South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Burton eyes reelection in 92nd District

Michael Burton

The 92nd Missouri House District Democratic primary features incumbent Michael Burton, first elected in 2020, against Affton Board of  Education member Kenny Edgar. The primary takes place Aug. 2. 

Burton first won the seat in 2020 after his efforts to save Tower Tee from being replaced with a McBride-Berra subdivision. Burton said his fight to keep Tower Tee or something similar in the area is proof of the type of fighter Affton needs in its house seat.

“I fought 18 months for Tower Tee. Everyone told me ‘It can’t be done, you’re wasting your time, it’s a done deal’ … I knew I had a very small chance, so I kept fighting and the community kept fighting and we won that,” Burton said. “We need a fighter in there. The state of Missouri is going to see a lot of bad legislation that they’re going to try to pass. We need someone willing to stand up and speak about these issues regardless of if it’s politically expedient or not.”

Burton’s first term saw him sit on four committees in the legislature — Conservation and Natural Resources, Downsizing State Government, Rural Community Development and small businesses. He said his time on those committees has helped him receive “two degrees” worth of knowledge in the areas covered.

Although he hasn’t had one of his own filed bills pass in the past two years, Burton has fought against bills that did not pass, and shown support for bills that did. 

One bill Burton fought against would have introduced upfront payment by citizens to allow power plants to be built. He explained that a similar policy had been enacted in other states, costing taxpayers billions of dollars for buildings that were never built. Another he spoke out against was one affecting the initiative petition process — when citizens collect signatures for things they may want to pass.

“(Republicans) were trying to make that more difficult where it would make it virtually impossible for someone to collect signatures to get something put on the ballot like decriminalizing marijuana, like Medicaid expansion, like ending puppy mills,” Burton said. 

Burton did attempt to gather bipartisan support for property tax elimination for senior citizens, which he said is his main priority right now.

“There are a lot of senior citizens in District 92 … and a lot of them are having to ration food and medications … and some of them are losing their homes and it’s just not right,” Burton said. 

Burton referenced the Missouri Homestead Act, which gave a tax break to seniors on a fixed income — the law expired 12 years ago. House Bill 2892 would have reinstated the act, but the bill did not make it out of committee. 

One of Burton’s main goals outside of legislation is to get citizens more involved in state politics. He said people often hear more about local or federal government, but don’t pay much attention to the state level.

“I don’t care what side of the aisle you’re on, people need to start paying attention. Not many people pay attention to state politics. I was that way before I got here so I don’t hold that against anybody,” Burton said. “State politics affect your life … more than the local or federal level.”

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