STL Today: Vacation in Missouri? Schupp to visit colleagues’ turf

June 11, 2015 2:01 pm • By Virginia Young

JEFFERSON CITY • Sen. Jill Schupp is planning her summer vacation, but she’s not heading to a faraway, exotic locale.

The Creve Coeur Democrat is plotting a 30-day, off-and-on itinerary that includes visits to nearly every Senate district in the state. She said the trips will help her better understand the state’s diversity — and her 33 colleagues.

“I am really excited,” Schupp said. “Missouri is an amazing place, geographically, business-wise.”

Schupp, who served in the House before winning the Senate seat last year, is one of the most liberal members in a body that is heavily dominated by rural Republicans.

Even so, the Senate’s traditional role as a deliberative body means she has more opportunity for impact now than she did in the House.

“Being a legislator is all about negotiating,” Schupp said.

For example, she worked this year with Sen. David Sater, R-Cassville, on his bill reducing the lifetime benefits for people on welfare. While she was unhappy with the final product, Schupp said there were small victories, such as a promise not to immediately push additional legislation on the subject.

“I found my colleagues are willing to listen,” she said. “I want them to hear me, but I also know they want me to hear them. As we build these relationships, good things come out of that.”

Before heading out the door, she plans to call the senator who represents the area she will be visiting and ask if the incumbent has “time to meet with me and show me around and, if you don’t, where would you suggest I go to get a sense of the community?”

As for her husband, he hopes to get in some golf, she said.

Schupp added that she — not taxpayers — will be footing the bill for the travels.

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