Eric Burlison

136th District, House

Party: Republican

Education: Attended Missouri State University where he received a B.A. in philosophy in 2000 and a master of business administration degree in 2002.

Previous political experience: State House representative of District 136 since 2009

Work experience: Business analyst for Cox Health.

Family: Wife, Angie, and two daughters, Reese and Aubrie

Current Occupation: Business analyst for CoxHealth

Q: What is the most significant issue facing Missouri?

Jobs: Often politicians boast about creating jobs, or stimulating jobs. The truth is that businesses and entrepreneurs create jobs. If it wasn’t already clear, it should now be very clear to most anyone that government doesn’t produce what it hasn’t first taken from someone else, and government cannot spend us out of a recession. Government must reduce the burdens on individuals and businesses so that they can do what they do best, create jobs.

The budget: While Missouri may be in one of the best financial situations of any state in the US, boasting a AAA bond rating, we are still experiencing a decline in tax revenues. The 2011 budget will need to be cut at least 500 million from the 2010 budget in order to be a balanced budget. Missouri voters can be proud of the fact that their legislature has made tough decisions to balance the state budget. This year we sent a resolution to the federal government urging congress to follow Missouri’s lead and balance the federal budget.

The federal health-care bill: Every day we are hearing of the implications of the recently passed federal healthcare bill. Just as businesses owners are scrambling to decipher what it means for their business, we in the state are scrambling to determine what it means for our State Medicaid programs. We placed Proposition C on the ballot to allow voters to reject the changes that have been enacted into federal law. Whether proposition C is upheld in the courts or not, it is clear that the state of Missouri will have a major task in funding the new changes to Medicaid.

Q: What are the top three items you would like to address as a legislator if elected?

We need to address jobs and the economy by reducing taxes. The fastest growing high-octane states are those states that do not have an income tax. While I support the concept of the Fair-tax I do not like the idea of increasing sales taxes to accomplish the elimination of the income tax. If re-elected this November, in 2011 I plan to sponsor a bill that will gradually ratchet down the income tax rate over time until it eliminates the income tax. The bill will require the department of revenue to determine if sales tax revenues have increased from the previous year if they have then a percentage of the increase will be used to draw down the income tax rate. This will slow the growth of government while at the same time returning more money to the pockets of hard working Missourians.

Our tourism economy can be greatly improved by creating a tax structure that is advantageous to our businesses competing businesses in other states. The State of Texas recently created a tax credit for amateur sporting events. This has made Texas the favorite location for youth sporting tournaments and even collegiate tournaments such as the NCAA college basketball playoffs. This year I will sponsor a bill that will put Missouri on an even playing field with Texas by returning state sales taxes that are collected from a sporting tournament to the non-profit organizations that are promoting the tournaments. This will bring more tourism dollars to Missouri.

We need to continue to push towards energy independence. One expert testified in a committee hearing last year that Missouri is the Saudi Arabia of bio-mass energy. Grasses that are native to Missouri soil have been proven to produce more ethanol than that of corn. There are groups such as Show-Me Energy Cooperative in Warrensburg, Missouri, that are converting hay to coal and ethanol. Show-Me Energy and other operations like them are in search of cheap land from which they can harvest hay cheaply. That is why next year I will sponsor the Show-Me Harvest bill. Show-Me harvest will return to farmers of the state land for a period of time to harvest hay along the right-of-ways of Missouri’s highways. By returning these hundreds of thousands of acres of land to productive use we can reduce our energy on foreign oil and get others to mow the state roadways saving the state millions of dollars. Imagine, the next time you drive down the highway you may be driving past rows of switchgrass that will be fueling your vehicle.

Q: Like other states, Missouri is facing difficult financial times. Where would you propose cutting the budget, and which items do you feel need to be preserved?

At a time like this everything is on the table and every department of the state should expect to receive cuts. I will do everything I can to preserve K-12 education. I believe that educating our children is our state’s most important priority.

Q: Why are you running for office?

I am running because I have seen first-hand the horrible ramifications of misguided politicians’ actions toward individuals and businesses. Never before has it been so clear that we need statesmen and not politicians. Politicians try to gain power and control, while statesmen try to relinquish it back to the people. We have too many politicians trying to create programs for their own glory, when we really just need quiet statesmen who just want to dismantle government control and power and return it back to the people. That is why I want to return taxes back to the people. That is why I want to return highway right-of-ways back to the people.


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