Brad Hudson

Missouri District 138 State Rep. Brad Hudson has been selected to chair the House Special Committee on Tourism for the 101st General Assembly.

Hudson was chosen by House Speaker Rob Vescovo to help lead the efforts of the Missouri House as it works to address the issues that impact Missouri’s tourism industry, according to a press release.

Hudson shared that being named chair of the House Special Committee on Tourism is something he’s very excited about.

“Tourism is a very important industry as you know and your readers know, not just for our area, but for Missouri as a whole. The industry employs hundreds of thousands of people in our state and brings in billions of dollars,” said Hudson. “So as chair of that committee I will have the opportunity to conduct the meetings, to bring bills before the committee, legislation that has been referred to us for discussion and for votes on those bills at times and I will also have the opportunity look into the Missouri Division of Tourism, some of their marketing efforts and things that are happening there.”

When it came to being selected as chair, Hudson explained that it was a position that he had sought out.

“I have served on that committee as a member for the last two years. Former Rep. Jeff Justus chaired the committee for the last two years and he being term-limited I knew there would be a vacancy there. So I did talk to the speaker about putting me in that position and made my case for that,” Hudson said. “Evidentially he thought that would be a good thing to do and I’m really honored that he choose to place me in that position.”

Hudson said as he steps into this role there are several things he’s looking forward to, including the reintroduction of his hotel price posting bill.

“I have filed a bill that has been referred to that committee. It’s a bill that I filed the last couple of years and it has passed out of the House the last couple of years. Last year we were on a good track to get something done with it, but COVID messed so much up that kind of got caught up in that and just died,” said Hudson. “This bill updates some antiquated language in statute. It gives lodging establishments that are required to post their rates on their room doors the ability to not have to do that if they post their rates on a public Internet platform. So that’s some legislation that I expect we’re going to be taking up very soon. It’s a great example of just updating language and statute and making life easier for business owners in the tourism industry.”

For the 101st General Assembly, Hudson said he plans to initiate some conversations with folks regarding bills being filed that would effect businesses, especially tourism businesses.

“(I’m) trying to get some bills that are coming through our committee that really have some teeth to them. Now in the past the tourism committee, we have heard a lot of bills that have to do with naming a week or a special day and things like that. Those bills are great and we’ll probably hear some of those. I’m looking for some bills like the hotel price posting bill that I mentioned and other bills that would give the opportunity to help business owners conduct their businesses without unnecessary government regulation and things that really kind of put this committee out there where folks are watching what’s happening and we can really have an impact on this industry and do some good things for the people in Missouri.”

As tourism has been one of the major industries that the pandemic has struck hard over the last year, Hudson shared whether or not he believes Missouri’s tourism industry will receive any government assistance from the state.

“I expect there is going to be some legislation that’s going to go through the process that will effect our businesses,” Hudson said. “Depending what happens at the federal level, you have the potential for funding that would come in that we would have to appropriate. Now what type of legislation that goes through the tourism committee will be largely up to the speaker.”

Hudson added that he does have plans to visit with the other members of the committee and the office of the house speaker to try and have any bills referred to the committee that are going to have an impact on the tourism industry.

“If there are appropriation bills that maybe come down because of something that’s happened at the federal level and if the federal government makes money available to us we still have to pass legislation and appropriate that before it can be spent and the funds can be distributed,” said Hudson. “That would most likely go through the budget committee, but I sit on that committee as well. As a matter of fact I am chairing a budget subcommittee, along with chairing the special committee on tourism. So I have two positions in Jefferson City where I can really keep an eye on these things and have an impact on the industry.”

In additional to his legislative duties and chairmanship of the Special Committee on Tourism, Hudson was also named the chair of the House Subcommittee on Appropriations—General Administration.

“I feel honored to be in these positions, but I understand I wouldn’t have this opportunity if it weren’t for the support that the citizens of Missouri’s 138th District have shown me in electing me to this position and then reelecting me last year,” Hudson said. “I am grateful for that and I thank them for that support.”

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