Rep. McCann Beatty looks back at her time as lawmaker as she resigns

2 months 4 weeks 1 day ago Sunday, July 22 2018 Jul 22, 2018 Sunday, July 22, 2018 6:12:00 PM CDT July 22, 2018 in News
By: David Estrada, KOMU 8 Reporter
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JEFFERSON CITY - After eight years serving in the Missouri House of Representatives, Rep. Gail McCann Beatty's, D-Kansas City, resignation is effective Sunday.

Lawmakers can serve up to eight years in the House and McCann Beatty's term limit was going to be up in December.

She will now be the Director of the Assessment Department for Jackson County.

"It's bittersweet," McCann Beatty said. "I received an offer from the county executive, so it was kind of good timing. This is now going to give me an opportunity to go back to the profession that I had prior to joining the legislature in appraising."

McCann Beatty spent the last legislative session working as the House Minority Floor Leader. She was also one of the state legislators who called for former Governor Eric Greitens’ resignation.

But, she said the political turmoil of the last legislative session did not weight on her decision to resign.

"Clearly, what went on in the last session was not something that anyone could’ve liked," she said. "But, it was not something that would deter me from running for a political office in the future at all. The experience that I had overall was very good."

McCann Beatty said the "Legal Expense Fund" bill was one of her biggest accomplishments, but not the only one.

"Working with the auditor to get the protection’s back for state employees, the whistleblower protections," she said. "I got a bill that raised awareness of Lucile Bluford, so we named a day after her and also MU ended up naming their newest dorm after her as well. And then I think there were some things on working with budget."

As she reflects on her work in Jefferson City, she said there are some bills she wished the General Assembly had passed.

"I wish we could’ve got the prescription drug monitoring program on," she said.
"We got very close a couple of years ago. I wish we would’ve gotten the ethics reform done, that's something that I think we see Missourians want, both Democrats and Republicans."

McCann Beatty said she takes greats memories with her from her time in office.

"I got diagnosed with breast cancer literally about a week before I got sworn in, and went through treatment just about a month into my first session," she said. "And the support that I got from all of the legislature I think was very important to me getting back and healing. I think my first term I took a very difficult vote on the redistricting map, which was a very emotional thing for me as well."

On her last day in office, she also took a moment to appreciate the work of her staff.

"Just leaving the legislature on the last day is when you really realize how much you really are going to miss it, and how much of an honor it is to serve," she said. "I had an absolutely amazing staff, and having to have to say goodbye to them was also very emotional."

Rep. Ginna Mitten, D-St. Louis, will take over as the new House Minority Floor Leader. But until after the regular elections in November, McCann Beatty’s legislative seat will remain vacant.

McCann Beatty said flexibility of ideas and communications are two important characteristics Mitten will need to succeed in her new leadership position.

"I think it's important to be open to suggestions, to listen to the caucus, but also recognize that at times you have to make really tough decisions that not necessarily everyone is going to be happy with."

McCann Beatty said she would consider running for office again in the future.

 (Editor's note: KOMU.com has updated this story to clarify which elections are happening in November.)

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