Representative David Dayís Farewell Comments on the House Floor, the last day of the 2012 Regular Session
When I first walked into this Capitol eight years ago, I thought if I were allowed to serve until term limits kicked in for me, that would be forever. Mr. Speaker, while some of the days and even weeks seemed to go on forever at the time, now I am standing on this floor for my last time in Regular Session. It seems forever comes quicker than I thought it would. The time has flown by.
Eight years ago, I knew very few people in this chamber. Today, I have friends that Iíll remember forever. The kind of friends that you donít find very often. Just one example that Iíll never forget is when my father passed away. The circumstances surrounding his passing were very difficult for all of our family. I remember when we pulled up to the funeral home for the family visitation, there sat a guy on the steps, waiting for me. This gentleman had driven from the Capitol after a long week of session, budget week to be precise, and then had to make a drive to Festus, Missouri for an event in his district. That gentleman is my dear friend from across the aisle, Representative Ron Casey. When I told him that he didnít need to do that, his comment was simply: ďDave, I wanted to give you a hug and make sure you knew I was thinking of you. We all love you.Ē The gentleman from the Casey District is without a doubt one of the dearest souls I have ever met in my life.
There are stories like that all over this chamber, life-long friendships that have evolvedÖoften with people that we arenít politically aligned with, but with people that are just wonderful individuals.
I was asked the other day in an interview if I could give any advice to returning members and those who will be entering for the first time, what would it be? Well, I donít know that I am in a position to give anyone advice but here is what I told that reporter: ďMy simple advice would be to remember a few of the rules you were taught in kindergarten, or even earlier by your parents. Treat others as you want to be treated and be truthful.Ē
Just because someone has a different set of beliefs, values, and priorities than you do does not make them a bad person. Remember, Missouri is a very diverse state because the people that make it up are very diverse. I sincerely believe that each person in this chamber is here to represent their districts to the best of their ability and that's what we all try to do. Remember, when someone is on the other side of the issue from you, chances are their district is also. It doesnít make anyone a bad person; they are just doing what their job is for their part of our state. I believe that everyone here truly wants what is best for our state. Sure we disagree on what that is at times, or how to get there, but I know every person in this chamber, both sides of the aisle, love this state every bit as much as I do. Fight for what you believe in, be passionate about your values, but be respectful of otherís ideas and positions at the same time. They are just as passionate in their ideas as you are. Even when your beliefs are as far apart as possible, remember to treat them with the respect they deserve: treat them as you want to be treated.
Be truthful. When you walk in this chamber all you have is your word, nothing more. Iíve seen legislators who are so determined to pass a piece of legislation that they are willing to be less than honest about it just to gain a few votes. In almost every case, those same legislators went on to be some of the most ineffective in the building, resulting in a failed career in the Capitol. Once you lose the trust of your fellow legislators, which is easy to do here, you have nothing left in this building. Just be truthful. It was a good idea in kindergarten and it still is.
Serving in this beautiful building, this amazing chamber, is one of the greatest honors Iíve ever known. I owe a debt of gratitude to the people that make up the 148th District that I can never repay. Iíve tried to serve them well during my time here and all I can do is say ďthank youĒ to them. They are the greatest people anywhere. I also have to give a very special thanks to my wife Leasa and daughter Savanna. Everyone here knows the toll that being one of our family members can take on those we love the most. Without them, my time here would never have been possible. They are my heroes.
In closing Mr. Speaker, I am confident that in the years to come, as I think back on my eight years in this body, I am sure it isnít the battles I will remember. It wonít be the victories I won or the defeats I experienced. It probably wonít even be the legislation that I was fortunate enough to pass while here. Mr. Speaker, what I will remember are the friends, the people that make up this body. The dear friends I have gained during my time here that will be with me for a lifetime.
I will miss seeing each of you; however, I have to admit itíll be at least a few years before I miss hearing any of you (laughter). For those of you returning, you have great challenges coming, just as we always do. I am confident you will meet those challenges and I wish you great success. For those of you that are leaving this body as I am, I wish the very best that life has to offer you.
Mr. Speaker, thank you for allowing this Point of Personal Privilege, and thank each of you for your service to our great state.
God Bless each of you and God Bless the great State of Missouri.
Representative Day will continue to serve as State Representative of the 148th District until the end of 2012, this address was given during the last day of his last session.