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Springfield legislator plans to seek 2nd term

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Fresh off her freshman legislative session, state House Rep. Stephanie Hein, D-Springfield, has her eyes on the future of her political career.

Hein spoke to her upcoming campaign plans during a live interview yesterday with Springfield Business Journal Editorial Vice President Eric Olson. The 12 People You Need to Know event was held at The Backlot, Alamo Drafthouse Springfield's restaurant and bar.

Elected by a narrow margin in November 2022 to unseat incumbent Craig Fishel in the Missouri House of Representatives District 136, Hein is up for reelection in 2024.

"I went into it for the long haul should the voters decide, 'This is what I want,'" Hein said of her plans to run again next year. "Honestly, I will work my campaign, I will do the hard work that's needed in Jeff City and then let the voters decide after that. If they decide they want to keep me on, then by all means, yeah, let's go."

Hein said the two-year term for Missouri House representatives means they must quickly decide their plans even while working on current issues during the legislative session.

"You can't make impactful change in two years. If you think you can, you're fooling yourself," she said. "You have to be somewhat committed to the process year after year after year."

Still, Hein said she was proud of her work as part of the House budget committee, which worked to recommend a roughly $50 billion budget that awaits approval from Gov. Mike Parson.

That budget has local wins, she said, including funding for Ozarks Technical Community College and Missouri State University, where Hein previously served as chair of the Department of Hospitality Leadership.

A news release issued last month by Hein and fellow Democratic Springfield state Rep. Betsy Fogle indicates $86.6 million in budget proposals would directly impact the Queen City.

The Springfield proposals comprise nearly $42 million in new appropriations for MSU and OTC; $4.7 million for Fast Track programs at OTC and MSU; $3 million for additional apprenticeship and training programs; $8 million in funds to repair the Jefferson Avenue Footbridge; $2.5 million for a Fellows Lake bridge; and $28 million in funding for repairs and construction along a five-mile stretch of Interstate 44 and its intersections within the city, according to past reporting.

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