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On January 1, 2023, Heath Clarkston and Doug Nelson will announce a new partnership and begin a new governmental consulting firm in Jefferson City. Heath and Doug have spent the past five years with Lathrop GPM Consulting (formerly Lathrop Gage Consulting) and were original partners in the creation of the firm. Heath Clarkston has represented the HBA of Jefferson City for over twenty years and we look forward to continuing our work under the new firm for many years ahead.

On January first, our new firm information will be as follows:

Clarkston Nelson LLC
235 E. High Street, Suite 301
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Heath: Heath@CNMissouri.com
Doug: Doug@CNMissouri.com


Jefferson City voters will head to the polls on April 4th to elect a new Mayor, Municipal Judge, City Prosecutor, and five City Council seats. The office filing opened on December 6th and will end on December 27th. As of December 17th, the following individuals have filed for office:

  • Mayor – Councilman Ron Fitzwater
  • Municipal Judge – Scott Evans
  • City Prosecutor – Gaylin Carver
  • City Council First Ward – David Kemna (incumbent)
  • City Council Second Ward – Aaron Mealy
  • City Council Third Ward – Scott Spencer (incumbent) v. Treaka Young
  • City Council Fourth Ward – Derrick Spicer (incumbent)
  • City Council Fifth Ward – Alicia Edwards


Politics: Republicans maintain super majorities in both the State House and State Senate. Due to term limits, the House and Senate will see a total of 56 new members (48 new House and 8 new Senate). On January 4th, the House and Senate will reconvene in Jefferson City for their 1st regular legislative session and the General Assembly will be sworn into office.

The Missouri House of Representatives will have a Republican majority of 111-52 and will elect a new House Speaker in Rep. Dean Plocher (R-Town and Country). Plocher is a lawyer in Clayton and is currently the House Majority Floor Leader. Plocher is expected to make changes to most Committee Chairs and will be more willing to work with the Governor and Senate, unlike his predecessor. The House Majority Floor Leader will be Rep. Jon Patterson (R-Lee’s Summit). Patterson is a surgeon in the Kansas City area and new to legislative leadership.

The Missouri Senate will have a Republican majority of 24-10 and will elect Sen Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) as their new Senate President Pro-Tem and Sen. Cindy O’Laughlin (R-Shelbina) as their new Majority Floor Leader. It is yet to be determined if the Senate will be able to function or remain thorny as they have in past two years. The selection of O’Laughlin by the Republican Caucus may be a signal that they are interested in moving past personal differences and pushing forward with a broad legislative package.

General Issues: We expect the continuation of debate from last session on several hot button issues in 2023 such as “critical race theory”, transgender athletes in women’s sports, sports betting, reforms to the state initiate petition process, and public education reforms.

Also, we expect legislation and debate on other issues such as:

  • Federal Funds distribution (Infrastructure, broadband, and higher education)
  • Public Education (Charter Schools, District Transfer and School Literacy programs)
  • Taxation (Personal property tax assessments and corporate income tax repeal)
  • Criminal Justice Reform (legislation on expungement and employment barriers)
  • Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Land and Tax Credits
  • Prohibitions on state contracting with businesses related to policies on gun manufacturers, environmental and social governance (ESG), and relations to China
  • Healthcare (Pharmacy Benefit Managers; Rx drug pricing; reducing regulatory barriers for varying medical professionals such Physical Therapists, Nurse Anesthetists, and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses)
  • Utility Legislation (Broadband; Right of Way; Right of First Refusal)


HBA Issues: The HBA of Missouri will be monitoring all legislation and amendments throughout session and we expect their to be over 2,000 bills filed by the deadline on March 1st, 2023. Pre-filing of legislation began on December 1st, 2022 and we have already seen approximately 1,000 bills filed to date.

Working with the HBA of Greater Springfield and HBA of Greater Kansas City, the HBA of Jefferson City we expect the following issues to be considered in 2023:

  • Building Codes (International Swimming Code, Energy Code, Mechanical Contractors)
  • Workers Compensation
  • State Licensing of home remodeling contractors
  • Labor issues including independent contractor regulation
  • Unemployment benefits calculation
  • Highway and Infrastructure funding (roads, water, sewer, and broadband)
  • Tax Credits (reforms to the Low-Income Housing and Historic Preservation Tax Credits
  • Personal and Real Property Taxes
  • Privacy (employee background check, lending underwriting, etc)

Important Dates:

  • December 1, 2022 – First day to pre-filed legislation for 2023 session
  • January 4, 2023 – First day of the 2023 legislative session
  • January 16, 2023 – No session, observance of Martin Luther King Jr.
  • January 18, 2023 – State of the State Address by Gov. Mike Parson (R)
  • February 20, 2023 – No session, observance of President’s Day
  • March 13-17, 2023 – Legislative Spring Break
  • April 10, 2023 – No session, Easter Break
  • May 12, 2023 – Last day of the 2023 legislative session
  • July 14, 2023 – Last day for Governor to veto or approve legislation
  • August 28, 2023 – Effective date of laws passed in 2023 legislative session
  • September 13, 2023 – Legislative Veto Session