While the trip to Jefferson City is not her first, freshman Sen. Gina Walsh, D-Bellefontaine Neighbors, said that it’s a quite different experience as a senator.
Walsh defeated Republican Jacquelyn Thomas with more than 80 percent of the vote in the November general election. Previously, she served as a state representative for District 69.
“It’s a lot different,” she said. “You have more ability to have an impact on legislation. I can count on one hand my impact in the House.”
She hit the ground running in getting into the senate role by introducing more than a dozen bills, including a bill relating to home foreclosures.
Senate Bill 336 will help homeowners who are facing foreclosure “to elect to participate in dispute resolution or convert to judicial foreclosure.”
“This will help people stay in their homes,” she said. Walsh also noted that the bill will allow homeowners more time to get resources to stay in their home.
The bill had its first reading Feb. 18.
The bill closest to her heart is SCR 3, which would recognize Sept. 26 as Mesothelioma Awareness Day in Missouri.
As a former asbestos worker, Walsh said she wants to bring further awareness of the cancer to the public.
Walsh also serves on a number of committees, including appropriations, commerce, consumer protection, energy and the environment and rules, joint rules, resolutions and ethics.
As a member of appropriations, Walsh has the duty along with other senators of reviewing the state budget.
She said the committee listens to recommendations from every department as well as the governor and the state House of Representatives. While Walsh admits the budget is a tall task, it’s one that she is ready to handle.
Walsh encourages her constituents to contact her with any concerns or questions they have.
“I have an open door policy, and that will remain so,” she said.