After being officially sworn in on Jan. 4, new State Rep. Nate Tate, R-St. Clair, is getting into the Jefferson City swing and has filed his first bill.
When Tate last spoke to The Missourian before the holidays, he was just beginning freshman legislator orientation, which included the basic housekeeping of securing legislative assistants and drawing for offices, down to the “important” tasks, of locating the bathrooms.
The orientation also included a two-week bus tour of the entire state.
“One of the purposes of the tour was also for the new legislators to get to know each other,” Tate said. “We are all going through the same things. I ended up making some really great friends.”
Tate added the tour included stops in Cape Girardeau and Kansas City and visits to a river port and business incubators.
Tate said his swearing in, took place almost a year to the day from when he first announced his candidacy for the office and began the campaign run where he defeated two opponents in the August primary and then ran unopposed in November.
“It was a dream come true,” Tate said. “This was a dream I have had since I was 19 years old. The last year has been really long, and really short too. It was pretty surreal.”
Tate added it was extra special to have his wife and children there with him for his big day.
Another newcomer to Jefferson City, Gov. Eric Greitens, also was sworn in last week and Tate was able to take part in the inauguration ceremonies.
“I didn’t want to pass up a chance to be part of history,” Tate said. “This was first inauguration I’ve been to. It was really, really cool.”
Getting to Work
With the festivities over, it is now time to actually do the jobs the voters put lawmakers at the Capitol to do.
With major issues of Right to Work, ethic reform and lobbyist gift bans already making news, Tate also has been able to file his own first bill regarding trustees on library boards.
“It’s pretty simple,” Tate said. “Apparently something similar has been filed a few times in the past, but never made it before the session ended.”
Tate added he is still getting into a rhythm of juggling his duties in Jefferson City with family life back in St. Clair.
“The biggest surprise has been all of the meetings,” Tate said. “Lobbyists want to meet with you and there are receptions with colleagues and it’s important to go to see what they are working on.”
Monday morning Tate was working at his trucking company job in St. Clair and he planned to begin meetings in Jefferson City at 2:45 p.m. and then session began at 4 p.m.
Tuesday, he had six meetings scheduled and then the actual sessions can run several hours into the evening.
“It is very easy to work 40 hours in a three-day period,” Tate said. “If you get home before nine or 10 o’clock, you are doing good.”
Along with his normal duties of studying and voting on bills, and filing his own legislation, Tate has been selected to serve on the House transportation and veterans committees and the special committee on tourism.