Senator Bill Stouffer of the Missouri 21st District offered a few words to the Daily News recently. The Senator has served on a number of committees through his tenure of service and was recently defeated by Shane Scheller in the August primary for the office of Missouri Secretary of State.
Daily News: Can you comment on your recent happenings in office?
Senator Stouffer: As most know, I'm termed out and have represented Cooper County the last 8 years. It has truly been a pleasure. I've made many friendships better and started a great deal of many more new relationships. I started out with service in the area before I was even sworn in working with others to try and save the railroad bridge. I cannot convey my thanks enough to the people of Cooper County.
Daily News: Can you provide any notable pieces of legislation or service that you're most fond of?
Senator Stouffer: I think that we've been able to do a number of things and helped out getting some facilities in the Cooper County area that weren't here before. Without a doubt, my proudest piece of legislation was the Assisted Living Bill. This provided seniors with a social model of care versus a medical model of care. It was important to me that seniors not be treated like a number in an organization. I wanted it clear that they would be able to make daily decisions for themselves. If a senior wants to get up at a certain time and stray from a normal routine by eating something that's not on a menu, that's o.k. They don't have to follow a strict set of guidelines that makes them feel less in charge of themselves.
Daily News: What are your plans for the future?
Senator Stouffer: We'll be farming for sure. I've got 500 chestnut trees. There are several opportunities out there. I'd love maybe to do something in transportation. Transportation was a big part of my time in office. We saw a lot of improvements will traffic fatality numbers, but there are other areas that need to be improved on and made better. We've got a lot to do in Missouri to improve safety. We still need to rebuild I-70 and I-44 – they're totally worn out. We've have to take care of our block, but you don't do that without the help of others. We all have to work together to get this done.
Daily News: Do you see anything problematic for the future of Missouri you'll be concerned with once you leave office?
Senator Stouffer: One thing that bothers me tremendously is our educational system. we are more about being employers than we are about educating kids. Kids are actually graduating not being able to read. We have to change the way that we approach education. We need to teach kids in the way they learn and put them in environments where they can learn.