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State Rep makes Columbia a priority

February 01, 2001
By: Nick White
State Capital Bureau
Links: Appropriations - Health and Mental Health

JEFFERSON CITY - Columbia's own Rep. Vicki Riback Wilson said she is pushing to make her hometown's concerns a priority in the Capitol Building.

Wilson, D-Columbia, was recently appointed to her second legislative session as chairperson of the House Appropriations Committee for Health and Mental Health, a board that creates a state health budget and reviews spending.

As a representative for Columbia and the five hospitals in her district, Wilson said she is working to make Columbia's voice heard in Jefferson City.

"I think whenever you have people on the budget committee, it makes a difference ... so that is very helpful to Columbia and Boone County," Wilson said.

Wilson said her committtee decides how much state money to give to hospitals statewide, including those in Columbia. The board can also test water, the environment and evaluate preschools, Wilson said.

"People are affected every single day by programs from the Department of Health," Wilson said.

A fellow representative from Columbia, Rep. Timothy Harlan, D-Columbia, said Wilson handles Columbia's concerns well.

"It's important for the views of the people to be expressed," Harlan said. "It's a very good thing to be represented in that way."

Wilson said Columbia is a town that pays attention to its health needs.

"The people in Columbia are very aware of health," Wilson said. "And the fact that they are a health center."