|By Dennis Rich, The Sedalia Democrat, Sedalia, Mo.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The district, which includes the western half of
Hoskins is seeking his third term in the legislature after being elected to office in 2008 and re-election in 2010. He is chairman of the House Appropriations -- Transportation and Economic Development committee and is the only professional certified public accountant serving in the
He also serves on House committees covering budget, higher education, veterans and renewable energy, and said his primary concern as a lawmaker is "making sure we have a balanced budget without raising taxes and encouraging job creation."
He has sponsored
legislation to limit government regulations on small businesses and offering tax credits to small businesses that hire new employees making at least the average county wage.
Looking ahead to a potential new term, he said he would focus on tax credit and campaign finance disclosure reform.
"I want to take a look at tax credits and make sure they are serving the purpose they were intended to. We need to re-evaluate those and make sure they are working and see what changes need to be made," Hoskins said.
Following a costly
"I believe who pays for different ads should be open and transparent. Some people have found loopholes by creating nonprofits," Hoskins said. "When you have nonprofits created for the sole purpose of lobbying and campaigns, those donors should have to be disclosed just like we do on regular campaign finance reports."
Hoskins is also seeking the House speaker pro tem position, with that vote due to take place on Wednesday if he is successful in his re-election bid.
Maxwell, a former tax specialist with the
Now retired, she serves on the building board for the
"When no one stepped up to the plate for the state rep seat, I thought, 'Why not me?' " Maxwell told the Democrat. "This is such a middle-America section of the U.S. I understand the problems middle America faces every day. I want to do this for seniors, do it for all of my friends and neighbors."
She said a prime focus for her, if elected, would be economic development and transportation infrastructure improvements for rural
Funding for education would also be a top priority, and she said she favors the proposed cigarette tax and would support an Internet sales tax.
"Holden schools could suffer a
Beyond the funding issue, Maxwell said "we have good schools and excellent teachers" in
"They worry more about tests instead of making students successful and able to stand on their own two feet," Maxwell said.
"Each and every thing I have done professionally has involved working with diverse groups of people and I have learned to cooperate and build positive working relationships," Osborne said. "My primary motivation is the fact that the major parties tend to demonize their opponents and I think we are better people than that."
A political newcomer, Osborne said high-dollar campaigns have corrupted the political process and he believes "influence is going to the highest bidder."
Among his top priorities, if elected, are veterans affairs, especially making sure the state is providing mental health care, education services to younger veterans and making sure the state continues to support veterans homes.
He said the state could do more to make sure military personnel are more easily able to transfer college credits from state to state, and would push for improved education funding at the secondary and post-secondary levels.
He also said he would work to protect the state's teacher retirement system.
"There have been moves afoot to change some of that. The teacher retirement system is in pretty good shape and I don't think they should be penalized for the success of their pension plan," Osborne said.
In addition, he said he wants to review government regulations to make sure they are applied fairly and "just make common sense," and is in favor of the tobacco tax and Internet sales tax.
(c)2012 The Sedalia Democrat (Sedalia, Mo.)
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