It was a busy week in the lieutenant governor’s office. I addressed several groups including the Missouri Alzheimer’s Association on their advocacy day, and the new House and Senate interns. Our office received the Counsel General of the Philippines, Generoso D.G. Calogne. The Counsel visited the capitol to promote further trade with Missouri businesses. Our state exports over $52 million worth of manufactured goods to the Philippines every year including machinery, fabricated metal, and electrical equipment. We were proud to welcome him along with Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, Representative Lyndell Shumake, and other members of the House and Senate.

Our office also received several visitors from across Missouri including Shae Smith of Bolivar. Shae is an impressive young woman who visited the capitol to inquire on an anti-bullying advocacy day in Missouri schools. I look forward to her continued progress as she makes connections with leaders both in the Missouri legislature and in our state’s public schools in an attempt to top bullying.

I also took part in the annual Capitol Days for Tourism. This event brings together organizations from across Missouri to meet and share ideas and resources on how we can keep tourism thriving. Tourism is Missouri’s second largest industry. Not only does tourism draw over 41 million visitors annually and $16.5 billion in revenue, it provides the citizens of Missouri with a place to go and vacation not far from home. Not all Missourians can afford to take expensive out of state vacations. The more our state parks, tourist attractions, and businesses can be maintained and marketed, the more visitors they will attract and more revenue Missouri will generate, helping our entire state.

On Friday, our office will travel to Springfield. We will make several stops including hosting a veteran’s town hall, visits to CoxHealth, Ozarks Technical Community College, Cherokee Middle School, Harmony House, roundtable discussions on healthcare and on tourism/economic development with area leaders, and end the day by speaking to the National Federation of Pachyderms. We are proud to advocate and raise awareness of all the things Missouri has to offer.