48th Missouri House District: Bill Betteridge
Opponent: Tim Taylor
Residence: Pilot Grove
Occupation: Farmer, retired educator
Education: Kemper Military School and College, Park College, William Woods University University, University of Central Missouri
Previous political experience: First time seeking public office.
Family: Wife Diane; two daughters, Lucy Betteridge, Marry Cassil
What is your position on Amendment 3, which would roll back parts of the Clean Missouri amendment voters approved in 2018?
As a state representative, I do not want to take a lot of my time overturning the will of the Missouri voters. We just had a vote in 2018, and I believe 72% of the Missouri voters indicated they were in favor of Clean Missouri. And at this point in time, I do not want to overturn the will of the voters. I don't pretend to think that 163 representatives know more than the population of the state of Missouri. and I want to have their will guide and direct me.
How will Medicaid expansion affect the 48th District?
You know what the voters just recently passed Medicaid expansion so we need to look at the 48th District as how we can make that work for us. First of all, I like the fact that the elderly, the disabled and our youth are the ones that typically are the ones that are going to benefit from the Medicaid expansion. I'm an old farm boy and when we had to spend $100 an acre to get the ground ready and someone was willing to put $90 in and me put in 10, I was all in favor of that. So I like the fact that Medicaid expansion is here. I like the fact that the federal government is going to be doing a big part of that expansion. And I really like the groups, it's going to target the elderly, the disabled and our youth.
Has the state done enough to fight COVID-19?
I was an educator for a number of years and I'm a farmer. So we would tend to as an educator as an administrator every year we would sit down at the end of the school year and we would look back at areas and trying to analyze and see what might have helped. Our COVID experience right now is so new, we do not have a precedent. We, we haven't been here before, but I think it is great that we look back and reflect, because obviously there's going to be stumbles, there's going to be things we wish we could have done better.
And in looking today I am just so praying for our governor, our chief executive of Missouri. I hope and pray that he recovers, and I think he's doing well. But I want us to put in things that our doctors and scientists are telling us. I want to follow the people that really are the ones that are trained to give the best information. There is a world of info out there. But when I get sick and go to the doctor, I rely on him to give me good information. As a state representative, I want to follow the experts and see what they have to tell us. And looking back I don't want to second guess or use the benefit of hindsight, but I just want to review where we've come from, and more importantly, what can we do going forward.
The Missouri General Assembly took up legislation to address violent crime this summer and the issue is likely to come up again. What should the General Assembly do to address the problem?
The 48th District is a remarkable geographic area. There are six parts
of six counties: Pettis, Saline, Chariton, Randolph, Cooper and
Howard and I spoke to a lot of folks in the past months traveling
across our 48th District.
That really hasn't been a big focus for the members of our district. We have some wonderful police departments, we have some great county sheriffs that I've gotten to know, been good friends with lots of our law enforcement officials. I think they have a real handle on what's going on in the 48th. There are other issues: rural broadband, health care, education, to focus a little bit more time. Violence, to me, is more of a, it's kind of a metropolitan, a big city issue. It's kind of more of a Kansas City or St. Louis. If there's things we could do as people in 48, to help those folks out, I wouldn't be opposed to looking at that. But right now as far as my district, I want to spend some time on other things I think are more crucial to the residents of the 48th.