The 2015 legislative session is still less than a month old and legislators are figuring out what bills will be important this session and how to get those important pieces of legislation passed.
That task is even more daunting for first time senators and representatives, like Kip Kendrick of Columbia.
Kip Kendrick was elected to represent Missouri’s 45th district in Boone County this past November. He says for his first few weeks on the job have been about learning the ropes.
“Well keeping my head above water and learning the processes," Kendrick said. "This is a building full of processes. There’s not a whole lot of institutional knowledge in Jefferson City anymore too, so really just going around asking a lot of questions, trying to soak in as much of knowledge as I can from people who have been here for a while.”
Kendrick replaced Representative Chris Kelley, who had served six terms in the Missouri House of Representatives.
"I hear every day how big of shoes I’ll have to fill and I’ve heard this for well over a year now," Kendrick said. "Representative Kelly had a tremendous amount of experience and a tremendous amount of respect in the building, so I’m going to try to fill my own shoes and create my own path in Jefferson City."
Despite being a rookie representative, Kendrick has already filed legislation. He hopes to expand the facilities that offer telehealth, which he says is important for a state with large rural areas.
“Currently telehealth programs are pretty limited to healthcare facilities, and this would allow schools, if they choose, to offer tele health programs in school. So that’s something that I filed and am in the process of learning how I’m going to push it forward."
Kendrick is interested to see what bills gain traction this session and says he’s looking forward to learning on the fly in Jefferson City.