all the various high schools and public schools throughout the district, this is a committee where I can have some impact on making sure we have good policies, good procedures for education, and I am really proud to be on that committee.
In order to make policies that benefit the people, we are going to deal with issues concerning the economy, issues in regard to energy, and we’re going to be talking about education and making sure that there is good, affordable education in education, from preschool to college.
It was important to get on the Agri-Business committee because that culture is a big economic boost in northern Missouri and one of the things I will work on is that I will continue to make and support policies that will not establish unnecessary rules and regulations and policies that will prohibit good agricultural practices and productions.
Being on the workforce committees will help with dealing with issues such as small businesses not being impeded from expanding their employee bases and businesses. I also plan to make workers more viable in the 3rd district and represent them in a way that they need to be represented.
Also, I am aware of the issues facing Truman State University. One of our goals is to be able to create a legislature funding education, which will prevent nationally-ranked universities such as Truman from being attacked.