Government Relations

UM Legislative Update Newsletter

April 6, 2007

Rep. J.C. Kuessner (D-Eminence)

Rep. J.C. Kuessner (D-Eminence) was first elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 2002 to represent District 152, Iron County and parts of Reynolds, Shannon and Washington counties. He currently serves as a member of the Health Care Policy and Transportation Committees in the House. Agriculture is very important in Kuessner’s district, which depends on the University’s agricultural research efforts, he noted. “The University of Missouri continues to make a positive impact in the urban as well as the rural areas,” Kuessner said. “The research that you do is critical. Your research makes our lives better on a daily basis.”

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In addition to research, the University of Missouri plays a vital role in training teachers and health care professionals. Kuessner’s district has a shortage of such medical professionals, he said. “We need doctors, nurses, dentists and other health care professionals. Those that have located in my district have a very positive impact on the quality of life. We need more.”

The University also has been helpful in the district’s efforts to encourage tourism, he said.

In addition to his legislative duties, Kuessner has owned and operated Kuessner, Inc., for 36 years. He also served in the U.S. Army in Korea, and attended Southwest Missouri State University, now Missouri State University.

“Higher education represents the future for Missouri,” Kuessner said. “Industry demands it. We simply can’t attract businesses to Missouri without an educated workforce.”

The challenge is to keep higher education affordable, Kuessner said. “The state has a responsibility here as well. We must appropriate sufficient funds to that tuition can remain low.”

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