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Sen. Lincoln Hough On What Missouri Elected Officials Can Do To Combat COVID-19

Senators listen to Missouri Governor Mike Parson giving his State of the State address on Wednesday, January 27, 2021, in the State Capitol Building in Jefferson City.
Daniel Shular
Special to St. Louis Public Radio
Sen. Lincoln Hough, center, listens as Gov. Mike Parson gives his State of the State speech on Jan. 27. Hough represents Springfield, which has been battling a rise in the COVID delta variant recently.

State Sen. Lincoln Hough joined St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Sarah Fentem on the latest episode of Politically Speaking, to talk about how the COVID-19 outbreak is affecting southwest Missouri — and what political leaders can do to persuade people to get vaccinated.

Hough, R-Springfield, represents the 30th District. He was elected in 2018 after spending time as a Greene County commissioner and a member of the Missouri House. He is the vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which makes key decisions about the state budget.

Here’s what Hough talked about on the program:

  • How the Delta variant is affecting southwest Missouri, in particular how it is taxing the region’s hospital systems.
  • Whether incentives, including a recently unveiled lottery, will spur hesitant people to get vaccinated — or whether they may become convinced if they see their friends and loved ones stricken with the virus.
  • With St. Louis and St. Louis County bringing back mask mandates, whether other government jurisdictions should require face coverings in public places.
  • The impact of a Missouri Supreme Court ruling that found that a 2020 constitutional amendment expanding Medicaid was valid — and that the state needed to start signing people up to the health care program.
  • Where Missouri budget writers may direct roughly $2.8 billion from a federal coronavirus relief bill known as the American Rescue Plan. Hough said some of the funding could go toward expanding broadband in rural areas and overhauling Missouri’s IT system.

Hough is a cattle rancher who was first elected to the Missouri House in 2012. He served two terms before successfully seeking a seat on the Greene County Commission in 2016.

Hough decided to run for the Missouri Senate in 2018, taking on former state Rep. Charlie Norr, D-Springfield. While Springfield is a historic Republican stronghold, it’s become more favorable to Democrats in recent years. Ultimately, Hough defeated Norr by about 4,000 votes in a highly competitive contest.

Hough will be up for reelection next year.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Sarah Fentem on Twitter: @Petit_Smudge

Follow Lincoln Hough on Twitter: @LincolnHough

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Sarah Fentem is the health reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.